November-December Newsletter is Online!

November-December Newsletter

We have a lot of bird walks coming up in November and a great Chapter Meeting planned with Guest Speaker Heather Hahn with Audubon NC, we will also be announcing our Ramona Snavely recipient. With the upcoming Holidays, we will not have a December Chapter Meeting or Monday Bird Walk, but December will be full of Christmas Bird Counts, please contact the leaders for more information on participating. 

Winter Trip Registration is OPEN!

Forsyth Audubon Winter Trip destination for January 13-16, 2017 will be to the Eastern Shore of Virginia!

To register for the 2017 Winter Trip, send an email with your intent to attend to  Sarah Gatto will then give you instructions on how to pay using a debit card or check.  Once payment is received, you will be officially registered.  

Cost: $25 per person for Forsyth Audubon Members; $35 for non-members.  Remember, we will take the first 25 who sign up and pay. 

Check out the Weekend Trip Page for the general itinerary and more information about the 2017 Winter Trip! Please contact our Trip Leader, Cynthia Donaldson, with any questions. 

Forsyth County Big Sit

On Saturday October 8th Forsyth Audubon participated in an international event called the Big Sit. The goal is to sit in the same designated area and record all of the species of birds that are seen or heard during a set period of time. This day was also the day Hurricane Matthew made landfall! It was a very soggy day but our small team was able to see and/or hear 28 species. Nathan Gatto had the first shift around 7 a.m. It was a very rainy morning but the weather cleared up for about 45 minutes and that’s when they saw most of the birds. One of the first birds of the day was a very vocal Barred Owl calling across the wetland at Reynolda. They had a nice mix of migrating birds throughout the day including several large groups of Cedar Waxwings, American Crows and American Robins. Rob Rogers covered the second shift of the day and added two new species for the day; an Acadian Flycatcher and Mallard. His shift ended and we decided that his waterproof shoes might need to be replaced! Shelley helped out with the last shift of the day and also experienced some of the heaviest downpours! Next year we hope the weather is better and we can attract a larger group of birders! Thanks again to Nathan Gatto, Shelley Rutkin and Rob Rogers for sticking it out and birding during a Hurricane!

Miller Park

Members of Forsyth Audubon have been meeting with WS City Parks officials and contractors regarding the stream restoration and renovation of one of our favorite parks.  I am happy to report the collaboration has been most pleasant and productive. The stream restoration will include all the plants on the Native Plant List developed by our members and will address the problem of invasive plants.  Work is scheduled to begin late September/October.  FA members are also working with the City to develop high quality signage to tell the story of the park and the importance of nature.  Mr. William Royston, Capital Projects Manager with the City of Winston Salem will be speaking at an upcoming chapter regarding Miller Park in particular and City Parks in general.  Plan to attend, ask your questions and participate in the discussion. Contact Don Lendle with any questions.

Habitat for Humanity and Audubon

Forsyth Audubon continues to be active in this partnership planting Native Plants at the campus and individual homes, offering educational events regarding birds and conservation, installing bird houses, and leading discussions regarding solar energy for Habitat homes.  The rain garden and wetland project  has been a success with the vast majority of plants surviving and thriving through this hot summer.  Plant adjustments will be made this fall as we see the need.  It is functioning as expected to hold storm water and filter it before entering a stream.

All involved have been quite pleased including our bird, butterfly, and pollinator friends.  Another planting is scheduled in October ,exact date pending. We are looking into building a chimney swift tower on the campus, and will expand our educational efforts in the neighborhood.  Plan to join in with your fellow members in these activities. Contact Don Lendle for information or to offer suggestions.

Bird Friendly-Planting Day

Our recent planting day at Habitat Forsyth was truly a community partnership, with volunteers from Wells Fargo, Habitat Forsyth, Audubon North Carolina, and Forsyth Audubon. This video shows how rewarding these partnerships can be, and the importance of of bird-friendly gardening.Check out the video

Become an Audubon Ambassador on Climate Change!

Audubon North Carolina is looking for Ambassadors on Climate Change. Can you volunteer five hours a month for the benefit of our birds, other wildlife and people? There are a host of things you can do, and you probably already do some of them: take part in Christmas Bird Counts, add bird-friendly native to your garden, talk to your neighbors about birds and climate change, write legislators about it. Look for a future Audubon Ambassador workshop soon to learn more about the issue and how you can help. 

To read a summary of the National Audubon Society's report on "Birds and Climate Change," visit

Snavely Award Recognizes Royce Hough!

Royce Hough has received the 2015 Ramona Snavely Award for his continuing service to Forsyth Audubon. Royce was honored at the October 27th chapter meeting and presented with a David Disher photo of a Snowy Owl framed on canvas.  Along with Ramona, Royce was a charter member of the chapter when it grew out of the Forsyth Bird Club in the early 1970s. 

Developing an interest in birds as a child, Royce has encouraged many new birders to follow his passion. He has been a board member, organized field trips to some of our favorite destinations, and always been a strong supporter of Audubon conservation efforts.

Order "Birding Guide to Forsyth County"!

The fifth edition of "Birding Guide to Forsyth County," by David Disher, is now available. David's book, in a handy 6 x 9 paperback format, compiles documented observations for 280 bird species in Forsyth County. Learn what birds can be seen here and during which weeks of the year you are most likely to see them. Photos of uncommon sightings are included. Information on local birding spots also is included. For $15, this is a great gift for your favorite birder. All profits go to our chapter. Copies are available at Wright's Backyard Birding Center, 3906 Country Club Rd., Winston-Salem, and at Wild Birds Unlimited, 1589 Skeet Club Rd, High Point, or send email to Howard Coston. Copies also are available for sale at our monthly chapter meetings. If you have a smart phone or tablet, download the electronic version available for $4.99 from

Check Out Our Photo Gallery!

We now have a photo page. Current albums include our Bethania work days, recent field trips, noteworthy sightings, and more.

Click here to access the Gallery

Photos: Chestnut-Sided Warbler, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Prothonotary Warbler. © David Disher.


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