Tag: Birds

  1. The Conservation Success Story of the Iconic Wild Turkey

     The Conservation Success Story of the Iconic Wild Turkey By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director Back when European settlers first came to Southern Appalachia, wild turkeys were plentiful. By the early 1900s, however, only a few were left, a decline that continued into the mid-century.   “Wild turkeys were nearly extirpated because of habitat loss and overharvest,” says Read more...
  2. Wild Turkeys: An Intelligent, Community-Minded Species

    Wild Turkeys: An Intelligent, Community-Minded Species By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  When I moved to Asheville in 2013, I got a job at The Compleat Naturalist in Biltmore Village. One day a man came into the store and we got to talking about wildlife. I told him I had recently enjoyed a short film called “My Life as a Turkey.” He responded, “That’s Read more...
  3. Stephen Lynn Bales Talks Birds on New Podcast from GSMA

    Stephen Lynn Bales Talks Birds on New Podcast from GSMA By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director One of the first interviewees for our new podcast Smoky Mountain Air is naturalist and birding expert Stephen Lyn Bales. Bales wrote a story about the Winter Wren for Smokies Life magazine in one of our missing issues, Volume 9, #1. These missing issues are no longer in print but, during Read more...
  4. Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 2: This is an Amazing Birding Weekend—So Get Out There!

    Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 2: This is an Amazing Birding Weekend—So Get Out There! By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director In Part 1 of this two-part series, we learned about some of the birds people have been seeing near and around the park during this amazing spring migration. Learning the calls of the birds you like makes it easier to find them.  There is a peculiar metallic squeak (“kick” or “ Read more...
  5. Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 1: Get Ready for an Amazing Birding Weekend

    Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 1: Get Ready for an Amazing Birding Weekend By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director This time of year, I give up my last few hours of good sleep to get up before sunrise and go outside to watch—and listen to—birds. It may sound like a big sacrifice, but the dividends are great.  This past week, I was rewarded with a sighting of one of my favorites, the impossibly Read more...
  6. Making a List and Checking it Twice

    Making a List and Checking it Twice By Emma DuFort, Publications Specialist  If you keep a bird feeder in your yard, or know someone who does, you probably know that keeping track of which birds appear is a fun and popular pastime. But it doesn’t have to stop at the bird feeder—it can be very rewarding to familiarize yourself with all the kinds of flora and fauna Read more...
  7. Bird Brain? Not so fast...

    By mid-March, birds like the Louisiana water thrush and the blue-headed vireo will be returning to the Great Smoky Mountains. They will have traveled hundreds of miles, mostly at night — perhaps across the Gulf of Mexico — from as far away as Central America, to their summer home in the Smokies.

    The mystery of precisely how birds navigate on these epic journeys has never been completely solved. Plausible theories have included using the stars to navigate, using magnetic fields, watching landscape features like mountain ranges and coastlines, and their sense of smell. Now a new idea from Dr. Jonathan Hagstrum of the U.S. Geological Survey has the birding world chirping.

    Read more...

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