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

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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.

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Southern Pines Field Trip Descriptions

Click ==> Map of meeting and field trip locations

Thursday, May 1
Trip #1Prescribed Burning (2:00 p.m.)
Trip #2Migration Bird Banding (3:00 p.m.)
Friday, May 2 Saturday, May 3
Half-day Morning Half-day Morning
Trip #3Woodlake (7:00 a.m.)
Trip #4Slate Road and Camp Mackall (7:15 a.m.)
Trip #5Hobby Field and Horse Country (7:15 a.m.)
Trip #6Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve (7:20 a.m. or meet at the Preserve parking lot at 7:30 a.m.)
Trip #14Long Valley Farm (7:00 a.m.)
Trip #15All American Trail (Ft. Bragg) (7:15 a.m.)
Trip #16Hobby Field and Horse Country (7:15 a.m.)
Trip #17Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve (7:20 a.m. or meet at the Preserve parking lot at 7:30 a.m.)
Half-day Afternoon Half-day Afternoon
Trip #7Butterflies (1:00 p.m.)
Trip #8Wildflowers (1:15 p.m.)
Trip #9Digiscoping (1:15 p.m.)
Trip #10Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology (1:30 p.m.)
Trip #18Butterflies (1:00 p.m.)
Trip #19Wildflowers (1:15 p.m.)
Trip #20Hummingbirds (1:15 p.m.)
Trip #21Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology (1:30 p.m.)
All-day All-day
Trip #11Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center and Raven Rock State Park (7 a.m.)
Trip #12Sandhills Game Land (7:15 a.m.)
Trip #13Raft Swamp Farms (trip cancelled)
Trip #22Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center and Raven Rock State Park (7 a.m.)
Trip #23Hinson Lake and Diggs Tract (7:15 a.m.)
Trip #24Raft Swamp Farms (7:30 a.m.)
Sunday, May 4
Trip #25Hobby Field and Horse Country (7:30 a.m.)
Trip #26Southern Pines/Pinehurst Area (7:45 a.m.)

Several other Sunday half-day trips will be scheduled to area hotspots Saturday evening. Locations will be dependent on bird activity Friday and Saturday.
Additional birding on your own possibilities: NC Birding Trail guide to the Sandhills

Spring Meeting Field Trip Descriptions

Special Notes on Field Trips

Please note that some field trips depart from the hotel, while others depart from Weymouth Woods Visitor's Center. Please plan accordingly. Most trips carpool to minimize the number of vehicles; if you have room or wish to ride with other participants, please let your field trip leader know.

Some field trips are limited to the number of participants. Please check back here for a listing of full trips, changes to the trip schedule, or possible cancellations.

And finally, it will be turkey season at meeting time, so it is suggested that you bring a brightly colored hat along. A number of our trip destinations are public lands that are open to hunting, and our leaders will attempt to steer clear of hunters. But nonetheless, it's a good idea for folks to be somewhat more 'visible' as we venture out into the woods—just in case.

Trip 1: Prescribed burning
You will have the unique opportunity to join park staff at Weymouth Woods State Nature Preserve for an up-close look at how a prescribed burn is prepared and conducted. Participants will measure weather parameters, and if conditions are favorable, staff will burn a small area. The program will last about two hours.
Trip 2: Migration bird banding
2008 marks the tenth season of migration banding along James Creek at Weymouth Woods. Join park staff and volunteers as they run the mist nets adjacent to the Pine Island Trail. A variety of migrants as well as local resident species are possible. You may see such species as Wood Thrush, Ovenbird, Kentucky Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Acadian Flycatcher, Carolina Wren, or Northern Cardinal in hand. Bring along a camera as well as binoculars since photo opportunities should be plentiful. We plan to close the nets at 5 p.m.
Trip 3: Woodlake
Enjoy a diversity of stops within the private residential golf community of Woodlake, which surrounds Lake Surf, the largest body of water in Moore County. Not only will we look for lingering waterfowl, but also we will visit both upland hardwood and pine stands for migrants. The group will check the marsh behind the dam for Bald Eagle and breeding species such as Green Heron, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo and Prothonotary Warbler. We will watch for large mammals such as Coyote, Grey Fox, Bobcat, River Otter, Beaver and Muskrat that frequent the area. Restrooms are available at the clubhouse. The group should be back at the hotel by noon.
Trip 4: Slate Road & Camp Mackall
Join Ft. Bragg biologist Alan Schultz for a guided tour of habitat on the edge of Camp Mackall. The installation is a satellite training area of Ft. Bragg with extensive pine savannahs as well as bottomland hardwood along Drowning Creek. It is here, where the Army's elite Special Forces train, that Lark Sparrows historically have bred. There are open areas of Longleaf Pine and wiregrass where we may find Northern Bobwhite, Loggerhead Shrike, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Brown-headed Nuthatch. The bottomland habitat could produce Wood Duck, Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Parula and perhaps Swainson's Warbler. There will be several stops with short periods of walking at each. The trip will end at noon.
Trips 5, 16 & 25: Hobby Field & Horse Country
We will head to 'horse country' on the eastern edge of Southern Pines and focus on open-country birds. First stop will be Hobby Field, an area recently acquired by the Sandhills Area Land Trust. This seventy-acre site has been home to, among other things, a pair of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers the past three summers. On our hike around the perimeter of the field, we also expect to see Grasshopper Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebirds and perhaps a Loggerhead Shrike. Next, we will take a walk into the adjacent Walthour-Moss Foundation property. Here we will find birds typical of Longleaf Pine like Pine Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch and Red-cockaded Woodpecker. We should encounter species associated with mixed pine hardwood such as Summer Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher and Red-eyed Vireo and perhaps Red-shouldered Hawk. The trip will also include stops at a few nearby farms to look for species typical of early successional vegetation as well as Sandhills drains. If we are lucky, we may see Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey or even members of our breeding American Kestrel population. Bring plenty to drink and comfortable walking shoes. We will return to the hotel by noon.
Trips 6 & 17: Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve
Walking about a mile of the loop trails through typical Sandhill drains, we will look for flocks of migrant flycatchers, thrushes and warblers. Songs of early Blue-headed Vireos and Bachman's Sparrows, which breed at the preserve, should be heard. There will also be the opportunity to learn about the breeding groups of Red-cockaded Woodpeck­ers at the park this season. Fox Squirrels are more active this time of year, so look for family groups foraging in the woods. The group will also get a good look at the newest changes to the creek bottom as a result of our resident beaver's winter work. In addition, you will have a chance to visit with a bird bander at the new feeder banding station. Hopefully you will be able to see some of Weymouth's summer residents at very close range. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera - there could be some good photo opportunities. The program will be over at noon.
Trips 7 & 18: Butterflies
This will be an opportunity to sharpen your Duskywing and Cloudywing identificaton skills. These species are plentiful along the trails at Weymouth Woods. Hoary-edged Skippers may also be fairly common at this time of year. In addition, we may encounter Pearly Eyes as well as an American Copper. The program will last about two hours.
Trips 8 & 19: Wildflowers
The winding trails of Weymouth Woods will take us through several types of upland Sandhills habitats in search of local spring specialties such as blooming pitcher plants, sundews, Wild Indigo, Goats Rue, Rosy Spiderwort, Sandhill Sandwort, Tread Softly and Queen's Root. The terrain will be good, but be prepared to get close to dense vegetation - long pants and long sleeves are encouraged. The walk will be approximately two hours long.
Trip 9: Digiscoping
Learn how to take pictures with a spotting scope and a digital camera. The group will work the area close to the Visitor's Center, as well as the bird feeding station, looking for a variety of photo opportunities. Even if you are familiar with the process, you may pick up pointers on improving focus, depth of field, and overall picture quality.
Trips 10 & 21: Red-cockaded Woodpecker Nesting Ecology
Join a local woodpecker biologist to learn about the unique ecology of this native endangered species. Hear about the history of woodpecker conservation efforts in the Sandhills. Field techniques used for monitoring of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers during the breeding will be demonstrated. The program will last about two hours.
Trips 11 & 22: Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center and Raven Rock State Park
Howell Woods is located approximately 75 miles east of Southern Pines in Johnston County along the Neuse River. It is a large (2800 acre) property with a variety of habitats from open fields to bottomland hardwood. There are extensive trails throughout and a number of streams and ponds as well as the river. We will spend some time viewing the exhibits at the Visitor's Center (where there are restroom facilities). One of the highlights should be seeing Mississippi Kites. At least one pair breeds on the property during the summer. Individuals are frequently seen soaring over the fields while searching for large insects. Be prepared to see a wide variety of species including Green Heron, Red-headed Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Wood Thrush, Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrow, Yellow-throated Vireo, Kentucky Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. On the way back, the group will make a stop at Raven Rock State Park outside Sanford (at about the half-way point back to Southern Pines). We will stroll the scenic bluffs along the Cape Fear River surrounded by hardwoods where neotropical migrants are often plentiful. Woodland birding in the park often turns up mixed flocks with unexpected species in the spring such as Wilson's Warbler. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes since we may encounter some relief along the trails; however, the walking will not be too strenuous. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch. The group should be back at the hotel by 5 p.m.
Trip 12: Sandhills Game Land
This trip will visit some of the birding hotspots within and immediately adjacent to Sandhills Game Land just to the south of Southern Pines. Most of the species commonly found in xeric upland Longleaf Pine communities should be seen. There will be a stop along Thunder Road at what most consider the most beautiful stand of Longleaf in the area. In addition to searching for Bachman's Sparrows and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Wildlife Commission biologist Jeff Marcus will discuss how they are gradually restoring the game land's forests to their original state. There will be stops in the open, shrubby Field Trail area to look for such species as Field Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak and Yellow-breasted Chat. In addition, the group will visit the McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery where they may find lingering shorebirds or waterbirds, or even spot a foraging Bald Eagle. A stop may also be made along Drowning Creek to search for flocks of migrants. There will be a restroom break along the way, but be sure to bring lunch. Be prepared to spend time walking on sandy terrain. We will return to the hotel by 4:30 p.m.
Trips 13 & 24: Raft Swamp Farms
This trip will head to Raft Swamp Farms outside of Raeford. The property owners, Jackie and Louie Hough, will give us a guided tour of their organic farm. The property is approximately 150 acres with a diversity of cultivated vegetation with weedy vegetation and field edges. The configuration of the property provides for an array of bird species that utilize early successional vegetation. However, there is also both pine and hardwood forest on the property. If nothing else, the tour will provide first-hand experience of how organic farming works to enhance bird habitat and promote wildlife. After lunch, we will head next door to the Maynor property. The highlight is beautiful gum-cypress Hogins Pond. Here those who wish, may do some birding via canoe or kayak ($8–12 rental fee or $5 if you bring your own). However, there are also trails through the woods to explore for those who would prefer to stick to land. Between the two properties, expect to encounter Green Heron, Loggerhead Shrike, Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Field Sparrow, Prothonotary Warbler or Hooded Warbler. We will have access to restroom facilities at the Hough's. The group will be back at the hotel before 5 p.m.
Trip 14: Long Valley Farm
We have the unique opportunity to tour the Nature Conservancy's 1380-acre Long Valley Farm just north of Fayetteville. It was the bequest of the conservationminded James Stillman Rockefeller in 2004. This relatively recent acquisition is still in the restoration phase and not yet open to the public. The group will be led on a tour by Ryan Elting, Director of the Nature Conservancy's Sandhills Office, of this mix of farmland, pasture and forest adjacent to Ft. Bragg. Not only are there healthy Longleaf Pine stands on the property, but there is also a mature cypress-gum swamp and wet meadows that support carnivorous plans like pitcher plants and sundews. Fox Squirrels have been seen on the property as well as Bachman's Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Loggerhead Shrike. There is an established Purple Martin colony adjacent to the family's old home. Birding potential at this site is still largely unknown, but expect a variety from Pine Warblers and Brown-headed Nuthatches to Great Crested Flycatchers, Prairie Warblers and Blue Grosbeaks. The group will be back at the hotel by noon.
Trip 15: All American Trail
In 2006, Fort Bragg created and dedicated seven miles of western Fort Bragg Military Installation's southern boundary as the All American Trail. The ten to fifteen foot wide unpaved pathway is designed for use by hikers, runners, and bicyclers. In 2007, the trail was also designated as part of the NC Birding Trail system. A Fort Bragg biologist will lead the group to the parking lot found at the trailhead off Raeford/Vass Road. We will be taking the portion of the trail to the east. The length of our hike be approximately 3 miles total. Habitat types the group will encounter include upland Longleaf Pine forest mixed with scrub oaks, open Longleaf Pine-wiregrass stands and a streamhead pocosin with cane and large hardwoods (Nicholson Creek). We will see a variety of bird species common to the Sandhills region. At the end of the trail where we will be turning around, there is an active Redcockaded Woodpecker (RCWs) cluster. Since it is the beginning of the RCW nesting season, there will be an excellent chance of seeing them in and around the cluster. You may want to bring along a camera in addition to binoculars, bird book, water bottle and a pair of comfortable walking shoes. The group will head back at the hotel by noon.
Trip 20: Hummingbirds
This is your chance to ask questions about hummingbird ecology and feeding in North Carolina. Observe Ruby-throated Hummingbirds up close as they are banded as part of ongoing research at the Visitor's Center. Don't forget your camera and plenty of film! The program will end around 3:30 p.m. or when the hummers thin out at the feeders.
Trip 23: Hinson Lake & Diggs Tract
Participants of this trip will accompany Terry Sharpe, retired wildlife biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), to two very different destinations southwest of Southern Pines. The first, Hinson Lake, is a NCWRC owned property on the edge of Rockingham, roughly 30 miles south of Southern Pines. It consists of a lake (approx 50 acres), blackwater wetland complex, and Loblolly Pine uplands. We should see a variety of waterbirds, snakes, turtles, maybe Fox Squirrels, and others there. We will likely walk the loop trail, which is relatively flat and about 1.5 miles. Hinson Lake would be the first stop so that we can let the turkey hunters have the early morning at Diggs. The second stop, the Diggs Tract, is a very recent acquisition by NCWRC. It is a hilly Piedmont-type terrain. We will take a 4.5-mile hike with a good climb on the way out at Diggs. Everyone should pack a lunch so we can eat on the bluff overlooking the river. Most of the hike is through pine plantations before we reach the big attraction: the river corridor along the Pee Dee River. The upland should produce Yellow-breasted Chats, Prairie Warblers and Indigo Buntings with Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parulas and Acadian Flycatchers along the river bottom. However, there are likely to be good numbers of migrants coming up the river, with the chance of some shorebirds, terns or gulls in the mix. Restrooms are available at Hinson Lake only. Group will be back at the hotel by 5 p.m.
Trip 26: Southern Pines & Pinehurst
Walk along the boundary of the historic Moore County Airport to look for Grasshopper Sparrows, Horned Larks and other grassland species. Explore trails at Southern Pines Reservoir Park and Sandhills Community College for migrants and early breeders among the expanse of Longleaf Pines, flowering trees, and wetland vegetation. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and long pants since you may be walking through extensive grassy and damp areas. The trip will end at noon.

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