Since 2013, Audubon North Carolina has been working with private landowners to restore and conserve the habitat needed to support breeding Golden-winged Warblers (GWWA).
Recently, we've seen some great success: our work with Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy helped restore six acres of a Christmas tree farm in the Roan Highlands, and created two new places for Golden-wings to nest!
With an estimated state population of 1000, locating these birds is significant. By traversing the rural mountain landscape of Western North Carolina to have face-to-face conversations with interested landowners in priority areas, we've not only enhanced habitat management for this species but also discovered more than 40 new Golden-winged Warbler territories!
Why does this matter? Well, it makes us feel good! More Golden-wings is always good, right?!
Of course, there’s more to the story. You see, the Farm Bill funding granted to private landowners for Golden-winged Warbler habitat restoration prioritizes land located within close proximity of known GWWA locations. Therefore the more GWWA “dots we have on the map” so to speak, the more land qualifies as eligible for this cost-share program.
This research allows us to extend our outreach in new areas like we did in 2016 when we identified 1000 private landowners across Western NC who, if engaged, could help preserve the area for long-term sustainability.
Want to help us find new GWWA locations and (hopefully) access more Farm Bill funding? Sign up to volunteer here!
In the meantime, get ready for spring surveys (every May-June) by studying the Golden-winged Warbler's songs here.