South Carolina Wildlife Federation


The Palmetto Pro Birder Program was developed in 2012 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.

SCWF envisions building a core of 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.

The Palmetto Pro Birder Program offers one-day Birding Basics Classes, one-day Pro Birder Field Days, and two-day Pro Birder Training Modules.  Several of each type of session are held throughout the year, with different instructors, at various locations around the state.  To become a Certified Pro Birder, you will be required to attend eight days of SCWF training. Participants can pick and choose sessions based on level, focus, date or location (however Birding Basics can only count once toward certification). 

Every session will be appropriate for beginners, and include varying amounts of basic information.  Each class will also include various species, due to location and time of year, to interest those attending multiple sessions. 

After every session, 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 at least 15-20 bird species (more for longer sessions) - learn new birds in each session!
  • 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

Who: Palmetto Pro Birder classes are open to anyone ages 16 and up.  To ensure a quality experience for all, space is strictly limited to 20 participants.  Classes fill quickly, register early! 


one-day Birding Basics Classes: $40

one-day Pro Birder Field Days: $60

two-day Pro Birder Training Modules: $150  

Suggested Materials:
National Geographic Guide to Eastern Birds

Bag lunch and plenty of water 

When: The classes/modules can be completed in any order - you can start at any time with the next upcoming event if there is space.  

Two-day Pro Birder Training Module:  Friday, April 28 & Saturday, April 29, 2017 - $150.

Sassafras Mountain/Southern Appalachian Foothills, Pickens County
Instructor: Tim Lee

Join us as we bird South Carolina’s Blue Ridge! This time of year, we could see a variety of migratory birds as well as resident birds and maybe a few winter residents, such as kinglets and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, that have not departed. We will spend part of our time birding at Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina's highest point, were we may see Common Raven and Dark-eyed Juncos. We will also hit other area hotspots in the southern Appalachian Foothills. 

Times: Friday 9am-3pm, Saturday, 7am-12noon

One-day Pro Birder Field Day:  Saturday, May 6, 2017 - $60.

Silver Bluff Sanctuary, Aiken County

Instructor: Steve Patterson

​This trip will investigate the Audubon Center & Sanctuary at Silver Bluff.  We will begin at the Visitor's Center and the nearby trails. This area includes varied habitat and longleaf pine/wiregrass stand that could contain Bachman's Sparrows while we're there.  After lunch, we will explore the ponds managed for the endangered Wood Storks.

​Times: 8am-2pm

Stay tuned to this site for announcements of other upcoming modules!

If you do not currently receive emailed notifications when new classes are opened, 
you can join our mailing list here.   
**Check out pictures from completed Modules HERE**

Contact: Sara Green, SCWF Director of Education  
Through Email by Clicking Here, or
By Phone: (803) 609-4778