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.
Located on Wadmalaw Island, the Bears Bluff NFH has a self-guided tour our group will take around the perimeter of the 31 acre facility. We will not only see examples of the South Carolina lowcountry’s natural habitat but also see work being accomplished by staff at BBNFH. SIB Leaders will take our participants across a previously impounded estuarine area which is naturally reverting back into coastal marshland as well as a freshwater pond where birds, turtles and alligators are often visible. Two boardwalks offer a unique perspective and will allow guests “to get in the marsh without getting dirty”. The self-guided tour offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the estuarine ecosystem while experiencing some of this area’s most breathtaking scenery. Opportunities abound for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts, so bring your binoculars and pack a lunch!
Join SIB Executive Committee Members Nancy Brown & Judy Morr for this walk in search of seabirds, wading birds, passerines and birds of prey. Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen bug repellant, snacks and water. Pack a lunch and stay longer to enjoy what the Bears Bluff NFH has to offer!
Date: Friday, September 28, 2018 7:00 am – 12:00 pm Activity: Beyond our Backyard – Bears Bluff Fish Hatchery Location: Meet at SIRE parking lot and car pool (approximately a 45 minute drive) Max: 20 Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests
As reported in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology newsletter. Sign up on their website.
With fall migration heating up, it’s time to take advantage of BirdCast. Using a combination of weather forecasting and long-term data sets, our BirdCast team can predict which nights migrants will be on the move—which spells good birding for the morning after. Check out our primer on using BirdCast, or go straight to the current 3-day forecast.
Date: Saturday September 22 8am-10am Activity: Backyard Birding on Kiawah Location: 85 Wax Myrtle Ct. Take the main road to the second gate. Turn right at the second gate. My street is on the left, just past where there are double lines across the road (which designates the bike path). Max: 12Cost: free for SIB Members, $5 fee for guests.
This is the home of Beverly Gholson, a SIB member and Kiawah Island resident. We will start out inside (2nd floor) to get a good view of her bird feeders. Bev also lives near the observation deck on Kiawah, where we can take a little walk and observe many shorebirds. Bev gets a large variety of birds near her home. Fall Migration will be in full swing.
Once you are a member, please REGISTER no later than Thursday September 20 , 2018. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event.
The Seabrook Island Bluebird Society was started on Seabrook Island to help the Eastern Bluebird (see our “Bird of the Week” blog from 2016 to learn more about the Eastern Bluebird). The 2018 nesting season has come to an end.
If you didn’t know, the Eastern Bluebird is a small member of the thrush family that inhabit fields and clearings. Although pesticides and competition from house sparrows in the early and mid-20th century negatively impacted bluebirds, they have recovered well in recent years and are stable or increasing both as breeding birds and wintering birds. Much of this recovery is thanks to concerned citizens who put up bluebird boxes in their fields for these birds to nest in.
Seventy-three bluebird boxes were installed and are located along Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds golf courses, the Lake House and Sunset Pier. Melanie Jerome took over the leadership of the Bluebird Society in 2018 from Dean Morr. The main focus is to monitor nesting of bluebirds and any other bird species using the boxes. This is done from March through August by a group of 13 hard working volunteers. They check the boxes once a week, keeping track of activity of all birds documenting by box the number of eggs laid, hatched and fledged. Once fledged, the boxes are cleaned of all nesting material so they available for another brood of birds.
The 2018 statistics for our Seabrook Island Eastern Bluebirds are:
99 nests built
389 eggs laid
246 eggs hatched
This is a 58% fledge success. We also have had 21 nests from Carolina Chickadees, with 74 eggs laid, and 55 fledged. We had a predation problem from snakes and raccoons this year and the 2019 goal is to obtain baffle guards on some of the poles to prevent the predation issue.
To compare to results from previous years, see the chart below:
I would like to thank all of our volunteers for their help, we couldn’t do it without you. If you are interested in helping with the bluebirds, please contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article submitted by: Melanie Jerome
Photos provided by: Nancy Brown
For those of you who know her, you might not be aware that Tori Langen is a birder. She’s better known as an avid and accomplished golfer and a darned good bridge player. But she also enjoys birding!
Tori says that it was probably her father who got her interested in our feathered friends. He used to call in cardinals with his whistle and Tori loved it. She was about 10 years old at the time. In fact, as it turned out, she has had several close friends through her life who were birders. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were avid birders and her husband, Bob, also was interested, mostly in backyard birds.
On Saturday September 8th, shortly before the onslaught of news of Hurricane Florence, five SIB members met to bike the 7-mile West Ashley Greenway from Johns Island to the Windermere Plaza. Two additional members where unable to catch up with us, but also spent a beautiful morning biking and birding.
The larger group documented 38 bird species along the way. One of the most exciting sightings for the group were a pair of female Summer Tanagers who chased each other near the “tree of shoes.” Our final new species of the day was a flyover pair of Roseate Spoonbills was spectacular!
The two additional SIB members who biked and birded the Greenway saw 36 species, but interestingly they saw at least six species not seen by the first group: three types of warblers, two types of vireos and a Loggerhead Shrike.
Below is the full list from the larger group. Let us know if this type of trip is of interest to you and we will try to plan another later in the fall.
Canada Goose 24
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 85
Mourning Dove 15
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Clapper Rail 3
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Laughing Gull 25
Wood Stork 10
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 12
Snowy Egret 3
Little Blue Heron 4
Tricolored Heron 3
Roseate Spoonbill 2
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Belted Kingfisher 6
Downy Woodpecker 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Blue Jay 14
American Crow 4
Fish Crow 1
swallow sp. 5
Carolina Chickadee 7 It
Tufted Titmouse 6
Carolina Wren 5
Eastern Bluebird 12
Gray Catbird 3
Northern Mockingbird 7
House Finch 3
Boat-tailed Grackle 5
Summer Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 3
House Sparrow 2
We interrupt the regularly scheduled emails about Hurricane Florence to invite you to SIB’s next evening program, “A Pelican Briefing”, presented by Dr. Patrick Jodice, on Thursday, September 27, 2018! We hope by then, life after Florence will have returned to normal and you will enjoy this exciting discussion about our Brown Pelicans and several other seabirds and shorebirds.