Invitation to Participate in an NC Parks Public Recreation Survey

The N. C. Division of Parks and Recreation invites you to participate in a statewide survey designed to assess the state’s outdoor recreation  preferences and needs for the next 5 years.  The results of the survey will help federal, state and local agencies to provide outdoor recreation opportunities as well as protect and restore natural resources.

The short survey is available online through May 30 at the division’s website (




American Oystercatcher "Arnie" has a nest!

(c) Lindsay AddisonOne of six American Oystercatchers being tracked by NC Audubon, NC State University, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was found to have a nest with one egg laid! The full story is available on the project's website. If you would like more information about Arnie and the other 5 oystercatchers, you can monitor their progress on their interactive map.


Explore Feathers with New All About Bird Biology

The Cornell Lab has just released All About Bird Biology, a media-rich website that brings the fascinating world of birds to life in a fun and interactive way. Designed as an ever-expanding resource highlighting the best bird-related science stories, we started by exploring the colorful and surprising diversity of feathers. 
You are among the first groups that we've alerted about this new site. Make sure to check out:

As NestWatch enthusiasts, we think you'll appreciate this opportunity to discover more about what's really going on in the lives of birds.


Cataloochee Guest Ranch's Great Birding Weekend May 9-11

Cataloochee Guest Ranch's Great Birding Weekend! 

  May 9-11, 2014.  Registration is open.

    (800)868-1401 or (828)926-1401 

Cataloochee Guest Ranch's Great Birding weekend celebrates the return of migrating  birds from their winter residences and provides an opportunity to watch them settle into their summer territory for breeding. 

The weekend is going to be full of hikes, presentations  and birding on foot and horseback. Featured Guides include Jeremy Hyman, Professor of Ornithology at Western Carolina University, who will share his birding knowledge and experiences with Song Sparrows.   Also, Lena Gallitano will represent the NC Birding Trail and share details about this great NC resource.  The Saturday night "birds and beer" social hour will be a fun evening to share stories from the weekend.

Come join the beauty of the mountains  and a weekend of Spring birding  with  Cataloochee's warm hospitality!


Help Brown-Headed Nuthatches - Place a Nestbox Today!

brown-headed nuthatch ©Ken Thomas
The North Carolina Audubon Bird-Friendly Communities Program
has an audacious goal to deploy 10,000 brown-headed nuthatch boxes by the end of 2015! The brown-headed nuthatch is a small bird - just under 4" long - and sounds just like a rubber ducky squeaky toy. A quintessential Southern bird, with a home range from Virginia to east Texas, the nuthatch lives in old-growth pine or just about anywhere it can get its most important food - pine seeds. 

Audubon, Partners in Flight, and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission consider the brown-headed nuthatch a responsibility species for North Carolina. No big surprise, but humans had a hand in their decline of 2.2% a year from 1966 to 1996. More recent data are encouraging - nuthatches increased 1% a year from 2001 to 2011 - and humans can keep nuthatches headed in the right direction.

There are two easy ways to provide a cozy little home for the nuthatch. First, any nest box design approved by the North American Bluebird Society will work very well for brown-headed nuthatches but it is important to make the opening smaller - ideally 1" in diameter. Placing a nestbox is the best way to help keep the trend for nuthatches increasing. Check here for more detailed information on building your own, or purchase a box from one of these retailers.

But the fun doesn't end once you've installed your nestbox! Register with the NC Audubon Society for updates, and report your observations so they can track the success of this diminutive nuthatch in our state.

Wanna see a brown-headed nuthach near you? Check out your nearby Birding Trail sites.