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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!

Apr 20, 2024

Welcome to The Backyard Naturalists podcast! In this episode, Debbie and Laurie dive deep into the world of conservation with special guest Ashleigh Blackford, a seasoned wildlife biologist with a wealth of experience, notably in the California Condor Recovery program.


Join us as we explore the fascinating journey of the California condor, a majestic bird with a wingspan of up to nine and a half feet, facing challenges from habitat loss to lead poisoning. Discover how biologists like Ashleigh have been working tirelessly since the 1980s to revive the condor populations, from captive breeding programs to releasing these magnificent birds back into their historic habitats. We also discuss recent challenges like the fungal disease outbreak in 2023 and the ongoing efforts to ensure a self-sustaining wild population.


Tune in to learn about this incredible species and the ongoing conservation efforts shaping its future. Don't forget to share your thoughts and where you're listening from – your feedback fuels our passion for sharing nature's wonders!


If you have ideas for topics that you'd like us to pursue, send us a message either on our Facebook page or our website. We would really like to hear from you.


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


While recording the Backyard Naturalists podcast, Debbie and Laurie enjoy coffee provided by the Good Cup Coffee Company  in Matthews, North Carolina. Follow Good Cup Coffee on Instagram and look for them at the Matthews Community Farmer’s Market  this Saturday morning.