Field Notes

New Hope Audubon Society

Co-editors: Norm Budnitz and Jim George.

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NHBA Partners with Durham Public Schools to Plant Native Plants

May 27th, 2024

NHBA Partners with Durham Public Schools to Plant Native Plants Author: Julie d’Ablaing, NHBA Bird-Friendly Team Published May 27, 2024 New Hope Bird Alliance volunteers such as Julie d’Ablaing have been reaching out to Durham Public Schools (DPS) to introduce and encourage growing native trees. This blog is about two of those projects that are… Read more »

Study Shows Neotropical Migrant Birds in Decline in New Hope Creek

March 31st, 2024

Author: Stephen Brooks In the 1980s the New Hope Floodplain and adjoining areas were identified as priorities for conservation. From 2021 to 2022, NC Biodiversity Project (NCBP) conducted a multi-taxa survey of the same area, which stretches north and west to Hollow Rock Nature Park and Mt. Moriah Bottomlands, east to Mud Creek Bottomlands, and… Read more »

FAQs About Changing Our Name to New Hope Bird Alliance

March 18th, 2024

In order to better serve our commitment to diversity and inclusion, New Hope Audubon is proposing a name change to New Hope Bird Alliance to better align our chapter’s name with our mission and vision. The purpose of our organization is to inspire people to love and protect birds, wildlife, and the natural environment upon which life depends. This is something that will not change, even if our name does.

Introducing Stephen Brooks, Blog Manager

February 28th, 2024

Introducing Stephen Brooks, Blog Manager Before I introduce myself, I want to thank Norm Budnitz and Jim George for managing the blog over the years, and Jim for helping me get up to speed as the new blog manager. My name is Stephen Brooks. I was motivated to join the New Hope Audubon Society recently,… Read more »

Carol Woods–A Beautiful Green Island

February 2nd, 2022

The residents at Carol Woods Retirement Community are working to remove invasive plants from our ‘beautiful green island.’

New Hope’s Newest Committee Advocates for the Birds

January 12th, 2022

New Hope’s Newest Committee Advocates for the Birds Author: Megan Cherry New Hope Audubon has a new fledgling committee – the Advocacy Committee was formed in 2021 to speak up for birds. This new group campaigns for local and state policies that will make our community a safer place for both birds and birdwatchers. Working… Read more »

NHAS Has a New Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

September 21st, 2021

New Committee Aims to Make Birding Accessible to More People. Author: Jessica Belsky Like so many others, Lynn Shapiro first discovered the joy of backyard birding when COVID-19 hit. She put up feeders and a bluebird box in her yard and began to learn the names and habits of the species that came to visit… Read more »

Bird Friendly Yards: Deanna’s Story

August 31st, 2021

Barb tells the story of one of the homeowners that she and Sally Heiney visited this summer as part of the New Hope Audubon Bird Friendly Yard Certification Program. -By Barb Stenross

Noticing the Little Things in the Summer Garden

July 18th, 2021

David explores Jim’s native plant garden with him and photographs many interesting little things. – by Jim George and David George

A Florida and Georgia Trip Report

June 18th, 2021

In March 2021, Vern Bothwell asked if I wanted to go on a birding trip, maybe to Florida; my immediate response was “I’m in.”  Gail Boyarsky and Clarke French also joined us.  We wanted to see a few specific birds and look for lifers, but we also wanted to see new places and start our post-pandemic lives. – by Tom Driscoll

Plant for Specialist Bees

March 17th, 2021

Bees, our most important pollinator, are either generalists or specialists. Roughly a third of our bees are specialists. – By Lynn Richardson

Evening Grosbeaks in a Winter of North Carolina Finches

March 1st, 2021

It was during my teenage years when I first met Evening Grosbeaks. I had been birding for 4 or 5 years, and I had finally convinced my parents that we should put up a bird feeder in the front yard near our old gray birch tree. – by Norm Budnitz

Trees Are for the Birds

January 22nd, 2021

Barb explores the role native trees play in the survival of our birds and the many other benefits of trees. – by Barb Stenross

Leveraging Biodiversity Benefits on a Working Farm

December 16th, 2020

Nick Harper manages a cattle farm to create create biodiverse, chemical-free pastures and a healthy ecosystem. – by Catherine Bollinger

Durham Is for the Birds! Working toward a Community Bird-friendly Designation

November 22nd, 2020

Find out about our work with Durham toward designating it a Bird-Friendly Community. -By Lynn Richardson

Help Build a Homegrown National Park

October 12th, 2020

How you can help create a Homegrown National Park starting in your own yard. – By Jim George

Keeping Up the Tradition of Passalong Plants

September 14th, 2020

Jim finds an old book on his bookshelf on passalong plants and encourages us to keep up the tradition. – By Jim George

Your Yard Is Your Pollinator Garden

August 29th, 2020

You need to think of your whole yard as part of your pollinator garden from canopy-sized trees to understory trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses. – By Catherine Bollinger

The Hoop House, a Healthy Mini Ecosystem

August 6th, 2020

In healthy garden ecosystems, plants can usually deal with occasional pests. – By Norm Budnitz

Jordan Lake Bird Counts, Part 4—Species That Are Increasing

July 13th, 2020

In Part 4, we look at the populations of several species we have been monitoring for 43 years in the Jordan Lake count circle that have been increasing. – Norm Budnitz

Jordan Lake Bird Counts, Part 3—Species in Decline

June 24th, 2020

In Part 3 we look at several species that we have been monitoring for the past 43 years that have shown signs of declining populations. – By Norm Budnitz

Jordan Lake Bird Counts, Part 2—Woodpeckers

May 20th, 2020

Part 2 in this series looks at woodpeckers, a group of birds that includes species that inhabit upland and river bottom habitats, deciduous and pine woodlands, wetlands, and residential areas. – By Norm Budnitz

Jordan Lake Bird Counts–Part 1

May 4th, 2020

This is the first in a series of blog articles presenting the bird count data from the Jordan Lake Spring and Christmas Bird Counts. – By Norm Budnitz

Neonics, Bee-Killing Insecticides that also Harm Birds

March 18th, 2020

Neonics are well-known as bee killers—honey bees and native bees alike—but they also kill birds. – By Elizabeth D. Hilborn, DVM

Preventing that Dreaded Thump

February 12th, 2020

Preventing bird-window collisions with a simple home-made solution. – By Barb Stenross

Jordan Lake Gulls Revisited—Revisited

February 4th, 2020

On January 5, 2020, New Hope Audubon held its annual Christmas Bird Count at Jordan Lake. The stars of the show, as they have been every winter in the past decade, were the gulls. – By Norm Budnitz

Restoring the Lower Booker Creek Trail to a Bird-Friendly Habitat

January 7th, 2020

A Burke grant from National Audubon was used to buy native plants, and volunteers did the planting and also removed invasive plants to help restore habitat along the Lower Booker Creek Trail. – By Barbara Driscoll

Living with Cats and Birds

December 19th, 2019

Catherine tells the story of how she is keeping birds and other wildlife safe while assuring a good life for an adopted cat. – By Catherine Bollinger

Deer Wars

September 13th, 2019

This article explores ways to keep the deer from eating all of your native plants. – by Jim George

Easing into Nightfall

July 23rd, 2019

It seems like a beautiful evening to sit on my deck and experience the waning day as it turns into night. As I sit still on my porch swing, the world settles down around me. – By Norm Budnitz

Saving the Birds, One Yard at a Time

May 11th, 2019

Find out how important insects are to the ecosystem and how they must be saved from decline to save the birds and ourselves. – by Jim George

Recovering with Birds

March 24th, 2019

As my doctor chuckled to himself, he said, “Do you really think you can slow down enough to bird watch?” – Tom Ferguson, Jr.

Spring Birding in Coastal Southeast Texas

February 14th, 2019

The Texas coast is a world-famous birding site during spring migration and a key area on the flyways for migrating birds. – By Tom Griffin

How Are Wild Animals Injured?

January 23rd, 2019

Cats and window collisions make up more than 50% of the injury cases the WCC sees each year, and both are preventable! – By Barbara Driscoll

Jordan Lake Gulls Revisited

January 11th, 2019

Gull numbers were down this year on the Jordan Lake Christmas Bird Count. – By Norm Budnitz

Leave the Leaves!

November 10th, 2018

Leaves provide nutrients for the trees they came from and also shelter for many insects. – By Barbara Driscoll

Tom Driscoll: “I’ll do it!”

October 27th, 2018

Tom is a man with a modest mission. Do good things for the Earth and for all the people who live there. – By Norm Budnitz

Creating Wildlife Habitat with Piedmont Patch

October 6th, 2018

Learn how Piedmont Patch is creating habitat for our local wildlife. – By Catherine Bollinger

The Invasion of the Asian Tigers

July 31st, 2018

How can you deal with the mosquitoes in your yard without harming the ecosystem? – by Jim George, Pete Schubert, and Barbara Driscoll

Potholes and Prairies Birding Festival

July 9th, 2018

Tom and Vern go on a quest for “life birds” at the Potholes and Prairies Birding Festival in North Dakota and in neighboring states and birding hot spots. – by Tom Driscoll

Did everyone get on that bird yet?

June 2nd, 2018

“Did everyone get on that bird yet?” A familiar refrain heard throughout the weekend on the New Hope Audubon Society Boone Birding trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains. – by Steve Buczynski

Can You Sing a Duet with Yourself?

May 16th, 2018

As a birder, I am fascinated, enthralled, and even overjoyed by the vocal capabilities of our feathered colleagues on this earth. – By Norm Budnitz

Creating a Pollinator Friendly Yard

March 14th, 2018

Bees and other pollinators are in trouble.  You can help by providing habitat for pollinators in your own yard. – By Barbara Driscoll

The Alien Plant Invasion

February 26th, 2018

Why alien plants are a problem, which are the most invasive, and what you can do about it. – By Jim George

Life Is Good at Pine Island Sanctuary

February 14th, 2018

Over the weekend of February 9-11, 2018, the New Hope Audubon Society organized a group of 17 birders and nature lovers to go to the Pine Island Sanctuary in Corolla, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks. – By Norm Budnitz

Jordan Lake Christmas Bird Count–12/31/2017

January 22nd, 2018

The Jordan Lake Christmas Bird Count was held on December 31, 2017. The temperature stayed below freezing all day . . . – By Norm Budnitz

Feeder Watch – January 2018

January 5th, 2018

Our winter visitors including Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and other migrants from the north have been here for six weeks now, and they are hungry, especially with the very cold weather. – By Tom Driscoll

Gull Poop

December 1st, 2017

Each winter, Ring-billed Gulls gather by the tens of thousands at Jordan Lake – by Norm Budnitz

Invasive Plants Are NOT for the Birds

November 11th, 2017

Many invasive plants are spread by birds after they eat their fruit. – by Johnny Randall

Littering with Leaves

October 27th, 2017

Using leaf litter is a vital part of restoring native habitat for birds and other wildlife. – by Jim George

Swift Action for Conservation

October 11th, 2017

New Hope Audubon takes action to restore a chimney swift roosting site. -By Tommy Richey

To every plant there is a season

September 13th, 2017

A bird-friendly garden needs to provide sustenance in all four seasons. – by Jim George

How Do They Do It? The Magnificent Wandering Albatrosses

August 22nd, 2017

Consider the Wandering Albatross. I have watched Wandering Albatrosses follow a ship I was on for hours without ever beating their wings. — by Norm Budnitz

Summer Feeder Watch

August 2nd, 2017

The birds are still very active and are eating me out of suet and seed! – Tom Driscoll

Who Knew This about Bluebirds? – Not Me!

July 22nd, 2017

This year, a bluebird pair in my yard first had a nest with five eggs, which produced four fledglings. -by Maria de Bruyn.

The Piedmont Barn Owl Initiative Inspires a State Program

July 15th, 2017

The Piedmont Barn Owl Initiative, started with funds from New Hope Audubon, is about to fledge. – by Mark Kosiewski

Astonishing Tree Swallows

July 4th, 2017

The sky almost to the horizon was full of swallows as the author witnesses an astonishing event. – by David Anderson

Going Native

May 23rd, 2017

This is my story of “going native”. Not to disappoint, but this is a “native plants” story, although it does involve the birds and the bees! – by Jim George

Song of the South

May 8th, 2017

Spring is upon us, and for every southern birder, from novice to expert, there’s a marker that heralds the true arrival of the season. – By Mary Parker Sonis

Moving Martins

April 4th, 2017

Making a new home for displaced Purple Martins in Durham. – Mark Kosiewski

Feeder Watch

March 21st, 2017

Our veteran feeder watcher, Tom Driscoll, gives an update on what’s been happening at his feeders at winter’s end and gives advice about preparing for spring. – By Tom Driscoll

Now is the Time to Remove Invasive Plants

March 13th, 2017

This is a good time of year to remove those pesky invasive plants in your yard before too many native plants emerge. – By Barbara Driscoll

Winter Visitors

February 6th, 2017

Each winter I look forward to the return of the hermit thrush. – By Barbara Driscoll.

Fostering New Advocates for Birds

January 20th, 2017

What better place to start with promoting the conservation and enjoyment of birds and other wildlife than by educating our children. – By Tommy Richey

Mixed Flocks

January 8th, 2017

Chickadees and titmice, yes. But there’s a lot more going on in these woodland mixed flocks in winter. – By Norm Budnitz

How Many Sapsuckers?

November 19th, 2016

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers make the wells, but lots of other sap suckers take advantage of the sweet bounty. – by Norm Budnitz

Feeder Watch

November 4th, 2016

Our veteran feeder watcher, Tom Driscoll, tells us what to look for, offers advice, and answers your questions about feeding birds. – Tom Driscoll

Gray-cheeked Thrush Program

October 24th, 2016

Brian Pendergraft invites birders to his house to enjoy fall migratory birds, including the illusive Gray-cheeked Thrush. – by Brian Pendergraft

Youth Is Wasted on the Young!

October 6th, 2016

Vern finds his 1956 copy of the Golden Nature Guide entitled “Birds, A Guide to the Most Familiar American Birds.” Nostalgia is the sublime result. – By Vern Bothwell

Summer Days Looking Forward to Fall

August 29th, 2016

Soon fall will be here which is a great time for planting those bird-friendly perennials, shrubs and trees and for controlling invasive species. Learn more about what you can do to make your garden more bird friendly this fall. – by Barbara Driscoll

What We Did Last Year

August 21st, 2016

New Hope Audubon volunteers were very busy last year from May, 2015 to April, 2016, and we accomplished a tremendous amount. Read all about what we did last year. – by Tom Driscoll

Eastern Bluebirds

August 8th, 2016

This inaugural blog on our new website celebrates the Eastern Bluebird, an iconic species that exemplifies our mission and is featured in our new logo. – by Norm Budnitz

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