Are you interested in ways that citizen scientists can help us understand more about birds, and in turn help protect them? Our March Chapter Meeting will feature Dr. Ashley Peele, the Coordinator for the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas. Dr. Peele is an Avian Ecologist, based in Blacksburg, Virginia. The Virginia Breeding Bird Survey collects data to learn where birds are forming territories, building nests, laying eggs, fledging chicks, as well as their distributions among different habitats throughout the state. Atlas surveys are important in assessing how bird communities are responding to climate change and other rapidly changing conditions that birds must cope with in order to survive. Forsyth Audubon looks forward to participating with North Carolina Audubon in the North Carolina Bird Atlas beginning this year.
Our Chapter Meeting will be Tuesday, March 24th at the Historic Bethabara Visitor Center. Our Social Time begins at 7:00 PM. Our Chapter Meeting will begin at 7:15, and Dr. Peele's talk will begin at 7:30.
Support Your Local Birds
OK you have been putting this off for a while, make this the year you support your birds by shrinking your lawn and installing Native Bird-Friendly plants. Nature's best hope is for each yard and public space to not only look nice but to restore an increment of vital habitat that when added together will sustain the birds and pollinators in your yard, in your neighbor's yard, in your community, out in the rural land all the way to the next city which does the same creating a huge Homegrown National Park throughout the land. This is what hope looks like to a bird!
Don't know how to do it? Don't like to garden? Afraid of what your neighbors will say?
No problem! We can help you! Forsyth Audubon has all the information you need from recommended plants, nurseries to find them, landscape designers and contractors, and garden maintenance.
You may have noticed a few college students showing up on bird walks lately. Forsyth Audubon is reaching out to our College and Universities inviting students and staff to join in our activities and exploring ways that we can join them. We have an Audubon Campus Committee composed of Wendy Hawkins from Salem College, Allison Gagnon from UNCSA, Jesse Anderson and Louise Allen representing WSSU, and John Noble and David Anderson from WFU. Forsyth Audubon received a Burke Grant to establish a bird and pollinator friendly garden on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, Jesse and Louise are working with students and staff in the design phase now. Salem students in the Ecology Club have been working with Wendy on our Bird Migration Environmental Education curriculum. Composition students and faculty at UNCSA are exploring creating a new music composition based on Wood Thrush Migration in honor of Forsyth Audubon's 50th anniversary coming up next year. Wake Forest's Biology and Sustainability students are evaluating activities we could share. Welcome these newcomers and join in on the fun!
Forsyth Audubon Cleans Up!
Mark your calendars to help clean up our adopted area - Bethabara Wetlands at Reynolda Rd. - on Saturday April 4th, 9:00am to 12 noon. Additional details will be provided later.
The Great American Clean Up is in conjunction with Creek Week. The city of Winston-Salem provides trash bags, gloves, AND pizza at noon.
Come join in to clean up and keep an area free from plastic and trash that are harmful to birds, animals and the ecosystem.
Don't Miss Creek Week!
If you've ever wanted to tour Salem Lake by paddleboard, learn more about the contents of the water in the lake at Quarry Park, test your skill at fly fishing, or finally see what's inside the boathouse at Lake Katherine, then check out this year's offerings for Creek Week! Once again, Forsyth Audubon is participating by leading bird walks on March 21st and March 22nd. On Saturday March 21st there will be a walk at the Old Salem Greenway. Meet in the parking lot of the Old Salem Visitor Center at 9:00 AM. Also on March 21st there will be a bird walk at Muddy Creek Greenway. Meet in the parking lot of Jamison Park at 9:00 AM. On Sunday, March 22nd, we will have a walk at Newell-Massey Greenway at 9:00 AM. Meet in the parking lot of the Twin City ballfield on Waterworks Road across from the entrance to Winston Lake. Also on March 22nd there will be a walk at Salem Lake. Meet at 9:00 AM in the parking lot near the marina.
From our Day Trip Leaders Craig and Jane McCleary:
Hello Day Trippers,
Jane and I have three trips planned for April, May, and June.
We are headed to the Triangle area to bird Yates Mill Park and Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. This is a new trip for us so we don't know what to expect. Should be good. NEW MEETING SPOT: Since we are headed east, we will meet in the Food Lion parking lot at the intersection of Union Cross Rd and I 40 at the north end behind the Cleaner World dry cleaners at 7 am.
Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge. This is a gem so close to home so we are doing it again. Hope to see a wide variety of migrants and nesting birds. It can get buggy so bring mosquito repellent. We will meet at out regular meeting spot in the Thruway Shopping Center parking lot near the Harris Teeter at 7 am.
Another oldie but goodie. We are going to Valle Crucis community park. Good chance to see Baltimore Orioles and Yellow Warblers. We also had a Least Flycatcher one year that Ron Morris spotted and gave us an id lesson (for those of us who struggle with the empids (me!)). Valle Crucis is a community park that survives on donations. So please consider bringing some cash to stuff into the donation box. The Tree Sparrows that nest in all the bird houses will appreciate it.
After we bird Valle Crucis, we will head to Trout Lake which is one of our favorite mountain birding spots. We can almost guarantee Hooded and Canada Warblers. Plus we almost always hear a Veery in the parking lot. We will meet in the Thruway Shopping Center parking lot near Harris Teeter at 7 am.
Pack food and beverages. We like to carpool from the meeting area. For the mountain trip on June 20, we can pick people up west of Winston to save you the trouble (and reduce our carbon footprint) of driving all the way to Thruway. If you are carpooling, please be kind and offer some cash to share to expense of gas.
Please RSVP with your cell phone number if you plan to attend one of our trips. We don't want to leave anyone behind and may need to update details depending on the weather.
Save the Date: April 25th Piedmont Environmental Alliance Earth Day Fair. Forsyth Audubon will be represented and will need volunteers to help spread the word about all of the fun, important, and rewarding activities that we are doing. A sign-up sheet will be coming soon. It's a fun day, and a fun way to be involved with Forsyth Audubon.
Did you know?
Windows in our homes kill hundreds of millions of birds every year.
Most bird-window collisions leave no trace. Birds that fly away may die days later of their injuries. Birds do not break their necks, but can suffer concussions and internal injuries.
Reflections are one of the main reasons for window collisions. Birds see habitat and open sky reflected on our windows. Almost any glass can act like a perfect mirror under certain lighting conditions. Deceived by the reflection, they crash into the solid glass trying to reach what they see.
The See-through effect is the other reason. Wherever birds can see habitat or sky through glass, such as windows opposite one another, glass walkways, sunrooms, glass enclosed porches, etc. the result can be lethal. This is one time where closing blinds can be very effective in preventing collisions.
What you can do
There are easy, economical ways to help birds see your windows.
Keep light colored blinds partially closed so birds don’t think it is an open fly area. Leave exterior screens in place year-round. Move houseplants back from windows.
Windows facing feeders and good habitat should be treated first.
Hanging cords, or ribbons in front of (outside) your windows on 4” centers can be effective and unobtrusive.
Tempura paint can be a good temporary solution– paint a picture, draw lines, or cover the entire window.
Be creative! Tape, stickers, tempera paint, markers for glass surfaces, about anything that will not harm the glass can be used to make patterns to save bird lives.
The shape does not matter, but spacing does; You must follow the 2” x 4” rule.
What does NOT work?
Single stickers of any shape or size are ineffective!
Keep in mind… Outside surface is best. Anything you use to help birds realize there is a glass barrier in front of them works best and sometimes only if it is on the outside of the window.
Bird Defensive Behavior
Often times in Spring, birds will repeatedly fly against a window. They are fighting their own reflection thinking it is a rival bird. This situation is best handled by temporarily covering the entire window to block the reflection. You can use anything, even simple bar soap or tempera paint. After a few days simply wash it off. You can reapply if necessary.
Eager for spring migration? Register for the 2020 Audubon North Carolina Summit in Charlotte, April 17 - 19, featuring field trips to 15-warbler hotspots, nesting Prothonotary Warblers, and more.Click on the link for more information and to register.https://nc.audubon.org/2020-summit
Mark your Calendar:
March 14: Second Saturday Bird Walk Tanglewood 9:00 AM We need a leader for this walk - contact Jesse Anderson if interested March 18: Birds and Beer 6:00 PM Join us at Bleu Restaurant (3425 Frontis St. Winston-Salem) for a drink or dinner and bird talk. March 21: Creek Week Bird Walks 9:00 AM
Muddy Creek Greenway - meet in the parking lot of Jamison Park
Salem Creek Greenway - meet in the Old Salem Visitor Center parking lot March 22: Creek Week Bird Walks 9:00 AM
Newell-Massey Greenway - meet in the parking lot by the Twin City ballfield
Salem Lake - meet in the parking lot by the marina March 24: Chapter Meeting 7:00 PM Historic Bethabara Visitor Center
Speaker: Ashley Peele, Coordinator of the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas April 4: Park Cleanup at Bethabara Wetlands 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pizza at noon! April 7: Forsyth Audubon Board Meeting - Arbor Acres Club House 7:00 PM all are welcome to attend April 11: Second Saturday Bird Walk Bethabara Lower Trails 8:00 AM meet at the historic Bethabara Visitor Center April 15: Birds and Beer Bleu Restaurant 6:00 PM April 17 - 19 Audubon North Carolina Summit https://nc.audubon.org/2020-summit April 18: Day Trip to Yates Mill Pond and Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve April 25: Piedmont Environmental Alliance Earth Day Fair
Order "Birding Guide to Forsyth County"!
The fifth edition of "Birding Guide to Forsyth County," by David Disher, is now available. David's book, in a handy 6 x 9 paperback format, compiles documented observations for 280 bird species in Forsyth County. Learn what birds can be seen here and during which weeks of the year you are most likely to see them. Photos of uncommon sightings are included. Information on local birding spots also is included. For $15, this is a great gift for your favorite birder. All profits go to our chapter. Copies are available at Wright's Backyard Birding Center, 3906 Country Club Rd., Winston-Salem, and at Wild Birds Unlimited, 1589 Skeet Club Rd, High Point. Copies also are available for sale at our monthly chapter meetings. If you have a smart phone or tablet, download the electronic version available for $4.99 from www.lulu.com.
Forsyth Audubon T-shirts are here! They are available now at most of our chapter events, or you can pick one up at Wright's Birding Center during business hours. There are two different styles to choose from, both with our fabulous brown-headed nuthatch logo. The soft cotton poly blend shirts are $20.00 and the polyester tech tee with the cool dri wicking fabric is $25.00.