New Rack Card Available!



2011 NCBT Rack CardThe new NC Birding Trail Rack Card has arrived.  We are currently shipping out to those who have already submitted requests.

If you would like to receive a stack of cards, please fill out this form and we will get them to you as soon as we can.

Being Birder-Friendly: What is birding/birdwatching?

In this second in a series of articles drawing from the Birder-Friendly Business Program (first article), we discuss birding and bird-watching. We mentioned talking about "Birders as Clients" in this installment, but decided to discuss more about birding/birdwatching before moving on to marketing.

Understanding aspects of bird-watching can help a business connect with their bird enthusiast clients. In the last article, we discussed the impact an pervasiveness of bird-watching in North America. Here we'll talk about what exactly birding is, and some of the motivations of birders.

At it's base, birding is simply the act of viewing wild birds. Bird enthusiasts have differing levels of enthusiasm and commitment. Many draw a distinction between "bird-watching" (often described as the casual observance of birds, usually at birdfeeders) and "birding" (associated with those more dedicated to viewing birds, including taking trips exclusively to view birds). For the purposes of this article, we'll use the term birders to refer to all bird enthusiasts.

Birding is appealing to many because birds are beautiful, easily observed, and occur almost everywhere. Bird identification presents a fun challenge, gets them to visit interesting natural habitats, and can be a social activity.

There are over 900 bird species in North America, half of which can be seen in North Carolina. Birders often keep lists of the species they have seen and go to great lengths to see new species, and setting goals to see all the birds that occur on the each continent, country, state, or county. The eBird website is a popular way to store and keep track of bird sightings electronically, and also allows others to see which species have been seen in an area recently. Sightings of rare species will often attract birders to an area, and local clubs will often maintain "rare bird alerts" to keep other birders informed.

If you want to learn more about birding, there are many resources online to help identify birds, and tips on how to bird responsibly.

In the next article, we'll discuss ways to make your business more attractive to birders. If you have any real-world experiences to share marketing to birders, please let us know and we'll include it in the next post!

New Mobile App Available for NC State Parks

The NC Division of Parks and Recreation recently released a new mobile app for the iPhone and Android phones to help provide "the most up-to-date park information, upcoming events, news, alerts, weather conditions and geographic landmarks" for the park you are visiting.  Features include:

  • Search by activity of interest on-the-go

  • Search by Park or Region

  • Stay current on park events

  • Receive news, alerts, and location based weather updates

  • Access park information such as hours of operation & park overview

  • View maps of park facilities, trails and campgrounds

  • Learn about the park's history

  • Get directions to each park

  • Interactive facility contact (phone, address & email) info

  • Access online reservations

  • Accessibility & Park Regulation information

  • Socially Network through Facebook & Twitter

  • Flickr Photo share

The pro version of the app costs $3.99, provides more features, and a portion of the cost goes back to help manage NC Parks.

All of the NC State Parks are either on the NC Birding Trail currently or will be soon.

NC Audubon Kicks Off "Good Egg" Initiative

In June the NC Chapter of the Audubon Society kicked off their "Good Egg/Share the Beach Initiative".  Designed to raise awareness of the importance of undisturbed beach habitats for nesting shorebirds, the initiative encourages beach-goers pledge to:

  • Stay out of areas where birds are nesting.

  • Keep dogs on a leash and out of nesting areas.

  • Share the beach with nesting birds and their young.

The initiative began with a survey of Pender, New Hanover, and New Brunswick counties to assess awareness of nesting birds in their area.  A large proportion of respondents did not fully realize the importance of beach habitats to nesting shorebirds.  For more information, check out their announcement.

Reminder: New NC Birding Trail Site Nominations close at the end of the month!

Want to be listed as a North Carolina Birding Trail site?

We are now accepting nominations for new sites in any region (Mountain, Piedmont, or Coast) on the NC Birding Trail. If you are interested, please download the application and follow the instructions. Nominations will be accepted until August 1, 2011. The steering committee will evaluate candidate sites and announce new Sites by early 2012 and subsequently publicize them on our website.

Any questions?  Give us a shout!

2011 NC Birding Trail Site Nomination Form