Birding in and around Hot Springs is incredible due to our diverse habitats and elevations. Getting outside and quietly looking and listening for these colorful creatures can connect us to nature and create a profound sense of inner peace. Indeed, birdwatching in the Appalachian mountains is a wonder!
A generous group of people have been using their knowledge of birds to compile an annual species count. Now in its 7th year, this bird count is also a fundraiser artfully termed ‘Birds for Books’ for the Friends of the Hot Springs Library.
This birding adventure happens on the last Saturday of April to get the best look at the spring migration. The event brings kids and grownups outdoors, counting birds and helping their community. Because of social distancing guidelines the participants did not gather in groups this time, although in this quiet, simpler time the birds thrived and showed themselves in great numbers!
Spreading out to all the corners of Madison County, birdwatching together while apart (during the COVID-19 pandemic), the observers counted 109 species on April 25, 2020. The migration was strong and included ospreys, eagles, 18 species of warblers, 5 hawk species, 5 swallow species, and 6 species of woodpeckers. Among the many highlights were timeless moments watching a pair of mature Bald Eagles consort with the breeze and call on the rugged limey cliffs over the ancient French Broad River. Read Final List of Birds in Hot Springs, NC here.
If you are interested in pledging and participating in the ‘Birds for Books’ fundraiser, check out the Hot Springs Library website.
Supporters generally pledge an amount per species (25₵ to $1 and up) or make a fixed donation to the Friends of the Hot Springs Library. Bird lovers who want to join the fun next year can mark your calendar for the last Saturday of April: April 24, 2021.