Palmetto Pro Birder

Written by Sara Green
Friday, 03 February 2012 12:30

The goal of the Palmetto Pro Birder Program is to expose motivated citizens to the diversity of avifauna in the Palmetto State and, by that exposure, build an understanding of the importance of conserving native habitats to maintain or restore the state's avian diversity.


We envision building a core of SCWF Citizen Scientists who are equipped with field ornithology skills to be competent in identifying birds by sight, sound and behavior in the field. These citizen scientists will be ambassadors for conservation and potential members and allies of SCWF and its long-standing agenda to conserve the state's wildlife, habitats and conservation heritage.

Several modules are held each year, with different instructors, at various locations around the state.  Each module will include a classroom portion which will focus on the basics of bird biology, identification, habitats, and conservation, as well as field work. 

Susan_with_scopeAt the end of each module, students will: 
  • have learned the “tricks of the trade” for identifying the common species, as well as some of the rarer species in SC
  • be able to identify by sight and /or sound 30-50 bird species - learn new birds in each module!
  • understand the roles of Citizen Science in protecting birds and habitat
  • be better able to plan bird-friendly landscapes that attract and retain a higher diversity of avifauna
To become a Certified Pro Birder, you will be required to attend four SCWF training modules. Participants can register for four modules at once to ensure that the space is held, or pick and choose sessions based on date or location. Each module will be appropriate for beginners, and include basics of bird identification.  Each class will also include varying species, due to location and time of year, to interest those attending multiple modules. 

birding with drew

Who: Palmetto Pro Birder modules are open to anyone ages 16 and up.  

Cost: $150 per module.  Participants will pack a lunch, and bring their own materials (suggested items below).

Suggested Materials:
  • National Geographic Guide to Eastern Birds
  • Binoculars

When: The modules can be completed in any order - you can start at any time with the next upcoming module if there is space.  Each module includes a Saturday session from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm and a Sunday session from 7:00 am until noon.

Scheduled 2014 Palmetto Pro Birder Modules*:

April 12-13          Clemson Forest          Instructor: Drew Lanham
The Clemson Experimental Forest's 17,500 acres are dedicated to education, research and demonstration in order to better understand and manage forest resources for the benefit of society. The patchwork of piedmont forests  include mature pine-hardwoods, early-successional, open field and wetland habitats that harbor a diversity of residents and neotropical migrants that will be making their way through the area. Come to the rolling hills of the Upstate and learn to identify birds by sight and sound as well as how forest management impacts these species and other wildlife. You'll  leave with an appreciation for the resiliency of nature and a better understanding of why the northwest corner of the state is revered by nature enthusiasts.
**This module is full -  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be placed on a waiting list.

May 17-18          St. Helena Island, Beaufort County           Instructor: Josh Arrants

Much of this module will focus on the incredibly close relationship between Red Knots and the magnificent Horseshoe Crab, and the Lowcountry islands will offer opportunities to also see a large diversity of other birds.  Saturday evening, SCWF will present a Moonbird Evening at the Penn Center, featuring author Phillip Hoose.  During a Lowcountry Boil dinner, Hoose will entertain our guests with stories and songs about the Red Knot called the "Moonbird" because it has traveled the distance to the moon and half-way back during its amazingly long lifetime.  
**This module is full -  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be placed on a waiting list.

May 31-June 1          Congaree National Park            Instructor: Drew Lanham
Join us at SC’s only National Park to learn about neotropical migrants - the warblers, tanagers, thrushes and other birds that fill our woods, wetlands and grasslands in the spring and summer and connect us to another world as they migrate between tropical locations on other continents.  Our efforts will be focused largely on identifying birds by sound, learning how to draw bird songs to help you remember them.
**Register for this module online here.

**ADD-ON SPECIAL EVENT (tickets still available!) - Lost Bird Project: Film & Panel Discussion - May 31, Columbia - $25.00 per person

*more modules will be added soon*


**Check out pictures from completed Modules HERE**
Contact: Sara Green, SCWF Director of Education 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or
By Phone: (803) 609-4778
Space is limited to 20 participants per module, register early! 
patience_wyatt2 RCW2_with_permission_to_use standingguard_peterson2
Last Updated ( Monday, 19 May 2014 19:30 )

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