Wake Audubon Blog

Lake Betz is the Betz

i Jun 30th 2 Comments by

By Bob Oberfelder

Lake Betz is a unique habitat with a huge concentration of Red-headed Woodpeckers. It is located behind the Cisco Systems and Network Appliance facilities between Louis Stephens Drive and Kit Creek Road (in the Research Triangle Park area). The safest place to park is in a gravel covered recreation parking lot off of Louis Stephens Drive. There are Port-a-potties there as well as some volleyball nets. If you walk across Louis Stephens Drive from the recreation area you will see an asphalt trail that leads over to the lake and swamp area.

There is a small lake here and adjacent to the lake is a swampy area filled with dead snags that have attracted large numbers of Red-headed Woodpeckers. It is possible to encounter as many as 7 woodpecker species in a single visit in this area in the winter. I have observed nesting Osprey, Northern Flickers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, Common Grackles and Tree swallows. Large numbers of Green Herons appear to spend their summers here. During a recent visit, late May 2015, I saw a Great-crested Flycatcher and Belted Kingfishers are a common year-round sight. For people interested in photography, it is possible to get quite close to the birds since they frequent the foliage between the lake and the swampy area and many of the snags frequented by the woodpeckers are close to the walking trail. I am including a few recent photos taken at Lake Betz to wet your appetite for this unique place.

Great-Crested Flycatcher

Great-Crested Flycatcher

Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted)

Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted)

Osprey

Osprey

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Green Heron

Green Heron

Comments

  1. Braulio
    December 25, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I personally beileve the species is still extant and not extinct, but there is valid reason for all the skepticism and I do not think it is jealousy.Science by its nature is skeptical and evidence that can be confirmed by independent peer review is necessary before the claim can be accepted.Unfortunately there are a lot of frauds, which is part of why the standard for evidence has to be so high.The Israeli Painted frog (aka Hula Painted Frog) was recently re-discovered after a long period of no confirmed sightings despite numerous surveys, it is important we remember that even though science has thus far rejected the reporting sightings, the species may still remain and habitat for it should be preserved.Hopefully by preserving and improving their habitat, any remaining population can grow making confirmed evidence more likely to be found.Thank you for sharing your artwork, it is beautiful.

    Reply
  2. Robert Bowen
    January 23, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I have documented the wildlife species with my camera here for over three years. I was over here several days ago and found that numerous dead snags had been cut down. The RTP conservation group deemed the trees a fall hazard to people walking on the trail, and had them cut. Several of the trees cut were noted redheaded woodpecker nesting trees or food cache trees. The conservation group is also planning on installing ‘wildlife panels’ along the path this spring, and planting 1000 seedlings along with 200 potted trees.

    All this activity may keep the ospreys away this year. We will see.

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *