Join SIB to bird at Ft. Moultrie

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Sunday, September 26, 2021 8:00am-11:00am
Birding Beyond your Backyard- Ft. Moultrie
Location: Meet at SI Real Estate Office to Car Pool (7:00a)or can meet us at the Fort (1214 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482- park at Poe Avenue in the sand parking lot between Battery Jasper and Battery McCorkle)
Max: 12
Cost: free to members, $5 per guest

Join us in a trip to Ft. Moultrie. This is a well known birding Hotspot among birders and fall migration will be in full swing. We may see many migrant birds passing through. It has many different habitats, including meadow/field, forest and shoreline. We are lucky enough to get Craig Watson to lead this activity. Craig is a Migratory Bird Biologist at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and lives in Mt. Pleasant. He knows Ft. Moultrie very well when it comes to birding.

Ft. Moultrie was the the first fort on Sullivan’s Island. It has been rebuilt 3 times since 1776 and played a significant role in the Civil War. Today Fort Moultrie has been restored to portray the major periods of its history. A visitor to the fort moves steadily backwards in time from the World War II Harbor Entrance Control Post to the site of the Palmetto-log fort of 1776. Tour of Ft. Moultrie will not be part of our birding activity, but if you drive there yourself, you are welcome to stay and also tour the fort. They are open 9a-5p and you will need to go to Visitor Center and purchase a $10 ticket. We will be birding the parameter of the Fort before opening hours.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, hats, water and sunscreen. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. You may bring the form and your dues to the event. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

Learning Together-Crooked Oaks Golf Course

Learning Together on Golf Course-Crooked Oaks Golf CourseMonday, September 27, 2021 8:30am-10:30am
Birding on Crooked Oaks Golf Course
Location: Meet at Island House (Golf Course Parking Lot next to Spinnaker Beach Houses) for ride along the golf course in golf carts.
Max: 20
Cost: None for members; $5 donation for guests

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars, hats and sunscreen. Water will be provided.

The Seabrook Island Club closes one course a day each week and allows Seabrook Island Birders to use golf carts to travel the course with our members to bird. Join us for a morning of birding by RIDING in golf carts for at least 9-holes on Crooked Oaks golf course. We expect to see a large variety of birds including Egrets, Herons and birds of prey. We will also see and hear some of the smaller birds like Tufted Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and some of the many warbler species. We can also expect to see Eastern Phoebes, Northern Flickers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Belted Kingfishers, Double-crested Cormorants, Bald Eagles, and more!

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5

Please complete the information below to register no later than Friday September 24,2021. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Sunday, September 26th.

Birding the Ocean Winds Golf Course – Jackie Brooks

SIB “Bird of the Week” – Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
Length:  7″; Wingspan: 13″; Weight: 1.1 oz.

Eastern Bluebirds - Charley Moore
Eastern Bluebirds – Charley Moore

Slightly smaller than its cousin the Robin, this bird is distinctive in its rusty red colored breast and white belly with a sky blue head, back and tail. The female shares the rusty red breast and white belly but is grayer with faint blue tails and wings. The song is a three part song that sounds like chur-lee chur chur-lee.

You will see these beautiful Eastern Bluebirds commonly perched on mailboxes alongside the roads of Seabrook Island and in the surrounding tree branches. They like open woodlands, meadows and fields and are year round inhabitants of this area. This was not always the case due to competition from other birds for their nesting holes and also the occasional cold spells that we have had that killed them off in large numbers. Their population declined by more than 90 % in the 20th century but thanks to efforts from bird lovers who have placed many bird houses in the area, their population is returning. There is also an increase in their population in winter when migrants from the north return to this area. If you are thinking of putting a birdhouse up, you should do this in early May to attract these migrants to stay. When you locate the birdhouse, try to keep it a discrete distance from other bird feeders so there is less activity to scare off new nesting birds.

Bluebirds enjoy a peanut butter corn meal mixture but really love live mealy worms which you can buy from Wild Birds Unlimited. They should be placed in an open bowl type feeder.

Their breeding habits are monogamous and they breed in pairs and small groups. The incubation period is 12 to 14 days and the young stay in the nest for 15 to 20 days. They usually brood 2 to 3 times a year with typically 2 to 7 light blue or white eggs.

Did you know that we have a Bluebird Society on Seabrook Island? It is run by Melanie Jerome with many volunteers. 71 bluebird boxes on 4 “Bluebird trails” around the island. There are boxes on the front and back nine of the Crooked Oaks course and the front nine of Ocean Winds. The other boxes are around the Lake House.  The bluebird nesting season has ended for 2021. We had 309 eggs with 259 bluebird hatchlings. 253 fledged.  That is a 97% fledge rate. These stats are reported to the Environmental Committee and the SC Bluebird Society. If you are interested in joining the Bluebird volunteers next spring, please go out to Seabrookislandbirders.org to let us know. No prior experience is necessary to join either group, just a love of birds and nature.

Article submitted by:  Ron Schildge, resubmitted from 2016/07/31
Photographs provided by:  Bob Hider & Charley Moore

This blog post is part of a series SIB will publish on a regular basis to feature birds seen in the area, both migratory and permanent residents.  When possible we will use photographs taken by our members.    Please let us know if you have any special requests of birds you would like to learn more about.

Watch: To the Ends of the Earth: Birds of East Africa

Do you love birds and nature? Are you interested to learn more about the birds of Africa? Recently, the Seabrook Island Birders offered a movie matinee found on PBS called, “To the Ends of the Earth: Birds of East Africa. All of the participants watching this one-hour documentary agreed it was spectacular!

Read the description and take time to stream this program!

Introduced by esteemed conservationist Jane Goodall and narrated by National Geographic’s Bill Jones, this documentary focuses on what humanity has in common with other species. Wildlife photographer Todd Gustafson captures stories of competition, courtship, family, hunting and flight to illustrate the hidden life of East African birds.

To the Ends of the Earth: Birds of East Africa is a local public television program presented by CPTV and distributed nationally by American Public Television.

Watch Recorded Program “All About Vultures”

Vultures have often been feared and reviled since they are in the business of death. But these intelligent and surprisingly clean birds have a crucial role to play in human health and cultural history around the world. Learn about their significance in history, culture, and ecology with Jen Tyrell, Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator, Audubon South Carolina! 

If you missed the live presentation of this program on September 15, 2021, you can now view the recorded event! As always, Jen educated our members in a fun and interesting way, sharing her knowledge about “Vulture Culture,” differences between the New World vs Old World vultures, their adaptations, misconceptions and reality, the ecology of vultures and which vultures are in peril and why.

Don’t miss out on watching this hour long program! You will truly have a new respect for these fascinating birds!!!

Meet the Speaker:

Jennifer McCarthey Tyrrell, Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator

Jen is a Master Bird Bander and an expert in bird biology, with a B.S. from Coastal Carolina and a Master’s degree from the College of Charleston. Before joining Audubon, Jen worked with Wild Birds Unlimited and the Center for Birds of Prey. Today, Jen spreads the word about bird-friendly communities and the benefits of native plants, and also manages bird banding and Painted Bunting research. 

Backyard Birding at Palmetto Lake

Tuesday September 21, 2021 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Backyard Birding at Palmetto Lake
Location: Meet at the Gatehouse end of Lakehouse Parking Lot
Max: 16
Cost: Free for members; $5 donation for guests

Join SIB to officially say good-bye to Summer as Fall starts on September 22. The recent resurgence of COVID had made many uncomfortable meeting at someone’s home. Therefore we’ll bird in the Lakehouse’s backyard….Palmetto Lake. We plan to walk part way along the path towards the Equestrian Center then hopefully see the “white birds” come in to roost for the evening. The path around Palmetto Lake is wheelchair navigatable and for those walking it will be probably only a quarter of a mile. As we walk along Seabrook Island Road, we hope to see some of our fall warblers such as American Redstart, Yellow Warbler and my favorite Black and White Warbler. We also expect to see a large variety of birds including Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Herons and birds of prey. If the “white birds” get the invitation, we hope to see Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and White Ibis roosting for the evening.

As always, be sure to bring your binoculars/cameras, hats and sunscreen. Bug repellent may also be appropriate. Bring your drink of choice to enjoy as the sun sets at 7:18. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. You may bring the form and your dues to the event. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

Please register no later than Sunday, September 19. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on Monday September 20, the day prior to the trip.

Join SIB for Learning Together on North Beach

Monday September 20, 2021 7:00-9:30 AM
Birding on North Beach
Meet: Oyster Catcher Community Parking Lot ( boardwalk #1)

We hope to spot a nice variety of shorebirds as we work our way to the North Beach inlet. We’ll meet in the Property Owners’ beach parking lot at 7:00am. Be sure to bring binoculars, camera, hats, sunscreen, water, and snacks. Of course, you can head back at any time. We ask that all participants wear a mask when unable to social distance if they are not vaccinated.

If you are not yet a 2021 SIB member, you must first become a member for only $10 by following the instructions on our website: https://seabrookislandbirders.org/contact/join-sib/. You may bring the form and your dues to the event. Or you may pay the Guest Fee of $5.

Please register no later than Saturday, September 18,2021. All registrants will receive a confirmation letter on the Sunday, September 19th. If you need to cancel, please let us know so we can invite people on the waitlist to attend.

REMINDER: Register for “All About Vultures”

Final reminder – this is a program you won’t want to miss!

REGISTER to get your personal Zoom Link today!

Vultures have often been feared and reviled since they are in the business of death. But these intelligent and surprisingly clean birds have a crucial role to play in human health and cultural history around the world. Learn about their significance in history, culture, and ecology with Jen Tyrell, Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator, Audubon South Carolina! 

Date: Wednesday September 15, 2021
Time: 7:00 – 8:15 PM
Location: Zoom Virtual Video
Fee: FREE

REGISTER TODAY

Meet the Speaker:

Jennifer McCarthey Tyrrell, Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator

Jen is a Master Bird Bander and an expert in bird biology, with a B.S. from Coastal Carolina and a Master’s degree from the College of Charleston. Before joining Audubon, Jen worked with Wild Birds Unlimited and the Center for Birds of Prey. Today, Jen spreads the word about bird-friendly communities and the benefits of native plants, and also manages bird banding and Painted Bunting research. 

Bird of the week-Meet the Yellow-throated Warbler

Photo by David Etler

The Yellow-throated Warbler, Setophaga Dominica, is a common warbler in this area year round and breeds west to Texas and north as far as Illinois. They are part of the family of Wood Warblers or Parulidae.

If you are lucky enough to spot this stunning warbler, it is an easy bird to identify.  It has a bright yellow throat and chest with sharply contrasting black triangles through and below the eyes and bright white eyebrows. The back and top of head are gray with a white under-belly and two white wing bars. The Yellow-throated Warbler, besides having colorful markings, is also distinctive because of its stockier body and longer, sharp, black bill. The male and female are similar in appearance with the female being slightly duller. 

The Yellow-throated Warbler’s song is a clear series of down whistles with a rising note at the end as .  The male will actually establish his territory during breeding season with his song. 

These warblers will most likely be spotted in this area by looking higher up in a pine, live oak, or palm tree. They actively forage by quickly creeping in and out along branches and spiraling up and down trunks of trees. They probe deliberately into crevices, pine needles, pine cones, and Spanish moss looking for insects. This bird will creep instead of fluttering as some warblers do. In palm trees they might be spotted in the crowns or hanging upside down among the leaves. 

The diet of the Yellow-throated Warbler is mostly insects. They are insectivores and feed on beetles, moths, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, mosquitoes, ants, aphids, and spiders. However, they will also come to your backyard feeders if you have the feeders in an area that is a desirable habitat for them and perhaps have a feed mix that includes fruit and/or dried mealworms. 

Once the male locates his territory and his mate, the male and female stay monogamous during the nesting season and produce two broods per year. The nest, prepared mostly by female, is either in a clump of Spanish moss or at the outer edge of a high pine branch. In the Spanish moss the female will form a pocket and line it with grasses, weeds, and feathers. On the pine branch, she will weave together weed stems, bark strips, and grasses to form a cup and then line it with plant down and feathers. She will lay 3 to 5 pale gray-green eggs with dark specks that are less than an inch long. Both the male and female incubates the eggs and feed the nestlings. The eggs incubates for 12 to 13 days and the young leave the nest in about 8 days. 

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Photo by David Etler

The new family will stay together during the breeding season and then become part of a mixed species flock with Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses, and other warblers during non breeding season. 

Luckily for us, the Yellow-throated Warblers have increased their population by 50% between 1966 and 2014, according to Partners in Flight, and at this time are not a conservation concern.

Article Submitted by Joleen Ardaiolo

Reposted from 2019