Volunteer to Assist with the 123rd Christmas Bird Count on Seabrook Island

Each year starting on December 14th and continuing through January 5th, people across the country are participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC).  Each count takes place on a specific day in an established 15-mile wide diameter circle, and is organized by a count compiler. Seabrook Island is part of the Sea Island SC count organized by Aaron Given, Wildlife Biologist at Kiawah Island. Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) will again support this year’s 123rd annual CBC on the designated day of Tuesday January 3, 2023.  

Count volunteers follow specified routes through their designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. The data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.

The first CBC was held on Christmas Day 1900 and was organized by ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the Audubon Society.  His proposal was to create a new holiday tradition of a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds during the holidays rather than the traditional Christmas “Side Hunt,” where teams of hunters competed to bring home the biggest pile of feathered or furred animals.

This past year, on January 4, 2022, 30 SIB members contributed to the 2021-2022 Sea Island Christmas Bird Count (CBC).   We had 10 teams of birders hitting Seabrook Island “hotspots” of Jenkins Point, Palmetto Lake, North Beach, the Lake District, Camp St Christopher, SIPOA/Club horse pasture and maintenance area, Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds golf courses, and Bobcat/Six Ladies Trail. These teams saw 98 species and 1914 individual birds. We walked 27 miles, drove 3.4 miles and rode in golf carts 9.8 miles for 34 people hours of effort! Amazing!

In addition our team consisted of nine feeder watch homes sighting 39 species and 275 individual birds during 22.5 people hours of watching. Our feeder watch observers saw 7 species missed by the field team so the total species on Seabrook Island was 105. 

If you are interested to participate in the 123rd Christmas Bird Count on Seabrook Island on Tuesday January 3, 2020, please register or send an email (SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com). You can volunteer to stay at your home and report the birds that visit your feeder or even join experienced birders who will travel the island throughout the day.

SIB member, Kathy Woosley, took the initiative last year to create a new CBC circle centered on James Island which was considered a practice CBC.  Last year’s practice count had 137 species which would put this new count circle in the top 5 in the state. She had 20 birders participate in the count last year and is sure with more birders this count could end up being in the top 3.  If you would like to join the JI Count team please respond to Kathy Woolsey at Krwoolsey@gmail.com 843-670-6061

Article Submitted by:  Judy Morr

Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

2 thoughts on “Volunteer to Assist with the 123rd Christmas Bird Count on Seabrook Island”

  1. Yes Ed and I plan to be there for the CBC. So Mark,  if you want to go to Wadmalaw with your friend early, that is fine with us. We will arrive at Seabrook on the 2nd and do the beach. 

    Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

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