On the Bird Watch at Buffalo Creek | Catawba Lands Conservancy
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On the Bird Watch at Buffalo Creek

Conservation Biologist and Bird Expert Don Seriff has a trained eye and distinct listening ear when it comes to determining bird species.

He’s using his expertise at Buffalo Creek Preserve to identify various birds and generate a general species list. Buffalo Creek Preserve, a donated 393-acre conservation-rich property in Cabarrus County, was conserved by CLC in 2011. We are currently building a new trail at the preserve that will be part of the Carolina Thread Trail.

Over the past several weeks, Don heard and saw a number of species that are ‘watch listed’ – an identification given to wildlife species that have experienced decreased populations over the past several years. So, these finds are notable; the preserve seems to be providing an ideal environment for these birds to live and breed.

For example, a Colonial Waterbird nesting colony has been found. Colonial Waterbird nest sites are currently being tracked by state agencies and are listed on the statewide watch list. Also, Grasshopper Sparrows are breeding at the preserve. According to Kacy Cook, a land conservation biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Buffalo Creek Preserve is an important area for Grasshopper Sparrow conservation.

“There are significant declines in Grasshopper Sparrow populations throughout their range in North America that are probably due to their need for landscapes with many grasslands greater than 50 acres,” said Cook. “This protected area in our region will allow this bird species to breed successfully and have plenty of access to the grassland it needs to survive.”  For more information on Grasshopper Sparrows and their ‘insect like’ vocalization, click this link: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/grasshopper_sparrow/id

Don will be working at the preserve over the next several weeks, looking and listening out for several other birds including the Willow Flycatcher and Dickcissels bird breeds, both of which are also on the state watch list. Thank you, Don, for your expertise and help!