Who We Are
Our website has been down for a while. We're using Google Sites, and they recently changed their procedures. After we figured out the appropriate magic incantations, we were able to get back up and running. Now we just have deal with the hard part -- providing interesting and current information.
Who Are We?
Columbia Audubon Society (CAS), located
is a chapter of the National Audubon Society. We are
active in both birding and conservation activities in and around the
Midlands of South Carolina. Meetings are held several times each year,
generally from September through May. Field trips are held
once a month. Check this web site for the most current information.
are always welcome at all events. There is no charge for most meetings
field trips. The list of field trips includes both those sponsored or cosponsored by Columbia Audubon Society and selected events sponsored by other local organizations that are open to the public.
Columbia Audubon Society is a non-profit volunteer organization. Like most such organizations, we can always use more volunteers. If you would like to contribute in some way, let us know. You could lead a field trip, give a talk, visit a school, read to children, design a nature trail, visit a garden club, or staff an information table. If there's something else you really like to do, let us know.
Join or Renew Online
National Audubon has recently set up an online membership form that chapters can use. Our Chapter Code is U52. Be
sure to enter this in the form by selecting it from the drop-down box. If you get a membership form that does not have a chapter list, PLEASE try the form link again. We get part of your membership dues to support our local activities if you join using this form.
Injured Birds and Other Animals
You may encounter injured birds and animals at home or in the field. Columbia Audubon Society can not help you with these. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation is not part of our mission, and we do not have the appropriate qualifications. Keep in mind that a young bird or mammal found on the ground may not be abandoned; its parent may be simply waiting for you to leave. In the Midlands area the appropriate organization to contact is Carolina Wildlife Care. Their emergency hotline number is 803-772-3994.
Wannamaker Nature Preserve
Columbia Audubon Society owns and manages the Wannamaker Nature Preserve in Calhoun County near St. Matthews. It contains flood plain, bluff, and higher areas. It is not open for general visitation. Each year there are several Wannamaker Work Days. We have adopted a section of South Carolina Highway 6 beside the preserve and schedule regular trash pickups. There are a large number of invasive alien plants on the preserve, and we also schedule regular invasive removals. Columbia Audubon and other groups also have field trips to the preserve.
Field events are held outside! Be prepared. It is possible to find mosquitos any month of the year. [Actually they find you!] Ticks and chiggers may also be encountered. Insect repellent is advised, especially during the warmer months. Bring food and water as appropriate. Meals may or may not be part of an activity. Binoculars and field guides are essential for serious bird study but not for more casual enjoyment. Dress for the weather. Long pants and sturdy walking shoes are appropriate for most trips.
Participating in Field Events
Things to Do
May Program Meeting
Eric Howard -- Wintering Golden Eagles in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina and Virginia
Eric will be sharing imagery and information gathered by researchers working to document movements and land use of Golden Eagles in their southern wintering grounds.
Eric Harrold is a freelance naturalist, bird guide, and professional falconer living in northwest North Carolina. He has worked on a number of avian projects in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains, and for the past three years, he has worked for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program in the southwest region of the state. In addition to his appreciation for avian species, he also enjoys wildflowers and rare plants, edible mushrooms, trout fishing, and rendering abundant wild fruits into jelly and wines.
From the Carolina Butterfly Society website:
Carolina Butterfly Society emphasizes identifying and watching butterflies in the field and garden rather than collecting them. Every season we organize several butterflying field trips to the various biogeographic regions of the Carolinas. We offer advice on butterfly gardening, encourage photography and record-keeping, provide fact sheets for outdoor educators, sponsor gardening workshops, and collect data for conservation use.
The Carolina Butterfly Society includes
The Society sponsors several field activities each year, including butterfly counts at Congaree National Park. The next one will be on Saturday, June 13. Marty will provide information on how you can participate in this count.
We will meet at the Jim Hamilton - L.B. Owens Airport Conference Room, 1400 Jim Hamilton Blvd, Columbia SC 29205 at 7 PM. Join us for an informative program, socializing, and refreshments.
Unfortunately, we did not get the website updated before the April meeting. Chuck Braun, intrepid world birder from Aiken, took us on a virtual tour to Papua New Guinea. In addition to the expected bird pictures, we saw pictures of a large snake and some of the human residents of the area.
Saluda Shoals Bird Walk:
walks are held at Saluda Shoals Park on Bush River Rd the LAST SATURDAY each
month. These walks are led by Audubon member Patricia Voekler. From
just interested to novice to experienced birders, these groups share their
interests and talents. Binoculars are required, guidebooks are optional,
insect spray and sunscreen are appropriate, and water is a great accessory.
Wannamaker Nature Preserve Work Day -- Saturday, April 4
We'll be scheduling another Wannamaker Nature Preserve Work Day soon. Traditionally we have had one on or near Halloween to pick up trash. Costumes are optional.
What bird is that? What do you do to answer this question? Ask someone? There may not be anyone around. Check a field guide? You may come up with a bird that looks like the one you saw but doesn't live anywhere near South Carolina. One useful tool is a bird checklist listing the birds to be expected in an area. There are some local checklists you might find useful. And you might even be able to help keep them up to date.
Saluda Shoals. Patricia Voelker has prepared a list of commonly seen birds for Saluda Shoals Park. These are organized into residents, winter birds, summer birds, and migrants. This list is a good starting point for most places in the midlands of South Carolina.
Congaree National Park. Robin Carter prepared a comprehensive bird list for Congaree National Park based upon years of observations. Columbia Audubon maintains this list and prepares copies for the park to distribute. You can pick up a copy when you visit the park or download it from the park's Maps and Brochures List. This list is in taxonomic order and includes status information for each bird.
Gills Creek Watershed. Caroline Eastman is preparing a list of birds reported to eBird for locations in the Gills Creek Watershed. She is working with Lewis Kirk from the Gills Creek Watershed Association to update this list with additional observations. This list is also in taxonomic order. It does not yet include status information; a few of the birds on the list are vagrants not commonly seen in the area.