Chapter of the month: Wake Audubon

Audubon North Carolina has 10 amazing chapters across the state that 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 Wake Audubon – www.wakeaudubon.org. Read on to learn more about our chapter based in Raleigh.

History: In 1975, the Raleigh Bird Club voted to become affiliated with Audubon, and thus became the Wake Audubon Society.  The first president of Wake Audubon was Ken Knapp; chapter membership during this time neared 200. Meetings were held monthly at Meredith College until the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, when they were moved to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Throughout its history, Wake Audubon has responded to threats to local natural areas by petitioning local government to create nature parks, and by providing guidance in natural area management. To learn more about the history visit the history of conservation blog post.

How Many Members: 1,500

Annual Activities: Wild-A-Thon: Wake Audubon’s premier, annual event held every spring, is similar to National Audubon’s Birdathon. All in an effort to raise money for birds, a team of naturalists will go on a statewide bird-spotting mission to see how many species they can identify in a 24-hour period!

This chapter also participates in many community activities around Raleigh including the Songbird Celebration, Bugfest and the Birdhouse Competition at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Along with these many community events, Wake organizes spring and Christmas bird counts and September Swift Walks for Raleigh birders.

Special Project(s) We Are Working On: Chapter volunteers are currently building a roosting chimney for Raleigh’s Chimney Swifts at the Prairie Ridge Ecostation, an off-site field station of the Museum of Natural Science. The 38-acre station has been restored for teachers, students and the public to learn about sustainable living and experience the natural world.

What Birds to See in the Wake Audubon Area: You’ll want to come to Raleigh during April and May to see the Red-tailed Hawks nesting and feeding their young. This sight is not to be missed!

Where Are the Best Birding Spots in our Area: With all of the parks and greenways throughout Raleigh, there are many great locations to do your birding. In 2000, the chapter published A Birdwatcher’s Guide to the Triangle highlighting the best places in the region to enjoy birds. Falls Lake, Lake Crabtree and Yates Millpond are just a few of our favorites.

Join This Chapter: The Wake Audubon chapter meets every second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones Street, in downtown Raleigh. The chapter hosts a speaker each month but August, when they hold the annual potluck supper complete with a member slide show.

For more information on this chapter, visit www.wakeaudubon.org or visit the chapter on Facebook. If you would like to donate to the Wake Audubon chapter, please click here.