By Sarah Harper Diaz for Island Eye News
The Sullivan’s Island Environmental Education and Bird Research Program was launched on Sept. 14, 2015. This program is partnered with South Carolina Audubon, Lowcountry Open Land Trust and the Charleston Natural History Society.
The Education Program will include in-school activities provided by Audubon, bird banding demonstrations and bird walks for children and adults. The Program will start visiting Sullivan’s Island Elementary School in November.
The Bird Banding Program has had an active start to the fall banding season. The program has three experienced biologists—including the author—that are studying Neotropical migratory bird species in the protected land on Sullivan’s Island. The biologists safely captured, banded and released over 50 birds in the first week alone. They have banded a variety of migratory species including warblers, vireos and flycatchers. The Black-throated Blue warbler pictured is an adult male. This species breeds in the Appalachians, the Northeast, and Canada but is only found in our area during migration.
The Program operates with the blessing of Sullivan’s Island Town Council in the island’s maritime forest. This protected land is a hot spot for Neotropical migrants. Coastal patches of maritime forest and shrubland serve as crucial stopover locations for millions of birds that migrate along the east coast each fall and spring.