Southern Appalachian Raptor Research (SARR) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded primarily through grants and private donations. Work is conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and the U.S. Bird Banding Lab.


The autumn 2019 Big Bald Mountain Bird Migration Project is generously funded though a grant from the  Appalachian Trail Conservancy (North Carolina License Plate Grant Program) for the eight consecutive year.

In 2019, SARR continued to partner with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Cherokee Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Management program.  This contract supports the  MAPS projects at Cowee Mound and Kituah Mound, including education programming for local school and summer students.

This financial support along with generous private donations will help provide opportunities to more than 350 students and teachers from area schools to learn about regional bird ecology at the Big Bald Mountain Bird Migration Project and will also help fund summer camp scholarships for Vacation Bird School, operated by SARR each July.

Student volunteers at Big Bald Hawkwatch

SARR appreciates the grants and foundation support over the past 8 years from the following organizations:

  • The Charles and Betti Saunders Foundation
  • The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
  • The Hughes-Cunningham Fund
  • The Tennessee Ornithological Society
  • Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
  • Madison Rotary Club, Madison County, NC,
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • The Franklin Bird Club