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Birding Basics: Winter Bird Workshop

  • Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve Turkey Track Lane St. Matthews, SC, 29135 United States (map)

This class is currently full. To be added to the waiting list, please complete and submit the WAITING LIST FORM found by clicking here.

Golden-crowned kinglet, photo from

Golden-crowned kinglet, photo from

Come learn the basics of winter birding, and put your new skills to use in the Christmas bird count, the oldest citizen science project in the world! 

We'll discuss those tricky winter birds, the sparrows, talk about their habitat preferences and where to find them, and practice by ear to learn the sounds of other common winter birds like the Golden-crowned kinglet, Eastern towhee, and Ruby-crowned kinglet. 

Eastern towhee, photo from

Eastern towhee, photo from

We'll also practice counting flocks of birds so a more accurate count can be made in the field. Winter is also a great time to put up an owl box, and begin preparations in your yard for the spring! Please join us within the unique hardwood bluff ecosystem of Congaree Bluff Heritage Preserve to experience beautiful vistas, our winter birds, and talk about conservation! 

Where:  Class will be held at Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve, near St. Matthews, SC. We will meet at the Education Building at the very end of the road through the Preserve. Restrooms will be available there.

When:  Thursday, December 6th, 8:00am - 1:00pm

Who: This training is open to the public. No prior knowledge is required. Minimum age is 16.  This training will count for one day toward Palmetto Pro Birder certification (8 days needed total). For SC Master Naturalists, this event can count as Advanced Training and towards your statewide certification if you need a Coastal Plain component. Lunch will last thirty minutes, so depending on when we finish, this class will count for approximately 4.5 hours of training. If you are not a Pro Birder or Master Naturalist, just come have fun with us. Participants will also receive contact info of other participants to allow for carpooling to the class.

Jay Keck headshot.jpeg

This class will be led by Jay Keck, SCWF Habitat Education Manager. Jay has been a passionate nature and bird lover since his early teens. He lives in Chapin, SC with his wife and two boys, and has identified 95 bird species in his yard in three years, as well as 160 species in Lexington county since moving back in September of 2013. He has viewed birds in Spain, Chile, Honduras, and Costa Rica, as well as many areas in SC from the mountains to the coast. Being inspired by SCWF's mission, he earned his Palmetto Pro Birder certification, and has led bird walks for SCWF as well as Saluda Shoals park, Columbia Audubon, and private organizations. Even when he is golfing, hunting, or fishing, he is secretly birding. At SCWF, Jay coordinates the Gardening for Wildlife programs and the Wildlife And Industry Together (WAIT) program as well as leading birding classes for the Palmetto Pro Birder & Midlands Master Naturalist programs. 

To ensure a quality experience for all, space is strictly limited to 20 participants. Classes fill quickly, register today! After registration, you will receive an email with lodging recommendations, directions, and any other details pertinent to the class.

Other Important Notes:

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•    If available, please bring binoculars & your favorite field guide to Eastern birds.

•    Restrooms are available at the Education Building. Pink and blue bushes are along the trail…

•    Participants should bring a bag lunch, water and be prepared for a day in the field. 

•    There is no rain date for this event. We will make every effort to hold it, even in a few rain showers. If it looks like a deluge, we'll notify you of cancellation and refund your money.

•    After registering, you will receive important correspondence via email. If you change your email between now and then, make sure to notify us.

Cost: The cost is $40.00 per person and limited to the first 20 people that register.     

IMPORTANT: Participants should be in good physical shape. Birding involves a lot of standing, and we may cover some distance in our field work.


This class is currently full. To be added to the waiting list, please complete and submit the WAITING LIST FORM found by clicking here.

Earlier Event: November 27
2018 Annual SCWF Open House