Chapel Hill Bird Club
The Chapel Hill Bird Club is for everyone who loves wild birds. Whether you watch birds in your yard or travel to ends of the earth for rarities, our club offers something for you: access to like-minded people including experts who can answer your questions, interesting programs, weekly field trips, Christmas and spring bird counts, and a Facebook group. We are a friendly group and welcome all. Our members mostly come from the Research Triangle area of North Carolina: Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Pittsboro, and surrounding towns.
|At our November 2003 meeting we voted unanimously to pay for the restoration of an original Audubon print at the North Carolina Museum of Art. By a vote of 14 to 9, Brown-headed Nuthatch won over Red-headed Woodpecker. |
We also voted unanimously to make a donation to support Susan Campbell's hummingbird banding work.
We have monthly meetings from September through May. We meet at 7:30 pm on the fourth Monday of the month at Binkley Baptist Church, in the Lounge. Binkley is at 1712 Willow Drive in Chapel Hill, at the intersection with 15-501 near University Mall (map with meeting room pinpointed). Visitors welcome! Come at 7:15 for light refreshments. No meeting in December.
An unusual breeding strategy – the sealing of the nest entrance – has multiple consequences for hornbill birds. As a result of the nest plug, females must store male sperm and males must provision the female for the lengthy egg-laying, incubation, and chick-rearing stages. Do males demand fidelity in exchange for their unparalleled degree of paternal investment? To what extent is female egg production determined by her mate’s food delivery?
Mark Stanback is a Professor of Biology at Davidson College. As a behavioral ecologist, he studies the interactions among evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and ecology.
Medullary bone is a specialized reproductive tissue found only in reproducing female birds. It is used as a labile reservoir of calcium for the formation of the eggshell. If clearly identified in extinct species, this bone tissue may be used to determine the gender of fossil birds and their non-avian dinosaur ancestors, such as the iconic T-rex!
The field guide is one of the most indispensable tools in the birder's toolbox, but the form has changed over the years as birders' needs have changed. From Audubon to Peterson to Sibley to the digital realm, we'll take a look at what works, what doesn't, and why. Nate Swick, author of the ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas, shares some of his own experiences in creating a field guide, and what he learned about this essential item.
Dr. Mooney’s research examines the role of auditory experience in the development of brain and behavior, and the interplay between auditory and motor brain regions that enables vocal communication. He and his colleagues have identified how auditory experience alters the structure and function of nerve cells important to learned vocal communication, how these neurons are activated during expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication, and the link between the auditory properties of these neurons and vocal perception. His group uses a wide variety of methods to this end, including in vivo multiphoton imaging and electrophysiological recordings of neurons in freely vocalizing animals, viral methods to manipulate gene expression in neurons, and acoustic analysis of vocalizations.
Richard Mooney, Ph.D., has served as a George Barth Geller Professor of Research in Neurobiology since 2010. He joined Duke’s Department of Neurobiology in 1994. Dr. Mooney has received a Wiersma Visiting Professorship at Caltech, a Dart Foundation Scholar’s Award, a McKnight Investigator Award, a Sloane Research Fellowship, a Klingenstein Research Fellowship and a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship. He was also honored to receive the Master Teaching Award, the Davison Teaching Award and the Langford Prize from Duke University. Dr. Mooney earned a B.S. in Biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, he was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology in the Duke University School of Medicine.
Birds have been the subject of, and the inspiration for, many American artists. This presentation by Julie J. Thomson will provide an overview of birds in American art from the nineteenth century through today. Artists whose work will be discussed include John James Audubon, Genevieve Estelle Jones, Charles Willson Peale, Titian Ramsay Peale, Winslow Homer, Frank Weston Benson, Marsden Hartley, Charles Burchfield, Walter Inglis Anderson, Andrew Wyeth, Joseph Cornell, Eliot Porter, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson, Robert Adams, Howard Finster, Walton Ford, David Beck, Rachel Berwick, Mark Dion, Chris Jordan, Joann Brennan, and Barbara Bosworth. Your birding knowledge will come in handy as we pay close attention to how birds have been identified in some of these works of art.
Julie J. Thomson is an independent art historian and curator who lives in Durham. In 2017 she curated the exhibition Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College. Her writing has appeared in Black Mountain College Studies, the Independent Weekly, Raw Vision, Art Lies, ...might be good, and Appalachian Journal (forthcoming 2018). Julie began birding in 2010 when living in New York City, an interest she has continued as she moved to Houston and then back to Durham. She has worked for various art museums including the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke and the Whitney. Julie currently works at Duke University Press. juliejthomson.blogspot.com
A winter trip to Japan provided a unique opportunity to experience both its culture and its incredible scenery and wildlife. From its renowned "Snow Monkeys" sitting in thermal pools to Hokkaido's beautiful and rare Red-crowned Cranes, wildlife viewing and photography opportunities were exceptional. Additional highlights included Steller's Sea-Eagles on drifting pack ice, Whooper Swans, Blakison's Fish-Owl, red foxes, Sika deer as well as a variety of sea ducks, gulls, and small birds. Also, what it’s like to stay in a traditional Japanese hotel.
Keith is a recently retired entomologist who has been pursuing bird and insect photography for over 10 years. Sharon, whose degree is in food and nutrition, has been an avid birder for the last 20 years. They met at Cornell University while grad students. They recently relocated to Raleigh from Wisconsin where they lived for 30 years.
Many birds are brightly colored, others use patterned feathers for camouflage. How do these colors originate? What’s the difference between colors from pigments and physical colors? From Yellow warblers to Anna’s Hummingbirds, from Snow Geese to Brewer’s Blackbirds, each species makes unique use of the feather colors it possesses. What do the colors indicate to other birds? And do birds see the same colors we do? Bob will unravel some of the mysteries of color in birds with a little chemistry, a bit of physics, and a lot of brightly colored slides.
Bob trained as a chemist and worked for Chevron for 33 years. He’s taught birding classes in the Bay Area for over 20 years, and served as the chair of Golden Gate Audubon’s Adult Education Committee. Currently he’s co-teaching a popular Master Birding class at the SF Academy of Sciences with Jack Dumbacher and Eddie Bartley, and Birds of the Bay Area with Rusty Scalf. He loves to travel and photograph birds, and has recently returned from a trip to Peru, chasing the brightly colored birds of that area.
We have weekly Saturday morning field trips from September through April. For details, see the field trip schedule. We meet at 7:30 am at the Glen Lennox Shopping Center parking lot, on the north side of NC 54, just east of the intersection with 15-501 in Chapel Hill [map]. Trips normally end before noon. Visitors welcome!
Our monthly newsletter is the Bulletin. If you would like a free hard copy of the latest newsletter, send Mary George your name and address. The following issues are online in PDF format. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to read PDF files.
1999: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November
2000: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November | December
2001: January | February | March | April | May | August | September | October | November | December
2002: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2003: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2004: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2005: January | February | March | April | May | June | September | October | November/December
2006: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2007: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2008: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2009: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2010: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2011: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November/December
2012: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November
2013: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November
2014: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November
2015: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November
2016: January | February | March | April | May | September | October | November
2017: January | February | March | April | May | September | October
If you'd like to interact with other local bird folks online, check out the Chapel Hill Bird Club's new Facebook group.
We conduct Christmas, spring, and fall bird counts.
The CHBC Checklist lists all the birds ever recorded in Chatham, Durham, and Orange Counties, NC, from 1975-11/2011, with frequency designations for every week of the year. The 2008, 2005, 2002, and 1999 CHBC Checklists are still available for comparison. There's also a graphical version in zipped Microsoft Word format.
We co-sponsor the Orange County (NC) Mini-Breeding Bird Survey. Visit Haven Wiley's Mini-BBS page for full details.
Annual dues are $15 per individual or family, or $10 if you're a student. To join the club, simply fill out this membership form and mail it in.
A History of the Chapel Hill Bird Club by Maury Graves - article published in the Fall 1991 CHBC Bulletin.
Officers, Constitution, and By-Laws of the Chapel Hill Bird Club.
You may wish to join the Carolina Bird Club, which covers both Carolinas, as well as New Hope Audubon or Wake Audubon, which also have bird-related programs and activities.
|Field trip exploring the Morgan Creek mudflats at Jordan Lake, 8/3/2002.|
Carolina Nature | Carolinabirds info | Triangle Birder's Guide