Birding In and Around Hendersonville
By: Dan Gibbs
I first became interested in the hobby known as Birding after my parents retired about 25 years ago. My father started building birdhouses for family and friends and they became interested in seeing how many different kinds of birds would visit the birdhouses and feeders he had made. I went out and bought my parents a companion book, Birds of the Carolina’s Field Guide, to help them identify some of the species they had never seen before.
The website alltrails.com, has identified 12 out of the top 15 birding trails as being located in Dupont State Recreational Forest. Dupont is located about 15 miles from Hendersonville and is the home of waterfalls, lakes, and is a natural habitat for birds.
Jackson Park in Hendersonville is identified by the Carolina Bird Club as being a prime location to catch a glimpse of many different species of birds all along the Oklawaha Greenway with the prime viewing months being May through October.
One of my personal favorite places to go is the Park at Flat Rock as a crane can usually be spotted as well as geese and mallard ducks and I have also seen an oriole and a red-winged blackbird. The trails at the Park are easily accessible with a total loop that covers 3.5 miles.
There is also an organization called Bird Ventures that offers several local day trips for bird watching in western North Carolina and east Tennessee. There are also several clubs that are out there such as the Carolina Bird Club (carolinabirdclub.org) that can be joined and referenced for the hardcore birders.
The Audubon Society was one of the first bird clubs in existence being incorporated in 1905. The Audubon Society and their mission is for the conservation of birds and their habitats.
Whether you use binoculars, cameras, or you just want to eyeball some of the many different species of birds in western North Carolina, birding is an excellent way to get out in nature, do some hiking, and see some of the natural beauty that makes Hendersonville a great place to live and to visit.