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:

—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

– 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:

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, 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!

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

Do you plan to be at your home on Seabrook Island on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, and do you have backyard feeders? Seabrook Island Birders is still looking for volunteers to participate in the backyard feeder count to support the Sea Island’s Christmas Bird Count !

Last year, our backyard feeder 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 at your home on Seabrook Island on Tuesday January 3, 2023, by reporting the birds that visit your feeder, please register or send an email (

If you missed it, you can read the full article about the Annual Christmas Bird Count published by SIB a few weeks ago at this link.

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 ( 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 843-670-6061

Article Submitted by:  Judy Morr

Volunteers Needed

We would love to have you join our team of volunteers!  Don’t worry if you are a beginning birder, we are looking for diverse skill sets, including experience or willingness to learn the following:  communications, marketing, organizing, strategic planning, leadership, financial, technology/digital media, etc. 

The committees shown with an asterisk ( * ) indicate they can be done remote from Seabrook Island. So even if you are only in the area for part of the year, you can still assist us in many areas!

  • Activities *:  Plan & coordinate workshops, bird walks, movie matinees and bird count activities for members. Committee meets via Zoom for no more than 1.5 hours about every other month.
  • Bluebird Monitoring:  Monitor Bluebird Houses located throughout Seabrook Island for one of three 6-week periods between March and August.  
  • Communications *:  Write stories to be used in SIB Blogs, Tidelines and The Seabrooker.  Update Facebook posts, Instagram and Twitter.  Share photographs with our members of activities and birds you see.
  • Shorebird Steward:  The steward program needs volunteers two-hour shifts to help educate people about the importance of our tiny piece of the world to the shorebirds that visit. This is not an enforcement effort, but an educational effort.
  • Hospitality:  Set up chairs and tables prior to meeting, register members and guests, provide and set up refreshments and clean up after each of the SIB events.
  • Membership:  Recruit and retain members.
  • Programs & Speakers *:  Plan & coordinate SIB Quarterly Programs for membership.
  • Executive Committee *:  Join the SIB board to assist with the overall strategy for our organization, take a role as President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, lead and/or participate on committees. Committee meets via Zoom for no more than 1.5 hours every month.

Please let us know your interest by filling out this form.

Movie Matinees to Return!

Hello all bird movie fans! After a seven month movie matinee hiatus, SIB is ready to begin showing Movie Matinees!

  • The first movie will be a virtual movie using Zoom on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 4 pm.
  • The second movie, Tuesday, December 13, 2022, will be a hybrid showing, meaning we will show the movie virtually on Zoom but we will also have an in-person option at the Oystercatcher Community Center on Seabrook Island, SC.

Now we need your help!!!

We are looking for several volunteers to make this happen. You don’t have to have any special skills, just a willingness to give your time and take on some of the responsibilities listed below:

  • All Volunteers
    • Participate in selection of the movies
    • Determine the Movie Matinee schedule for 2023
  • Virtual Volunteers
    • Operate the Zoom portion including sharing the videos
    • Introduce the movie and host the event
  • In Person Volunteers
    • Pick up and return key for Oystercatcher Community Center
    • Set up and take down chairs
    • Set up hospitality station
    • Set up a computer to view movie on the TV screens
    • Co-host the event

Please let us know if you have questions or are interested to join our SIB Movie Matinee team by sending us an email using the button below. Thank you!!!

Bluebirds have started nesting!

Eastern Bluebirds – Charley Moore

The Eastern Bluebirds have started to build their nests!  Monday morning, four different SIB members reported seeing nesting material being taken into boxes.  Susanne Brown’s box with a camera has captured the work in progress.  Expect a blog later showing a chronological series of pictures from her box.

To all Seabrook Island Birders – The Seabrook Island Bluebird Society is looking for volunteers to assist with the inventory of Bluebird Nesting Boxes for the 2022 Season.  Please read the note below from coordinator Melanie Jerome and contact her if you are interested to support this initiative. There are still two team spots available June 25 to August session. 


Dear Bluebirders,

It`s that time again to schedule our volunteers for the upcoming season. Volunteers Val and Pat Luzadder have volunteered to do the maintenance on all the boxes this winter and they are continuing on the project.

The schedule is below
Mar 6- April 30
May 1- June 25
June 25 – August 13
Trails are Crooked Oaks 1 & 2
Ocean Winds
Lake House
Please let me know when you are available and which golf course you want. When it gets closer to March, I will have your buckets ready for the first group of volunteers. 
I would also like to remind everyone to be aware of any golfers on the course at the time of your monitoring. Never get in front of a golfer unless they motion for you to go through. If you come up on a golfer group, stay back until they are done with their play. Always call the golf club to let them know you are coming to monitor. They then can let you know of tournaments , etc. 

A refresher on volunteers’ responsibilities:

  • commitment is once a week to check your route rain or shine. Try to stay on the same day, give or take a day.
  • document everything you see at the boxes, for example egg colors are important and predation, etc.
  • fill free to take pictures of issues you see when you’re reporting.
  • contact me with any issues via text  614-570-3951
  • Once the schedule is set, I will have buckets ready for monitoring. My front porch pickup and drop off worked really good last year for me.

Thanks everyone!

Melanie Jerome
Seabrook Island Bluebird Society

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 ( 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:

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:

—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

– 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:

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

Ask SIB: Eastern Bluebird Winter Behavior

On January 9, 2021, Andy wrote SIB, “Today we saw maybe half dozen blue birds and one was sitting on the entry hole.  Isn’t it early for them to be nesting?  Has the warm weather put them off schedule?”

Eastern Bluebird – photo by Bob Mercer

The questions are relatively easy to answer. Yes, it is too early for them to be nesting, so they are not “off schedule” due to the weather. As usual, the questions lead to another question; what are the birds doing?

Since Eastern Bluebirds are year-round residents in our area, one can watch the full range of behaviors. During the winter months, bluebirds can gather in flocks of up to 20 birds. These flocks consist of one or more family units. In really cold weather, a flock of bluebirds may all cram into a single cavity, presumably for shared body warmth. Pair bonding for bluebirds can happen anytime between November and March.

This photo of an Eastern Bluebird entering the box and the female watching perfectly captures some of the courtship behavior–wing droop tail spread. Photo by Nancy Brown

During the courtship and nesting period, the flocking behavior disappears. Once a pair settles on a territory, they work hard to drive away all competitors including their siblings. 

It is difficult to know exactly what Andy observed, but one can make an educated guess. Since he saw a half dozen birds, he observed a winter flock. The bird sitting at the nesting hole most likely was a male bird checking out the box for its potential. 

Once a male makes a choice, he will then attempt to attract a mate or to solidify his relationship with his current mate. According to the Cornel Lab of Ornithology website Birds of the World, the male goes through a very predictable pattern of behavior. The male institutes a nesting demonstration display where he perches at a hole holding nesting material with his wings drooping and his tail spread wide. He looks around, presumably to make sure his intended is paying attention, and then look in the hole. The next step is to rock back and forth into and out of the hole before going in the cavity. Once in the cavity, he will stick his head out still holding the nesting material. Leaving the material in the cavity, he then hops out near the hole and does a wing waving display. The female entering the box cements the pair bond. 

People with bluebird boxes they can view, or who have cameras trained on a box, may be lucky enough to watch this behavioral sequence. 

Nesting on Seabrook Island usually begins around the first of March. The Seabrook Island Birders sponsor a bluebird box monitoring program. Volunteers have a route where they check a series of boxes once a week to monitor if birds use the boxes and nesting success of failure. Anyone interested in helping is encouraged to contact the Seabrook Island Birders.

Be sure to read tomorrow’s article discussing the installation and monitoring of a birdhouse with an outside WIFI camera!

Gowaty, P. A. and J. H. Plissner (2020). Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

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