Chapter of the Month

Audubon North Carolina has 10 amazing chapters across the state who help put a local focus on bird preservation and conservation issues. In this special blog series, we’ll focus on a chapter each month to learn more about their history, what they are working on, and to increase the statewide understanding of special ecosystems and habitats. Each month will include a series of posts about each chapter including a post from our biologists that will share a unique research project that is happening in the chapter’s geographic footprint.

This month, we get to know Cape Fear Audubon - www.capefearaudubon.org. Read on to learn more about our only coastal chapter.

History: Cape Fear Audubon was founded in 2001 by former Audubon NC board member Juanita Roushdy. Ultra-organized from her 27 years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she founded their service club, she cold-called people who she thought might be interested in forming a local chapter. Juanita went on to start Friends of Hog Island, which raised the funds needed to reopen Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine. Her friends in the Cape Fear chapter miss her tremendously!

Current Members: 120

Least Tern with Newly-Hatched Chick. Photo by John Ennis.

Special Project We Are Working On: Project BIRD, now in its 5th year, which promotes students making connections with each other through birding observations and letter writing. Freshmen and sophomore students from Brunswick County Early College High School are paired with a 4th-grade pen pal from Bolivia Elementary and Town Creek Elementary schools along the Atlantic Flyway. The program works to excite students about science through watching and recording bird activities, while maintaining regular correspondence enhances students’ writing skills.

What Birds Visit the Area? In addition to all of the expected shorebirds, a favorite for many was the Painted Bunting, with many visitors seeing it for their first time! The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is another very special bird for this region.

Where Are the Best Birding Spots? The Cape Fear area has many great places to do your birding. For fall warblers, fly on over to Greenfield Lake, Arlie Gardens and Carolina Beach State Park. The best locations for spotting migrating shorebirds and waterbirds are Mason's Inlet at the north end of Wrightsville Beach, and New Topsail Inlet at the south end of Topsail Island.

Join This Chapter: The Cape Fear chapter meets the first Monday (generally) of the month (September through May) at Halyburton Park Event Center on 17th St. in Wilmington. In addition to at least one field trip per month, the chapter hosts programs about aspects of birding or the protection of birds and their habitats.

For more information on the chapter, visit www.capefearaudubon.org or visit the chapter on Facebook.

Loblolly Bay, Gordonia lasianthus, native small tree