SIB Members Elect 2023 Officers

Once again, Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) members were asked to vote electronically for the slate of officers nominated by the Executive Committee to lead SIB in 2023. We are happy to announce our members approved the slate with 87 votes in favor and no votes against:

Officers:
—Past Chair – Joleen Ardaiolo
—Chair – Walter Brooks
—Vice Chair – Ed Konrad
—Membership/Treasurer –Nancy Brown
—Secretary – Jean (Nini) Wolitarsky

In addition to the officers, the SIB Executive Committee (EC) is made of of the following committee leads:

Standing Committees:
-Activities – Bob Mercer/Judy Morr
-Communications – Judy Morr/Gina Sanders
-Hospitality – Nancy Chomel
-Program Chair – Ed Konrad/Mary Wilde
-Shorebird Steward – Bob Mercer
-Web Master – Nancy Brown/Judy Morr

Directors-At-Large:
– Tim Barnard

Non SIB Executive Committee Members
– Bluebird Trails Chair – Melanie Jerome (lead)
– Communications – Jackie Brooks 

Thank you to these and all our volunteers for the hours you spend making our organization so wonderful!!!

If you are interested to join a committee, please fill out our Volunteer Form. To contact any officer, please send an email to: seabrookislandbirders@gmail.com.

Calling all Shutterbugs!

If you have photos or short videos of birds taken anywhere on Seabrook Island, we would love to feature them on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

Please include any details you’d like to share – especially the date the image was taken, the species of bird/birds in your photo (or if you need help identifying), the location, and your name so we can give credit where credit is due.

You can email them directly to Gina Sanders at gabbygirl29455@gmail.com, or text to Gina at (864) 979-6181. We try to post at least one photo a day and will post them in the order they’re received.

Thank you everyone, we can’t wait to see your pictures!

Happy Holidays!

Northern Cardinal from Wingscapes 12 Birds of Christmas

Happy Holidays from Seabrook Island Birders!  May the season bring you many joys and maybe even a few wonderous feathered finds.

American Robin – Ed Konrad

 

 

Pictures of Northern Cardinals, American Robins, Canada Geese and ducks are often seen on holiday cards.  A little research shows how many different birds are in the popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  (Information provided by sites noted below.)

A Partridge in a Pear tree – The “partridge in a pear tree” is probably the Red-legged Partridge, a rotund seed-eater native to continental Europe.

A red-legged partridge surveys the Midlands of England in winter. (Photo: Erni/Shutterstock)

It was introduced to England as a game bird in the 1770s, and it’s still common in the U.K. today. Another candidate might be the Grey Partridge.   This small, chicken-like bird, also known as the Hungarian partridge, is native to Eurasia but now makes its home in agricultural grasslands along the United States–Canadian border. Gray Partridge hens produce a clutch of up to 22 eggs—one of the largest clutches of any bird species—meaning you’ll usually find more than just one partridge in a pear tree.

Two Turtle Doves -Were probably originally European turtle doves, native birds that were widespread in the U.K. when “The 12 Days of Christmas” was introduced.   In the U.S. it would more likely be mourning doves.   Male and female mourning doves work together to feed their babies “crop milk” or “pigeon milk” that’s secreted by their crop lining. These adult pairs tend to mate for life, which may be why the song’s composer reserved this bird for the second slot in the holiday countdown.

Three French Hens – The “French hen” referenced in this Christmas classic could be any chicken breed (as chickens are native to France).  Unfortunately, if you spot a domesticated chicken, you can’t post in eBird as domesticated birds aren’t counted.

Four Calling Birds – Although recent renditions refer to them as “calling birds,” the original version uses “colly birds”—a colloquial British term that means “black as coal”—to describe this bird. Therefore, the common blackbird is widely considered the lover’s intended gift.

Five Golden Rings –  A birder’s interpretation of this gift could be Ring-Necked Pheasants.  The males’ bright copper and gold plumage makes it the perfect “gift”.  Another site suggest five gold rings could refer to five “gold spinks” or Goldfinches.

A greylag goose trudges through snow in central England. (Photo: Erni/Shutterstock)

Six Geese a laying – As a British Christmas carol, the reference is likely to the British bird, the Greylag goose.  We of course are more likely to think of a Canada Goose.

One mute swam goes a-swimming at Forfar Loch in Angus, Scotland. (Photo: Mark Caunt/Shutterstock)

Seven Swans a swimming – the seven swimming waterfowl are most likely mute swans. These large birds were long kept in semi-domesticity in England, where they were considered property of the Crown.

 

The remaining gifts are not as obvious birding gifts.

Eight Maids-a-milking – Two sites stretched it to be Magpies. They chose the black-billed magpie for its milky white belly.

Nine Ladies dancing – One site said the Parotia, “ballet dancing bird,” is the perfect choice to replace the Christmas carol’s “nine ladies dancing.” Male Parotias learn their unique dance moves from their fathers who use this display to attract a mate. Their decorative, six-quill plumes are dramatic and dazzling. These birds of paradise aren’t native to the song’s country of origin, but you can spot them in New Guinea, a former British territory.

Ten Lords-a-leaping – We sing the song with the ten lords a-leaping, but in  the earliest known variant found in North America, on the Tenth Day of Christmas, the true love sent ten Cocks A-Crowing.

Eleven Pipers piping – Sandpipers could be the easy bird interpretation.

Drummers drumming – The most common drumming bird is said to be the Snipe but another site suggested the Ruffed Grouse is the drumming bird. When displaying for females or defending its territory, the male Ruffed Grouse beats its wings in the air to create a drumming sound that scares off potential threats. Another interesting Ruffed Grouse fact: the bird’s toes grow projections that act as snowshoes in the winter months.

Sites used in submitting this article:

12 Birds of Christmas

The bird songs behind ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’

The 12 Birds of Christmas by John R. Henderson

 

Join or Renew Your SIB Membership for 2023

We are pleased the implementation of online payment using Credit Card / PayPal was well received this past year. The Seabrook Island Birders Executive Committee (SIB EC) met recently to review the budget for the coming year. In our first seven years of operation, we were able to maintain membership dues at $10/person. In order to cover increased expenses, offer quality programs, support the Shorebird Steward and the Bluebird Trail programs, the SIB EC has voted to increase dues to $15/person/year

We hope you will renew your membership today and it is valid through December 31, 2023. SIB membership is open to anyone interested in birds; residents, renters and guests to Seabrook Island.  Benefits of SIB membership include the opportunity to go on bird walks, participate in bird counts and learn about the many birds that frequent our island each season of the year.  In addition, SIB members will receive a discount on bird food purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited in West Ashley, SC.This past year, more than 290 members enjoyed the various in-person and virtual SIB events.  We encourage you to renew your 2023 membership today! These funds will help us offer great programs in the next year!

We have a two step process to renew by credit card.  

Step 1: Tell us Who You Are 

Step 2: Pay Your Membership to Us

OR

If you prefer to pay by check or cash, place a check made out to Seabrook Island Birders for $15/person in an envelope and include the name, email, and phone number of each member and bring to an event or drop off/mail to:  Seabrook Island Birders (SIB), 1202 Landfall Way, Seabrook Island, SC 29455

Thank you for your support! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Program

Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards Return to the Beach!

Daily, starting on March 1, 2022, Seabrook Island beachgoers may see Shorebird Stewards like Seabrook Island resident Tim Finan on North Beach. Shorebird Stewards educate people about the various shorebirds that use the Seabrook Island Beaches. All shorebird species are in decline and need help. Shorebird Stewards explain why shorebirds use the Seabrook Island beach and why beachgoers should “Share the Beach- Give Them Space”.

The Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward program is looking for more volunteers. Starting in March until July, stewards spend 2 hour shifts on the beach. The schedule is flexible and a scheduling website makes it easy to find times to fit anyone’s schedule.

Stewards don’t have to be a skilled birder. During the training program, participants learn shorebird identification, how to use our optics, and how to be a good steward. The training consists of a 2-hour classroom session plus on-beach field training.

People interested in becoming a Shorebird Steward can register here (sib.wildlifepreservationservices.com). To prevent bots from invading the site, registration requires several steps. All new Stewards should attend an SCAudubon led training on February 19, 2022, starting at 9:00 AM in the Oystercatcher Community Room or watch a recording of the presentation. All Stewards new or returning, need to participate in one of the many scheduled field training dates (details to be provided to those who register). For more information or to join us for a North Beach bird walk, please contact: sibstewards@gmail.com.

Free Virtual Evening Event featuring SC-DNR Felicia Sanders

The public is invited to enjoy a zoom presentation by Felicia Sanders on “Hemispheric Flights of Migratory Shorebirds” on February 16, 2022, at 7pm. Felicia has been active in shorebird conservation and research for over thirty years. Her talk draws on her many years of banding and tracking shorebirds including her 5 trips to the Arctic. She will also focus on the technology that allows scientists to track the migrations of many shorebirds that stop to rest or refuel on Seabrook: Red Knots, Whimbrel, Dunlin and others. 

SIB Members Elect 2022 Officers

As a result of the postponement of the January meeting of 2022, Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) asked our members to vote electronically. The slate of officers nominated by the Executive Committee to lead SIB in 2022 and approved by our members are:

Officers:
—Past Chair – Judy Morr
—Chair – Joleen Ardaiolo
—Vice Chair – Walter Brooks
—Membership/Treasurer –Nancy Brown
—Secretary – Beverly Stribling

In addition to the officers, the SIB Executive Committee is made of of the following committee leads:

Standing Committees:
-Activities – Bob Mercer
-Bluebird Trails Chair – Melanie Jerome
-Communications – Judy Morr/Beverly Stribling/Jackie Brooks
-Hospitality – Lesley Gore
-Program Chair – Ed Konrad
-Shorebird Steward – Bob Mercer
-Web Master – Nancy Brown

Directors-At-Large:
– Tim Barnard
– Mary Wilde

If you are interested to join a committee, please fill out our Volunteer Form. To contact any officer, please send an email to: seabrookislandbirders@gmail.com.

2022 Seabrook Island Birders – Executive Committee:
Top Row: Lesley Gore, Nancy Brown, Judy Morr
Middle Row: Melanie Jerome, Mary Wilde, Joleen Ardaiolo
Bottom Row: Bob Mercer, Ed Konrad, Walter Brooks
Missing: Beverly Stribling, Tim Finan

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.

REMINDER – Don’t Miss Ed & Aija’s “Top 10 Birding Moments Around the World!” – SIB’s Virtual Evening Program on November 17th

Join longtime SIB members, the Konrad’s, for a birding travelogue! Aija (the birder) and Ed (the photographer) will share their most memorable moments from the past 10 years of birding around the world. From their archives of over 1000 world life birds, they’ll take us through a photographic journey of interesting species, challenging hunts, beautiful countries and vistas, and some fun stories along the way.

Date: Wednesday November 17, 2021
Time: 7:00 – 8:15 PM
Location: Zoom Virtual Video
Fee: FREE

REGISTER TODAY

Meet the Speakers:

Aija and Ed Konrad, Seabrook Island Birders

Aija and Ed have been birding at Seabrook for 12 years. Aija is the avid birdwatcher, and Ed is the photographer. You may have seen them at North Beach or around Palmetto Lake, the tall blonde with binoculars and the guy with the big lens camera. They’ve been SIB members and advocates for protecting our shorebirds for many years, and Ed serves on the board. We enjoy Aija’s birding articles and view Ed’s photos each month on the Seabrooker SIB page, along with their many articles on SIB’s website.

In the last decade they’ve traveled extensively to bird and shoot photos in 49 US states and Canada, Central and South America, Europe, and the Far East. In 2018, Aija did a US Big Year, and they crisscrossed the country to see how many bird species they could identify in a calendar year. They recorded 577 species, and Aija placed #15 on eBird’s Lower 48 states! In 2019 they spent a month following and birding the Lewis and Clark Trail to the Pacific.

Aija and Ed are Penn State graduates. They live in Atlanta full time and Seabrook Island about 7 days a month. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

“Top 10 Birding Moments Around the World!” – Register for SIB’s Virtual Evening Program on November 17th

Virtual Evening Program November 17, 2021
Top 10 Birding Moments Around the World!”

Join longtime SIB members, the Konrad’s, for a birding travelogue! Aija (the birder) and Ed (the photographer) will share their most memorable moments from the past 10 years of birding around the world. From their archives of over 1000 world life birds, they’ll take us through a photographic journey of interesting species, challenging hunts, beautiful countries and vistas, and some fun stories along the way.

Date: Wednesday November 17, 2021
Time: 7:00 – 8:15 PM
Location: Zoom Virtual Video
Fee: FREE

REGISTER TODAY

Meet the Speakers:

Aija and Ed Konrad, Seabrook Island Birders

Aija and Ed have been birding at Seabrook for 12 years. Aija is the avid birdwatcher, and Ed is the photographer. You may have seen them at North Beach or around Palmetto Lake, the tall blonde with binoculars and the guy with the big lens camera. They’ve been SIB members and advocates for protecting our shorebirds for many years, and Ed serves on the board. We enjoy Aija’s birding articles and view Ed’s photos each month on the Seabrooker SIB page, along with their many articles on SIB’s website.

In the last decade they’ve traveled extensively to bird and shoot photos in 49 US states and Canada, Central and South America, Europe, and the Far East. In 2018, Aija did a US Big Year, and they crisscrossed the country to see how many bird species they could identify in a calendar year. They recorded 577 species, and Aija placed #15 on eBird’s Lower 48 states! In 2019 they spent a month following and birding the Lewis and Clark Trail to the Pacific.

Aija and Ed are Penn State graduates. They live in Atlanta full time and Seabrook Island about 7 days a month. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

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