Birding the Balsams

Least Flycatcher by Simon Thompson

Pisgah Forest, NC

June 6, 2024

Brown Creeper by Ventures Birding

Register by clicking the ‘book now’ button above, or by contacting the Ventures office. We accept credit cards for an additional fee (2.9% for MC, Visa, Discover; 3.9% for AmEx), but you may also pay by bank transfer, cash, check, or money order. This Venture is limited to 10 participants.

Meeting place: Meet and carpool from French Broad Overlook, located at milepost 393.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just off 191 by the NC Arboretum. Time: 7:30 AM – 2 PM Price: $60


A relaxed day of birding from roadsides, gravel roads and overlooks with a minimal amount of walking, in the higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway southwest of Asheville.

The Blue Ridge Parkway provides easy access to many of the subranges of the Blue Ridge Mountains, skirting through the Blacks and Craggies north of Asheville before winding south through the Balsams and ending at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. June is a wonderful time for birding in these higher, cooler elevations and the areas covered on today’s tour are home to many exciting birds such as Canada, Chestnut-sided, and Blackburnian Warblers, Veery & Hermit Thrush, and Least & Alder Flycatchers, Common Raven, Red Crossbill, Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch and more.

While our focus today will be visiting spots within the Balsams, we’ll also have some time to hit a few other places, including Mt. Pisgah and a few lower elevation places. While most of our birding will be done from overlooks on the roadside, we will do a short hike down the Flat Laurel Creek Trail, where we could find Black-capped Chickadee, a bird with a very limited distribution in the south, as well as the ever-nomadic Red Crossbills. Our tour ends up at Devil’s Courthouse Overlook, a known nesting location for Peregrine Falcon. Even though nesting will have concluded for the falcons by this time, the adults can still sometimes be seen perching on the rock ledges.

Join us for this laid-back exploration of the Balsams!