Volunteers Needed

We would love to have you join our team of volunteers!  Don’t worry if you are a beginning birder, we are looking for diverse skill sets, including experience or willingness to learn the following:  communications, marketing, organizing, strategic planning, leadership, financial, technology/digital media, etc. 

The committees shown with an asterisk ( * ) indicate they can be done remote from Seabrook Island. So even if you are only in the area for part of the year, you can still assist us in many areas!

  • Activities *:  Plan & coordinate workshops, bird walks, movie matinees and bird count activities for members. Committee meets via Zoom for no more than 1.5 hours about every other month.
  • Bluebird Monitoring:  Monitor Bluebird Houses located throughout Seabrook Island for one of three 6-week periods between March and August.  
  • Communications *:  Write stories to be used in SIB Blogs, Tidelines and The Seabrooker.  Update Facebook posts, Instagram and Twitter.  Share photographs with our members of activities and birds you see.
  • Shorebird Steward:  The steward program needs volunteers two-hour shifts to help educate people about the importance of our tiny piece of the world to the shorebirds that visit. This is not an enforcement effort, but an educational effort.
  • Hospitality:  Set up chairs and tables prior to meeting, register members and guests, provide and set up refreshments and clean up after each of the SIB events.
  • Membership:  Recruit and retain members.
  • Programs & Speakers *:  Plan & coordinate SIB Quarterly Programs for membership.
  • Executive Committee *:  Join the SIB board to assist with the overall strategy for our organization, take a role as President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, lead and/or participate on committees. Committee meets via Zoom for no more than 1.5 hours every month.

Please let us know your interest by filling out this form.

SIB “Birds of the Week” – Hooded Merganser & Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser  Lophodytes cucullatus L: 18″, WS: 24″ WT: 22.4 oz.
Bufflehead  Bucephala albeola  L: 13.5  WS: 21″ WT: 13 oz

For winter birding at Seabrook, I always look forward to the arrival of two of my favorite ducks….the Hooded Merganser and the Bufflehead. Both are winter visitors for us. On a quick look, the males of these species can look pretty similar, but they are quite different when studied closely. Both ducks have disproportionately large heads with white patches on the sides. But look carefully and you will see the differences.

Heather Island Road, Jenkins Point - Hooded Merganser (male & female) - Ed Konrad
Heather Island Road, Jenkins Point – Hooded Merganser (male & female) – Ed Konrad

The Hooded Merganser is one of our most beautiful ducks. The male “Hoodie” has striking white on the head , a black back and it’s sides are coffee brown with two black vertical lines, or “spurs,”that cut diagonally through the white breast. In courting behavior, which begins mid-winter, the males flare their crests, and the females “head-bob and pump.” The female is a chocolate brown and very plain, but I think very classy! When I was researching this article, one source online said “it looks like she blow dried her hair in a jet engine,”because of the swept back crest. HA!

Hoodies feed on crustaceans, fish and insects. They are about 18” long and one of the smaller ducks. On Seabrook, I most often see them on Jenkins Point (the first pond is a fav) and on Palmetto Lake. I am sure they are on many other ponds on the island.  They usually arrive in November and leave in March.

North Beach - Bufflehead (male & female) - Ed Konrad
North Beach – Bufflehead (male & female) – Ed Konrad

The Bufflehead also has a striking male and a plain female. The male has a large head with a big white-wedge patch. It is a small (14″) squat duck and the head looks oversized.  The remainder of the head looks black, but if you look carefully it is an iridescent green/purple. It is mostly found in coastal bays (the old cut area had 2 last week) but can also be found on lakes. The sides of the male are clear white, whereas the Hoodie is brown. The female is a plan gray/brown with a distinctive white patch on it’s cheek.

Buffleheads are usually found in the area of the old cut and the river, often close to the ocean. They feed on mollusks, crustaceans and insect larvae, diving frequently because of their very high metabolism. They are a “now you see it, now you don’t” kind of duck. When swimming, they bob up and down like little rubber duckies.

So keep your eye out for our very own feathered “snowbirds” on Seabrook this winter!

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

Article submitted by: Aija Konrad 2016, resubmitted by SIB
Photographs provided by: Ed Konrad and Charles Moore

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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