Birds of Western North Carolina and the Best Places to See Them

Nature lovers flock to western North Carolina for a variety of reasons. Not only are the mountains filled with breathtaking scenic overlooks, towering trees, and cascading waterfalls, they are also home to some incredible wildlife. The birds of western North Carolina are some of the most impressive creatures you’ll see here!

If you’re coming to the area to see the birds of western North Carolina, it’s time to start planning the rest of your trip. Our complimentary Vacation Guide is here to help! We know that planning a getaway can be challenging, so we created a list of handpicked, local recommendations to save you hours of research. This free guide has helped countless travelers plan their trips, so get a copy today!

Best Places to See the Birds of Western North Carolina

Chimney Rock State Park

Visit Chimney Rock State ParkNo matter where you are in western North Carolina, you will nearly always see birds high in the sky. However, there are some key places to go birding. One of the most popular is Chimney Rock State Park. Many visit this park for its stunning views, but it offers incredible birding opportunities in the spring. We recommend taking the Hickory Nut Falls Trail; many birds nest on and around this area!

Foothills Equestrian Nature Center

The Foothills Equestrian Nature Center is home to 6 miles of trails just waiting to be explored. Many bring their binoculars on the hikes so they can see the birds of western North Carolina! Their Birds at FENCE Brochure will tell you all the birds you can see here. Print it out and check them off as you discover them!

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is home to one of the tallest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of the most interesting species of birds of western North Carolina can be found at these elevations. Because the elevations are so dramatic, many endangered species can be found in this area. There are a few different trails you can take, but we recommend taking the Profile Trail. Here, you can go up 1,500 feet in just 3 miles.

Birds of Western North Carolina

The locations of the birds in western North Carolina depend on many things, so make sure to do your research before you set out on your birding adventure.Elevations, temperatures, and weather will dictate where birds are and when. Throughout the year, you can find species such as:

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Wild Turkey
  • Rocking Dove
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Blue Jay
  • Carolina Wren
  • American Robin
  • Eastern Screech-Owl
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Mallard
  • Tufted Titmouse

In the warmer months, you’ll most likely be able to see:

  • Chimney Swift
  • Barn Swallow
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Red-Winged Blackbird
  • Wood Thrush
  • Gray Catbird
  • Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

The birds of western North Carolina that specifically enjoy cold weather are:

  • Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
  • Purple Finch
  • Pine Siskin
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Dark-Eyed Junco
  • Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

See Birds of Western North Carolina at Orchard Inn

porchIf you’re coming to the area to see the birds of western North Carolina, come stay with us at Orchard Inn. Our cozy bed and breakfast is set back in the mountains of Saluda. Between your birding expeditions, we invite you to sit back and relax on our expansive porch and watch the wildlife go by. You never know what birds you’ll see, even on our property! Browse through our cozy accommodations to start planning your stay. We look forward to seeing you!