Upcoming Events
Birding Events

Blue Ridge Audubon field trips are open to all, but unvaccinated birders must wear a mask.

Many thanks to the guides at Ventures Birding
for leading our outings.

August 21, 8 a.m. Owen Park

September 4, 8 a.m. Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary

Sept 11, 8 a.m. Jackson Park
Sept 18, 8 a.m. Owen Park

BRAC Programs

Blue Ridge Audubon's fall programs are scheduled to begin on September 21. We hope to meet in person at UNCA's Reuter Center but are waiting for their reopening plans to be confirmed. We will stream our programs for those who wish to watch online.

BRAC Board Meeting
Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 6:15 p.m.
Board of Director meetings are open to everyone. Email us if you'd like to attend:
Blue Ridge Audubon News
Dear friend,

The Blue Ridge Audubon board met in early August for our annual retreat. Although these times are unsettled, we remain determined to fulfill our mission and to keep the chapter vibrant and engaged. We’re grateful that we have four new stellar board members this year to help us in our mission. Always a top priority is our Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, which has proven to be a valuable refuge for people and birds. We’re so excited that the Ecofilter Wetland has been dredged, and birds are flocking to it. Our birding field trips are back up and running, thanks to the generous folks at Ventures Birding Tours who donate their time as guides. We will still offer programs, and hope to safely meet in person again at UNCA's Reuter Center before long.
Our goals for the year include working on outreach to under-served communities and welcoming folks who are just be getting into birding. We will also continue to advocate for bird conservation and hope you’ll join us in action when we send out advocacy alerts.
If you’d like to be more involved in the chapter, we can always use volunteers. Please check out what’s available and click here to fill out our volunteer form. We’ll contact you as soon as we can.
2021 Birdathon
It's not too late to donate!
Our sincere thank you’s to everyone who has donated to the Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter's 2021 Birdathon! So far, we have raised almost $6,000. We are so grateful for the generous support of our donors who make the Birdathon a success for the teams and for bird conservation.

With the Birdathon donations, we’ve awarded a $1,500 scholarship to a worthy UNCA Environmental Studies student. The remaining funds go to the American Bird Conservancy  for a BirdScape project in Colombia, S.A. The BirdScape initiative defines large, priority landscapes throughout the Americas that support populations of migratory birds of highest conservation concern. This greatly benefits our locally nesting migrants like Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers, Wood Thrush, and other neotropical migrants.

Since the 2010 Birdathon, through your generous donations, our chapter has raised over $70,000 for bird conservation. We so appreciate your commitment to birds and your support for the Birdathon. If you haven't had a chance to make your donation yet, it's not too late! You can learn more about where your donation is going at this link to the Birdathon flyer, or you can write a check to Blue Ridge Audubon and send to BRAC, P.O. Box 18711, Asheville, NC 28814. Even easier, you can donate online at the Blue Ridge Audubon website. Please pick Birdathon in the drop-down PayPal menu.

Thank you all very much for your generous support.

Golden-winged Warbler by Alan Lenk
Claxton Students Explore Birding and Nature
by Susan Richardson
Back in January 1988, a shopping center was proposed on the land that is now the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. All those years ago, the Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter was able to successfully raise enough money to purchase the land from the developer and create the Sanctuary. Claxton Elementary fourth graders helped raise awareness and were an integral part of the fundraising campaign. Their teacher at that time noted that “Our class has been studying nature since August. We’re all naturalists and know the importance of preserving the environment of the lake.”
Fast forward to the present day and, after the current Claxton Elementary fourth grade teacher reached out to Blue Ridge Audubon with a proposal and request for birding kits for low-income students, we were able to provide her with several birding kits. Each kit consists of a nature journal, kid’s binoculars and bird guide books. According to the teacher, since one child received her birding kit, she rushes into the classroom each morning and shares her excitement about what she discovered in her neighborhood.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for supporting our chapter and helping us to inspire others as we share our love of birds and nature through initiatives such as this one.
Beaver Lake Workday Kudos
A work day was held at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary (BLBS) on a hot day in July. The focus was to remove the piles of tree limbs that were scattered within the boardwalk. Many were removed but some will be left as wildlife cover. Invasive plant removal continues and invasives taken out are being replaced by native perennials, shrubs and trees. We are very indebted to Art and Alicia Hulse who spend countless hours working at the sanctuary removing invasives and planting new plants. We are also very much appreciate the help of volunteers who were at the July work day: Julie Crosson, Gus Crosson (age 11), Art and Alicia Hulse, Doug Johnston, Terry Lee, Diane Matheson, Pat McKee, Steve Yurkovich.

The next BLBS workday is Saturday August 28 from 9:00 until 11:30. The plan is to remove Japanese Stiltgrass, Porcelainberry seedlings and English ivy. Wear long pants, gloves and a long-sleeved shirt as there is some poison ivy. Another chore is to give a good cleaning to the many signs in the Sanctuary. To sign up for the workday, please email Tom Tribble at

Thank you all for your support of Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary.
Beaver Bits
Text and photos by Jay Wherley
Sometimes an unusual bird sighting almost falls in your lap…and such was the case on July 14th at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. I bumped into Doug Johnston near the Huisking (North) Overlook and we were discussing recent sightings and unusual birds. Doug has seen as many species in Buncombe County as anyone – 250 last I checked on eBird – but at that point, he had never seen a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in the County. I have been at Beaver Lake over a thousand times – but at that point, I had never seen a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron there. We mentioned this species as one of the less likely possibilities we would like to see, and literally within minutes, two smaller herons dropped in somewhere near the South Overlook. We moved quickly toward that area, where luckily the two immature herons perched in good view. Lo and behold, they showed the tell-tale markings of Yellow-crowned Night-herons (thin distinct white feather edges with sharply delineated triangular spots)!
Fortunately, Marcia Yeip had her camera at the ready and obtained excellent photos of the birds, which soon roosted up in a hidden area across the creek. There was one more sighting later in the evening of that day by Patti Liming, who also got a good photo of this rare-to-our-area species. The moral of the story is that you don’t have to “chase” birds to get unusual sightings – enjoying a normal morning walk on the boardwalk can bring you that surprise too.

* * *

Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

Eastern Phoebe, juvenile (note buff wing bars), Beaver Lake, August 2021
Wild Turkey poult, Beaver Lake, May 2021
About the Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter
Blue Ridge Audubon is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, serving Buncombe, Henderson, and surrounding counties in western North Carolina.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are
tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law.

Raven's Nest Editor: 
Marianne Mooney
Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter
PO Box 18711
Asheville, NC 28814

Blue Ridge Audubon's mission is to protect birds and the places they depend on. We believe that a world in which birds thrive is a world that benefits all living things.

Our vision is a vibrant and just community where the protection of birds and our natural world is valued by everyone.
For the latest information and schedule changes,
check our Website or Facebook/Instagram page.