Join SIB: June Movie Matinee

June Movie – Register Now

The Hummingbird Effect
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 4:00 pm 
Location:   In Person at Oystercatcher Community Center (if there are at least five people) and Virtually via Zoom The Hummingbird Effect : Harry Shum Jr., Doug Shultz,  Coneflower Productions, WNET Group, Terra Mater Studios, Fred Kaufman, Bill  Murphy, Janet Hess, Filipe DeAndrade, Ann Johnson Prum, Doug Shultz: Prime  Video

Discover how tiny hummingbirds influence their many flowering kingdoms and their ripple effects on macaws, quetzals, monkeys, tapirs and more. Set in the exotic landscapes of Costa Rica.

Watch the trailer

Join SIB for Learning Together on Golf Course – Ocean Winds

Sunday, June 11, 2023  8:30 am – 10:30 am
Birding on Ocean Winds Golf Course
Location:  Meet at Island House (Golf Course Parking Lot next to Spinnaker Beach Houses) for ride along the golf course in golf carts
Max:  24 (If all seats in golf carts are used)
Cost: Free for members; $10 donation for guests – Priority will be given to prior waitlisted & members


The Seabrook Island Club will be closing Ocean Winds Golf Course for aeration and allows Seabrook Island Birders to use golf carts to travel the course with our members to bird. Join us for a morning of birding by RIDING in golf carts for at least 9-holes on Ocean Winds golf course. We expect to see a large variety of birds including Egrets, Herons and birds of prey. We will also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and some of the many warbler species. Since it is summer, we can also expect to see Eastern Kingbirds, Great-crested Flycatchers, Orchard Orioles, Summer Tanagers, Mississippi Kites and more!

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen.  Water will be provided.  

If you are not yet a 2023 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $15 by following the instructions on our website: You may bring the form and your dues to the event. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $10.

Please complete the information below to register no later than Friday prior to the trip.  All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on the Sunday, the day prior to the trip.  If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.

SIB “Bird of the Week” – Gulls vs. Terns

What type of birds does the left and right silhouette represent?

If you guessed GULLS vs. TERNS, you are correct!

All those birds on the beach – it’s very confusing. To make things a bit clearer, let’s discuss two very common and very similar groups: terns and gulls. What they are NOT are those little birds that run along the edge of the water, or the big ones with the long necks and stilt-like legs. They are what many people call seagulls, a term not used in any good bird book.

There are several different kinds of both gulls and terns that can and do land on our beaches. They will be covered individually at another time. This will be a general discussion of the two groups focusing on how to tell them apart.

Terns and gulls may be confusing for several reasons. They are both on the beach and within the same size range. They are predominantly gray on the top and white beneath. Many have black markings, primarily on their heads and/or wing tips.  And in flight, they resemble one another somewhat.

All of them can entertain you by diving from the sky to snag a fish, which these seabirds love, or coming close to investigate what you’ve brought for lunch. While terns eat fish almost exclusively, gulls will eat nearly anything. They’re the ones that beg for human food and scavenge around trash cans and dumps. That big bird in a parking lot is a gull, almost never a tern.

So, how do you differentiate one from the other? While the coloration of gulls and terns is quite similar, there are definite differences in the appearances which you can look for while lolling or walking on the beach. Terns are sleeker and more streamline as you can see from the pictures. They have thinner, sharper, more pointed bills and generally have a more delicate shape. Gulls tend to be heavier set in the body with thicker bills that are hooked at the end.

Gulls take up to two years to obtain their adult plumage. During that early period, they are various degrees of brown as opposed to the adults’ crisp gray and white with black. While terns look somewhat different in their first months, there is much less contrast with the adults than there is with gulls.

The tern stands on shorter legs and is often seen with other terns, roosting on a spit of land, away from humans. The gull, on the other hand, seems to enjoy being near people, although perhaps it’s mostly in hopes of getting some food.

Another distinguishing characteristic is the way the two birds obtain their food. You will see the tern flying over the water often with its head bent sharply down looking for its prey. Then suddenly it will dive straight down from 20 to 50 feet to snatch a fish. In contrast, the gull may swoop down to get a fish, or grab its food while paddling on top of the water. If you spot one of these birds swimming like a duck, it’s almost certainly a gull; terns don’t swim because they don’t have webbed feet like gulls. Gulls also scavenge on land for anything they considers edible; they are omnivores.

In subsequent articles, we will discuss individual terns and gulls but for now, try to distinguish one type from the other as you enjoy the sun and sand. Below are examples of several you can practice on.

Article submitted by:  Marcia Hider
Photographs provided by:  Charles Moore & Ed Konrad

This blog post is part of a series SIB will publish on a regular basis to feature birds seen in the area, both migratory and permanent residents.  When possible we will use photographs taken by our members.    Please let us know if you have any special requests of birds you would like to learn more about.

SIB Travels: 10 days in the Northeast – a graduation & birding!

On May 10 we set out for Boston and the graduation of our granddaughter from Emerson College. What a great time to travel north, the peak of warbler migration! And what a great way to combine family and birds.

Our first stop was in Lebanon County, PA and a rare Common Shelduck which is native to Eurasia. The bird has been there since December on a park pond. It is a striking black, white and rust duck with a bright red bill and legs. I was surprised to see it on the ABA rare bird alert because to me it’s seemed like an escapee, although in the NE it can be a natural occurrence. It was US life bird #634 for me, but sadly when I got home I saw it went on the exotic/escapee part of my life list.

Our next stop was Rhode Island. As part of my goal of 50 species in 50 states, Rhode Island was lacking, with only 21 birds. We had a wonderful stop at Trustom Pond NWR which yielded far more than the 50 birds I needed. There were Yellow Warblers singing everywhere! We also had one of our favorites, the Blue-winged Warbler. The next day we did some coastal birding on the beautiful rocky RI coast. We saw a Common Loon, in beautiful breeding colors and Common Eider resting on the rocks at Sachuest Point NWR. In the marshes, nesting Willets called everywhere. 

Then it was on to Boston for the graduation and family time. Boston had a huge fall out the night before, with a huge number of birds passing on BirdCast. We stopped at historic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge on our way into the city, which is a known migrant trap and welcomes birders. We were rewarded with a wall of sound even at midday. It was a treat to hear Magnolia and Canada warblers among all the other birds. 

Then it was onto graduation activities followed on Monday by a trip to Parker River NWR in MA, one of the northeast’s premier birding spots! What a fantastic place for warblers. It reminded us of Magee Marsh without the crowds. During the pandemic they built a beautiful boardwalk through the woods, and you could walk along and listen, watch and photograph. Best warblers were the Wilson’s, Blackburnian and Magnolia. We were treated to great looks at Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, and American Redstart.

At another part of Parker River NWR, we saw the roped off nesting area for the breeding Piping Plovers. Maybe some of them wintered at Seabrook! On the ocean we saw a glorious raft of 48 breeding plumage Long-tailed Ducks! What a thrill that was, along with Surf and White-winged Scoters.

Then on to visit some family near Poughkeepsie NY, and the next day we birded Bear Mountain State Park’s Doodletown Road, a well-known breeding ground for Cerulean Warblers. It was a really tough 3 mile hike uphill, on large loose rocks, but we were rewarded by many singing Ceruleans. Unfortunately, photographing them was another matter and we suffered from severe warbler neck by the time we were done with that one. But Ed did manage to get a few beautiful shots of this wonderful little bird! I don’t know how Ed finds these tiny birds his lens, specifically like Cerulean and Blackburnian, which are so high up in the trees and constantly moving.

Of course, no trip to New England would be complete without a lobster roll. We had one of the best at Bob Lobster on Plum Island!

A total of 2,700 miles,  152 species, 20 warbler species, and MA and RI now well over 50 species. Only 6 states to go for 50 species in each of 50 states!!!  A wonderful trip and a college graduate granddaughter! “50 in 50” to be continued…

Article by Aija Konrad, photos by Ed Konrad

SIB Travels: Birding for Warblers

Kirkland’s Warbler – male

On April 22 2023, while eating dinner with friends at the Seabrook Island Club where we talked about our great trip to Panama, the question was asked, “What’s next?” Eileen popped up with conviction, “Magee Marsh in Ohio.” Magee Marsh hosted the annual Greatest Week of Birding festival from May 5 to May 14, 2023. In my job, where the busiest time of the year was the month of May, we were unable to even think about enjoying this experience despite the many accolades.

Knowing that next year we will be taking a spring trip to Texas. I replied, “It will have to be this year.”

We talked with some friends back in PA and NJ and the die was set. Since I had an obligation on May 13 and our friends were to spend Mother’s Day with their mother, we opted to leave on May 15 and return May 23. We set off on the eight-hour drive to a house we rented in Oak Harbor, OH with high expectations as Birdcast predicted heavy migration.

Magee Marsh is famous as a warbler magnet; a place warblers settle down to power up before making the trip across Lake Erie. Prior to leaving, I checked ebird to see what birds people saw between May 1 and May 13. Because of the festival and the many tour groups visiting, eBird had almost 4,000 lists submitted for that one location in just 2 weeks. When we arrived at Magee Marsh at 6:40 AM, seeing a boardwalk full of people, everyone looking for birds did not surprise us.

Birds from first morning

Besides being a migrant stop, the wonder of Magee Marsh is how the birds are close and low, great for photography. Someone would spot a bird and everyone nearby, friends and total strangers, would shuffle over trying to get a sighting. The birds came, some skulking in the bushes and others putting on a show. Many singing their distinctive songs alerting the savvy birder to look for that species. We spent 4.75 hours traversing the 1.18 miles. It was that awesome. That first morning we found 71 species of birds including 19 species of warblers. In addition to the warblers, some highlights included: a Virginia Rail about 15 feet away feeding leisurely, an extremely well camouflaged American Woodcock unmoving in the marsh, an Eastern Screech Owl tucked up in a branch, a Philadelphia Vireo (a bird rarely seen in Philadelphia), and a beautiful Scarlet Tanager.

Birds from first afternoon

From the boardwalk, we went up to their Migratory Bird Center and took a short (.65 mile) walk clocking 34 species and 10 species of warbler (nothing new).
That afternoon, we returned to Magee Marsh’s boardwalk. We soon realized we were seeing or hearing similar birds in places seen or heard earlier, and that the light was much better for photography. In 2.5 hours and 1.28 miles, we recorded 54 species. We found 15 species of warblers and I got good pictures of 8 species of warbler. We ended the day with 82 species with 22 of them warblers, including Prothonotary Warbler, Canada Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Palm Warbler, and American Redstart. They say 33 species of warblers are possible, so we did really well that first day.

During dinner at a restaurant along the shoreline of Lake Erie, a northeaster came screaming in with a vengeance changing the placid waters to an ocean in a storm. This did not bode well for the next day.

Birds of Second Day

With temperatures in the low 40’s and winds in the high teens, we opted to explore some nearby areas: Howard Marsh, Metzger Marsh, and Ottawa NWR. At the refuge, we looked forward to exploring their wildlife driving tour from the warmth of the car. To our disappointment, the drive is only open on weekends. These stops provided opportunities to find water and shorebirds and we found 72 species of birds. Including Trumpeter Swans, a species the local refuges were there to protect. That afternoon, we could not resist returning to the Magee Marsh boardwalk. Many of the same birds were hanging around waiting for better weather. This time, instead of seeing a single Virginia Rail a few feet from the boardwalk, she was accompanied by 8 recently hatched babies—aww. The Screech Owl had moved up one branch, the American Woodcock was still in the exact same place, but she (assumption) had turned around. We speculate she sat on a nest. An unexpected treat was a Common Nighthawk perched on a branch high up in a tree.

Once again, the light was great, and I got a few great photographs, including a close up of a Northern Parula and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Third Day Birds

The next morning, the winds were still from the east and migration the night before light. So, we traveled to Pipe Creek Wildlife Management area in hopes of adding a few more species. Shortly after arriving, we watched in amazement as a Great Blue Heron swallowed an immense fish. Here we were able to find the reported Purple Gallinule, the first one ever seen in the area, and a Wilson’s Snipe.

We could not resist another visit to Magee Marsh for more birds and more stunning photos now that we had an idea of which birds would be found at various stops. We ended this day with 79 species of birds. Our total for the trip so far 121 species.

Bay-breasted Warbler

Friday, May 19, 2023, or last day in Ohio demanded one more stop at the Magee Marsh Boardwalk. The night before brought in southwest winds which should bring in more birds. Our 3.75 hours netted us 74 species. Interestingly, most of the regulars were still sitting near their “regular” spot. We were able to find some new arrivals like flocks of Blue Jays, an Alder and an Olive-sided Flycatcher. We left Ohio with 127 species, 33 of which I was able to photograph including a stunning Bay-breasted Warbler.

Our new destination was Mio, MI, 4.5 hours away and the epicenter of the Kirtland’s Warbler habitat.

Despite the threat of rain, we joined a guided Kirtland’s Warbler tour offered by the US Forest Service. The tour started with a 45-minute movie detailing the challenges faced by Kirtland’s Warblers, a species recently removed from the endangered species list. Then we studied a map of the area to understand the Forest Service’s work. Our guide also pinpointed a few places where we might locate some of the more challenging birds to find. Our first stop on the tour produced three Kirtland’s Warblers, though all were in bad light and at a distance. The second stop was much better! We got excellent views of both a male and a female and we added number 23 warbler species to our trip. That afternoon, a trip through Amish Country netted some field species like Eastern Meadowlark and Bobolink.

A side trip took us to a location where we might find a Golden-winged Warbler. One was heard at a distance, but we never saw it, but since I count heard birds that became warbler number 24.

The next morning, on our last day of birding, a quick stop produced warbler species number 25 when a Pine Warbler belted out its song, plus a surprise for us Barred Owl singing in the distance. Our destination was a place where our forest service guide said we should stop and listen for Ruff Grouse. The spot did not disappoint! The grouse would drum about every 10 minutes. Another recommended stop at the Luzerne Boardwalk proved beautiful and birdy with 32 species including a few very vocal Winter Wrens. What a big song from a small bird.

We revisited the Kirtland’s Warbler location hoping for better light for pictures. It was worth it!

The final afternoon included a self-guided tour provided by the US Forest Service. One stop produced a strange bird song. I was certain it was a Golden-winged Warbler, but the song seemed different than any I had ever heard. We used the app Merlin to check it out. Merlin agreed, but it also flagged a Blue-winged Warbler, which would be relatively rare in the area. We never saw the bird and since the sonogram on our recording closely matched one of the sonograms found in the field guide, we recorded it as a Golden-winged Warbler. Since we never got a good visual on the bird, we will never know, but we can speculate that maybe we had either a Brewster’s or Lawrence’s Warbler (hybrids between Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers).

Being our last evening, our travel companion Rick went outside of the cabin we rented to listen for Common Nighthawks. Shortly later, he came in and said, “I heard something weird. It sounded like a pump.” That got me out of the chair and out feeding the mosquitoes to confirm he was listening to an American Bittern, a great last bird for the trip!

Our final total: 152 species within 28 checklists and a total of 35 species photographed. What a trip!

Submitted and photography by Bob Mercer

Join us for backyard birding on Seabrook Island Road

Tuesday June 06, 2023, 4:00-6:00pm on Seabrook Island Road
Location: 2986 Seabrook Island Road
Max:  15
Cost: None for 2023 members; $10 donation for guests

Join us on Seabrook Island Road at the home of Sally and Doug Boudinot for backyard birding. Their property backs up to a large Marsh near the fire station . There are great egrets (quite a few juveniles) and blue herons in the marsh right now. Many time they see ibis and wood storks. Their feeders often get woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jay’s, tufted titmouse, mourning doves, wrens and an occasional osprey.

As always, be sure to bring your water, binoculars, hats and sunscreen.  

If you are not yet a 2023 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $15 by following the instructions on our website:  Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $10 at the time of the activity.

Please complete the information below to register no later than Monday, Sunday, June 04. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday, June 05, 2023.


Birds of the Inlet celebration available for viewing

Last week we published a recap of the Sea Island Shorebird Festival. One of the events was the Birds of the Inlet celebration. If you were unable to attend the celebration, a video of the evening is now available. The presentation highlights the importance of Captain Sams Inlet as the centerpiece of the Kiawah- Seabrook- Deveaux complex. Janet Thibault of SCDNR focused on the dynamics of inlets and why they are so crucial to shorebirds. Melissa Chaplin of USFWS spoke about the importance of the inlet to endangered Piping Plovers who overwinter here. Manomet biologist, Abby Sterling, PhD, described how nesting American Oystercatchers, like our resident U5 and mate, depend on these resources, and PhD candidate, Maina Handmaker, presented her ground breaking research on the largest known Whimbrel roost which exists on Deveaux Bank.

Watch the Birds of the Inlet Celebration.

Video compiled by Alan Fink.

In search of a Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite – Jennifer Jerome

In late April, a Northern Bobwhite was reported at CawCaw. It is the only quail native to the eastern U.S., where populations are declining sharply. The All About Birds site states “Despite their sharp population decline, it’s still possible to find Northern Bobwhite in fields, rangelands, and open forests over much of their range.” This isn’t really the habitat for CawCaw so I thought it was likely a misidentification. Then it kept being reported.

King Rail – Jennifer Jerome

This week, Melanie Jerome, Joleen Ardaiolo and I decided to go “twitching”. Wikipedia defines Twitching is a British term used to mean “the pursuit of a previously located rare bird.” In North America, it is more often called chasing. We weren’t sure if we were searching, chasing or twitching but we knew we wanted to see it. While there, we also hoped to see the King Rail that had been seen on our “rare bird” list for Charleston County for the last few weeks.

On Wednesday we arrived at CawCaw shortly after they opened. We were pleased to meet Mike Harhold as we arrived and he agreed to join us on our search. Since we didn’t know where in the park the Northern Bobwhite had been seen, we thought the most likely area would be the back corner near the waterfowl enpoundment. We chose to get to that area via the swamp trail and boardwalk. Shortly after seeing the Prothonotary Warbler (check that off the list), we encountered another walker with binoculars and camera. She said she had “just seen” the Northern Bobwhite over near the Osprey platform…the opposite side of the park from our guess. But birding in the swamp was great! We continued on our way and saw the Red-headed Woodpecker (check), the Hairy Woodpecker (check) and a great view of two Yellow-billed Cuckoo (check, check). As we got out on the dikes, two Swallow-tail Kites flew over (check). When we got to the area by the Osprey nest….no Northern Bobwhite. This is also near where the King Rail had been reported. No luck with that either. We had “dipped out”. (In Audubon’s Birdist Rules of Birding, they state Missing a bird you’ve traveled to see, or ‘dipping,’ can be a disappointing experience. It’s also a birding rite of passage.) It was an enjoyable day of birding in great weather so although disappointed, we weren’t discouraged. We had identified 49 species for the day.

Looking at our calendars and the weather, we decided Sunday morning would be a good time to try again. This time, Jennifer Jerome and Walter and Jackie Brooks agreed to twitch with us. We actually arrived before the gates were open. We had agreed we’d go directly to the “known location” but of course we’d have to bird along the way. We saw some birds on one of the dikes which we tried hard to make into a Bobwhite but they flew before we could confirm. Jackie and Jennifer got pictures for verification when they got home but we thought they were probably Mourning Doves (they were). Jennifer and Judy caught a glimpse of the King Rail but it went into the reeds before the others could see it. We walked the dikes back and forth and finally we decided to try “one more time” at the “known location”. As we approached the designated corner, we met a gentleman with binoculars and a long lens camera. When asked, he said “yes, the Bobwhite just went in those grasses and the King Rail was still moving in the reeds”. We were close! With his help we first got a great view of the King Rail feeding on fiddler crabs. As we left that site, he pointed out where the Northern Bobwhite had come out of the grasses. So two successes for the day.

Jennifer and Judy continued through the swamp and saw more good birds including a Barred Owl near the parking lot. In addition to a great walk after the storm, 47 species were seen. Jennifer and Jackie caught some of these in pictures.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

Boat-tailed Grackle released

Juvenile Boat-tail Grackle and cage mate – Carolina Wildlife Center

Baby birds sometimes need human help to become independent birds in the wild. Chris Derajtys of Carolina Wildlife Center of Columbia recently contacted SIB on Instagram regarding her desires to release a rehabilitated Boat-tailed Grackle on Seabrook Island while she was visiting for Memorial Day Weekend.

Joleen Ardaiolo and Judy Morr were able to witness the release. As we walked onto the Fiddler Cove Dock, a brethren Boat-tailed Grackle welcomed the new arrival. Chris removed the bird from its carrier and after giving us photo opportunities, released the young bird. It quickly flew away, circling and then disappeared into the marsh grasses. All indications were it would quickly adapt to life in the Seabrook Island marsh.

Of course we had questions about this bird and the process which Chris enthusiastically answered.

  • The young bird came to the Carolina Wildlife Center (CWC) via the Center for Birds of Prey. This occurred when the two centers did an “exchange” of birds when it was determined the other facility could better service the birds after the exchange. Although the Carolina Wildlife Center handles many songbirds at their facility, they have no regular transport from the Charleston area to Columbia. If you rescue an injured songbird, contact CWC at their hotline (the injured animal hotline: (803) 772-3994) to see if transportation can be arranged.
  • The young bird was too young to be living in the wild. CWC had numerous fledglings in their care including a Common Grackle which became the cage mate for the Boat-tailed Grackle.
  • Baby birds come to CWC in various stages of growth. Some young birds must be fed every half hour. This time of year, they have so many young birds it takes a full time person to make the rounds feeding the hungry hatchlings. As the birds mature, the frequency of food is diminished and food is left in the cage so they can feed themselves.
  • When the songbirds are ready for release, they CWC does a soft release from the outdoor aviaries they are in. They open a large door so they can fly out of the aviary. If they “choose” to leave they are released, if they don’t by the end of the day they stay a bit longer until CWC tries again. Unfortunately, Boat-tailed Grackles don’t live in Columbia requiring an alternative release strategy. Since Chris was to visit her inlaws, Seabrook Island became an ideal location.
  • The Boat-tailed Grackle traveled in its carrier in the backseat of Chris’s car. It traveled well and spent the windy/raining Friday night in its carrier on SIB member Pat Derajtys screened porch. When the weather briefly cleared, it was ready to go and the release was a success.

Chris also explained that CWC works with many other animals

  • They have many opossums in their care but because of the unusually high number of baby opossums brought into the Center for care this Spring, the facility is now can only accept injured baby opossums.
  • CWC has recently seen a large increase in turtles that have been hit by cars – please be turtle aware during this time as year as many are crossing roads looking for mates or looking for places to lay eggs. Seabrook Island does have these turtles (such as box turtles and yellow bellied sliders) in addition to the sea turtles we often talk about in our area.
  • The Carolina Wildlife Center website has a great page for rescue advice for Birds, Fawns, Non-venomous Snakes, Opossums, Rabbits, Rabies, Raccoons, Squirrels and Turtles.

Check out the Carolina Wildlife Center’s website ( for information on donations and volunteer opportunities including transport volunteers.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

SIB “Bird of the Week” – Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea
Length: 22-29”; Wingspan: 40”
 It’s a Little Blue Heron in what is called “first year” plumage.

Molting Little Blue Heron - Bob Hider
Molting Little Blue Heron – Bob Hider

When a Little Blue is immature (i.e., during the year in which it is born), it is totally white. Until a birder has mastered the characteristics of our local white egrets, it is easy to confuse the Little Blue with one of those waders. In its second spring, it begins to molt into its slate blue coloration, and, during that change, it appears mottled as the picture shows. By the end of the summer, it will have its more typical warm purplish-brown head and neck and otherwise dark gray-blue body. The two characteristics that it does maintain are its bluish green legs and black-tipped bluish bill.

The Little Blue Heron is common on Seabrook. It inhabits both fresh water ponds and salt or brackish water wetlands. It’s not unusual to find one standing among the reeds on the edge of Palmetto Lake searching for a meal. It can also be found on a dock, staring intently at the marsh below. As an adult, it tends to be solitary as it forages for small fish, crustaceans, frogs and aquatic insects. It stands quite still often with its bill pointed downward waiting patiently for its prey. For this reason, they can be difficult to spot.

In contrast, the pure white immature Little Blue Herons are often found feeding with groups of egrets and other herons which probably protects them somewhat. Eight were counted simultaneously on a Seabrook dock and in the nearby marsh this spring. When observed with such a group, their slow-moving behavior distinguishes them from the more active egrets even though they are very similar in size to the Snowy Egret.

Little Blue Herons are gregarious breeders, nesting in bushes over or near water. During the spring and early summer, they are part of the flocks on Jenkins Point along with the ibises and egrets there. In its write-up on this species, Cornell Lab of Ornithology states, “A courting male points his bill straight upward, suddenly extending and retracting his neck. Little Blue Herons of both sexes, when courting, may occasionally grasp, pull, and shake branches while simultaneously erecting the feathers along their head, neck, and back…. Little Blue Herons and neighboring colonial birds have a pronounced impact on their nesting habitat—stunting the growth of vegetation by harvesting nest material and sometimes killing trees outright by the accumulation of guano.”  This is true on Jenkins Point.

Here are more pictures of Little Blue Herons in their full immature and adult plumages.

If you would like to learn more about this bird visit:

Article submitted by: Marcia Hider / resubmitted 2022 by SIB
Photographs provided by: Bob Hider and Carl Helms

This blog post is part of a series SIB will publish on a regular basis to feature birds seen in the area, both migratory and permanent residents.  When possible we will use photographs taken by our members.    Please let us know if you have any special requests of birds you would like to learn more about.

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