Prothonotary Warbler. Photo: Jim Guyton

Forestry Trainings

Foresters for the Bottomland Birds

Audubon North Carolina's Foresters for the Birds workshops bring foresters, landowners, and natural resources professionals together for training in bird-friendly forestry techniques. 

For more information about this and other Working Lands programs, contact Aimee Tomcho at

Bottomland hardwood forests represent one of North Carolina’s ecological treasures. Located primarily in the southeastern coastal plain, this area is home to several of our priority species including Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, and Swallow-tailed Kite. 

This June, Audubon North Carolina hosted our 3rd Foresters for the Birds Workshop at Jones Lake State Park for over 40 foresters and land managers. Attendees represented a wide range of organizations including NC Tree Farm, North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, GFR Forestry Consultants, American Forest Foundation, NC Natural Heritage Program, and Defenders of Wildlife. We were pleased to have partners from USFWS, NCFS, NCWRC, and Forest Stewards Guild help coordinate this workshop, and lead field tours and discussion about forest evaluation. 

Amanda Mahaffey (Forest Stewards Guild) helped lead a discussion about forest evaluation. Photo: Aimee Tomcho/Audubon NC

The group spent the day learning about bird identification and conservation and touring local forest demonstration sites.

One of the sites visited, located on Bladen Lakes State Forest, is an active research project along the banks of the Cape Fear River in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and North Carolina Forest Service. Much of the forest management being practiced here is based upon recommendations that Audubon South Carolina developed at their Silver Bluff Sanctuary. These recommendations include limiting management activities during the breeding season, retaining overstory trees, and retaining snags and downed trees.

Photo: All smiles as we head out for a day in the woods studying birds. Photo: Aimee Tomcho/Audubon NC

Jim Fisher of Fisher Forestry Environmental Management is a registered forester in both North and South Carolina. Having attended previous Audubon Foresters for the Birds workshops, Jim was excited to come back and learn more. “People recognized me from a photo of a previous workshop and knew I could help orient them when it comes to melding forestry and bird conservation on their land. As a consulting forester, it is important to have the ability to offer knowledge that meets the needs of landowners I work with.”

Coastal Plain Foresters for the Birds

Good bird conservation stems from landscape-level planning and partnerships. This workshop is part of Audubon’s Eastern Priority Forests initiative that extends bird conservation practices from Vermont to Florida.

If you own a mature (50+ years old) hardwood forest block of at least 50 acres that you would like to enroll in Audubon NC’s Forest Landbird Legacy Program, contact us for more information

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