Outer Banks, NC Winter meeting— Jan 12–15, 2023
The Outer Banks is not only a destination that produces incredible bird diversity in the winter months but hosts an astounding abundance of feathered fauna. We expect to tally well over 150 species during the weekend. And it is not impossible that nearby impoundments will be holding tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of waterfowl and an impressive array of waterbirds. Participants can expect to see everything from hawks to hummingbirds in drier areas. On this stretch of the North Carolina coast, we will have the opportunity to visit not only National Park and US Fish and Wildlife Service refuges but State Park and private lands as well. This part of the state is blessed with a large number of protected acres that provide excellent habitat for a wide variety of wintering birds. Also, we are very fortunate to have trip leaders involved with this meeting who are not simply experienced birders, they are some of the most knowledgeable guides in the area—being extremely familiar with the locations where they will be leading.
Christmas Bird Counts As always, you can find a list of dates for Christmas Bird Counts in the Carolinas here. If you are a count organizer, you can log in and enter your dates yourself if you are a CBC member. Otherwise send your information to Kent Fiala .The October issue of the CBC Newsletter is available online.
CBC Outer Banks Trip, December 3–4, 2022. This trip is now wait-list only. Widely considered at the top of the list for early winter birding sites in North Carolina, the Outer Banks of Dare County are home to thousands of wintering swans, ducks, geese, shorebirds, waders, gulls, and more. Join members of the Carolina Bird Club as we explore the Bodie Island lighthouse area, Oregon Inlet, Pea Island NWR, the ocean beaches of Hatteras and Bodie Islands and other "hotspots". See more information.
Costa Rica trip report: The Carolina Bird Club sponsored a trip to Costa Rica last January. It was great! Read Jeff Kline's trip report.
The Summer 2022 issue of The Chat is available online.
NC Big Year record. Matthew Withrow did a North Carolina Big Year in 2021 and recorded a record-breaking 363 species.
Outer Banks trip report. The first in-person field trips sponsored by the Club in nearly two years due to the rapidly-becoming-endemic-pandemic were a big hit. Originally scheduled for the weekend of December 4–5, overwhelming response led to an "encore" the following weekend in order to accommodate all those who wanted to experience the Outer Banks in early winter. Please enjoy reading Steve's trip report.
The Chat online. At long last, all issues of The Chat from 1937 to the present are accessible here. Read more at Chat online.
The NC Bird Atlas is a statewide community science project to map birds during the breeding and wintering seasons. We support participation by a diversity of humans for the diversity of birds.
Our motto is People Count. Birds Count.
The use of Bird Atlases has become one of the most important tools for conservation and land management in the majority of states in the United States. Bird populations across the country face challenges from changes in land use, climate change effects, novel and expanding invasive species, and human development. Bird Atlases provide land managers and scientists with comprehensive data on bird populations through an effort that leverages thousands of active bird observers. The data collected through bird atlases is critical in informing conservation strategies and land management practices to ensure bird diversity for the future.
Click here for more information about the North Carolina Bird Atlas.
Youth membership. If you are age 18 or younger, you can have free membership! Have your parent email email@example.com (with "Youth Membership" in the subject line of the email) giving your name, address, email address (if any), and age.
Birding Heroes Program. The Carolina Bird Club has established a new program to recognize individuals, families, or other entities that welcome, accommodate, and show great hospitality to the birding community, and which promotes ethical birding opportunities and/or conservation efforts. Recognition may include a number of items, including but not be limited to 1) a free one year membership to the Carolina Bird Club (CBC), 2) a certificate of appreciation and recognition on our website or in the CBC newsletter, 3) any other recognition that the Executive Committee deems appropriate. For more information on this program and how you can participate, please visit the Birding Heroes Program page. The link to this page can also be found under the "For Members" pull-down menu on every page.
Wiles Creek Project. In August of 2020, the Carolina Bird Club donated $65,500 to the Southern Appalachians Highland Conservancy (SAHC) for the protection and management of bird habitat in western North Carolina, specifically for the management of habitat for Golden-winged Warbler and for the protection of other high priority habitats and bird species that occupy habitats from below 3000' to habitats above 5000'. Some of these species are Black-billed Cuckoo, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Least Flycatcher, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Alder Flycatcher, Canada Warbler, and Red Crossbill. Officially, the title of the project is "Land Protection and Conservation Measures for Golden-winged Warbler and Associated High Elevation Avian Species in Western North Carolina," or the Wiles Creek Project for short. Here is an article about the Wiles Creek Project.
New web features! We now can offer the full contents of the book Birds of the Central Carolinas online! Written by Donald W. Seriff, Birds of the Central Carolinas is the definitive work on the status, distribution, and history of birds in the region centered on Charlotte, and has much to offer for the greater surrounding area as well. Read book reviews here and here.
Also from Don Seriff, we now have the Breeding Bird Atlas of Mecklenburg County, NC available online.
When Arch McCallum gave a presentation on Empidonax flycatchers at the Fall meeting he said he would have an online supplement in six months. Here it is! A guide to the sounds of eastern empids, with a brief description of the four clades: http://www.archmccallum.com/Ear/Projects/fgu/EmpEastIndex.html
Also, a new presentation for the pandemic. Arch is posting each day a recording from his catalog of a bird sound recorded on that date (month and day) at some time in the past 39 years. http://www.archmccallum.com/Ear/SongADay/index.html
Raptor primers: Do you have trouble identifying hawks? Brush up on your skills with Mike Tove's expanded Identification primers, now covering Accipiters, Eagles, Buteos, Falcons, Kites and Harrier.
Do you know when your dues are due? Wonder no more, the enhanced online dues application will now tell you.
New Rare Bird Alerts. The Carolina Bird Club is sponsoring a new Rare Bird Alert for South Carolina on the GroupMe platform. To join the RBA, click on this link https://groupme.com/join_group/52879351/5PT34NjX
The link will guide you through setting up a GroupMe account if you don't have one, and you may also want to download the app for your smartphone. Also pay attention to the instruction to post at least one initial message, to avoid being kicked right back out of the group.
A North Carolina GroupMe Rare Bird Alert, not sponsored by CBC, has been in operation since last year. The link to join that group is https://groupme.com/join_group/44042177/tdYiPA
Communication in these groups is either via text message or through the app. To cut down on distractions for everyone it's requested that you limit communications to sharing timely location and presence information on chaseable "good" or rare birds.
County eBirding is a new feature on the website. eBird county listers can track their progress toward their county listing goals, and compare progress with their fellow county listers. You can find it under the “Features” pull-down on the main menu, or here.
If you would like to help us out by reading the newsletter only online and not in print, please go to member profile and select “I want to receive my copy online only”.
The Chat goes online-only: Beginning with the Winter 2018 issue, The Chat will be published online only. Discontinuing print publication will result in significant financial savings, a percentage of which will be deposited into the CBC Conservation Fund for future conservation efforts throughout North and South Carolina. This also of course saves trees by reducing paper consumption. Online publication is in full color; there will be no more black-and-white photographs as the print publication has been limited to. The Chat has been optionally available online for several years and about a quarter of the membership has already chosen to receive it only online. To access the current issue of The Chat online, go to the current issue link under “Publications & Checklists” in the main menu. Older issues are accessible from the archives link, also under “Publications & Checklists”. Access to issues from the last two calendar years requires club membership; older issues are freely accessible to all. When a new issue is published, members will receive a notification via email, provided that we have your correct address on file.
We need your email address! The Chat is now published online only. To read The Chat (or the Newsletter) online, you will need to create a login account. If you still haven't done this, now's the time.
If creating a login account doesn't work because your email isn't recognized, it could simply mean that you are not a member of the club. Remedy that by joining!
If you are a member and your email isn't recognized, it means that either we don't have any email address for you on record, or we have an old one that you don't use any more. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to update us on your correct address.
You can always check the website main page to see if there is a new edition of either The Chat or the Newsletter. However, we will also send you an email notice of publication of either The Chat (all members) or the Newsletter (online subscribers). Naturally, this only works if we have your correct email address. Also, sometimes these notification emails get filtered to your spam folder (so check there occasionally), or even suppressed entirely by your ISP. It seems that Microsoft email services (hotmail, live, outlook) are especially troublesome about this. To increase the probability that you will receive our notices, it helps to create an entry for the email address of our notifier in your address book.
Membership directory: An online Carolina Bird Club membership directory is now available. In the past, we have published a membership directory on paper from time to time, but have not done so in ten years. The online directory has all the benefits of a paper directory, plus the benefit of always being up-to-date, and of course the benefit of being much less expensive to publish. The directory is accessible only to club members, not to the public; you must be logged in to access it. We hope that you find this new feature helpful in communicating with Club members and a “green” way to reduce the amount of paper used in publishing member directories! The link to the membership directory can also be found on the Member Services page.
How to access members-only content. This website has a large amount of content that is available to the public, but there are a very few things that we restrict to our club members, namely the most recent editions of our periodical publications, the Newsletter and The Chat. If you are a club member you can access member-only content by registering and using a personal login and password. When you go to open the most recent Newsletter, or a recent Chat article, you will be prompted to login. Only members can register a personal login. How do we know if you are a member? You can register a login only for an email address that we have on file. Unfortunately many of our email addresses go back pretty far and may no longer be valid, so if you find that we don't recognize your email, just let the Headquarters Secretary, Carol Bowman , or the webmaster, Kent Fiala , know what your current email is. For convenience, here is the link to register, and here is the link to login. The login link can also be found by hovering over the “Quick Links” button at the top of any page.
Finding Birds in South Carolina is here! Robin Carter wrote the definitive guide Finding Birds in South Carolina, published by the University of South Carolina Press, in 1993. After the new editor of the Press decided not to reprint or revise the book, Robin requested and received return of the copyright. After Robin's death in 2008, his widow Caroline had the book digitized by Lulu. Through Caroline's generosity, the full text of the book, in searchable PDF image format, is now available for download. Although the book is 20 years old, most of the information is still useful for finding birds.
How much do you know about CBC history? Attendees of the 75th anniversary Spring Meeting in Raleigh competed for the high score on a history quiz. How well can you do?
The Birds of North Carolina is now hosted at carolinabirdclub.org! This site aims to provide a compendium of all of the bird species recorded in North Carolina, with general information about their distribution in the state. It is a huge project by Harry LeGrand, with assistance from Nate Swick and John Haire, and technical wizardry by Tom Howard. Much of the data that underlies the project has come from Carolina Bird Club members, as published in Briefs for the Files and General Field Notes in The Chat. The link “Birds of NC” in the navigation bar at the left will take you there.
Band codes: MODO? RTHU? NSWO? Would you like to understand more about those four-letter bird codes? Read more about them.
Accessing The Chat archives. There is a wealth of information about the birds of the Carolinas published in The Chat. We provide two ways to search for information from The Chat. We have a Chat searchable database containing all of the Briefs for the Files and Bird Records Committee reports from volumes 35–79 (years 1971–2015). When was a Red-necked Stint last seen? Little Stint? Have we ever had a good year for Evening Grosbeaks? Find the answers quickly here. We also have a 45-year index to The Chat, so far covering volumes 35—79, years 1971—2015.