Research Animals Rescued from North Carolina Lab

Critter News

An enormous victory was achieved for animals this week when nearly 200 dogs and 54 cats were rescued from a North Carolina animal testing facility that closed its doors after an undercover investigation revealed apparent abuse of the animals by workers at the facility. Tags: animal abuse animal research cats North Carolina dogs PETA Awful story, but this is the reason I support PETA, even when they do wacky things sometimes. Their investigations produce results.

Hungry Osprey in North Carolina

10,000 Birds

While on our beach vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in early April I took full advantage of our location just off the beach. In the afternoon the sun was at my back and the birds on the beach and over the water were perfectly illuminated for some nice digiscoping opportunities. Terns, gulls, pelicans, gannets, and ducks all made their way past and all were digiscoped to within an inch of their lives. But none were quite as fun to shoot as Osprey.

Birding and Butterflying North Carolina Gamelands

10,000 Birds

Still, we are in the midst of spring migration here in North Carolina, and I wasn’t going to let a little cold stop me from seeing some birds. Exploring North Carolina gamelands. Trips butterflies migration North Carolina prairie warbler I don’t know if you have ever tried to bird with a cold, but it’s not easy. All your senses are dulled, which makes finding one of those fast-flitting warblers or other songbirds especially difficult.

What is the State Bird of North Carolina?

10,000 Birds

Perhaps it was their flashy color or the males’ tall crest that attracted the legislature to the bird, because in 1943 the Northern Cardinal became the official state bird of North Carolina. In addition to North Carolina, six other states have named the cardinal their state bird, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. Birds cardinal North Carolina northern cardinal state bird

Birding from New York to North Carolina

10,000 Birds

This year, traveling in April instead of February, we decided to do a road trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We broke the drive down into two segments: from New York to Delaware on 31 March and from Delaware to North Carolina on 1 April. Almost as cool for this New Yorker were the Carolina Chickadees and Brown-headed Nuthatches. And feel free to leave additional recommendations for good birding stops on the drive between New York and North Carolina.

73 Arrested for Cockfighting in North Carolina

Critter News

More than 70 people have been arrested in a cockfighting ring that secretly gathered in central North Carolina to watch a $40,000 tournament so gruesome that one of the roosters splattered blood on the investigators' search warrant, authorities said. Disgusting.

Alleged Abuse at Butterball Turkey Farm

Critter News

Once again, the wonderful Mercy for Animals provides footage of possible abuse of turkeys at a Butterball farm in North Carolina. meat mercy for animals turkeys North Carolina farm animal welfareThe full story is at CNN.

Turkey 122

On Seeking a Sage Thrasher in the Rain

10,000 Birds

There’s a time, when you’ve been standing in the rain in the middle of a cow pasture in western North Carolina, amongst mud and cow dung and the unholy combination of the two, staring for the better part of an hour at an impossibly dense stand of brambles and shrub for a smallish streaky brown bird, that you begin to question your dedication to this birding thing. The North Carolina Sage Thrasher on a less challenging day. Birding North Carolina vagrants

2015 58

Rarity Roundup Reflections

10,000 Birds

This past weekend I headed out to eastern North Carolina with a group of friends to try our hand at a Rarity Roundup. In North Carolina, at least, the entire eastern part of the state is sparsely populated and under-birded, aside from the well-known an well-trod Outer Banks circuit, but even that popular vacation site is left mostly untouched aside from a few locals in November, which tends to be the peak period for vagrant finding in much of the east.

2014 66

Birding and Fly-fishing in Pisgah National Forest

10,000 Birds

My fiancé and I now fish and bird together frequently, and over my graduate program’s spring break turned our sights to Pisgah National Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina. As he made his way downstream, I noted common birds, including American Robins, Blue Jays , Carolina Chickadees , and a pair of Cedar Waxwings. Trips fishing North Carolina Pisgah National Forest

2015 74

Birding Lake Junaluska

10,000 Birds

Lake Junaluska is surrounded by mountains, beautifully situated in scenic Western North Carolina, near the famous Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We had stayed close since graduation, regularly visiting each other at her home-base in New York City and mine in Washington, DC, then North Carolina, and now Florida. Trips Lake Junaluska North Carolina

2017 40

Iced Over in the South

10,000 Birds

However, this past weekend I was able to get out for a couple hours to take in a phenomenon that birders in North Carolina have rarely seen of late. The Poler Vortex that has sunk much of the North American continent into the deep freeze has had an effect on us on the margins as well. Several days of sub-freezing temperatures have frozen over the lakes in my hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina, making for phenomenal duck watching for those willing to brave the weather.

2014 75

Mountain Swainson’s are the Best Swainson’s

10,000 Birds

I saw my first Swainson’s Warbler in eastern North Carolina, along the Roanoke River near the town of Weldon. I had the pleasure to attend the Carolina Bird Club’s spring meeting in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Birds North Carolina swainson''s Warbler wood-warblers

2014 75

The Outer Banks after a Tropical Storm

10,000 Birds

Though we were almost rained out, my graduation Outer Banks trip will remain a highlight of my time in North Carolina. Trips Birding North Carolina Outer BanksTropical Storm Ana is the second earliest tropical storm to ever hit the Outer Banks. That’s interesting from a weather point of view, but not so good when it coincided with my graduation birding trip.

2015 70

The Secret Hummingbird

10,000 Birds

Closer examination nailed it down to Buff-bellied Hummingbird , North Carolina’s 2nd record. Not only was it a dynamite bird for the state, but it’s location in the center of North Carolina would make it easy for birders on both sides of the state to get to. Birding hummingbirds North Carolina TwitchingThere’s probably nothing in the birding world that engenders as much ire as the perception of suppression.

2015 56

Minks and more on the Outer Banks

10,000 Birds

A couple weekends ago I headed out to the Carolina Bird Club’s winter meeting in Nags Head, North Carolina, on the cusp of the Outer Banks. The CBC is great for holding their meetings at some of the Carolinas’ best birding locations, but there’s something special about the Outer Banks that makes the rotation to the NC coast something that birders don’t want to miss. Birding North Carolina Outer Banks

2015 67

The Self-Refreshing Rarity

10,000 Birds

For the past several weeks a pair of Trumpeter Swans have made themselves at home along a road through Mattamuskeet NWR in eastern North Carolina. But as the re-introduced population around the Great Lakes begins to pick up steam, it’s a species that has been discovered more regularly in North Carolina, and has been annual the last three years. Birds mattamuskeet North Carolina Trumpeter Swan

2016 53

The One and Only Outer Banks Big Day

10,000 Birds

My friend Paul Taillie and I had to meet an intrepid bunch of birders for the inaugural Outer Banks Big Day field trip at the Wings Over Water festival in eastern North Carolina. We were setting the bar for what someone hitting all the good spots on North Carolina’s famous barrier islands could reasonably accomplish. This is one of the most impressive sights in North Carolina, and one of my favorite places in the whole of North America.

2015 53

What makes a Great Patch?

10,000 Birds

Just about every species of bird that had ever been found in the Triangle of North Carolina had been seen at some time or another at Mason Farm. Warblers, thushes and vireos have been slowly piling into North Carolina over the last week. Birding North Carolina Patch Birding For a birder, having a great local patch is a real luxury. We all have those days when we want to get out and go birding, but can never quite decide where we want to go.

2013 66

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Black Bears

10,000 Birds

… Mammals Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge bears Black Bear North CarolinaThough I grew up where the Hudson Valley meets the Catskill Mountains, in the heart of Black Bear country, I can count my encounters with said bears on the fingers of one hand. In my young teenage years I was walking through the woods and was suddenly startled by a young bear dropping out of a tree only about five meters from me but before I could even react it was running away.

Twitching Solitaire En Masse

10,000 Birds

But sometimes the stars align perfectly, as they did a couple weeks ago, in the form of North Carolina’s first record of Townsend’s Solitaire. The species has been on my personal radar for North Carolina for years. Grandfather Mountain , if you don’t know, is not only the second highest mountain in the state, it’s also one of North Carolina’s top tourist attractions. Birding firsts North Carolina Twitching

2015 52

Dickcissels I Never Knew

10,000 Birds

I don’t expect that the rural Piedmont of North Carolina is much different from similar areas across the United States and even the world. It took me a second to make the connection, having not heard it in North Carolina in a couple years at least, and I arrived quickly at Dickcissel. Now, I know that in many places in North America this is hardly a notable sighting. Birding Dickcissel North Carolina

2014 61

A Guide to Parking Lot Birds of the Southeast

10,000 Birds

They are, after all, pervasive, but provided you get far enough east in North Carolina the salt air tends to disagree with all but the hardiest individuals of that unholy trilogy. Birds boat-taied grackle North CarolinaEvery part of the world has it’s suite of parking lot staples, those urbanish species that seem to prefer to linger about humanity subsisting in no small amount to the magnanimity, or more likely the laziness, of humankind.

2012 74

New Home, New Yard, New County

10,000 Birds

As of the beginning of last month, I am no longer a resident of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As the third largest city in the state, it takes up a lot of room and there’s a fair bit of urban and suburban sprawl in the county, but there are also three big reservoirs just north of the city that have in the past attracted great birds like Pacific Loon and Western Grebe. Birds county listing North Carolina

2013 67

The Goal – 200 by 2016

10,000 Birds

in the nearly two years since I’ve been here I’ve been steadily climbing towards 200, a fair goal for a county in the center of North Carolina. April 9-10, 2015 – The fact that I missed LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH and PROTHONOTARY WARBLER last spring is a great shame to me, as their both fairly common early spring warblers across the state of North Carolina. Birding county birding North Carolina

2015 52

The Burrowing Owl on the Beach

10,000 Birds

This is the second in a however-many-parts-it-takes series about western vagrants showing up on the coast of North Carolina. Back in November a small group of lucky shorebird surveyors found a Burrowing Owl sitting tight on a jetty on the south side of Masonboro Inlet in southeastern North Carolina. The island was not accessible except by boat, but the bird was mostly viewable from the north side of the inlet with a scope.

2016 40

Mountain Plover at the Shore

10,000 Birds

North Carolina is perhaps unfortunate to have a lot of such places. I admit I underestimated the resolve of North Carolina’s listing community. Birding North CarolinaFor every state vagrant that shows up at a feeder or in a public park, there seems to be one that turns up in a logistically impossible part of the state.

2016 42

Mud, and those who seek it

10,000 Birds

While those to the north are busy wallowing in shorebirds of impressive diversity and numbers , we to the south sit and wait for the scraps to trickle down into our own scopeviews. I’ve been told that you can regularly find yourself in some pretty exceptional shorebirding in North Carolina as you get closer to the coast. Birds North Carolina shorebirds

Knowing your Cutlery Birds

10,000 Birds

Here in the southern reaches of North America, we’re fortunate to have opportunities to view birds that are far more common far more south – like neotropics south – with some regularity. My home state of North Carolina can probably be considered the northern edge of the south, which means that when one of these long legged beauties wanders up across our state line it’s a pretty big deal. Birds North Carolina Roseate Spoonbill

2012 60

A Patch for Every Birder, and for Every Birder a Patch

10,000 Birds

I’ve written before about by ongoing quest to find a new patch in new home of Greensboro, North Carolina, and my more or less failed attempt thus far in turning up anything of note. Birding North Carolina Patch Birding A birder’s patch is an extension of themselves. It says something about who they want to be, what they want to see regularly, how seriously they take this birding hobby. For a birder, finding a patch is akin to finding a part of their soul.

2013 57

Swampcrawler

10,000 Birds

One of the more exciting birds this summer in this little corner of North Carolina is undoubtedly the King Rail s that have been regularly reported in a still-water back-arm of Jordan Lake in Chatham County, just south of where I live. Birding King Rail North Carolina Ospreys Red-headed Woodpecker

2012 67

Preview of Coming Attractions

10,000 Birds

Nothing says “real” spring like the first burst of piercing slurry whistles from down a North Carolina stream. Birds migration North Carolina wood-warblersI sort of feel it’s sort of my duty, as the 10,000 Birds beat writer covering the southern tier of the continent, to be the bellwether of goodies to come, the sherpa of spring, if you will (please don’t).

2012 62

Amazing Rescue of a Dog Stranded at Sea

Critter News

A golden lab was rescued by a North Carolina fishing guide about a mile from land. It sounds like his owner left him in one boat while he went off fishing with a friend in another. Some commenters think the story is a hoax. Who knows. But at least the story has a happy ending. Feliz Friday!

2008 100

Sheriff's Deputy Demoted for Helping Animals

Critter News

A deputy sheriff in North Carolina was demoted for getting involved in animal abuse cases without involving the local animal control officers. Sergeant Michael Lewis was demoted after he helped rescue malnourished horses in the Hampstead area. Monday, Sheriff Smith cited two other incidents where he claims Lewis took over animal abuse cases without informing animal control. Seems a bit harsh. Were the cases valid, or was he abusing his authority?

2009 100

Animal Legal Defense Fund Ranks States on Animal Protection

Critter News

And the worst: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, South Dakota, Wyoming You can check out the whole report on their web site. The ALDF has released a report on how different states' animal protection laws stack up. Among the best: California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon.

Sick Prank with Dead Bear Cub

Critter News

Authorities said Tuesday that a student prank, not a political statement, was the motivation for dumping a dead bear cub draped in Barack Obama signs on a North Carolina campus earlier this week. This is not just stupid, but sick. And don't forget that a bear cub was shot, not by the kids, but by some other monster.

2008 100

Baby Bird Likes Bluegrass

10,000 Birds

Lead singer Josh Williams managed to keep the song going and the crowd sure appreciated the unexpected guest star in this video shot almost a year ago at the Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival in North Carolina. It’s tough to make out what species the baby bird is but it sure likes bluegrass.

2012 78

Calling all Dogs: Celebrate National Dog Day with Free Ice Cream August 25

4 The Love Of Animals

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2012 176

eBird Thises and Thats

10,000 Birds

The Great Backyard Bird Count passed relatively uneventfully in North Carolina, and I hear other states/provinces had similarly pedestrian weekends. This relatively easy road inspired me to instigate some changes I’d been wanting to make to the North Carolina eBird filters, namely doing something about the Outer Banks and Pelagics. A little bit of background and North Carolina esoterica now.

2015 74

Snowy Owl Invasion!

10,000 Birds

Snowy Owls have been sighted as far south as North Carolina and some locations have as many as seven! Birders in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland, and Virginia are all enjoying Snowy Owls , but none as much as the North Carolina birders, who are enjoying their first and second Snowy Owls in thirteen years.

Owls 87

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of February 2019)

10,000 Birds

But at a hotel in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, he had a singing male Eastern Bluebird on Sunday morning, and that was definitely his Best Bird of the Weekend. Mid-February can be boring if you’re overly focused on the coming migration. On the other hand, some birders really appreciate the opportunity to pick up specialties from the current season. Which kind of birder are you? My daughter and I waited past dusk to see a Great Horned Owl land in the bare tree pictured above.

2019 44

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of April 2018)

10,000 Birds

” Despite the cruel, cold weather I was out and about on both Saturday and Sunday morning, despite the added cruelty of just having returned from (slightly) warmer North Carolina late on Friday night. If the cold weather across much of the United States is any indication than T.S. Eliot was correct when he stated that “April is the cruellest month.”

2018 43

NC BC Chickadees

10,000 Birds

There are some birds I have not seen in North Carolina because they are very rare. There are some birds I have not seen in North Carolina because I have lousy luck. And there are some birds I have not seen in North Carolina because I am kind of a lazy lister. But every birder knows that south of the “chickadee line”, those omnipresent Black-capped Chickadees magically turn into smaller, grayer, Carolina Chickadees.

2013 63