Backyard Birding at Palmetto Lake

Tuesday September 21, 2021 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Backyard Birding at Palmetto Lake
Location: Meet at the Gatehouse end of Lakehouse Parking Lot
Max: 16
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Join SIB to officially say good-bye to Summer as Fall starts on September 22. The recent resurgence of COVID had made many uncomfortable meeting at someone’s home. Therefore we’ll bird in the Lakehouse’s backyard….Palmetto Lake. We plan to walk part way along the path towards the Equestrian Center then hopefully see the “white birds” come in to roost for the evening. The path around Palmetto Lake is wheelchair navigatable and for those walking it will be probably only a quarter of a mile. As we walk along Seabrook Island Road, we hope to see some of our fall warblers such as American Redstart, Yellow Warbler and my favorite Black and White Warbler. We also expect to see a large variety of birds including Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Herons and birds of prey. If the “white birds” get the invitation, we hope to see Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and White Ibis roosting for the evening.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Bug repellent may also be appropriate. Bring your drink of choice to enjoy as the sun sets at 7:18. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 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 $5.

Please register no later than Sunday, September 19. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday September 20, the day prior to the trip.

Join SIB for Learning Together on North Beach

Monday September 20, 2021 7:00-9:30 AM
Birding on North Beach
Meet: Oyster Catcher Community Parking Lot ( boardwalk #1)

We hope to spot a nice variety of shorebirds as we work our way to the North Beach inlet. We’ll meet in the Property Owners’ beach parking lot at 7:00am. Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, water, and snacks. Of course, you can head back at any time. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 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 $5.

Please register no later than Saturday, September 18,2021. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on the Sunday, September 19th. If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.

REMINDER: Register for “All About Vultures”

Final reminder – this is a program you won’t want to miss!

REGISTER to get your personal Zoom Link today!

Vultures have often been feared and reviled since they are in the business of death. But these intelligent and surprisingly clean birds have a crucial role to play in human health and cultural history around the world. Learn about their significance in history, culture, and ecology with Jen Tyrell, Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator, Audubon South Carolina! 

Date: Wednesday September 15, 2021
Time: 7:00 – 8:15 PM
Location: Zoom Virtual Video


Meet the Speaker:

Jennifer McCarthey Tyrrell, Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator

Jen is a Master Bird Bander and an expert in bird biology, with a B.S. from Coastal Carolina and a Master’s degree from the College of Charleston. Before joining Audubon, Jen worked with Wild Birds Unlimited and the Center for Birds of Prey. Today, Jen spreads the word about bird-friendly communities and the benefits of native plants, and also manages bird banding and Painted Bunting research. 

Bird of the week-Meet the Yellow-throated Warbler

Photo by David Etler

The Yellow-throated Warbler, Setophaga Dominica, is a common warbler in this area year round and breeds west to Texas and north as far as Illinois. They are part of the family of Wood Warblers or Parulidae.

If you are lucky enough to spot this stunning warbler, it is an easy bird to identify.  It has a bright yellow throat and chest with sharply contrasting black triangles through and below the eyes and bright white eyebrows. The back and top of head are gray with a white under-belly and two white wing bars. The Yellow-throated Warbler, besides having colorful markings, is also distinctive because of its stockier body and longer, sharp, black bill. The male and female are similar in appearance with the female being slightly duller. 

The Yellow-throated Warbler’s song is a clear series of down whistles with a rising note at the end as .  The male will actually establish his territory during breeding season with his song. 

These warblers will most likely be spotted in this area by looking higher up in a pine, live oak, or palm tree. They actively forage by quickly creeping in and out along branches and spiraling up and down trunks of trees. They probe deliberately into crevices, pine needles, pine cones, and Spanish moss looking for insects. This bird will creep instead of fluttering as some warblers do. In palm trees they might be spotted in the crowns or hanging upside down among the leaves. 

The diet of the Yellow-throated Warbler is mostly insects. They are insectivores and feed on beetles, moths, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, mosquitoes, ants, aphids, and spiders. However, they will also come to your backyard feeders if you have the feeders in an area that is a desirable habitat for them and perhaps have a feed mix that includes fruit and/or dried mealworms. 

Once the male locates his territory and his mate, the male and female stay monogamous during the nesting season and produce two broods per year. The nest, prepared mostly by female, is either in a clump of Spanish moss or at the outer edge of a high pine branch. In the Spanish moss the female will form a pocket and line it with grasses, weeds, and feathers. On the pine branch, she will weave together weed stems, bark strips, and grasses to form a cup and then line it with plant down and feathers. She will lay 3 to 5 pale gray-green eggs with dark specks that are less than an inch long. Both the male and female incubates the eggs and feed the nestlings. The eggs incubates for 12 to 13 days and the young leave the nest in about 8 days. 

Photo by David Etler

The new family will stay together during the breeding season and then become part of a mixed species flock with Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses, and other warblers during non breeding season. 

Luckily for us, the Yellow-throated Warblers have increased their population by 50% between 1966 and 2014, according to Partners in Flight, and at this time are not a conservation concern.

Article Submitted by Joleen Ardaiolo

Reposted from 2019

Watch CBS Sunday Morning!

You may remember the story of the amazing discovery of 20,000 migratory Whimbrel that roost on Deveaux Bank in the spring. Andy Johnson, a Cornell ornithologist and film maker, sent word this afternoon that CBS Sunday Morning will air a segment about Whimbrel on Deveaux this Sunday, September 12 at 9 am. In case you haven’t seen Andy’s film about Deveaux and even if you already have, it’s well worth the time to watch:

The CBS segment to be aired this Sunday was produced the spring of 2021 while Maina Handmaker, grad student from USC, and Felicia Sanders, coastal biologist for SCDNR, were trying to capture Whimbrel to tag to study their movements into the marshes to feed. Because of our proximity to Deveaux, Seabrook Island is a big part of the story. Deveaux has always been known to be an important nesting location for seabirds and stop over for migrating shorebirds, but Felicia’s discovery that half of the remaining Atlantic Whimbrel population roost there was a wonderful surprise. Deveaux needs our support for its protection.

Submitted by Mark Andrews, Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Co-Chair

Celebrate Migration With Fascinating Free Webinars from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology!


Each fall billions of birds take flight, streaming through the air on their far-flung journeys. And each year, we hold our Migration Celebration to pause and marvel at this stunning natural spectacle. Join us September 13-24 for two weeks of special live events, family-friendly programs, and resources to help you enjoy the wonders of migration happening right outside your door.

In a series of free webinars, we’ll bring in experts to explore migration from every angle—from the art of flying birds, to the challenge and fun of hawkwatching, to ways you can help safeguard birds as they pass through. Here’s the lineup:

  • Fall Migration: Tips to Help Birds on Their Way (Sept. 14)
  • Featured Webinar: In the Studio with Science Illustrator Jane Kim (Sept. 15)
  • Family Story Time: Ruby’s Birds (Sept. 16)
  • Featured Webinar: Riveted by Raptors: A Look at Migration with Dr. Kevin McGowan (Sept. 17)
  • Masters of Flight: A K-12 Exploration (Sept. 18)
  • Birds of the World: Amazing Migrations (Sept. 20)
  • Migratory Journeys Mapped: The Magic of eBird (Sept. 22)

All webinars are free, but please click through and register to secure your place.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

SIB Movie Matinee – September 14th via Zoom

Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) is returning to some in-person events. For the remainder of 2021, we will host Movie Matinees each month but alternate between in-person and Zoom. This month will be only via Zoom.

Thank you!

September Movie – Register Here

Tuesday September 14, 2021 at 4:00 – 5:00 pm
To the Ends of the Earth: Birds of East Africa

to the ends of the earth

Introduced by esteemed conservationist Jane Goodall and narrated by National Geographic’s Bill Jones, this documentary focuses on what humanity has in common with other species. Wildlife photographer Todd Gustafson captures stories of competition, courtship, family, hunting and flight to illustrate the hidden life of East African birds.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Sep 14, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

SIB’s Articles for the September The Seabrooker

In case you don’t receive it, or haven’t had a chance to read it yet, we hope you will enjoy The Seabrooker’s September 2021 SIB articles. Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) contributed a full page on the left side of the centerfold! The stories this month feature:

  • On the Road Again! Ed & Aija Konrad share photos and stories of their two-week journey to New England.
  • They’re Back! An update on our wintering Piping Plovers.
  • All About Vultures! SIB’s Evening Program series returns with guest speaker Jen Tyrell from Audubon SC. Register Today!
  • SIB’s Shorebird Steward Program including a QR code (this Quick Response code is a bar code which will open a webpage when a phone camera is focused on it.)

Thanks again to author Aija Konrad and photographer Ed Konrad for their contributions this month. Ed also serves as our graphic designer!

Birdacious Hot Pepper Bark Butter

Thanks to Seabrook Island Birder (SIB) member Ralph Secoy for submitting this idea!

Image credit: Wild Birds Unlimited

What is (1) the absolutely lowest cost feeder, (2) the absolutely squirrel proof feeder, and (3) feed that birds love?  It’s “Birdacious Hot Pepper Bark Butter”.  This is a paste that is pressed right on to tree bark.  That’s right – just scoop up a blob and slap it right on there.  There’s no feeder – cost $0.  If you have squirrel problems, they won’t touch the hot pepper.  And I have a number of birds that eat a lot of it.  We mostly have Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Carolina Wrens eating this; however, we have also seen Eastern Bluebirds, nuthatches, chickadees, and others.  That’s with other feeders right next to it.  Depending on how you feel about them, Blue Jays also eat this.  The only things that may bother you are that the color is bright orange, and there’s an oil residue stain left on the tree.  I don’t consider either a problem.  This is extremely cheap, effective, and good for the birds!  What more could you ask?  No, I do not get any kind of sales kickback – I just love this stuff.  (You can get this at Wild Birds Unlimited, 975 Savannah Highway, 843-571-3371,  They will also ship to Seabrook Island.)

Ralph Secoy, SIB Member

If you are interested in making your own Bark Butter, we published this blog, “Butter for the BIrds, including a recipe a few years ago. Just add Cayenne pepper or red-pepper flakes to make it squirrel resistant.

Let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas so we can share with our members!