Slow Birding

Categories: General News Tags: Birds

Even casual birders feel the urge of spring migration. Within a few short weeks, millions of birds will pass through our forests, parks and yards. Many pause here only briefly to fuel up for their journey north, so this will be our only opportunity to get a glimpse of them in their breeding plumage. We […]

How to give migrating birds some help this year

Categories: General News Tags: Birds, ENVIRONMENT

As fall arrives, migratory songbirds have begun journeying south for the winter. These birds traveled north in the spring to nest and raise their young, and now they are beginning to travel south to take advantage of the warmer weather and increased access to food. Some familiar migratory birds include hummingbirds, goldfinches, and many species […]

Feeling harried? Watch harriers

Categories: General News Tags: Arts, Birds, ENVIRONMENT

In January, a month when birders across the state and around the world launch headlong into a rigorous endeavor called a Big Year — in which they rush around a given geographic area trying to see as many species as possible — I hunkered down in the Uwharries and became obsessed with a single species. […]

An ocean bird pays an unexpected visit to Stanly County

My sister and I once decided it would be a fine idea to tour the Mojave Desert in May. Being hard-headed women from the Uwharries, we forged ahead even after the Santa Ana winds kicked up and pushed temperatures into triple digits. The heat made for a memorable, if sometimes freakish, trip. Along the way, […]

A rare encounter with a beautiful bird this spring

If you’ve spent any time in the woods recently, you’ve probably heard some of the neotropical migratory birds who come here in the summertime to breed. I’ve been hearing black-and-white warblers, and last week heard my first wood thrush of the year. I’ve also heard hooded warblers, northern parulas, scarlet and summer tanagers and red-eyed […]

What can flocking blackbirds in the winter teach us?

Categories: General News Tags: Birds, ENVIRONMENT, Wildlife

Nothing speaks of the winter sky quite like a flock of blackbirds flying in unison above a sprawling pasture, field or marsh. They spiral and bank and funnel, breathing life into a void of leaden gray. It’s a spectacle you won’t observe in any other season. In the Piedmont, these flocks are often composed of […]

Finding the beauty in a bagworm

The overall cluster was about the size of my fist.  A woven cylindrical core was decorated with willow oak leaves, some of them whole and others torn.  They had been applied in an intriguingly symmetrical pattern, creating the effect of wings and a tail.  Tiny twigs with swollen buds had also been incorporated into the design, their weight providing a ballast.  The creature twirled and fluttered in the breeze, a sylvan ballerina.

Turning backyards into bird sanctuaries across the Piedmont

Wildlife habitat comes in all shapes and sizes, as does opportunity for improving it. The rural nature of the Uwharries and other areas around Charlotte allows us to restore grasslands and forests on a landscape scale, but the same management techniques have also proven successful on smaller parcels in urban parks and nature preserves. One […]

Celebrating the diversity of birds in the Uwharries

Some birds fly thousands of miles to the pine stands and fields around Charlotte. So why not take a short drive to go see them? The Three Rivers Land Trust held our eighth annual Uwharrie Naturalist Day on May 4, and hosted a birdwatching event on our Smith Branch Longleaf Preserve in Montgomery County. The […]

This Piedmont field guide will take the mystery out of identifications

Mid-spring is a heady time for naturalists in the Uwharries. The diversity of flora and fauna often sends us reaching for a field guide. Thanks to Mama’s month-by-month acquisition of the entire Peterson Field Guides series, I have 42 books at my fingertips. Some we consult on a regular basis: Eastern Birds, Eastern Forests, Eastern […]