Upcoming Events
Birding Events

Join Blue Ridge Audubon for birding three Saturdays each month.
Free and open to all.

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

November 12, 9 a.m.

November 19, 9 a.m.

December 3, 9 a.m.

December 10, 9 a.m.


Blue Ridge Audubon Program
Birds, Brews and Trivia!
Tuesday, November 15, 5:30 p.m.

Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Open to everyone. Contact us to attend

Happy Holidays!
photo by David Turko
President's Message
Dear friend,

It was another spectacular fall migration. Whether you were one of the 220 or so people who joined us for Swift Night Out to witness 2500 Chimney Swifts (and one very enterprising Cooper’s Hawk) spiral into the chimney adjacent to the Civic Center Garage, or took delight in the sudden abundance of Bay-breasted Warblers at our Jackson Park birding event in October, I hope that you each got to experience some of the scores of species of birds that passed through the Blue Ridge Mountains on their way south.

Last month I mentioned our investment in a Motus Wildlife Tracking System Tower that will help scientists track birds in migration and learn more about the habitats that they depend on throughout the year. Well, the National Audubon Society has recently launched its Bird Migration Explorer, an interactive tool that lets you visualize these birds in migration and throughout the year. The Explorer lets you view the migration by species and by even individual bird if they have a transmitter that talks to the Motus tower network in flight. For instance, I pulled up a summer favorite, the Wood Thrush, and found that the yellow dot tracking an individual wood thrush moved from northern El Salvador in early April to near here by May 5. Incredible! The Explorer also lets you see how many different species pass through Asheville and where they go. Currently it has tracked 13 birds of 7 species that have flown from Asheville to Nicaragua, and 14 birds of five different species that came through Asheville from Brazil!
Perhaps most importantly, the Explorer also highlights in context the numerous challenges that migrating birds face each season during their journey. From agricultural areas to urban development to light pollution, the maps illustrate just how profound a problem these challenges present, as well as links to valuable projects Audubon is taking to mitigate these Challenges, including our own Lights Out Campaign. I urge each of you to take some time and check out this fabulous new tool that Audubon has developed.

Best regards,

John Koon
President, Blue Ridge Audubon

Wood thrush, ABC birds
Birds, Beer and Trivia!
Tuesday, November 15, 5:30 p.m.
Burial Beer's Forestry Camp
Join the Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter for a night of bird trivia, complete with fantastic beer and delicious food from Burial Beer's Forestry Camp. Meet fellow chapter members and enjoying talking birds! You can also play trivia with us and test your knowledge on some amazing, fun and incredible facts about North American Birds. Form a team or play solo but let's have some bird fun! Meet us upstairs in the dining lounge area, and grab some food and beer on the main floor. Come out and meet some Blue Ridge Audubon board members and other bird enthusiasts! 

North Carolina Bird Atlas Needs You!
by Lee Sherill
Biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are asking the public to join the NC Bird Atlas by recording their bird observations in eBird. Birds will be recorded from November to August as many species of greatest conservation need spend the winter in North Carolina. This timing will help document a more comprehensive picture of the full avian life cycle and the role North Carolina plays in helping to protect all our birds. The Atlas project will involve thousands of fieldwork volunteers conducting bird observations, as well as countless individuals supporting the work in a variety of other ways. Volunteers will record observations of birds at precise geographical locations and submit their data through eBird in real time.

We anticipate this project will encourage bird enthusiasts across North Carolina to observe and document any birds they are seeing, make some new friends, learn more about the natural history of the birds, and have some fun while supporting and contributing to the ornithological research and conservation in the state. Participating in an atlas provides individuals with the opportunity to become more intimately familiar with the birds in their own community while growing their birding skills beyond just a species list to incorporating observations of bird behavior as well. Throughout this project it is our hope that across the state, birders will grow into enthusiastic Atlasers, novices will learn to love a new hobby, and bird lovers will find new avenues to support the research and conservation of their winged friends.
Click here to find out more about the NC Bird Atlas. Or contact one of your local Atlas Coordinators, Mike Resch, and Pam Torlina,

Lee Sherrill // Mountain Science Support Specialist
Wildlife Diversity, Wildlife Management Division
NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Dark-eyed Junco by Alan Lenk
Lights Out! Asheville
by Paulina Jones
The Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville has been busy this month. We participated in the Bears, Bees, and Brews festival alongside Blue Ridge Audbon and UNCA Audubon, and presented a program on migratory songbird decline and the Lights Out! Asheville program at the Collider. Also, a Lights Out themed mural on South Slope was installed as part of the Indigenous Murals Project! Big thank you to Andrea for coordinating this effort! We continued to share information about the program with Asheville community members via social media, newsletters with our partner organizations, and good ol’ fashioned door to door advocacy. As we near the end of the Fall migration period, we are asking for information about bird-window collisions that have occurred at homes and businesses over the past few months. If you experienced the dreaded “thump” any time since August, please take a moment to report it on our data form.
As of October 27th, nearly 100 million birds have crossed over Buncombe County on their way to South and Central American wintering grounds. Since August, over 100 different species of birds have been identified at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, including notable fall migrants such as Indigo Bunting, Blackpoll Warbler, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. While Fall migration is slowing, it is still important to participate in Lights Out! Asheville. Reducing light pollution from your home or work is one of the easiest ways to help migratory birds moving over our region.

For those new to the Lights Out! Asheville program, visit to learn about the program, why it is important, and how you can participate.
The success of this program relies on community participation! If you haven’t already, sign the Lights Out! Asheville pledge form and have your participation in the program celebrated on our website!
UNCA Scholarship Recipient 2022
Blue Ridge Audubon is pleased to announce that our Annual Blue Ridge Audubon Environmental Studies Scholarship recipient at UNCAsheville is August Scala. August is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in Ecology. August is originally from Charlotte, NC, and his favorite bird is the Common Raven because of their high intelligence, acrobatic flying skills and their preference for habitat around rugged cliff faces. We are excited to provide the $1500 scholarship to August and look forward to seeing him graduate in 2023! Well done, August!
Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Jay Wherley
Do you know what the state reptile of North Carolina is? It is the turtle, with the Eastern Box Turtle serving as the official emblem representing all the turtle species. From the 1979 bill enacting this selection:
…the turtle watches undisturbed as countless generations of faster hares run by to quick oblivion, and is thus a model of patience for mankind…"
We see Eastern Box Turtles at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary from time to time. Known for their high site fidelity, it is likely that those seen there live out their multi-decade existence inside the sanctuary.
More frequently seen at BLBS is the Common Snapping Turtle. These apex predators have surprising methods of surviving cold winters including the ability to perform extrapulmonary respiration (oxygen exchange without using their lungs) and the ability to use anaerobic metabolism (burning sugars and fats without oxygen).

Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include Philadelphia Vireo and Wilson’s Warbler.

Eastern Box Turtle, Beaver Lake, April 2015
Common Snapping Turtle, Beaver Lake, September 2015
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.