I have been in North Carolina since June 3 because I needed to do research at a repository here for my dissertation. Of course, when I made the trip I stopped at a few refuges and nature preserves along the way:
And of course Lincoln is FILLED with hotspots because it has dedicated nature preserves specifically for wildlife. On top of nature preserves, Lancaster County as well as other counties in Nebraska have city parks and state parks for birding and other wildlife viewing.
So I guess you can say I have been spoiled!
Okay, now my home state of North Carolina has a much milder climate than Nebraska. So of course one finds many bird species here that are year-round. But that does not mean you will see them out in your yard. Or even at a city park. Do you know why?
Land use and conservation planning. DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on these issues but this is something I have been thinking about since having much slimmer birding checklists here in North Carolina, than I do in Nebraska.
My hometown county, Scotland is not exactly a center of economic activity. So this means that county expenditures are not going to be prioritizing conservation areas (though I wish that was a priority). So that means that since my neighborhood does not contain a lake of some kind, or an extensive array of shrubs and trees as well as certain kinds of other native plants well that means we will not see a major diversity of birds.
In my mother’s yard you are guaranteed to see #BrownThrasher #AmericanRobin #NorthernMockingbird #CommonGrackle #NorthernCardinal and #HouseFinch. You will hear #FishCrows and you will see swallows flying high. You may even see a Mississippi Kite flying high (saw one the other day) but that is it.
But in Lincoln? Because of the extensive array of hotspots in the town? I Saw FAR MORE BIRDS. I have yet to see a warbler in my hometown in N.C.
So what this means is that if I want to see more birds I have to go on a trip. Likely to a state park or to a National Wildlife Refuge. But within the city limits? Not going to be so lucky unless a rarity decides to make a pit stop.
THANKFULLY I found a state park today that has birds (Praise GOD). I was about to go crazy!
But for now I will still do my duty of planting more native plants in my mom’s yard, and keeping her birdfeeders full. I will also fill the birdfeeders at my paternal grandmother’s lot (which I have a plan to turn into a birdfeeder stop for the feathered friends).
Clergeau, Philippe, Jean-Pierre L. Savard, Gwenalle Mennechez, and Gilles Falardeau. “Bird Abundance and Diversity along an Urban-Rural Gradient: A Comparative Study between Two Cities on Different Continents.” The Condor 100, no. 3 (1998): 413-25. Accessed June 24, 2021. doi:10.2307/1369707.