Join SIB for Birding Beyond our Backyard-Santee Coastal Reserve

Join SIB for a bird outing at Santee Coastal Reserve(located above McClellanville). We will be joined by Felicia Sanders of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  She will show us where the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are located and also give us a tour of their facilities. Afterwards we will be able to do independent birding on their property. Birds that have been seen there: White Pelicans, Sharp-shinned Hawk,Red-headed woodpecker, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and numerous other ducks as well. On the return trip home, those who are interested may stop at SeeWee Diner for lunch.
Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.

Tuesday February 4, 2020
Beyond our Backyard -Santee Coastal
Location: Meet at Parking area Amenities Office, 7:00 am to carpool
Cost None for members; $5 donation for guests

If you are not yet a 2020 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: or we request a $5 donation to SIB.

Once you are a member, please register

“Life on the Beach”

Mixed Shorebirds on North Beach – Bob Mercer

Monday, January 20, was a cool day for Seabrook Island with a brisk wind. Despite that, on impulse, I took a late afternoon walk on North Beach. The wind blowing into my face quickly ate through my light jacket, but the mass of birds feeding along the water and sitting on the beach pulled me farther away from the parking lot and warmth.

Bob Mercer, SIB Member & Retired Director/Naturalist, Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA

To read Bob’s full account of his day on North Beach, visit his blog Mercer’s Musings.

Ask SIB … What is that Bird?

We often receive questions about birds from our members and residents of Seabrook Island. This week, Jenni sent us an email along with some photos.

I’ve been watching the birds at my feeders for few years now and saw something new today! I’ve attached some photos of this beautiful white mystery bird. Thanks for your help! 

Jenni, Oyster Catcher Court

After reviewing the photos, we suspected it might be a leucistic Brown-headed Cowbird, since it is hanging with the Brown-headed Cowbirds, and it’s shape certainly looks like one. We asked for input from SIB member Bob Mercer, Retired Director/Naturalist, Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA. He responded, “If it were not for the few smudged of brown, I would say albino Cowbird as it has the red eye. Because of the brown, I agree with your assessment.”

After letting Jenni know, she responded, “Thank you! The crowd passed through again this morning, and the white bird was hanging with the Cowbirds. I did notice they have the same mannerisms when eating, same size, same tail feathers. So much fun! “

Leucism is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal—which causes white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes. This is the same thing that causes the coloration of the Piebald White-tailed Deer on Seabrook Island.

To learn more about this and other types of “unusual” birds, visit the Project Feederwatch website.

If you have a question for SIB, either use this link or send an email to

Join SIB for Movie Matinee-Fly Away Home


SIB will continue its movie matinees this spring starting with the movie, “Fly Away Home”.

The soaring adventure of a 13-year-old girl and her estranged father, who learn what family is all about when they adopt an orphaned flock of geese and teach them to fly! (1996)

SIB will provide the popcorn and snacks! You can bring pillows to make the chairs more comfy and BYOB. Please sign up to join us for an afternoon at the movies!

Thursday, January 30th 4:15 pm
Location: Oystercatcher Community Center
Max: 30
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

Sign Up

Unexpected Visitor to Johns Island, SC

Yesterday (Sunday January 19, 2020), I received a text from my South Carolina birding friend Aija who posted the presence of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nearby. Eileen and I quickly jumped into the car and dashed off to the location. Six other local birders had already arrived and they pointed us in the right direction. There sat a beautiful adult male bird resplendent in its rosy colors, and banner like tail.

Scissor-tailed flycatchers spend the summer months in the southern plains—primarily Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The vast majority spend the winter on the Pacific Coast of Central America—primarily southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Every year a few spend the winter in Florida and once in a while they will pop up in South Carolina. We were fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time.

Bob Mercer, SIB Member and Retired Director/Naturalist, Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA

Birding at the Water Treatment Plant

Twenty SIB members met Saturday afternoon for a special treat of birding behind the gates of the Seabrook Island Water Treatment Plant. On the large pond, we saw warblers, shorebirds, wading birds and birds of prey!  In total we documented 44 species, with highlights of three Lesser Scaups and a single Ruddy Duck.  (see the full list below)

After two and half hours of birding, about half the group traveled to the SI Conservancy lot on Cat Tail Pond Road in search of the Great Horned Owl.  Thanks to Ed Konrad’s diligence, we got to see one after hearing two owls calling to each other.

Great Horned Owl – Ed Konrad

We hope to see you out soon with us watching, learning and protecting the beautiful birds of Seabrook Island and beyond! Visit our Birding Activities page on our website to see our schedule of upcoming activities, including walks, movies & more!

Enjoy the photos taken by members Jackie Brooks, Ed Konrad & Bob Mercer.

3 Lesser Scaup
24 Bufflehead
6 Hooded Merganser
1 Ruddy Duck
11 Wild Turkey
2 Mourning Dove
3 Killdeer
4 Dunlin
2 Spotted Sandpiper
2 Ring-billed Gull
1 Forster’s Tern
8 Wood Stork
2 Double-crested Cormorant
2 Snowy Egret
1 Little Blue Heron
13 White Ibis
1 Osprey
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
4 Eastern Phoebe
5 Blue Jay
32 American Crow
3 Carolina Chickadee
5 Tufted Titmouse
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 House Wren
4 Carolina Wren
2 Northern Mockingbird
8 Eastern Bluebird
11 Cedar Waxwing
5 House Finch
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
2 Boat-tailed Grackle
3 Palm Warbler
18 Yellow-rumped Warbler
3 Northern Cardinal

Number of Taxa: 44

Join SIB for Learning Together at Crooked Oaks

Each Monday one of the Golf Courses is closed, so join us for a morning of birding by RIDING in golf carts for at least 9-holes on Crooked Oaks golf course. We expect to see a large variety of birds including Double-crested Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Bald Eagles and other birds of prey. We should also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals and some of the many warbler species. Even some of our wintering residents such as Northern Flickers and Buffleheads may be seen.

  • Date: Monday January 27, 2020 9:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Title: Learning Together – Birding on Crooked Oaks 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: 30 
  • Cost: Free members; $5 donation for guests

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

If you are not yet a 2020 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: or we request a $5 donation to SIB. 

Once you are a member, please  register no later than Friday January 24, 2020. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Saturday January 25.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us by sending an email to:

Register for the WAITLIST – Center of Birds of Prey on January 22, 2020!

Register TODAY for the Waitlist!

Back by popular demand, please join us for an exciting and informative evening with the Center of Birds of Prey! You will have the opportunity to see wild birds of prey up close and personal during this demonstration. Be sure to bring your cameras!

Date: Wednesday January 22, 2020
Registration & Social: 7:00 pm
Program Starts:  7:30 pm
Location:  Live Oak Hall at the Lake House on Seabrook Island
Fee:  Members $5 and Guests $10

The room can accommodate 140 people and we currently have close to that number signed up. If you are interested and have not yet signed up, we encourage you to sign up for the WAITLIST no later than noon on Tuesday January 21, and we will confirm by Wednesday noon if we have space.  

SIB will provide beverages including wine and coffee.  Many volunteers will be bringing sweet and savory snacks.

For only $10, you may join or renew your 2020 SIB membership the night of the event.

Don’t miss this chance to have another fun filled evening with our flock of Seabrook Island Birders!

Please mark these 2020 SIB Evening Programs on your calendar !

We don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun in 2020, so be sure to put these dates on your calendar! All events will be held in the Live Oak Hall at the Lake House with registration starting at 7:00 pm *.

  • Wednesday January 22 – Center for Birds of Prey
  • Wednesday March 25 – Benjamin Clock – Shorebirds
  • Wednesday May 27 – TBA
  • Wednesday September 23 – TBA
  • Friday November 13 – Annual Bird Bingo and Game Night (6:00 – 8:00 pm)

Volunteers Needed: Marsh Sparrow Banding Schedule 2020

If you are looking for an exciting volunteer opportunity, you might want to consider assisting Aaron Given, Wildlife Biologist on Kiawah Island, with the 2020 Winter Marsh Sparrow Banding.

If interested, contact:
Aaron Given
Wildlife Biologist
Town of Kiawah Island
4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway
Kiawah Island, SC 29455
(843) 768-9166

Close-out Sale – Purchase a SIB T-Shirt for only $10


ONLY 9 Remain!

SIB T-SHIRT ORDERS may be made today by emailing SIB and indicating the number, color and size. We will then make arrangements for payment and delivery.

These 100% cotton T-shirts (Anvil) are available in three remaining colors:

  • Silver:  1 small, 1 XXL
  • Spring Yellow:  1 medium, 1 XXL
  • Teal ice: 1 small, 2 large and 2 XL
  • Terracotta:  SOLD OUT 

The cost is only $15/shirt $10/shirt.

Any remaining SIB T-shirts will be available to purchase at our evening program this Wednesday, January 22, 2020. If you haven’t registered for this event, an evening with the Center for Birds of Prey, and plan to attend, please sign up ASAP! Space is limited.

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