Together with a group of young environmental enthusiasts I’m proud to announce the North Carolina Threatened Bird Project. In an effort to raise money, my company is producing a collection of note cards based on the art from this talented group.

Link to cards in Etsy shop

Here’s the back-story and how you can help:

After Eli (age 8) attended a lunchtime lecture about brown-headed nuthatches at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, he was determined to help. Eli raised money for nuthatch nest boxes, hosted a nest-box-building party, hung some himself and gave more to friends and neighbors. Later that spring, he went to an Audubon Ambassador training, where he was invited to give another short talk on these threatened birds. Along the way the idea of an art exhibit to raise awareness about threatened birds was born. Eli’s mom, Lisa, began looking for folks to bring it together. Beverly Dyer, a local artist and bird lover, was the perfect match.

A total of 12 kids selected a threatened bird to draw and paint, and Loren Hintz, from the New Hope Audubon Society, gave a talk about each bird. Except of course the brown-headed nuthatch, who was introduced by Eli. Local photographers Bobby Nicks, Pamela Harrington, Dave Hart, and Charles Dean Tysinger generously allowed use of their bird photos for reference.

The final exhibit is amazing! The show hangs at the Chapel Hill Public Library from August 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017. Then moves to the North Carolina Botanical Garden during the show Saving Our Birds for the months of March, April and May of 2018.

How You Can Help written by ~~ Eli (age 8)

Brown-headed Nuthatches 

Brown-headed nuthatches 1) eat pine seeds, 2) nest in dead pines, 3) use pine bark to hide pine seeds to save for later, and 4) use pine bark to build their nest. You can help by leaving pine forests and pine snags (dead pines) standing. You can order brown- headed nuthatch nest boxes for $15 each from http://www.newhopeaudubon.org/shop/, and find instructions for hanging and maintaining brown-headed nuthatch nest boxes here: (http://nc.audubon.org/conservation/make-little-room-brown-headed-nuthatch)

Wood Thrushes 

Wood thrushes eat Spicebush berries in the fall to get enough energy to fly across the Gulf of Mexico to Central America. You can help by planting a male and female Spicebush, one of each to make berries. You can find Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) where native plants are sold, such as the North Carolina Botanical Gardens (http://ncbg.unc.edu/) or Niche Gardens (http:// http://www.nichegardens.com/). You’ll also be helping Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars! Wood thrushes need undisturbed forests because they nest in low forks of trees or bushes. You can help by leaving forests undisturbed and keeping cats indoors always.

Osprey 

Osprey eat fish and nest close to water. Fishing line used in their nest is hazardous. You can help by picking up fishing line or twine. Because they need clean water and healthy fish, you can help by not using chemicals outside that might wash into rivers or lakes.

Piping Plovers 

Piping plovers nest right on the beach. People driving on the beach can crush their eggs, and garbage left on the beach attracts predators. You can help by not driving on the beach and by picking up trash.

Barn Owls 

Barn owls need large open spaces and nesting space in hollow trees. Barn owls fly low to hunt rodents for food. You can help by not using poison to kill rodents. Also by planting bushes next to roads in open reduces the chance of owls being hit by a car. You can hang a barn owl nest box. Contact Audobon to see if you have a good home for barn owls and get help hanging a nest box. (http://www.newhopeaudubon.org/ conservation/piedmont-barn-owl-initiative/)

Wild Turkeys 

Wild turkeys eat acorns, nuts, and fruits, need open land, and woodsy areas. They are threatened by climate change and loss of habitat. You can help by planting oak trees, and by becoming an Audubon member http://climate.audubon.org/birds/wiltur/wild-turkey

Beverly Dyer, Certified Botanical Illustrator, is a bird enthusiast and can often be found in the woods bird-watching and sketching. Her wildlife illustrations have just been published in a children’s book, “Thoughts of a Golden Fox,” written by Charles David Rushbrook. Beverly invites you to contact her about the book.

http://www.beverlydyer.com