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.
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.
You may have read the recent article regarding the winter behaviors of Eastern Bluebirds. Today, I want to tell you about the nifty gift I gave my mom for Christmas.
My parents live on Johns Island just 25 minutes from our home on Seabrook Island. A couple years ago SIB member Carl Voelker was helping his grandson make bluebird nest houses and my mom, Susanne, was thrilled to have Carl install one in her backyard. In each of the past two years, she has watched while three broods of young were raised and fledged!
As the holidays approached, we came up with the perfect gift for her – a camera to watch the birds from the inside of the birdhouse. I searched the internet for possible options, and selected a product made by Green Backyard. This company has a number of different products including houses, feeders, and cameras for birds and other wildlife. The kit I chose included a cedar birdhouse with a 38mm (1.5″) opening along with a waterproof outdoor WiFi camera. I had decided to purchase their box as it is designed with an added “window” to allow for illumination and it is structured to easily install the camera to the “ceiling” of the box.
Before buying this camera, I verified two things:
Strong WiFi signal at the site it would be placed to connect to my parent’s home WiFi router.
Availability of power using the included 10 meter (~32.8 feet) long power cord, which I plugged into an outdoor extension cord, to reach the exterior GFCI outlet .
I ordered the kit directly from Green Backyard and it arrived within about 10 days. The camera and birdhouse were fairly easy to install. I placed the camera inside of the birdhouse as directed, then placed the box on the pole replacing my mom’s original birdhouse. I ran the power cable and extension to the GFCI outlet. Next, I installed the iCSee app on my phone to activate and configure the camera to the home WIFi router. I inserted the memory card (not included) into the SD card slot and sealed it with a sticker (provided).
(Photos: Top Left – equipment for camera installation; Middle Left – left side of birdhouse; Bottom Left – right side of birdhouse showing removable panel (translucent) for illumination; Right – birdhouse after final installation.)
Both video and audio is transmitted wirelessly via WiFi to your router, allowing you to watch live feeds from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or PC.
I set the option to send each of us a notification when there is movement at the box (see example). This is triggered when a bird enters or even if there is a sudden change of lighting or significant movement with wind. When you open the app, you can view the live feed and take photos or video that are saved on your app and can be downloaded to your device.
The great news for my mom is that her Eastern Bluebirds entered the new box within a day! Almost every morning we are notified and watch a male and female enter and check out the box, just as Bob Mercer described in his article. We can’t wait for when the nest building begins in another 6-8 weeks, followed by the laying of eggs!
Watch and listen to this brief video of both the male and female as they enter and explore the birdhouse.
You can learn more about the product I purchased or buy it by clicking the links below. We are all very happy with it, but I encourage you to do your own research if you are interested to install a camera at your home. (I have no affiliation or relationship with the supplier of this product and did not receive any compensation for my review.)
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
In case you don’t receive it, or haven’t had a chance to read it yet, we hope you will enjoy The Seabrooker’s December 2021 SIB article. Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) contributed a full page on the left side of the centerfold! The stories this month feature:
Seabrook’s Winter Birds – It’s time to welcome our wintering birds that bring new life to the winter landscape as autumn winds down. Learn about these feathered friends and let us know where you see them!
SIB’s Shorebird Steward Program including a QR code (this Quick Response code is a bar code which will open a webpage when a phone camera is focused on it.)
Thanks again to author Aija Konrad and photographers Ed Konrad for their contributions this month. Ed also serves as our graphic designer!
A wonderful program was recently presented by Melissa Chaplin, US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Biologist, entitled “Wintering Shorebirds of South Carolina.” The talk is filled with fascinating information and details about many of the shorebird species seen on North Beach at this time of year. For a limited time only, Seabrook Island Birder (SIB) members are invited to watch.
We want to thank Bette Popillo of the Kiawah Island Shorebird Stewards for hosting this talk and making it available to SIB members and our Shorebird Stewards. As Bette likes to say, “After all, we share the same birds.”
This presentation will be accessible only until December 28, 2021. If you have questions or are interested to learn more about the SIB Shorebird Steward team, please send and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by: SIB Shorebird Steward Program Core Team
Crimson Wing-Mystery of the Flamingos Tuesday December 14, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 pm Location: Zoom
This lyrical documentary uses high-definition photography, narration by French actress Zabou Breitman and an elaborate score to illuminate the life cycle of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring but least-understood creatures — the flamingo. The titular mysteries explored in the film include the process through which flamingos, born black and white, attain their highly recognizable pink shade. The story of these majestic birds unfolds among the striking landscapes of Tanzania. Trailer of the movie.
Please sign up to join us for an afternoon at the movies!
Ed Monnig, the brother of a Chris Strobel, a SIB member and Seabrook Island resident, shared his recently recorded “Field Notes” for Montana Public Radio. These are observations and reflections on some aspect of the natural world. You can either listen to his four-minute recording of “Tale of Tails” or read it here.
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
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.