View Bald Eagle and Great Horned Owl Bird Cams

Tired of watching reruns on Netflix? There are two live camera feeds in the area of birds on their nests. There is a Bald Eagle nest on Hilton Head Island and a Great Horned Owl nest in Savannah. Both are live feeds and anything can happen.

Hilton Head Island Land Trust has an Eagle cam on a nest located on private property in an undisclosed area since eagles can be quite sensitive to human activity while nesting.  The First Eaglet HH3 hatched on 12/26/2021 and Second Eaglet HH4 hatched on 12/27/2021. Watch the live action and read more about this nest in cooperation with the Hilton Head Island Land Trust

During the Fall of 2014, a pair of Great Horned Owls began frequenting an abandoned Bald Eagle nest adjacent to a protected, nutrient-rich salt marsh at The Landings, on Skidaway Island, near Savannah, Georgia. A pair of owls successfully fledged four owlets from the site in 2015 and 2016, but they did not return to breed in 2017. An Osprey pair has nested at this site since then, but change is afoot as the 2022 breeding season gets underway and the nest site returns to the owls! You can keep up with the Great Horned Owls all through nesting season on this live-streamed camera feed from Cornell Lab and Skidaway Audubon. Watch the live action here.

If this hasn’t given you enough bird cams. Cornell Lab has more cameras of nests and feeding stations for various birds. You can find a complete list with links at their All Camera site.

Register for SIB’s February Virtual Evening Program

Hemispheric Flights of Migratory Shorebirds

Everyone is Welcome!

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Program starts 7:00pm.
Location: Zoom Virtual Video
Fee: Free
Attendance: 500

Questions? Email us at: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com

Each year millions of shorebirds migrate to Arctic breeding grounds from wintering sites in South & Central America and southern North America. SC beaches are important sites for these long-distance migratory birds. Many know the Red Knot’s journey – Arctic tundra to nest, southern South America for winter, AND a stop in SC to refuel. But what about Whimbrels, Dunlin, Sanderlings, and Semipalmated Plovers that also nest on the northern Arctic shores?

What are migration routes of Seabrook’s shorebirds? Where do the birds spend the rest of the year? How do banding, innovative tagging & tracking technology, and peoples’ reporting help identify birds’ exact movements and locations? Join us for Felicia Sanders’, SCDNR partner and SIB’s good friend, fascinating look at the diverse countries & habitats shorebirds encounter on their global journeys!

Felicia Sanders has been working 30 years on conservation efforts for a wide diversity of bird species. Felicia joined the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in 2001, and leads South Carolina’s Seabird and Shorebird Projects. Her primary tasks are promoting conservation of important sites for nesting and migrating coastal birds, surveying seabirds and shorebirds, and partnering with universities to research life histories. She is a coauthor on numerous scientific publications, and has traveled to the Arctic 5 times to participate in shorebird research projects. Felicia went to graduate school at Clemson University, majoring in biology. Last year she was awarded the Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, whose members include 15 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Beyond our Backyard – Pitt Street Causeway and Fort Moultrie

Register Today!

Google Map: Pitt St Causeway to Co-op and Fort Moultrie

Pitt Street Causeway in Mount Pleasant is a small park with limited parking and no facilities, but it is worth a visit at any season. Almost any species of shorebird occurring along the South Carolina coast might be present on the mud flats here (especially at low tide). The marshes and salt creeks on the north side of the causeway are good for any salt marsh species, including all of the marsh-loving sparrows. You also have a good view of Charleston Harbor.

When SIB visited this site in 2019, we observed 41 species. The causeway is accessible for those with mobility issues. Once we are done at Pitt Street, those who are interested will go for lunch at The Co-op at 2019 Middle Street.

After lunch, SIB will return to Fort Moultrie and the Sullivan’s Island Nature Trail. In September, we saw 62 species on our visit. The season will be different, offering a different variety of birds. This portion of the walk will include walks over uneven paths.

Participants may opt only the morning at Pitt Street or both. If you wish to only do Fort Moultrie, we ask you just let us know and provide your own transportation.

Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and water.

Friday, January 28, 2022 8:30am – 4:00 pm (roundtrip from Seabrook Island)

  • Leave Seabrook Real Estate: 8:30 am
  • Bird Pitt Street Causeway: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Lunch: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
  • Bird Fort Moultrie and Sullivan’s Island Nature Trail: 1:30 – 3:30pm

Location: Meet at Real Estate Parking lot at 8:30 am to carpool to Pitt St in Mount Pleasant with start there at 9:30am with of low tide being around 10:30.
Max: 12
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

If you are not yet a 2022 SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/ or we request a $5 donation to SIB.

Once you are a member, please register no later than Wednesday January 26, 2022. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event. 

Join SIB for Workshop on Favorite Birding Apps

Register Today!

Do you have a smart phone or a tablet? Are you interested in learning more about birds or trying to identify a bird? Why carry a heavy paper guidebook into the field or even around the house when you probably have a smart phone or tablet nearby!?! Like with everything, there is an App for ANYTHING! And birding is no different. For many people, using a smart phone is the best way to easily identify birds and even track sightings.

Getting started using these various apps sometimes requires help. Or others may have “tricks” they have learned while using the apps. SIB will offer a workshop to share and learn from each other. If you don’t already have the desired app on your device, we’ll even help you get it loaded.

Bring your device, questions and tips to our workshop. If you want to load new apps, you will also need your account information for the App Store. If you want more information about possible apps, read prior blogs to give you ideas:

SIPOA rules for masks will be followed.

Tuesday January 25, 2022 from 4:00-6:00 pm
Location: Seabrook Island Lake House, Osprey 2
Max: 12
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

Sign Up by January 23rd and you will receive a confirmation on January 24.

RESCHEDULED: SIB Presents: The Center for Birds of Prey

In Person Evening Program
rescheduled to March 22, 2022

If you have already purchased a ticket and can attend the event on the new date, no action is required!

If you have not yet signed up, register today! We have already sold 66 of the 100 tickets for this event.

Date: Wednesday March 22, 2022
Registration starts 7:00pm. Program starts 7:30pm
Location: Live Oak Hall, Lake House, Seabrook Island, SC
Program Fee: Members $5.00
Attendance: Limited to 100 members

If you are not a 2022 SIB Member, you can join/renew for $10/year

Stephen Schabel, Center for Birds of Prey Director of Education, once again brings the Center’s amazing raptors to the Lake House. We’ll witness the interesting and important world of raptors through this unique indoor program. Stephen’s engaging discussion, along with watching the birds in action, will give us a wonderful education of these majestic creatures and the significant role they play as apex avian predators. 

The program is limited to 100 SIB members. SIPOA COVID protocol will be followed – masks required in Live Oak Hall, masks and physical distancing recommended while traversing other indoor space. No refreshments will be served. If COVID conditions change prior to January 19 the program could be canceled.

Questions? Email us at: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com 

Meet the speaker: Stephen Schabel, Director of Education 

A native of South Carolina, Stephen joined the Center in 2003 after completing his M.S. degree in Environmental Policy at the College of Charleston. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years exploring various teaching opportunities outside the traditional classroom, as well as a career as an accomplished mandolin player and vocalist for a variety of groups in the Charleston area. Stephen’s background in education and environmental policy along with his lifelong passion for the outdoors -especially birds – offers a unique and relevant foundation for his role as Director of Education. Stephen oversees the care, husbandry, and training of the Center’s educational resident bird collection as well as the design and implementation of conservation education programs offered by the Center throughout South Carolina and beyond. Stephen particularly enjoys the aspects of “lure flying” falcons and conversing one on one with visitors about issues related to the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

SIB participates in Christmas Bird Count

On Tuesday, January 4, 17 SIB members once again participated in the fantastic annual tradition that is the Christmas Bird Count! Every year, birdwatchers all over North America (and elsewhere) head out bird counting in an attempt to gather a scientific snapshot of the bird population in our area.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is conducted every year with 2022 being the 122nd year. This year, they projected 603 circles to submit data. Each circle is a defined area with no overlaps and remains constant from year to year so data comparisons may be made. Each circle does their count on one specified day between December 14 and January 5.

Seabrook Island is part of the Sea Islands CBC circle which is coordinated by Aaron Givens. Nancy Brown coordinated the activities on Seabrook Island for SIB and submitted our results to Aaron for consolidation. 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!

Female Western Tanager – Jackie Brooks

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. One of those 7 species was a “rare” Western Tanager at Joleen Ardaiolo’s great feeders. This bird normally a summer resident in the Rockies, going slightly eastward during migration. Rarely it is seen east of the Mississippi but this female has been a regular visitor to Joleen’s feeders for about a week. When Aaron confirmed her identification, he stated he hoped it stayed for CBC….and it did!

SIB member, Kathy Woosley, took the initiative to create a new CBC circle centered on James Island which this year was considered a practice CBC. She’s not the only one involved in other CBC circles. Just some of SIB member CBC participation off of Seabrook Island:

  • Mark Andrews: Sea Islands on Wadmalaw in addition to his 2.5 miles on North Beach
  • Mike Harhold: Four Holes Swamp, Charleston and the new James Island.
  • Bob Mercer: Southern Bucks County, PA and Cape May
  • Carl and Cathy Miller: Congaree, Four Holes Swamp, Sea Islands (Kiawah side of Capn Sam, coordinating with Mark Andrews to avoid duplicate counts), Charleston and the new James Island. They are schedule to participate in another “practice” CBC this weekend: Edisto Island CBC.
  • Craig Watson: new James Island,  Winyah Bay,  McClellanville, Charleston, and ACE Basin
  • Kathy and Bill Woosley: Four Holes Swamp, Charleston (1/5), Sea Island (not on Seabrook Island and new James Island.   Kathy commented that doing Sea Island and Charleston back to back was tough on them . Her first Christmas Count was in 1974 in Lynchburg Va.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

SIB January Movie Matinee

Movie Matinee | The Spinal ColumnSeabrook Island Birders (SIB) schedules a Movie Matinee on the second Tuesday at 4pm each month. 

With the increased number of Covid-19 cases, Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) will continue to show movies virtually via Zoom until further notice.

Please register for each event you would like to attend and you will receive confirmation with the appropriate instructions the day prior.

January Movie – Register Here

Bird Brain Tuesday January 11, 2022 from 4:00-5:00 pm Location: Zoom

Front Standard. NOVA: Bird Brain [DVD] [2017].Watch astonishing tests of avian aptitude: parrots that can plan for the future, jackdaws that can “read” human faces, and crows that can solve multi-step puzzles with tools like pebbles, sticks, and hooks. Could these just be clever tricks, based on instinct or triggered by subtle cues from their human handlers? Watch the Trailer: https://www.pbs.org/video/bird-brain-preview-vnp Please sign up to join us for an afternoon at the movies! Sign Up by January 10th and you will receive an automatic confirmation with your link for Zoom.  It will be resent to you on the day of the program. *********************************************************** Keep watch on this page and our Calendar as we continue to add activities for our members! Also, join our SIB Google Group to receive an email about short-notice bird walks and interesting bird sightings! If you are not yet a SIB member, you may become a member by following the instructions here. Thanks! Website: SeabrookIslandBirders.org E-Mail: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com Facebook: seabrookislandbirders Instagram: seabrookislandbirders Twitter: SIBirders

SIB Presents: The Center for Birds of Prey

In Person Evening Program January 19, 2022

Date: Wednesday January 19, 2022
Registration starts 7:00pm. Program starts 7:30pm
Location: Live Oak Hall, Lake House, Seabrook Island, SC
Program Fee: Members $5.00
Attendance: Limited to 100 members

If you are not a 2022 SIB Member, you can join/renew for $10/year

Stephen Schabel, Center for Birds of Prey Director of Education, once again brings the Center’s amazing raptors to the Lake House. We’ll witness the interesting and important world of raptors through this unique indoor program. Stephen’s engaging discussion, along with watching the birds in action, will give us a wonderful education of these majestic creatures and the significant role they play as apex avian predators. 

The program is limited to 100 SIB members. SIPOA COVID protocol will be followed – masks required in Live Oak Hall, masks and physical distancing recommended while traversing other indoor space. No refreshments will be served. If COVID conditions change prior to January 19 the program could be canceled.

Questions? Email us at: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com 

Meet the speaker: Stephen Schabel, Director of Education 

A native of South Carolina, Stephen joined the Center in 2003 after completing his M.S. degree in Environmental Policy at the College of Charleston. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years exploring various teaching opportunities outside the traditional classroom, as well as a career as an accomplished mandolin player and vocalist for a variety of groups in the Charleston area. Stephen’s background in education and environmental policy along with his lifelong passion for the outdoors -especially birds – offers a unique and relevant foundation for his role as Director of Education. Stephen oversees the care, husbandry, and training of the Center’s educational resident bird collection as well as the design and implementation of conservation education programs offered by the Center throughout South Carolina and beyond. Stephen particularly enjoys the aspects of “lure flying” falcons and conversing one on one with visitors about issues related to the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

SIB “Bird of the Week” – Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum
Length:  7.25″; Wingspan: 12″; Weight: 1.1 oz.

I just love Cedar Waxwings and they are one of my very favorite birds!  They are such a cool looking bird with that sleek brown crest that often lies flat over the back of the head.  Waxwings  are medium-sized gregarious birds that are silky brownish overall with a pale yellowish belly and white under its tail coverts.  Cedar Waxwings acquired their name as the adults have wax-like red droplets on the tips of their secondary feathers.  It looks like someone dipped these feathers in hot red wax. Their somewhat short, square tail has a bright yellow band at the tip and they have short broad bills with a slight hook for gripping and swallowing large berries. These “Batman” looking birds have black masks edged in white and a black chin patch.

Males and females look alike, however, immature Waxwings have lots of brown streaking on their chests, much smaller crests, no black chin patch and no black “Batman” mask.

Cedar Waxwings are very sociable birds and almost always travel in flocks while in search of berries. Flocks of these birds will suddenly appear in an area, stripping trees and bushes of the berries and then vanish quickly when the crop is exhausted.  In the winter and fall they feed on dogwoods, pokeweed, grape, mountain ash and apple.  One of their favorite foods is a juniper called the Eastern Red-cedar.  In the summer they eat strawberries, mulberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and honeysuckle.  They also eat protein rich insects including mayflies, dragonflies, stoneflies and flower petals and sap.  Their insect catching behavior mimics a flycatcher as they leap off branches to grab insects in flight.

Cedar Waxwings inhabit deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands and like to nest in brushy areas near streams.  Scientists have discovered that Waxwings select mates of similar ages. During courtship males often pass a small item like a fruit, insect, or flower petal, to the female. After taking the fruit, the female usually hops away and then returns giving back the item to the male. They repeat this a few times until the female eats the gift.

Waxwings build cup-like nests in the fork of high tree branches.  The nests are constructed of twigs and grasses and lined with finer materials such as animal hair, pine needles, spider webs or moss.  Both sexes gather nesting material however the female does most of the nest construction. It takes 5-6 days to construct the nest and may take up to 2500, yes this isn’t a misprint, 2500 individual trips to the nest to build it.

Cedar Waxwings lay 4-5 eggs and incubation by the female happens in 12-14 days and the pair often nest twice in the summer.  Most Waxwings breed at 1 year old and they breed later than other birds as they time the hatching when there is a good supply of berries to feed their young. Adult Waxwings have a pouch in their throat and may regurgitate as many as thirty choke cherries at one time into their young bird’s mouths.  It has been said that Waxwings sometimes becomes intoxicated from eating fermented berries in winter.

Experts have seen several Waxwings sitting in a row passing a berry or insect from one to the other up and down the row until finally one bird decides to swallow it.

Waxwings are here on Seabrook Island in the winter, you just have to be on alert to hear their high pitched call. Most times you will hear Waxwings before you see them.  Once you get accustomed to their call you will be able to pick them out often.

Please watch the video below for a good overview of these fabulous birds!

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

Article submitted by:  Flo Foley 2017, resubmitted by SIB
Photographs provided by:  Ed Konrad & 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.

Volunteer to Bird Your Backyard on Monday January 3rd, 2022

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 122nd annual CBC on the designated day of Monday January 3, 2022.  

This past year, on January 3, 2021, 19 SIB members contributed to the 2020 -2021 CBC. A total of 111 different bird species accounting for more than 6,000 birds were sighted by our volunteers during more than 80 equivalent hours in backyards, on the beach, at the marsh and beyond.

This year we are looking for all available “backyard birders” to assist with the count. All birds observed within a 24hr period on that day can be counted.   If interested, sign up here, and we will send you detailed instructions on how to record your observations throughout the day  to reduce the chance of double-counting the same individuals.  Please read the instructions carefully and if you have any questions, please let us know. 

Some more uncommon species that are notable and can be found at backyard feeders include hummingbirds,  Baltimore Orioles, and Painted Buntings.  Don’t assume all hummingbirds are Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.  During the winter, it is not uncommon for western species such as Rufous Hummingbirds, Black-chinned Hummingbird, or others to make their way to the east coast.  If you have a “different” looking hummingbirds please try to get a photo of it so that it can get identified.    Even more rare could be Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Evening Grosbeaks

Please enjoy the photos taken by several SIB members during the day a few years ago.  If you are interested to participate in the 122nd Christmas Bird Count on Seabrook Island on Monday January 3, 2021, register today!


Photographs Submitted by:  Charles Moore, Patricia Schaefer

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