See the birds

Join the Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count will return Feb. 16 to 19, an annual chance for bird-lovers to help researchers learn more about birds without leaving home. 

Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes — or for as long as they wish — on one or more days of the four-day event, and to report their sightings online at Last year, more than 160,000 people submitted observations, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded. 

The N.C. Arboretum in Asheville will celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count with an event 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. The day will kick off with an adult-friendly bird-watching hike at 8:15 a.m., a family-friendly bird walk at 9:30 a.m., birds of prey demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and a variety of indoor activities and exhibits open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is free with a $14 parking fee. 


Birding talk offered

Birder Tim Carstens will present the program “Birds in the Backyard and Beyond” at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. 

Carstens will discuss the many birds he’s seen and photographed in his backyard, as well as Western North Carolina birding hotspots — and the best ways to find birds in those locations. The program is especially aimed to newer birdwatchers, discussing how to better find, observe and identify birds, but will also interest anyone who would like to see the many photographs Carstens has captured of area birds. 

Free. Offered in conjunction with the Franklin Bird Club’s regular meeting. 828.524.5234.

The Naturalist's Corner

Back Then with George Ellison

  • One of the Smokies’ finest poets
    One of the Smokies’ finest poets Editor’s note: This Back Then column by George Ellison first appeared in the Feb. 15, 2012, edition of The Smoky Mountain News. Olive Tilford Dargan is fairly well known in literary circles as the author of From My Highest Hill (1941), a delightful collection of autobiographical…
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