About the Club

Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

Join us — Join, Renew, Donate

The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

The Club provides this website to all for free.

By becoming a member, you support the activities of the Club, receive reduced registration fee for meetings, can participate in bonus field trips, and receive our publications.

Join, Renew, or Donate now!

Other Resources (NOT sponsored by Carolina Bird Club)

Winter Meeting
Outer Banks, North Carolina — January 18–20,2019

The OBX produces unexpected sightings year-round. Its proximity to the Gulf Stream, its effect on weather along the coast in every month, and the amazing variety of habitats within a few miles of the coast provide the setting for the large daily bird counts available to all. These counts easily can top 100 on an all-day foray most days of the year!

About four years ago, the CBC executive committee selected a Nature Conservancy project to preserve Rocky Point Plantation, a beautiful 482-acre plot of land on the Black River, as the recipient of the "Haymaker Reserved Fund", a bequest given to the club more than twenty years ago to be used for conservation of land for the protection of birds.

After some delays, the property is now open to the public as a park, and a grand opening of a boat landing and kayak launch, with access to the forest, will be held on Dec 1.

The December issue of the CBC Newsletter is available online. This issue has all the details about the upcoming Winter meeting on the Outer Banks.

It's Christmas Bird Count season again. If you are looking for a count to participate in, you can find all the counts in the Carolinas listed here.

The Fall 2018 issue of The Chat is available online. Did you get an email about it?

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.

Birding at the Greenville meeting

Hurricane Florence Couldn't Stop the Fall Meeting in Greenville, S.C. Hurricane Florence flooded coastal North Carolina the weekend before the CBC Fall Meeting in Greenville, SC. Florence caused fifteen cancelations and a few no-shows. Nevertheless, 104 members attended the September 21 & 22 event. Even with the reduced crowd, we still enjoyed 32 different field trips. The CBC enjoyed beautiful weather in the upstate of South Carolina. We sighted many warblers including a few Blue-winged Warblers and a Golden-winged. Florence did impact our total species count, which was 120. Young birder attendance was strong with six adolescents. Each youth shared their best bird at the Saturday dinner banquet. Our Friday evening speaker was Tim Lee, an Interpretative Ranger with the S.C. State Parks. Ranger Lee educated us about Fall Migration. Judging from the dozen questions Tim received, the crowd found his presentation educational and stimulating. The climax was Dr. J. Drew Lanham's talk, post the Marriott's fine Saturday dinner. Dr. Lanham joked that he likes all birds, especially the ones with feathers. He encouraged us to also love all birds and appreciate their diversity. When he finished, Dr. Lanham received a standing ovation from the CBC. What a moving ending to a fun meeting.

CBC announces a Bonus Trip to Ecuador, March 1–10, 2019, offered by Ventures Birding Tours. Ecuador is the size of the state of Georgia, yet 1,540 species of birds have been recorded in the country. Of these 133 are hummingbirds. Registration for this trip opens October 1.

Birds of the Central Carolinas book cover

Birds of the Central Carolinas. The definitive book about the birds of the central Carolinas is available through Mecklenburg Audubon. The book is a first of its kind, an authoritative, comprehensive summary of the status, distribution, and historical context of all the birds regularly occurring in the Piedmont of both Carolinas. It includes original historical research never before compiled and published in online sources; full accounts of 312 species with additional partial accounts of another 60 species; over 400 color photographs taken in the central Carolinas; and the complete results of the Mecklenburg County Breeding Bird Atlas.

CBC announces a Bonus Trip to Costa Rica in 2019. This 9 full day birding tour will visit some of the best areas on the Caribbean slope and lowlands of Costa Rica as well as the highlands on the slopes of two volcanoes.

Make Birders Count: Buy Your Duck Stamp Through the ABA The American Birding Association has made it easy to buy a Duck Stamp. Birders use refuges too. Buying a Duck Stamp through the ABA shows your support—as a birder—for habitat and bird conservation.

A Flat Rock meeting field trip

The Spring Seasonal Meeting was held in Flat Rock, North Carolina on April 26-29. We welcomed 175 registrants representing 7 states and the country of Costa Rica, with 11 new members and 9 young birders. We enjoyed an assortment of 38 field trips, with our leaders sharing their expertise to find 156 species of birds with 31 warblers. Friday evening Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society provided drinks and dessert. Derb Carter, NC Conservationist of the year presented "Birding Cuba," with a bit of culture thrown in. The Saturday evening program started with a delicious buffet. That was followed by our entertaining guest speaker, Julie Zickefoose, with her artistic skill, baby bird antics and her closing serenade on the Yellow-bellied Slider. We welcomed new executive board members Mac Williams, Craig Watson and Jill Midgett, and sadly said good-bye to Lewis Burke, Jeri Smart and Teri Bergin. Their service to the board was greatly appreciated. We wrapped up the evening by distributing several raffle prizes, which included Julie Zickefoose's book Baby Birds and free night's lodging at the host hotel. Concluded with our species count down. We look forward to seeing old and new faces at the Fall Seasonal Meeting in Greenville, South Carolina on Sept 27-29, 2018. Information will be in the June newsletter.

The Carolina Bird Club is offering a full paid scholarship for a young birder to attend the American Birding Association's Camp Avocet this summer. See Camp Avocet scholarship for details.

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 Carolina Bird Club sponsored two back to back bonus trips to Costa Rica from February 17 to March 6, 2018. The first tour comprised Northern Costa Rica where we visited the best birding sites of the Central Pacific including Carara National Park, the dry NW known as the Guanacaste, the Northern Caribbean wetlands of Cano Negro, and the Caribbean foothills of scenic Arenal Volcano. The second tour covered the Southern backbone of Costa Rica, the Talamanca Highlands and Cerro de la Muerte. We also traveled to the Pacific foothills including Los Cusingos Reserve and Talari Mountain Lodge ending in the SW coastal lowlands of Esquinas Rainforest and the Rincon Bridge/Osa Peninsula. Read the complete trip report.

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.

The Chat online
The Chat on paper

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 hq@carolinabirdclub.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.

If you have photos of field trips or other activities from the Wrightsville Beach meeting, please send them to webeditor@carolinabirdclub.org or share them to our Facebook page.

Birding at Carolina Beach State Park (photo by Irvin Pitts)
Birding at Wrightsville Beach (photo by Irvin Pitts)

The CBC in Panama. The CBC Bonus Trip to Panama in January netted 300 species of birds, three types of monkey, two versions of sloth, and more happy memories than could fill a Shutterfly photobook while visiting locations in central and western Panama.

Wrightsville Beach meeting. Participants in the Winter CBC meeting observed 168 bird species.

Shade-grown coffee saves songbirds!

The Carolina Bird Club supports Bird Friendly® Coffee: Attention CBC Coffee Drinkers – Save songbirds – Help the CBC! Birds & Beans only sells Smithsonian Cert­ified Bird-Friendly coffee. This is the most songbird-friendly certification and the only certification endorsed by the CBC Executive Comm­ittee. The coffee tastes great and every bag you buy will return $1 to the CBC.

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.

Accipiter primer: Do you have trouble identifying Accipiters? Brush up on your skills with Mike Tove's Identification primer: Accipiters.

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.

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization which represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its official website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

Membership is open to those interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds. Is that you? Then join the club.

The Club meets three times a year (Spring, Fall, and Winter) at different locations in North or South Carolina, or occasionally in neighboring states.

Contact us!