Cary Tree Archive to Host Month-Long Birding Contest

Cary, NC — Do you enjoy watching birds?  Are you game for a challenge that tests bird spotting skills?  The Cary Tree Archive is offering the contest you are looking for that takes place in a special open space in Cary.

The Cary Tree Archive

The Cary Tree Archive seeks to restore the ecosystem true of Cary before widespread settlement and covers over seven acres of land along White Oak Creek Greenway adjacent to Cary Parkway.

The Archive is divided into a Pollinator Garden, Fruit and Nut Orchard (currently populated with Paw Paw and Persimmon), and a section of Longleaf Pine plantings (the most dominant pine tree in the Southeast for millennia.)

Bird Spotting Contest: March 20-April 19

Here is the fun part for bird lovers — the Cary Tree Archive is generating awareness of the preserve with a “Bird Spotting Big Month” between March 20 and April 19.

This contest is patterned after the American Bird Association’s “Big Years” and challenges contestants to find the largest number of bird species in that 30-day period.  It is open to the public and makes awards in family team, age 16+, and under age 15 categories.  See this webpage for the rules of the competition and how to register.

Participants Could Discover Around 65 Species

Event organizer George McDowell said, “What made me think of doing an Archive event was seeing birds perching in the branches of newly-planted trees then swooping down, picking up an insect, then retreating back to the young tree’s branches.” He added,

“Over time the Archive will be a migration stop and will become more bird-popular as the trees grow.”

The Archive’s official bird spotter, Dr. Charles Konrad, has documented 65 species there over time. All of these, and perhaps more, are possible to see in the Big Month because this time of year sees winter birds moving out, summer birds migrating in, and species flying through the area that do not linger in the Piedmont.

Tips for Taking Part in the Fun


I look forward to trying my hand at the Bird Spotting Big Month and invite others to join the event.  I will share my experience in CaryCitizen in April.

If you participate, my advice is to visit the Archive more than once, listen as much as look for birds, and bring a reference such as Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds or the Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America. Good binoculars are a must. Most of all, prepare to be amazed at the variety of birds found in this beautiful corner of Cary.

Story by David Lindquist. Photos by Lindquist and Ashley Kairis.

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