Holiday Home for Nuthatches

Make even more homes for nuthatches this season. When you BUY ONE, we GIVE ONE.

The Brown-headed Nuthatch needs your help to find a good home. Our southern birds are losing ground to urbanization and deforestation as North Carolina loses its pine forests.

nuthatchhomefortheholidaysThis holiday season, we are participating in a special promotion with Audubon North Carolina to reach our goal of distributing 10,000 nest boxes for nuthatches by the end of 2014. When you buy one box from a participating local bird store, Audubon will install a second box at a local school, church or park in our community.
 
Join us in showing your southern hospitality for this quintessential southern bird. Click here to find a participating store near you, and give twice as many nuthatches a cozy place to rest this winter and nest this spring.
 
Learn more about how you can help Brown-headed Nuthatches in this video.

Making Ours a Bird-Friendly Community

Brown-headed_Nuthatch_From_The_Crossley_ID_Guide_Eastern_Birds
Brown-headed Nuthatch (Photo Credit: Wikimedia)

We had a good turnout for our special meeting on Bird-Friendly Communities on November 18th, and folks offered lots of good ideas on how our chapter can move forward with the Nest Boxes for Nuthatches project and the Bird-Friendly Communities initiative. Lynn Moseley provided an overview of the nuthatch PowerPoint presentation, and Stella Wear gave us an update on our chapter’s efforts to help that quintessential Southern bird, the Brown-headed Nuthatch. To date we have distributed 121 nest boxes and at least 30 metal excluders for turning bluebird houses into nuthatch houses by making the entry hole smaller — if the hole is only 1.25” or 1” in diameter, bluebirds will leave the nest box alone (they can’t fit in!) and will allow other, smaller birds like our nuthatches to nest there in peaceful co-existence.

We currently have placed nest boxes in private yards and public parks. Ideas for other places to locate boxes include schools, retirement homes, and office parks. If you have connections with some place like this that might be willing to put up a nuthatch nest box, please let the Bird-Friendly Communities Team know so we can follow up. We also need people to monitor nest boxes from March to June each year.

Ann Walter-Fromson showed Audubon NC’s “Bird-Friendly Gardening” PowerPoint presentation and talked about why native plants are so important for helping birds (native insects can eat native plants, and insects are what 96% of land birds feed their young in the nest), the different kinds of foods native plants provide for birds, and what else folks can do to make their yards welcoming to birds. As you probably know, Audubon NC produced a beautiful brochure on Native Plants for Birds for each of the three regions of the state (Coast, Piedmont, Mountain) and these are available in Spanish, as well. We discussed where else we could distribute these brochures, and what groups in our community might be interested in learning about Bird-Friendly Gardening. If you know of a scout group, garden club, neighborhood association, school, or church group that would like to hear about Bird-Friendly Gardening, please let us know.

While the brochures and the Bird-Friendly Gardening presentation help to create a demand for native plants, Audubon NC is also working with growers across the state to create a supply of native plants through the Local Roots initiative. We have a special opportunity to assist with that effort by staffing an Audubon NC exhibit at the Green and Growin’ Trade Show at the Greensboro Coliseum on January 8 and 9, 2015. We will talk to growers and encourage them to make a commitment to grow a set of Native Bird-Friendly Plants of the Year in exchange for marketing tools and publicity. Thanks to the seven people who have already signed up to help at the trade show. We still need volunteers for Friday, Jan. 9 in the morning and for an hour in the afternoon. If you have time to spare that day, and would like to help, please contact Kim Brand at kbrand@audubon.org.

For more information on Local Roots, Bird-Friendly Plants, and how to Make a Little Room for the Brown-Headed Nuthatch, visit http://nc.audubon.org. And please, send us your ideas on how we can make Greensboro and Guilford County a more bird-friendly community, and volunteer to help us talk to other groups about native plants and nuthatches and to put up and monitor nest boxes. Together we can accomplish much more!

— Ann Walter-Fromson for The Bird-Friendly Communities Team of Lynn Moseley, Stella Wear & Ann Walter-Fromson

 

 

 

 

Creating Bird-Friendly Communities – Join Us!

Brown-headed_Nuthatch_From_The_Crossley_ID_Guide_Eastern_Birds
Brown-headed Nuthatch Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

How would you like to see Brown-headed Nuthatches in your backyard or your neighborhood? How about Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers this winter? Wouldn’t it be nice if more species of birds, butterflies, and other types of wildlife were able to find good quality habitat right in your community instead of only in special wildlife preserves? If you’d like to help make this happen, read on.

You’re invited to a special meeting of the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society with a focus on Bird-Friendly Communities on Tuesday, November 18th at 7:00 pm. at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library. We need your help to get the word out on ways that people can make a difference to help birds thrive in our community. We have two projects we’re engaged with that promote Bird-Friendly Communities — nest boxes for Brown-Headed Nuthatches and Native Plants for Birds. We’d like your ideas on how we can reach a wider audience with these messages.

yellow rumped warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

At the meeting, we will watch two PowerPoint presentations that Audubon NC has created: “Nest Boxes for Nuthatches: Make Room for a Native Southerner” and “Bird-Friendly Gardening: Your Yard Matters!”. After each of these presentations, we’ll discuss what we can do to reach important audiences and how we can get more people involved in helping birds.

There are many ways you can get involved — we need folks who are willing to talk to individuals or to groups, to participate in Citizen Science projects, to give the PowerPoint presentations, to have a conversation with neighbors, or talk to people in the community who can make a difference. But first, we’d like you to come to our meeting and help us plan the next steps we can take.

We are meeting in the small conference room in the library — from the rotunda, go left and then left again to the room behind the stacks that faces out the front of the library. Please let us know if you plan to attend (email Stella Wear at stellaandtom2605@gmail.com) and we’ll be sure to set up enough chairs.

The Bird-Friendly Communities Team for T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon: Lynn Moseley, Ann Walter-Fromson, and Stella Wear

The History and Mission of T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society

“Our mission is to foster appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of birds and nature and to preserve our natural heritage at the local and global level.”

The Pearson chapter was founded in 1971 by several Greensboro residents including a few faculty members at UNC Greensboro. You can say we followed in the footsteps of the Audubon Society of North Carolina, which was formed by Thomas Gilbert Pearson in 1902, on the same campus! It was only natural that the new chapter would be named for him.

Pearson went on to help form the National Audubon Society, becoming its second president, a position he held for 20 years. He was responsible for many of the early bird protection laws passed in North Carolina and nationally, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The chapter was then, and is now, dedicated to furthering Pearson’s bird and habitat preservation efforts.

Legacy of Conservation:
Pearson Audubon, from its inception, has organized monthly programs and field trips for our members, and over the years, has also mounted several projects where habitat protection or conservation was the main goal.

    • In the 1970s we partnered with other groups to oppose a large sewer project that would have opened all of northern Guilford County to intense development. Our efforts forced the project to scale back and allowed development to occur at a more measured pace.
    • In the mid-1970s we saw an opportunity to help preserve about 11 acres of urban habitat owned by the Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. The T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Natural Area was created after the chapter worked with the city to produce an agreement to manage it as a nature preserve.
    • 1990 marked the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and we were one of three local groups that organized The Celebration of the Earth. For our role in that event we received the Best Single Project Award from Greensboro Beautiful.
Work Day at TGPAS Natural Area
Work Day at TGPAS Natural Area

Community Partnerships:
Soon after the Celebration of the Earth event, our chapter began a 10-year effort for the City of Greensboro to cease mowing creek banks on city-owned parkland allowing the banks to grow up naturally. Partnering with the Westerwood neighborhood, a pilot project was established in Lake Daniel Park along the N. Buffalo Creek Greenway to plant hundreds of native trees and shrubs.

The chapter also conducted an inventory of flora and fauna, including birds, along the newly buffered N. Buffalo Creek that showed a marked increase in numbers as a result of the shade and cover the buffer provided. The maturing buffer along N. Buffalo Creek was found to have attracted many Bluebirds, and so in the late 1990s, the chapter installed a Bluebird Trail along the edge of the stream buffer that has been monitored by chapter members along with many neighbors from the Westerwood community to this day!

This StreamGreen/StreamLife project has resulted in its stream buffer practices being adopted by the City of Greensboro, applied to streams on all public lands in the city. The Pearson chapter received the Earth Defender Award from the National Audubon Society in 1994 for its StreamGreen project, articles which appeared in Audubon magazine and other national publications.

Currently, we are proud to be a partner in the Audubon North Carolina Bird-Friendly Communities program. We are providing nest boxes for Brown-headed Nuthatches and mounting efforts to educate the local community about using native plants in their yards.

Best Birding Spots:
The Pearson chapter oversaw the construction of the Audubon Wildlife Overlook at Southwest Park in Guilford County, and the installation of more than a dozen interpretive wildlife signs at the overlook. The overlook is a good place to look for soaring raptors, nuthatches attracted to the pine woods nearby, and Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers associated with Randleman Reservoir, which is just a stones throw from the overlook deck.

Our chapter’s area covers a section of the piedmont of North Carolina, so upland birds are most commonly seen here. Several reservoirs in Guilford County even attract their share of wintering waterfowl. The Bog Garden, a Greensboro park, is on the NC Birding Trail, as are the nearby Haw River State Park and the Caswell Game Lands, our chapter’s adopted IBA.