Volunteer with us Thursday at the Hawk Watch at The Center for Birds of Prey



Date: Thursday October 11, 8:00 am– 4:00 pm
Activity: Hawk Watch at The Center for Birds of Prey
Location: Meet at SI Real Estate Office to Car Pool
Max: 12

Did you know Birders gather at key areas across the U.S. to count migrating birds of prey? The South Carolina Coastal Raptor Migration Survey is getting ready to start the fall Hawk Watch at The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC and SIB has arranged for our members to spend a few hours volunteering as observers.

The survey begins on September 1st and runs through November 30th *. The standard observation hours are 10am-1pm, but observation beyond these hours is welcomed. Each day a designated shift leader who is knowledgeable about raptor identification will lead the watch and is joined by at least one observer (someone who is interested in participating but does not need to be an experienced birder). Protocols for Hawk Watch will be to complete the standard HMANA data sheet.

SIB has arranged for volunteers to assist as observers during the Fall Migration Hawk Watch on Thursday , October 11, 2018 from 10am – 1pm. Car pools will leave the SI Real Estate Office at 8:00 am. Participants may stay after the observation period and are welcome to explore and participate in the afternoon programing 2:00 pm tour and 3:00 pm flight demo. For those interested, we plan to stop for lunch at the Seewee Restaurant in Awendaw following the event. Cars will be arranged based upon desired follow-on activities if possible. If Hawk Watch and then lunch, we should be back to Seabrook Island by 4pm.

Be sure to bring binoculars, sun screen, water, snacks, hat and bug spray.

* Note: If you are unable to attend with SIB on this date, but would still be interested to volunteer once or more during the three months, please contact Audrey Poplin (audrey.poplin@avianconservationcenter.org) to make arrangements for a date that works on your schedule.

Please register no later than Tuesday October 9, 2018. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter the day prior the event.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us by sending an email to: SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com

If you are not yet a 2018 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.


Help Save Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary

During our SIB Evening program on Thursday, September 27th, our guest speaker Patrick Jodice spoke about the importance of the Brown Pelican and the protection of their habitat.  As you may already know, this is the first year Crab Bank has not been filled with the calls of chicks since shorebirds began using this tiny island as a nesting ground.

This dwindling Seabird Sanctuary Island and Important Bird Area near Shem Creek washes over twice a day at high tide this year. The SC Audubon and other organizations are working together to raise $1.4 million toward the restoration of Crab Bank, with the Army Corps of Engineers will invest the rest of the estimated $4 million needed to complete the project. Normally a project like this would cost at least twice that.

You can be a part of the movement to Save Crab Bank. Share it on your social media, go see what’s left of Crab Bank for yourself, participate this weekend in the “Paddle & Flotilla” (see below) and  donate.

″$1.5 million is beyond me, but it’s not beyond us. In December, there’s going to be a cash call, and if we don’t have the money they’re going to dredge right by. That’s an issue. What happens to Crab Bank will be a litmus test for how we want to be and how we want to act as a community.”
-Chris Crolley, Coastal Expeditions
Five local outfitters are donating their services to make this day happen. Choose one and get signed up!
Coastal Expeditions (full)
Charleston Kayak Company (full)
Put in at a private dock, at the Shem Creek Landing or at Nature Adventures (Shrimp Boat Lane). Be to the Bank by 9 a.m.
If you use the Nature Adventures Landing, you’ll get parking and use of facilities for $15 launch fee (to be donated to Crab Bank)
Register here to let us know you’re coming
Get your family together, grab a coffee and walk out to the end of the Shem Creek Boardwalk! You’ll be able to cheer us on as we migrate down the creek and assemble at Crab Bank.
Make a donation to Save Crab Bank
Want to Chat?
Call/Text (843)884-7684
Coastal Expeditions is proud to be the Outdoor Adventures Partner for the South Carolina Aquarium. Become a member for access to special outings with Coastal Expeditions!

Volunteers Needed at the Avian Conservation Center

If you are looking for an organization to volunteer with, please see the information below from:

Registration is Open for New Volunteer Staff Orientation

Join us on Sunday, September 2nd, 1-4pm, for an introduction to our Volunteer Staff program. Learn about the variety of areas where we need support and meet some of our team. You’ll be able to ask questions, get to know a few of our current Volunteer Staff, and learn about the behind-the-scenes activities that make the Center function.

Continue reading “Volunteers Needed at the Avian Conservation Center”

Volunteer with SIB on Friday 9/23 at the Hawk Watch

SC Coastal Rapter Migration Survey – 2016
September 1 – November 30

5950841011533070The Center for Birds of Prey – Observation Deck
4872 Seewee Road
Awendaw, SC  29429

Fall is rapidly approaching and that means one thing… Hawk Watch is back! The Center for Birds of Prey is recruiting volunteers for the annual South Carolina Coastal Raptor Migration Survey and would love your help! The survey runs September 1st through November 30th and standard observation hours are 10am-1pm, but observation beyond these hours is welcomed. Their goal is to have a shift leader (someone who is knowledgeable about raptor identification and has participated in a hawk program in the past) and at least one observer (anyone interested in participating, not necessarily an experienced birder). Protocols for Hawk Watch will be to complete the standard HMANA data sheet.

SIB has arranged for its members to attend on three specific days

If you would like to participate on any other date, please contact Audrey Poplin, Husbandry Coordinator and Educator at The Center for Birds of Prey at audrey.poplin@avianconservationcenter.org or call 843-971-7474.  Audrey has created a Google calendar she will share with you so you may select a date(s).

In the meantime, here are some additional documents to explain the program and provide you with information on how to identify hawks seen in North America.

2016 SC Coastal Raptor Migration Survey

A Guide to Hawks Seen in North America

Eastern Raptor Migrant Guide

Help Needed for Audubon Int’l Certification Bird Count

Audubon International LogoAs many of you likely know, the golf courses on Seabrook Island were the first in South Carolina to be certified in the  Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf program.  One of the factors considered was the diversification of the local bird species.  On Thursday, April 28th, a team of birders will be canvassing those courses for a bird count.  The activity at bird houses and feeders on adjacent properties are significant to the count’s results.  Your assistance in filling bird feeders helps us build a count.  In addition, if there are any of you who would like to participate in the survey, please contact George Haskins for more details at dart54golferAgmail.com or 243-0070.

For more information about the certification program, visit  Audubon International.

(Submitted by George Haskins)

Volunteer – Injured Bird Transporters for the Center for Birds of Prey

In 2012 I took the Master Naturalist course offered by Charleston County Parks and Recreation.  As part of the curriculum, we spent a day at the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw.  I immediately knew I wanted to volunteer with this incredible organization, but doing what, I had no idea.

It just so happened that the following week the Center was offering a training workshop for injured bird transporters.  I signed up, learned the job, and right away received my first call – to pick up an abandoned juvenile hawk.  It was treated, cared for until it grew up, and released.  I was hooked!

Each year the avian medical clinic at the Center for Birds of Prey receives about 600 sick, injured or abandoned raptors, as well as vultures and shorebirds for treatment.  Without volunteers to bring these birds to the clinic, the vast majority would die in the wild.

Some issues appear seasonally.  In the spring owlets can fall from their nests and need to be re-nested.  In early fall some juvenile pelicans haven’t mastered the art of fishing for themselves and are spotted on a beach unable to fly in their weakened state.  And of course, there are birds that need assistance at any time.  I can tell you, there’s no bigger thrill than capturing an owl, hawk, pelican, great blue heron, and even an eagle, and then getting them to the Center for help.

One of my most rewarding calls came from a construction worker on Kiawah.  A tiny, baby screech owl had fallen from its nest, high up a tree.  With the help of Kiawah naturalist Liz King and a donated cherry picker, the baby was placed back in the nest.  Success!  Well, the next morning I got another call – the baby was back on the ground, seemingly uninjured.  This time, Debbie Mauney, the clinic’s medical director, advised me to bring the owlet in.  For some reason, Mom was pushing the little guy out of the nest.  The owlet was put in an enclosure at the Center, complete with foster parents and their offspring who helped it recuperate and grow.  A few weeks later, the owlet was ready to be released, and I brought it home to Kiawah.  A crowd of delighted onlookers cheered when it flew out of its carrier and back into nature at Night Heron Park.

The job can be far less dramatic yet just as important. Often someone else has already captured a weakened bird in Beaufort or Hilton Head. My job is simply being available to act as part of a tag team with another transporter, who passes off the bird to me in Ravenel.  I then drive it the rest of the way to Awendaw.

Not all calls have a happy ending.  Despite your best efforts, some birds don’t make it but your reward is knowing that you’ve given the bird every chance to survive without suffering.

Believe it or not, I am the only volunteer transporter for this entire area, which includes Johns, Seabrook, Kiawah, Wadmalaw, and Edisto islands.  I could sure use some help!

No, you don’t have to be a Master Naturalist to be an injured bird transporter.  You just have to love birds and be willing to donate a few hours of your time and miles on your car when a bird needs your help.  If you live at Seabrook only part of the year, consider volunteering when you’re here.  I can tell you, there’s nothing like the up-close and personal experience you get when rescuing a bird.  The photos will attest to that.

The Center for Birds of Prey will be holding a training session for new injured bird transporters this spring.  Might I see you there?

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I’d be happy to discuss it further with you.  You can reach me at 843-768-2346 or loriporwoll@yahoo.com.

Submitted by – Lori Porwoll