Wildllife Federation to train citizens in bird identification

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The public will learn about late-migrating and wintering warblers and vireos around the boardwalk trail during South Carolina Wildlife Federation’s class in bird biology, identification and habitat conservation. PHOTOS PROVIDED


On Nov. 9 and 10, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation (SCWF) will hold a class in bird biology, identification and habitat conservation at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge.

This class is open to the public and will feature woodland, open field and water birds as you walk through the transitioning habitat on the Bluff Unit of the refuge. You will learn about late-migrating and wintering warblers and vireos around the boardwalk trail; buntings and early arriving sparrows in the fields; coots, moorhens, early arriving ducks and wading birds in the impoundments; and, as always, birds of prey hunting the fields and open waters.

Located along the shores of Lake Marion, just outside of Summerton, Santee National Wildlife Refuge has become a haven for birds and birders, alike. From open waters to open fields and hardwood canopies to pine wood edges, the variety of habitats found at Santee NWR lends to an amazing diversity of birds, with nearly 300 species observed on the refuge. This two-day class will draw on the diversity found here to offer participants an unparalleled chance to learn about the birds of Santee NWR.

By the end of the day, participants will be able to:

• Comprehend and explain the reason for the wide variety of species found at Santee NWR.

• Better understand identification techniques used to discern difficult species of birds.

• Identify by sight and/or sound a number of bird species observed at Santee NWR.

This class will be taught by naturalist Josh Arrants who has worked with birds throughout South Carolina for over 10 years. Specializing in the management of the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker, as well as songbirds and birds of prey, Arrants operates MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) stations for the Wildlife Branch at Fort Jackson, as well as the Natural and Cultural Resources Branch at Shaw Air Force Base.

Along with assisting SCWF with Midlands Master Naturalist classes and Women’s Outdoor Retreats, he has banded birds and led nature walks from Virginia to Florida and is a certified Master Naturalist in the state of Montana.

This class is offered through the SCWF as part of the Palmetto Pro Birder program to introduce the basics of bird identification.

Classes are open to the public, and no prior knowledge is required. You may attend any individual class, or attend four modules and become a certified Pro Birder.

Space is limited.

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