Backyard Birding – Would you be willing to host one time in your backyard?

Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) offers its members a monthly opportunity to bird with other members in the comfort of someone’s backyard.  Almost every home on Seabrook has a good view of a variety of different birds. In 2018, we had 10 such activities, some in the morning, some in the evening.  Our members get a lot out of the relaxed activity and learn a lot from each other. The host(s) sometimes learns about birds they see every day but may not notice or know what they are.  Others enjoying sharing their little piece of paradise. No matter whether you are on the golf course, tennis area, lakes, lagoons, woods or ocean, there are birds in your backyard. If you are willing to host a Backyard Birding activity, please contact Melanie Jerome (melaniejerome@att.net) who coordinates these activities.

Just a few glimpses of prior Backyard Birding events:

Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you in your decision.  If you have more questions, contact Melanie and she can answer your questions without you having to make a commitment.

What do I need to do in preparation?

There is no preparation for this event, other than setting a date. You just have to let us into your backyard. You don’t even have to be there, but we hope you are. – only happened once

What if my house is not big enough?

We don’t care, we are not in your house. Many of the backyard birding is done at the villas also. We like to keep it at 12 for registration purposes, but average of 4-8 have been registering.

I haven’t seen many birds lately, what if there isn’t very many to view?

We don’t care if we only see one bird. We can find a lot to talk about and learn , even if we only see crows.  (nutt’in against the crows)

Do I have to provide food and beverage?

We don’t need food or beverage, we bring our own insulated mugs. BYOB

What if I don’t know very many bird names?

We don’t care. We love to teach others, and we sometimes are not sure either. What a great way to learn about the birds you see in your yard.

I have a pretty busy schedule….

We know and it’s only a 2 hour commitment. We will just sit on your back porch or mostly standing in the yard, looking up!!

Won’t I be embarrassed if there are no birds?

Birds can be uncooperative, when it comes time for viewing, but even the most common bird can surprise you. I sat with my binoculars one day, looking at a crow for about 20 min. It was amazing how he sat and groomed his partner. He kept pecking the branch and i watched as he landed there and took off when he was done. The shape of the crows wings are one of the most beautiful shaped wings i’ve see . The bird is so dark black that it looks almost blue in the sunlight. Appears to just caw for no reason, i could see. Interesting character.

Help! Volunteers are needed to host a Backyard Birding Activity for 2019. Please consider hosting a backyard birding activity in the new year. Just contact Melanie at melaniejerome@att.net, to set a date and get it on the calendar. She is currently working on March, April and May.

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Volunteers Needed for the SI Bluebird Society

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 2019 Season.  Please read the note below from coordinator Melanie Jerome and contact her if you are interested to support this initiative. There are still four team spots available.


Blue Birds-1 Moore
Eastern Bluebirds – Charley Moore

Dear Bluebirders,

A new season is about to begin for the Seabrook Island Bluebird Society. There are lots of Eastern Bluebirds flying around beginning to look for mates and nesting sites right now.

I had mentioned in prior emails, that I was working on getting baffles to deter our predators, and that is going along very well. I have attached a picture of #7 at the Lake house, I hope you can open it.

The Seabrook Island Birders agreed to help pay expenses for this project at the Lake House. And, the Seabrook Island Club has agreed to pay for all the baffles at the two golf courses. The Lake House is almost done. We are moving two of them to see if the Bluebirds might like it better and make a nest this year. The rest all will have baffles. The golf courses are being done by the Maintenance crew at the club. The last update from my contact, was that all the parts were ordered and they would have them on by March 1st. This will be close, because our bluebirds will be checking out their nest sites and moving in really soon in the month of March.

March 8th is the official start of bluebird box monitoring this year. It will end Aug 9.

(MARCH 8-AUGUST 9)

Team Slots are :

  • March 8- April 26- need 4 teams for Ocean Winds, Crooked 1, Crooked 2, and Lakehouse
  • May 3-June 21 Need 4 teams for Ocean Winds, Crooked 1, Crooked 2 and Lakehouse
  • June 28-August 09 4 teams for Ocean Winds, Crooked 1, Crooked 2 and Lakehouse

I am sending this email to official start our volunteers monitor spots schedule. There are 12 team spots. Are you coming back this year to help out? Let me know via email as soon as possible.

It will be first come first pick. 2 spots are already filled by Rob and I and  the Aisenhauers. I will try my best to get everyone where they want and the time they want.

Just a refresher:

  • 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
SeabrookBluebirds@gmail.com
614-570-3951

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

REGISTER NOW!

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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.

THIS SUNDAY • 9 A.M.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
″$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
RENT YOUR KAYAK
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)
BRING YOUR OWN
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
NOT A PADDLER?
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)