Conservation

Education

Wake Audubon’s mission:

“To foster knowledge, appreciation, and enjoyment of nature; to encourage responsible environmental stewardship; to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.”

In keeping with our mission, Wake Audubon supports a number of conservation projects for our members and the community to become involved in. How would you like to contribute?

  • Among our most ambitious initiatives, the Chimney Swift Roost Tower, viewing and research station at Prairie Ridge Ecosystem in Northwest Raleigh will provide a permanent roost site for Chimney Swifts as the number of alternate local sites are dwindling. Learn more about this species, the concerns that caused us to take action, what to expect at the site, and education and research plans. Tower construction is complete; the viewing area patio will be completed this spring.
  • The Christmas Bird Count and the Spring North American Migration Count are two long-term projects in which Wake Audubon participates. These important counts are conducted across the country and provide data on trends in bird populations over time. You can participate in these counts whether you are an expert birder or just learning bird identification. Look on our calendar for the specific dates and contact information and join a team for a morning of birding that will contribute to our knowledge of birds. Learn more about the Christmas Bird Count. You can also learn more about the Spring Migration count.
  • Stream Clean-ups are spring and fall events that help keep our local waterways free of debris. Clean-ups are important for aesthetics, but also for the birds, fish, turtles, frogs and many other creatures that depend on the water for their health. Wake Audubon has adopted a stretch of Crabtree Creek and organizes volunteer clean-up days for this area in coordination with other environmental groups. Please check our calendar for the specific dates and contact information if you would like to spend a morning working with other volunteers on a stream clean-up.
  • Chimney Swifts

    Chimney Swifts

    “Bird of the Year” is a program that highlights conservation issues regarding a bird species found in Wake County that is of concern because of population decline. Our goal is to increase our members’ knowledge about this species and awareness of steps they can take to protect this species. Since 2008 we have recognized the Prothonatory Warbler, Purple Martin, Loggerhead Shrike, Chimney Swift, Eastern Meadowlark and Brown-headed Nuthatch and the Field Sparrow. Visit the “Bird of the Year” page to learn more about these birds.

  • Wake Audubon works with the City of Raleigh Parks to provide advice and volunteer help with conservation projects. We have adopted Anderson Point Park and work with the park staff on maintaining the meadow there that serves as habitat for sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, and other grassland birds. Every spring we work with college students on Service Raleigh Day to help rid the park of invasive plant species. We have also installed nest boxes at this park and at Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve. Contact Wake Audubon if you would like to be involved in conservation projects at our local parks.
  • Brown-headed Nuthatch

    Brown-headed Nuthatch

    The Brown-headed Nuthatch project is a state-wide initiative to provide nesting boxes for this year-round resident of the southeastern United States. Learn how to join in efforts to place homes for Brown-headed Nuthatches throughout our state.

  • The Lumber River is one of North Carolina’s Important Bird Areas (or IBAs), which are sites that provide essential habitat for one or more species of bird. IBAs include sites for breeding, wintering, and/or migrating birds. A rich diversity of plants is found in and along the Lumber River as it winds from the sandhills to the coastal plain. Wildflowers including mountain laurel, wild azalea, swamp mallow, spider lily and native wisteria can be seen from the river. Bald cypress, tulip poplar, river birch and water elm are found in the swamp forest. Several rare plants, including sarvis holly and Carolina bogmint, grow along the river. Barred Owl, Prothononotary Warbler, Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher and Spotted Sandpiper fly low over the dark water. Beaver and River Otter are often seen in the water and along the shore. Wake Audubon adopted the Lumber River IBA and conducts periodic bird counts along the river. Contact us if you would like to join a group paddling down the river or birding along the shore.
  • Milkweed Planting to benefit Monarch Butterflies: We have an
    Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed leaf.

    Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed leaf.

    ongoingprogram of planting milkweed seedlings in our local parks. Volunteers work with park staff to begin or enhance stands of this beneficial native plant, critically important to the monarch caterpillar

  • Project Purple Martin: We successfully moved a Purple Martin colony whose site was slated for demolition to a new location that will be protected permanently. We monitor nesting success there each year. If you have the right habitat for a Purple Martin colony, contact us and we will provide you with the information you will need to be successful. Purple Martins are colonial, with dozens of martins nesting in the same spot; they feed in open areas, especially near water. In the East, they nest almost exclusively in nest boxes and martin houses although in the West they nest in natural cavities.
  • Our spring Wildathon proceeds support the North Carolina Herpetological Society’s Project Bog Turtle and the Audubon North Carolina coastal sanctuaries, as well as Wake Audubon’s own conservation projects. Support our team or form your own.
  • We support the Raleigh Lights Out initiative, which encourages the turning off of lights in tall buildings in our cities during bird migration periods, thus drastically reducing the number of fatal collisions by migratory birds with buildings.
  • We support national and international bird conservation projects by alerting our members to issues where they can make their voices heard. Such issues include as saving Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska, from petroleum development and protecting Midwestern grasslands for nesting Grouse.