Some birds need a little help to thrive alongside humans. One of these is the Brown-headed Nuthatch. This tiny, squeaky bird’s range is exclusive to the Southeastern United States, but its preferred nesting habitat of mature pine trees is being cleared away leaving fewer places for these birds to raise their young, and that means fewer birds in the future.
After local researcher Mark Stanback of Davidson College found that nuthatches would nest in boxes similar to those made for bluebirds, Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities team sprang into action triggering a statewide network of supporters to make a difference for the nuthatch.
In 2013, we asked our network to take one small yet powerful action -- put up a Brown-headed Nuthatch nest box. By the end of 2015, the network came together to put up 10,000 nest boxes. Just one nest box produces about 21 more nuthatches over 10 years. Imagine the impact this project will have on the preservation of the species.
This tiny southern bird has won the hearts of bird lovers across our state and empowered thousands of individuals to take action for bird conservation. This project started a monumental shift in what it means to achieve success in conservation.
We need to create even more places for all birds to call home as our state faces the growing impact of climate change. During our campaign to put up more nest boxes, we learned from Audubon’s Birds & Climate Change Report that 95% of the nuthatch’s summer range will be highly stressed by climate change by 2080.
When Audubon raises its voice for the birds of North Carolina, people listen. It took only two years to create 10,000 new homes for nuthatches. We were able to activate individuals, community groups, local and state parks, churches, schools, scout groups, and our Audubon members and chapters to come together to help make this goal a reality.
Please consider a contribution to our Bird-Friendly Communities program. This program connects people in cities and towns with meaningful actions they can take to help the birds that live alongside them. Each year we identify another bird that can be helped by individuals and catalyze our vast network to the small, but meaningful actions that add up to real conservation impact.
Learn more about all the actions we are taking to build North Carolina’s Bird-Friendly Communities on our website: nc.audubon.org/bfcommunities.