Programs for 2018-19
The Piedmont Bird Club conducts a program in conjunction with its monthly meeting. Programs feature local, state, and (sometimes) national experts speaking on a variety of topics relevant to birds and birding. Programs are open to the public. We encourage all interested persons to attend.
Unless otherwise noted in the schedule below, the programs are held on the third Thursday of each month, October through April, at Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library, 1420 Price Park Road, Greensboro (see map).
An "Early Birds" social gathering begins at 6:30 p.m., and the program begins at 7:00, ends at 8:45.
Thursday, October 18
Program: Birds of South Africa – Habitats and Conservation
In early summer of 2017, PBC members Roberta Newton and Ann Van Sant travelled to Botswana and Cape Town for birding adventures. They will discuss the birds, wildlife, threats to the natural environment, and conservation efforts in the areas they visited. Roberta will focus on Botswana’s first national park, the Chobe National Park, and the Okavango Delta, an inland river with grassy plains that become a lush animal habitat with seasonal floods. Ann will present on the Fynbos Region around Cape Town, which is known for its degree of biodiversity, containing 80% of the Cape’s floral species. We will be treated by Ann’s beautiful photography illustrating birds, wildlife, flowers, and terrain of these two areas of South Africa. This is a joint meeting with the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society.
Thursday, November 15
Program: NC Neighborhood Nestwatch Study
Neighborhood Nestwatch represents an innovative way to study the effects of rapid development on wildlife while educating citizens about these effects and the process of science. Each backyard involved in the program becomes both a research site and an outdoor classroom. The Nestwatch study primarily focuses on two basic life history traits: annual survival and reproductive success. Citizen scientists participate by supplying data from re-sightings of color banded birds which reflect how long birds live within their yard and nearby surroundings. Likewise, by monitoring nests, citizen scientists provide the information for Nestwatch to learn about the ability of birds to reproduce within a complex land use gradient. Elizabeth Farley-Dawson, the Raleigh Coordinator, Field Technician & Educator for NC Neighborhood Nestwatch at the Smithsonian Institution, will talk about the data, analysis, and some of the recent outcomes of this study, which began in Washington DC in 2000 and later expanded to North Carolina. She will also share some of her experiences from this summer, including photos from visits with participating PBC members.
Bird of the Season: Black Vulture, Shirley Yount
Thursday, January 17
Program: Sparrow Swap: Combating a Pest and Monitoring Pollution at the Same Time
Every year, bluebird nest box monitors across the country dread finding a House Sparrow occupying their nest boxes. Not only are House Sparrows invasive, but they have been known to kill and injure native birds. In response, many nest box monitors remove House Sparrow eggs to allow native birds to nest. To study which management strategies are most effective, a citizen-science project called “Sparrow Swap” is asking nest box monitors to record their observations when removing eggs or swapping eggs with wooden egg replicas. Instead of throwing out the real House Sparrow eggs, Sparrow Swap asks citizen scientists to send the eggs to the Museum of Natural Sciences to use for research on eggshell patterning and environmental contaminants. Sparrow Swap Project Manager, Suzanne Hartley, will discuss more about the project, what the project has learned so far, and the work that is still being done.
Bird of the Season: Dickcissel, Matt Wangerin
Thursday, February 21
Program: The Next 10
Trying to predict the next first record is a popular parlor game with birders. What birds are likely to turn up in North Carolina, where, and why? Now that we have decades of information regarding vagrancy, status, and distribution at our fingertips, is it possible to make a more educated guess? Nate Swick, editor of The ABA Blog, social media manager for the American Birding Association, and host of the ABA’s American Birding Podcast, will explore the past and present, and make wild and not so wild guesses about the future of North Carolina's bird list as we try to figure out “The Next 10.”
Bird of the Season: Mallard, Courtenay Vass
Thursday, March 14
Program: Bird of the Year
Note: This meeting is on the 2nd Thursday. It is a joint meeting with the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society.
For the last several years Audubon North Carolina has named a "Bird of the Year." Previous selections have included the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Wood Thrush, Chimney Swift, Prothonotary Warbler, and in 2018, the Painted Bunting. Curtis Smalling, Audubon North Carolina’s Director of Bird Conservation for North Carolina, will explain the reasons for the choice of each species and discuss the emerging science concerning urban birds and where Audubon is headed with this particular area of citizen science.
Thursday, April 18
Program: What is a Uwharrie and Why Would a Biologist Care?
Much is still unknown about the flora and fauna of the Uwharrie Mountains just south of Greensboro. John Gerwin, Research Curator, Ornithology, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, has spent years studying the unique habitat in these underappreciated mountains, including a disjunct breeding population of Black-throated Green Warblers. Come hear John talk about his work banding birds, tracking populations, and helping preserve this North Carolina treasure.
Bird of the Season: Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Liz Schmid