Historic Bethabara Park

Forsyth Audubon has adopted Historic Bethabara Park as part of the City of Winston-Salem’s Adopt-a-Park Program. Cleanups take place in conjunction with Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful clean up events, particularly during Fall (Big Sweep) and Spring (Great American Cleanup). Clean-up activities concentrate on the wetland and the Mill Creek area trails over to Old Town Rd. After the cleanup, participants often do a little birding in the area as their reward for their efforts!

Forsyth Audubon members actively participated with the City of Winston-Salem in creating a wheelchair-accessible entry to the Historic Bethabara Greenway at Indiana Ave. near Bethabara Moravian Church. The access is now graced with native Serviceberry and Spicebush that are great hosts for butterflies and birds. (Before and after planting photos.)

Forsyth Audubon members conducted an initial Breeding Bird Census at Historic Bethabara Park, which took place over a 10-week period from mid-April through late-June over two consecutive years.

Analysis of the collected data indicated at least one territory for each of 60 different species. There were our year-round residents (34 species), such as Northern Cardinal, Carolina Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Red-shouldered Hawk. In addition, breeding territories were located for 32 migratory species, including Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager and Wood Thrush.

Breeding activity of the Wood Thrush was of particular interest given the declining numbers of this species due to habitat loss, Cowbird parasitism and other factors. At Bethabara, observers located an average of twenty Wood Thrush territories and found multiple nests. This indeed was an encouraging result which has led to our further work on Wood Thrush (Read more . . .). Of special note was successful breeding by a pair of Tree Swallows at the wetland and three pairs of Acadian Flycatchers each year on territory along Monarcas Creek throughout the census periods.

A final report of the Breeding Bird Survey was published in Southeastern Naturalist. We are pleased to provide on-line access to “Breeding Bird Community of a Suburban Habitat Island: Historic Bethabara Park, Winston-Salem, NC” with permission of the publisher. The publisher, Eagle Hill Institute reserves the copyright to all its publications. Any reproduction, other than for an individual’s own personal and private use, or distribution of journal content is prohibited without written permission from Eagle Hill Institute.