Saturday, June 02, 2012

Edisto River Prothonotary Warbler Survey

Over the last two weeks, volunteers and Audubon South Carolina have been conducting a survey of Prothonotary Warblers along the Edisto River for consideration of the river as an Important Bird Area (IBA).

male Prothonotary Warbler - Mark Musselman

Last year's results for the entire stretch, Kill Kare to US Hwy 17, were 358 Prothonotary Warblers.

Yesterday, staff from the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest conducted the survey along the 14-mile stretch from Stokes Bridge to Givhans Ferry State Park.  We saw or heard a total of 56 Prothonotary Warbler.  Geographic Information System (GIS) data for this stretch can be downloaded on our webpage. We will post the data for the entire river once it has been received.

You can see an interactive map HERE of our trip including our Prothonotary Warbler sightings data.  Click on the data points to see the number and sex of the birds and whether or not the birds were seen or heard.

Stokes Bridge to Givhans Ferry State Park

Stokes Bridge to Givhans Ferry State Park

Along the way, we also saw and heard 36 other species of birds.  Some, like the wild turkey, were individual birds seen at one location, while others, like the Northern Parula, were ubiquitous along the entire 14-mile stretch of river.  We saw a Belted Kingfisher catch a fish while another chattered angrily at a Barred Owl (only reason we saw it).  Elsewhere, a crow chased off a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Great Blue Heron glared at us for the intrusion, and a Barred Owl begged mightily for its parents to bring something to eat.  Note: You can see images for some of the following species on our webpage.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Egret (Ardea albus)
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) 
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)

Barred Owl (Strix varia)

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)
White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)
Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) 
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscala)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

37 species, and one sad looking Muscovy Duck

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