Upcoming Events
Bird Walks

Blue Ridge Audubon will be holding Bird Walks in some parks this month. Walks are free but you must sign up to attend using the links below. There is a limit of 10 people. Masks are required.

March 13, 9 am Jackson Park

March 20, 9 am Owen Park

Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary remains open and free to the public.
BRAC Programs

Window Pain: Helping Birds Survive a Human World
with Heidi Trudell
Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.

with Freya McGregor
Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m.

BRAC Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Board of Director meetings are open.
Email us if you'd like to attend on Zoom:
Blue Ridge Audubon News
Dear friend,

Blue Ridge Audubon and UNCA Audubon students had a great time at this year’s Advocacy Day in February. We were among 100 Audubon advocates from across the state who met online with lawmakers to speak up for birds and North Carolina communities. We're excited to see big things happen for conservation funding and clean energy in 2021. Our local delegation had wonderful meetings with Sen. Julie Mayfield, Rep. Susan Fisher and Rep. Brian Turner, among others.

Rep. Susan Fisher (pictured above) shared a framed painting of a Carolina Wren—her favorite bird, because its song reminds her of her granddaughter Chidori, whose name means 'A Thousand Birds' in Japanese. 
Rep. Brian Turner is a big fan of birds too. He's even got the Audubon bird app on his phone! Check out his Facebook post of our meeting (Rep. Turner is bottom right).

We plan to invite all of our local legislators out for a bird walk soon. You can read blogposts about Advocacy Day on Audubon North Carolina’s website and National Audubon’s website. 
Speaking of advocating for birds… here’s your chance. A new bipartisan bill—the Growing Climate Solutions Act—would help farmers, ranchers and foresters receive resources to support common-sense conservation on their lands. A win-win for birds! So far, over 550 Audubon members statewide have written a message to Sen. Thom Tillis urging him to cosponsor this important bill. Let’s keep up the momentum -- please send your message today!

Spring migration is coming soon! Enjoy it everyone!

-Nancy Casey
Window Pain:
Helping Birds Survive a Human World
Heidi Trudell
Blue Ridge Audubon March Program
Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.
Join us on Facebook Live
Click on Blue Ridge Audubon's Facebook page to watch!
You don't need a Facebook account to view the program. If you have trouble accessing the live video, try refreshing the BRAC Facebook page shortly after 7 pm. If you have "liked" our page and you're on a desktop computer, you can click Watch on the Facebook home page and then on Live to find our live feed. On a smartphone, click Live Videos. Can't watch it live? The recording will be available on Facebook to watch anytime.
Hundreds of millions of healthy birds are killed in the U.S. each year when they collide with the glass of residences and office buildings. With native bird populations experiencing steep declines, immediate action is critical to reduce threats to their survival. In addition to habitat loss and outdoor cats, glass is the leading cause of death among songbirds. Safe Passage programs are dedicated to making the world a safer place for birds through education, outreach, and monitoring buildings for window collisions. Join our speaker, Heidi Trudell, for a discussion of threats facing birds, and to learn about solutions for saving birds. Find out how our everyday decisions can help birds all over North America and beyond.
Coming to us virtually from Ypsilanti, Michigan, our speaker, Heidi Trudell, is a biologist who became a bird-safe building consultant. Heidi has focused on anthropogenic causes of bird mortality since working on her first window collision monitoring/prevention project in 2003. Her consulting work ranges from wind farms in Texas, to advising on bird-safe windows in the Midwest, to projects as far away as Korea. Her passion for bird conservation has led her to serve on Safe Passage committees for Washtenaw Audubon, Detroit Audubon, and Black Swamp Bird Observatory. To learn more about her work, find her at and her Facebook groups: Just Save Birds, and Dead Birds 4 Science!
Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville
by Danielle DiBella-Lenaway
This March, Blue Ridge Audubon’s guest speaker, Heidi Trudell, will help launch the Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville, a program geared to prevent bird/window collisions. The Coalition’s Asheville team is composed of UNCA students, BRAC board members, and Audubon North Carolina staff. They will advocate for the implementation of measures to support avian safety. This includes lobbying for bird-safe window treatments and a lights-out commitment during migration months. 
It’s estimated that up to half a billion birds die each year in North America alone from window collisions. Lights-Out programs and bird- friendly building materials provide an opportunity to reduce the number of birds killed by human-made structures. Successful programs exist in several major cities, including Charlotte and Winston-Salem.
The goal of the Coalition is to unite community members and businesses, and to work with the City Council to make Asheville a safer place for birds. In this more bird-friendly Asheville, fewer birds will be killed through window collisions, and they will have a safer migration passage through Asheville to their breeding grounds.
Please join our campaign! Visit, and download the “Collision Tool Kits.” Find additional information on our website about bird-safe glass, home solutions, and how to address letters to your elected officials. You can also contribute feedback and data from your observations to help us gain support from the City Council for our movement.

Photo by Corim De Guzman
at University of British Columbia
National Women's History Month
by Susan Richardson
March is National Women's History Month and recent events have added some 'firsts' to the history books. The all-woman Asheville City Council is a first not only for Asheville but also for North Carolina. In addition, our new Vice President made history by becoming the first female in that position.
In the birding world, the National Audubon Society features an article on Seven Women Who Made the World Better for Birds and People. One of these incredible women, Rachael Carson, author and activist, published the book Silent Spring in 1962, documenting the devastating impacts of synthetic pesticides on birds, pollinators, and humans. Pictured here is Margaret Morse Nice, an early ornithologist whose work on the Song Sparrow is considered a landmark of research. Nice wrote nearly 250 papers on birds, 3,000 book reviews, and several books including the Birds of Oklahoma (1924, 1931).
These women all made a difference and I am inspired by each and every one of them. Here's to a future of more 'firsts.'

Bird Notes
by Rick Pyeritz
Just for a day, I’d like to smell what a seabird smells,
wake up one morning on the sea,
with a storm petrel’s elevated olfactory sense,
and navigate the waters
by swirling odor plumes and clouds ….. 
                                                                Jennifer Ackerman, The Bird Way
Do birds smell? I do not mean whether birds have an odor about them, but rather, do birds utilize a sense of smell? And if so, how important is it to their life? The ability of birds to smell was unknown well into the 20th century. The results of a few poorly designed studies were hotly debated and opinions varied greatly over the years. It turns out that birds do possess the sensory organs necessary for perceiving odors, but only some birds’ “noses” have gained scientific notice. If you would like to find out how birds use this interesting sense, follow the link.  
Turkey vulture by Shravan Sundaram
Beaver Bits
Text by Jay Wherley
Through the work of our dedicated volunteers, Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is of more benefit to both birds and human visitors. I’d like to highlight the ongoing volunteer work in the sanctuary done by Alicia and Art Hulse, who together have spent dozens and dozens of hours helping keep invasive plants under control. They have trekked and tromped into various corners of the sanctuary to identify and remove species that outgrow and overtake the native species that birds rely on.
In a volunteer effort to help nesting birds, the many birdhouses in the sanctuary are being surveyed and refurbished by John Koon and his daughter Louisa. From small wren birdhouses up through Eastern Screech Owl boxes, John and Louisa have many “home” renovations underway. Use the photo of the box locations to take your kids on a scavenger hunt for all 16 bird boxes!
Thank you to all our visitors for parking donations, picking up bits of litter, respect for the property, and general kindness. We love sharing this special space with you.
* * * * * *
Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include Bonaparte's Gull and Merlin.

Photos by John Koon
About the Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter
Blue Ridge Audubon is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, serving Buncombe, Henderson, and surrounding counties in western North Carolina.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are
tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law.

Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter
PO Box 18711
Asheville, NC 28814

Raven's Nest Editor: 
Marianne Mooney

Blue Ridge Audubon's mission is to protect birds and the places they depend on. We believe that a world in which birds thrive is a world that benefits all living things.

Our vision is a vibrant and just community where the protection of birds and our natural world is valued by everyone.

For the latest information and schedule changes,
check our Website or Facebook/Instagram page.