Bird Sighting – Northern Gannet

Thanks to Paul Giardino for reporting a bird sighting!  He and three others observed a Northern Gannet about 150 yards from shore as it floated by on the out going tide.  The location was at Boardwalk #8 (“Dolphin Point”) on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm.

The Northern Gannet is a large bird (Length: 37″ and Wingspan: 72″) who spends most of its life at sea.  Similar to the Brown Pelican, to feed it plunge dives into the ocean from as high as 130 feet.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 11.59.48 AM

 

Join SIB for the GBBC from February 12-15, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 8.33.49 AM

We encourage everyone to take time during the weekend of February 12 – 15, 2016 to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  Spend 15 minutes or longer documenting the number of each species and input this information along with the date, time, length of time and location into www.eBird.org  (if you are a first time user, you will need to create a login).  Learn more about the GBBC here.

On Sunday February 14, SIB is sponsoring our fist member activity by hosting two “Learning Together Bird Walks.”  If you are not yet a SIB member, you must first become a member by following the instructions here.

Once you are a member, please register for one of the “Learning Together Bird Walks” by completing the form below and selecting one of the two trips:

Trip 1 – Palmetto Lake:  Casual flat surface walk of less than a mile for approximately 1 1/2 hours around Palmetto Lake to view birds common to Seabrook Island backyards and ponds.  Walk will leave the Lake House front steps promptly at 8:30 am.  Limit 20 people.

Trip 2 – North Beach:  Casual walk on North Beach of two miles (or more) for approximately 1 1/2 hours to view birds common to the beaches on Seabrook Island.  Walk will leave the parking lot of North Beach Boardwalk #1 promptly at 8:30 am.  Limit 12 people.

Please bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat and if you have them binoculars and/or a camera.

Please register no later than Friday February 12, 2016.  Thanks!

Join SIB Today

Charley Moore Bunting

Join more than a 100 of your Seabrook Island neighbors as a member of Seabrook Island Birders (SIB).  SIB membership ($10.00 per person annually) is restricted to residents and their renters but all programs are open to everyone. Guests and visitors will be asked to make a small donation.  Benefits of SIB membership include the opportunity to go on bird walks, attend programs about birds and learn about the many birds that frequent our island each season of the year.  In addition, SIB members will receive a discount on bird food purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited in West Ashley, SC.

Why wait?  Join today.  It’s easy!

Just write your name, phone number and email address along with a note if you would like to help at meetings or with planned activities.

Send that information with $10 (per person) in cash or check made out to Seabrook Island Birders to:

  • Marcia Hider
  • 3145 Green Heron Ct.
  • Seabrook Island, SC 29455

Or you may leave the information in her local mailbox – the one with the flamingo flag.

Bird Sighting – Red Knots are Back!

Thank you to Patricia Schaefer for submitting her sighting of 20 Red Knots on January 31, 2016 at approximately 3:00 pm on North Beach between the old inlet and the new inlet on the ocean side.  This particular bird had a green leg tag with number 25P on his left leg. Patricia reported it to the Bird Banding Lab with the USGS.

Let us know if you see any interesting bird sightings on Seabrook Island by using this form.

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

Seawatch at Folly Beach

On Tuesday, February 9, from 8:30 to 10:00 am, join Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission (CCPR) birding experts to explore the wonderfully diverse opposite ends of Folly Beach. You will see a variety of coastal birds. Help experienced birders scan the ocean for a variety of ducks, seabirds, and shorebirds and learn how to spot ‘bunches’ of Red Knots, “rafts” of scoters, and much more.  Register for the class using the link below.

Ages 12 & up. A chaperone is required for participants ages 15 and under.  Park fees, operating schedules, and hours are subject to change without notice.

Meet at:
Folly Beach Fishing Pier
101 East Arctic Avenue
Folly Beach, SC 29439
Contact:  843-795-4386
Cost: $6, $5 CCR*, or free for Move IT! Pass members