About the Club

Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

The Club provides this website to all for free.

By becoming a member, you support the activities of the Club, receive reduced registration fee for meetings, can participate in bonus field trips, and receive our publications.

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CBC Members Enjoy a Great Bonus Trip to Huntington Beach S.P.

Steve Shultz

Sixteen members of the Club enjoyed a birdy weekend exploring the marshes, beaches, and maritime forests of South Carolina's Grand Strand during the Huntington Beach State Park Bonus Trip December 5th and 6th, 2009. An unfavorable weather forecast for Saturday resulted in the trip being run twice, once on Saturday for those who could not change plans, and again on Sunday for those who chose to wait for better weather. As it turned out, the heavy rains forecast for Saturday occurred during the night, leaving a cloudy, but much drier than expected day.

Highlights on Saturday included an excellent chance to study the “maritime sparrows”, with Seaside Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow (both interior and coastal breeders) and Saltmarsh Sparrow courteously sitting in plain view for minutes at a time. At one point nearly two dozen assorted sparrows were visible at once! For those who have spent hours skulking around marsh edges hoping for fleeting glimpses of a marsh sparrow, you can imagine the delight of the group!

Later in the morning Cave Swallows and a White-winged Scoter in “Mallard Pond” were well seen by all participants as we viewed from the carriage path. The Cave Swallows were either a “life bird” or “state bird” for most in attendance. On the ocean, point blank looks at loons, a fly-by Common Eider, and the sight of hundreds of birds swirling around a shrimper in the inlet punctuated a day where more than 90 species were seen.

The Sunday group enjoyed sunnier, if not slightly windy, conditions. Maritime sparrows resorted to playing hide and seek, and the Cave Swallows disappeared, but the group enjoyed two Common Eiders at the jetty, Purple Sandpiper on the rocks, and witnessed some very interesting behaviors of more commonly seen species.

The first of these encounters occurred at the end of the salt marsh boardwalk while the group was sparrow searching. A pair of Ring-billed Gulls sitting on the railing began vocalizing, head bobbing, and locking bills. The gulls eventually tumbled off the railing and into the water below. Undeterred, the birds continued to struggle for the upper hand, with one pushing the other under water several times, until, several hundred digital pictures later, the gulls separated and swan serenely side by side as if nothing had happened.

The Sunday group also enjoyed entertainment during lunch as we watched a Barred Owl “fishing” in a broad rain puddle formed during Friday night's deluge. After observing the owl fly in to a Live Oak near the picnic tables, we watched in awe as the bird dropped from its perch, glided across the water, and reminiscent of an Osprey or Bald Eagle, threw talons forward, plucked something from the water, and then proceeded to a convenient perch to consume the prey. Over the next half-hour, the owl made several more sorties, usually to the water's edge, returning to a perch with some morsel of food. Cut worms, insects? No one could tell exactly what was being consumed, but the owl appeared to be quite successfully foraging.

The group ended up with 102 species for the weekend, but enjoying the outdoors at one of South Carolina's finest coastal birding locations was likely the highlight for most. (although those “life birds” were pretty nice too!)

Species Observed

Blue-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Common Eider
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Northern Gannet
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
Wood Stork
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Clapper Rail
Virginia Rail
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet (Western)
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Bonaparte's Gull
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull (American)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Black Skimmer
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Cave Swallow (Texas)
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow (Interior)
Nelson's Sparrow (Atlantic Coast)
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Boat-tailed Grackle
House Finch

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