Monday, February 23, 2009

Project PROTHO and Kayaking

The death of the hard drive on the computer that holds all the image files, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) files, and other documents has slowed down the blog staff here at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest. The files are backed up, but not easily accessible at this time.

On Sunday, Jeff Mollenhauer (director of bird conservation) gave a presentation on Project PROTHO to the master naturalists from the program hosted at the Caw Caw Charleston County Park. The birds will begin arriving at the end of March (stay tuned to this channel) and banding will commence immediately after that time. Limited volunteer opportunities will exist for the mist net work (contact Jeff Mollenhauer) and unlimited volunteer opportunities will exist for observing and recording banded Prothonotary Warblers as well as identifying nest locations. No need for observers to be expert birders. The Prothonotary Warblers are bright yellow and the only birds in the swamp sporting colorful jewelry on their legs! The more eyes we have in the swamp, the greater our database will become and the better we will be able to understand the behavior of our unofficial mascot!

After the presentation, the group was treated to a kayak trip through the abandoned rice fields on the south side of Highway 61. The fields were abandoned in the mid-1880s prior to the Civil War, so the trees considerably younger than those found at the Francis Beidler Forest. However, the experience of being on the water below the tall cypress trees is always a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. We were even protected from the near-hurricane gusts that were blowing through the area!

Image by Mark Musselman

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