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The Backyard Naturalists podcasts is geared toward nature lovers of all kinds, from beginners to those with more experience. We have a very diverse lineup of topics planned for you, such as  what you can do in your own yard to enhance the habitat for the creatures who live there, participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count as a citizen scientist, using native plants, which snakes live in our area,  how to attract specific birds, common and uncommon raptors in the greater Charlotte region, spring and fall migration season for birds, plants for butterflies and much more!

Jun 11, 2022

Welcome to The Backyard Naturalists, the show about anything and everything connected with nature.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Bill Hilton, Jr. joined Debbie and Laurie to talk about his organization, Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History, located in York, SC. Bill was twice named the South Carolina Science Teacher of the Year and was also honored as the state's outstanding biology teacher, Discover Magazine, named him as one of the 50 Best Brains in Science and one of the top 10 amateur scientists. He was also an active member of the Sierra Club Campaign, which made Congaree Swamp in South Carolina and National Park. The Charlotte Observer named him as a Carolinas Guardian of the Environment because of a project that he participated in to protect the Catawba River.

In this week’s episode, Bill returns to have a conversation about his project, Operation Ruby Throat, a cross-disciplinary international initiative in which people collaborate to study behavior and distribution of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris).

“In Operation Ruby Throat, participants observe the Ruby-throated Hummingbird in their home countries and share information with peers across North and Central America. Data they collect about hummingbird behavior and distribution are submitted to a central clearing house, analyzed, and then disseminated through this Operation Ruby Throat Web site. Participants learn not only about natural history of hummingbirds but reinforce skills in math, writing, geography, foreign language, art, drama, and other disciplines AND gain deeper understanding of the need for environmental cooperation among people of the Americas.”

Connect with the Backyard Naturalists on the Web, Facebook and Instagram.

Please visit and support our presenting sponsor, Backyard Birds at A mecca for bird lovers and bird watchers, Backyard Birds is an independent family-owned business located in Matthews, NC (next to Dairy Queen), just southeast of Charlotte.

Thanks for listening to The Backyard Naturalists.  We hope you have a day filled with the wonders of nature. Get outside and take a walk on the wild side! Please don’t forget to leave a 5-star review for The Backyard Naturalists podcast.

Production services for The Backyard Naturalists podcast are provided by Downtown Podcasting. To start a conversation on how you can have a podcast, simply send an email to