Upcoming Events
Birding Events

Blue Ridge Audubon's Saturday morning field trips are open to all. We are encouraging everyone to wear a mask.

Many thanks to the guides at Ventures Birding
for leading our outings.

October 16, 9 a.m.

November 6, 9 a.m.

November 13, 9 a.m.

Blue Ridge Audubon
Program Meeting
Tuesday, October 19, 7 p.m.
Reuter Center, UNCAsheville
or watch on our Facebook page

Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, Nov 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Our board meetings are online and open to everyone. Email us if you'd like to attend:

Audubon NC Chapter Day
Monday, Nov 15 at 7 p.m.
Details below
Blue Ridge Audubon News
Dear friend,

Blue Ridge Audubon and UNCA Audubon would like to thank NC State Senator Julie Mayfield who joined us at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary for a bird outing. The birders were led by UNCA Audubon chapter president Sarah Branagan and vice-president Paulina Jones along with chapter members Matt McDermott, Sam Dormandy, and recent graduate Clayton Gibb. Blue Ridge Audubon board members present were Bonnie Snyder and Tom Tribble, and Audubon North Carolina was represented by Zach Wallace.

The group spotted 28 bird species on a beautiful fall morning, including a nice view of a migrating female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a cooperative Green Heron, and a stately Great Blue Heron. They also saw numerous Ruby-throated Hummingbirds fueling up for their migration on the profusion of jewelweed flowers.

Sen. Mayfield clearly loves birds. Conversations came to a halt every time a new bird was spotted, then started back up again without missing a beat. Sen. Mayfield listened attentively as Sarah and Paulina described the UNCA Audubon chapter’s exciting initiative, the Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville. The project’s aim is to protect birds from window strikes with the implementation of measures to support their safety during their migrations through bird-safe window treatments and a lights-out commitment. Sen. Mayfield congratulated the students and, as a former member of the Asheville City Council, provided valuable advice on how to connect with both city officials and business leaders to accomplish the goals of the coalition.

Thank you, Sen. Mayfield, for taking the time on a rare day off from your important work at the North Carolina General Assembly to join us! We are grateful for your support of Audubon’s statewide initiatives to protect birds and the places they need.

Tom Tribble
Blue Ridge Audubon
Colombia: A Birder’s Dream 
with Clifton Avery
Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter Program
Tuesday, October 19, 7 p.m.
Join us in person at the Reuter Center, UNCAsheville
or watch on our Facebook page
Colombia, South America has the highest avian diversity of any country in the world and is fast becoming one of the most sought after places for birders to visit. With almost 2,000 bird species (over half of all the bird species found in South America) and 314 different ecosystems, Colombia contains close to 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. Join Blue Ridge Audubon for a special talk by Colombia afficionado Clifton Avery as he takes us on a trip around the country. Clifton will highlight what makes Colombia so special for bird watching and natural history. He will share his
extensive experiences of traveling and working in Colombia, and reveal how the country will figure in his future. 
Since 2016, Clifton has worked as a biological field technician in the Wildlife Diversity agency of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. His primary duties are studying species of conservation concern, such as birds, flying squirrels, and Hellbender salamanders. His focal bird species include Golden-winged and Cerulean warblers, Peregrine Falcons, and Bald Eagles. Clifton is a 2014 graduate of Appalachian State University where he majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a focus in Ornithology. During one college semester, he worked for the Manu Bird Project in the Peruvian Amazon where he banded and nest searched for a wide range of avian species. He spent his final two summers of college working for Audubon North Carolina studying the Golden-winged warbler on its breeding grounds in northwestern NC. Clifton has also worked as a guide for Ventures Birding Tours since graduating from college.

All Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter programs are free and open to the public. Please note that by attending a program at the UNCA Reuter Center, you attest to being fully vaccinated and are required to wear a mask or face covering. The Reuter Center room is very large with lots of room to spread out.

Cock of the Rock by Clifton Avery
Audubon North Carolina
News & Happenings
Native Plants Week Panel and Celebration
Kick off Native Plants Week with a special Audubon livestream on Oct. 18 as we hear from a panel of experts and do-it-yourselfers. Get all the inspiration you need to give your yard a bird-friendly makeover this fall planting season! Register here:
Mysterious Bird Disease is Subsiding
Good news! State wildlife officials announced that the mysterious bird illness afflicting songbirds since May 2020 seems to be subsiding. It is now safe to put bird feeders back up, although weekly sanitizing with a 10% bleach solution is still recommended. Learn more
Chapter Day Registration is Open
Join Audubon chapter leaders from across North Carolina on Nov. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.for an evening of inspiration and advocacy planning! We’ll share stories about our biggest wins for birds over the past year and plot a path forward for even bigger victories in 2022.

AGENDA, 7-9 p.m.
Welcome – Kim Brand
Chapter Celebration – chapter leaders facilitated by Mary Abrams
Audubon for the 2020s – Andrew Hutson
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Audubon: A Conversation with Jamaal Nelson
Register now:
Lake Julian Park
Birding and Boating
A boat and bird tour is being offered at Buncombe County's Lake Julian Park on the last Saturday of each month. The program runs from 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. and begins with birding in the park followed by birding via pontoon boat. This tour was recommended by Asheville local, Simon Thompson of Ventures Birding Tours. One of the highlights Simon mentioned seeing was an Egyptian Goose.

It's easy to sign up and there's no charge. Secure your spot by emailing Lake Julian park ranger Conner White: The boat has limited seating so the tour is limited to around 10-12 folks.
Arms Around ASD Bird Walk
By Susan Richardson
Blue Ridge Audubon hosted the first monthly bird outing at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary for folks from Arms Around ASD, a support organization for people on the autism spectrum and their families. Binoculars were provided for those who needed them and, although a rain storm had just passed through the area, the weather cleared and everyone enjoyed the experience. We spotted a total of 16 bird species and demonstrated the use of several birding apps. Turkey feathers were handed out in addition to a list of bird names coupled with words and phrases related to the calls/songs of the birds to remember them by.

Upcoming monthly outings will be held at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary and in other local areas. We plan to play ‘bird spy bingo’ and bring bird nests for the participants to see and touch. Please let us know if you would be interested in helping host these monthly outings! Our email address is:
Beaver Bits
Text and photos by Jay Wherley
The first week or two of October happen to be the best time during Fall migration to look for one of the hardest-to-see warblers of the Eastern US: Connecticut Warbler. How does one go about finding one of these notorious skulkers? Here’s my strategy in searching for a CT warbler at Beaver Lake:
1. Using, I use Explore -> Species Maps and select Connecticut Warbler
2. I narrow down the Date to only the month of October and zoom into Western North Carolina until I see individual markers, blue and/or red (more recent).
3. I click each of the markers (for this species there are only 5 or so) and look at the date. I note the dates as October 3-14 – basically the first two weeks of October.
Now I know *when* to look – but *where* do I look? Using (or other resource), I see that this species “...forages at all levels of vegetation during migration, but is more commonly found on or near ground. Walks quietly on ground in dense, damp thickets.” At BLBS, that would describe the central wooded area and possibly the edge of the meadow, and the far side of the south stream.
I also double check guide books to know what to look for in similar species (such as Nashville Warbler and Mourning Warbler) so I can check field marks if a suspect bird makes an appearance.

Now it’s just a matter of getting out there and putting this knowledge into action. Stay tuned for the success or failure of this endeavor.

* * *
Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include Wilson’s Warbler and Peregrine Falcon.

Connecticut Warbler, Jackson Park, October 2019
Nashville Warbler, Beaver Lake, October 2020
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.

Raven's Nest Editor: 
Marianne Mooney
Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter
PO Box 18711
Asheville, NC 28814

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.