The Bird Call Blog: Local Chapter Supports Important Conservation Research
by Andy Coleman
Last month, I attended the National Audubon Conference in Leesburg, Virginia. This provided me an opportunity to learn what other local chapters as well as National Audubon offices are doing regarding public education and outreach and conservation. One such local chapter, Forsyth Audubon, located in North Carolina, has partnered with National Audubon and Smithsonian scientists, in addition to Belize Audubon Society, to study the migratory behavior of wood thrushes. Members wanted to learn where the wood thrushes, that breed in Forsyth County, NC, fly to during the winter months, and if the wintering range of their thrushes included locations in Belize. In 2014, they raised money to provide GPS locator tags for the scientists to attach to local wood thrushes, and they participated in the surveying and netting of the birds. In addition, a group of Forsyth members traveled down to Belize to help local residents survey potential habitats for wood thrushes and to teach those residents how to input their survey data into eBird. In 2015, they were able to find one of the tagged birds and discovered, once they downloaded the data from tag, that the wood thrush did indeed winter in Belize. I was very impressed by the commitment shown by this local chapter to a conservation project that integrated local, national, and international partners. I look forward into exploring various ideas about how Birmingham Audubon can follow this model to achieve similar accomplishments. To learn more about this wood thrush project, visit Forsyth Audubon.