Shorebirds of Kiawah Island: The Symposium

Thursday, October 12, 2017
4:00pm at The Sandcastle 

Members of SIB are invited to register for the Take flight with us at the Kiawah Conservancy’s annual symposium. Learn about some of Kiawah’s most cherished visitors from a variety of expert speakers and see our newest film… Taking Wing!  Speakers include: 

  • Mary Alice Monroe
  • Larry Niles
  • Aaron Given
  • Janet Thibault
  • Melissa Chaplin
  • Felicia Sanders

Thank you to the symposium and documentary sponsors: Town of Kiawah Island and AV Connections. 



Backyard Birding at the Moore’s Home

Charley & Marty Moore hosted seven SIB members for a Backyard Birding event at their home on Saturday September 23, 2017.  Enjoy these photos, taken by Dean Morr during the event, of a few of the 15 species seen during the event.  If you are interested in hosting a SIB Backyard Birding event at your home please contact  If you are interest to learn more about the birds in your backyard, invite a SIB Ambassador to your home by signing up here.

Don’t Miss the Second Annual Zugunruhefest!

Zugunruhe (zu – gun – rue) is a German word derived from Zug (move, migration) and Unruhe (restlessness). This state of restlessness is commonly noted in migratory animals, especially birds.

As fall approaches and instincts prevail, birds are compelled by this silent call to take flight to their wintering grounds. As part of the Atlantic Flyway, the Lowcountry serves as a predictable thoroughfare for migrating raptors and shorebirds during fall migration passage. Exploiting the Center for Birds of Prey’s strategic location, Zugunruhefest will afford numerous opportunities for observers, both novice and advanced, to experience fall migration from an exceptional vantage point.

In addition to onsite vendors and activities, the festival will include three days filled with naturalists, ornithologists, and educators leading bird walks, flight demonstrations, informative lectures, programs, and more.


When: Thursday, September 28th – Saturday, September 30th

Where: Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 North Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429. Bird walks, field trips and excursions will take place in additional locations throughout the Lowcountry.

Admission: Fees vary depending on activities chosen. For a complete schedule of activities with pricing, please visit the Center for Birds of Prey website or call 843.971.7474 ext. 0 with questions.

Tickets are now available.

SIB Learning Together at Crooked Oaks Golf Course

On a warm Saturday morning on July 15th, sixteen Seabrook Island Birders enjoyed a Learning Together “Bird Walk” on Crooked Oaks Golf Course which was closed for annual summer maintenance.  The Club graciously gave us access to not only the course but also use of carts for the outing, which helped to beat the heat of the July morning.  Due to the size of the group, the Birders split in to two groups with one going forward on the course and the other going backwards.  Each group had members with cameras to capture some of the birds seen.

The two groups met on the eleventh green where the Red Headed Woodpeckers have a nest in a dead pine. Each of our photographers captured the birds for prosperity while Charley Moore was able to catch them in their mating dance.

Since both groups were on the course at the same time, it would be expected the sited species would be very similar.  The group starting on the first hole saw 21 species.  The group starting on 18 saw 25 species. Only 15 of these species were the same for a total of 31 species.  Even with seeing so many birds on a  warm morning, neither group saw some common birds such as Turkey Vultures, Painted Buntings or Mourning Doves.  It proves that birding is always an experience in being at the right place at the right time.

Mississippi Kite – Glen Cox

A highlight for both groups was the Mississippi Kites which perched for the group and continued to fly by so we could see their grace as they dove to catch insects while in flight.

It must have been breakfast time for the birds as in addition to the Kite, an Osprey was seen eating a fish and a proud Eastern Bluebird had a lizard.

It was a great morning to Learn Together and enjoy some of the wonders of Seabrook Island.  Thanks to the Seabrook Island Club for making this possible.

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Article Submitted by:  Judy Morr
Photos taken by:  Marie Wardell, Glen Cox and Charley Moore

Group starting on first hole:

1 Double-crested Cormorant
25 Brown Pelican
1 Great Egret
1 Tricolored Heron
4 Green Heron
3 Osprey
4 Mississippi Kite
2 Laughing Gull
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
2 Blue Jay
3 American Crow
3 Fish Crow
1 Barn Swallow
3 Carolina Chickadee
2 Tufted Titmouse
2 Carolina Wren
4 Eastern Bluebird
1 Northern Mockingbird
2 Northern Cardinal

Group starting on eighteenth hole:

4 Wild Turkey
1 Anhinga
20 Brown Pelican
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Snowy Egret
3 Green Heron
2 Osprey
3 Mississippi Kite
1 Red-tailed Hawk
2 Laughing Gull
1 Belted Kingfisher
2 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
10 American Crow
2 Fish Crow
3 Carolina Chickadee
3 Tufted Titmouse
4 Carolina Wren
11 Eastern Bluebird
6 Northern Mockingbird
7 Northern Cardinal
2 Red-winged Blackbird
2 House Finch

SIB Backyard Birding at Lee Hurd’s

Entrance Lee Hurd’s Garden at 2116 Loblolly Lane

Early Saturday Morning on July 8th, seven Seabrook Island Birders braved the heat and enjoyed a wonderful morning of birding. Lee Hurd’s home is on a double lot where she has created a beautiful garden sanctuary beside her home. Bird feeders and bird baths are spaced beautifully between her gorgeous landscaping.

We started the walk on her back deck, drinking coffee, munching on goodies, and enjoying the many birds at her feeder. We saw Blue Jays and Downy Woodpeckers, with a Painted Bunting making an appearance. Mr. Alligator swam in Lee’s lagoon to take a look at us. Twin fawns scampered by, taking a peek at us strange animals with big black things glued to our eyes. 

My favorite part was taking a walk through her gardens and listening to the many birds. We saw Mississippi Kites, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. A total of 23 different species were seen and heard during our two hours at Lee’s gardens.

Lee has asked us to extend an invitation to visit her garden to all the members of the Seabrook Island Birders. We can stop by her garden at 2116 Loblolly Lane anytime to sit and enjoy the nature; nothing would make her happier!

Thank you, Lee!

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Article Submitted by:  Melanie Jerome
Photos taken by:  Dean Morr

3 Brown Pelican
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Great Egret
1 Green Heron
3 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
1 Turkey Vulture
5 Mississippi Kite
11 Laughing Gull
2 Mourning Dove
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
3 Blue Jay
3 American Crow
2 Carolina Chickadee
5 Tufted Titmouse
1 Carolina Wren
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Yellow-throated Warbler
4 Northern Cardinal
1 Painted Bunting

SIB Birding Camp St. Christopher with David Gardner – April 6, 2017

On Thursday, April 6th, SIB was once again able to take advantage of the expertise of David Gardner and the Seabrook Island gem of Camp St. Christopher to conduct a morning birding walk.  Eight people braved the gale force winds in the hopes of capturing glimpses of the arriving warblers and other song birds of spring.  The howling winds caused leaf movements in the tree tops making sightings of bird movements a challenge.  Birding by sound became the primary way to capture that first identification of the birds by several in the group.  Following the sound also led to sightings of numerous birds.  In all, thirty-five species were identified.

We started the walk at the feeders where a good view was seen of Northern Cardinals and the intrusive Brown-Headed Cowbird.  We were hoping for our first Painted Bunting of the season at the feeder but alas, it didn’t show until the next day.

From the feeder we went around the lakes where an Anhinga was seen perched in a bush with a Green Heron fishing across the lake. We then proceeded along the Hidden Oaks Nature Trail listening to Carolina Chickadees and a Pine Warbler.

Great Egret by Michael Audette

As we went into the woods of St. Christopher and on to the slough, we saw Great Egret and caught a glimpse of the Yellow-throated Warbler.

Hermit Thrush by Michael Audette



As we followed the return path, a Hermit Thrush hopped up to a branch so we could get a good view.

As we finished out walk and were reviewing our eBird list again at the feeders, an Osprey flew over to be sure he was added to our counts.  We all concluded it was a good day despite the wind. Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy what we love about Seabrook Island!  As with many of our wintering bird species, six of the eight participants will soon migrate to their summer homes in the north.

Article Submitted by:  Judy Morr
Photos Submitted by: Michael Audette

The complete list of birds sited is shown below.

Wild Turkey  9
Anhinga  2
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  3
Green Heron  4
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  2
Osprey  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
American Oystercatcher  2
Laughing Gull  6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
American Crow  3
Fish Crow  2
Barn Swallow  1
Carolina Chickadee  9
Tufted Titmouse  11
Carolina Wren  6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5
Eastern Bluebird  1
Hermit Thrush  1
Northern Parula  9
Pine Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Yellow-throated Warbler  3
Northern Cardinal  12
Red-winged Blackbird  7
Common Grackle  27
Brown-headed Cowbird  5
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  1

Beginning Birding at Camp St. Christopher

It was a beautiful Thursday to learn more about the birds on Seabrook Island by enjoying a morning of relaxed birding at Camp St. Christopher with David Gardner.  The group started by sitting at the bird feeders near Susannah’s House.  There, the group were shown the difference between Chipping Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows.  Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee and Red-bellied Woodpeckers were also seen.

White-throated Sparrow (left) vs Chipping Sparrow (right) – Dean Morr

The group proceeded on a short walk along the lagoon to see the Double-crested Cormorant compared to the Anhinga.  A rather noisy woodpecker was heard expanding the cavity in a dead tree to build a nest.  Slight movement could be seen but unfortunately, the suspected Downy Woodpecker never took a break from construction to show itself.

Anhinga – Dean Morr

The flighty Blue-gray Gnatcatchers showed themselves in a live oak before the group headed out to the beach to see Ring-billed Gulls and Brown Pelicans.  Along the way, a Black Vulture and a Turkey Vulture circled overhead giving a good comparison with David pointing out the differences in flight patterns and wing tips.  Later, a Bald Eagle was seen for another comparison of high flying birds.

After returning to the feeders for another look, the group was heading back to their cars when a Hermit Thrush was seen and allowed himself to be studied by the group who left feeling more comfortable in their bird identification capabilities.  A complete list of the 20 species seen is shown below.

Double-crested Cormorant 5
Anhinga 1
Brown Pelican 15
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 8
Bald Eagle 1
Ring-billed Gull 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
American Crow 11
Carolina Chickadee 16
Tufted Titmouse 18
Carolina Wren 6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 6
Eastern Bluebird 1
Hermit Thrush 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Chipping Sparrow 18
White-throated Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 9
Brown-headed Cowbird 1

Article Submitted by: Judy Morr
Photographs Submitted by: Dean Morr