Who We Are

We're Back
Our website has been down for a while. We're using Google Sites, and they recently changed their procedures. After we figured out the appropriate magic incantations, we were able to get back up and running. Now we just have deal with the hard part -- providing interesting and current information.

Who Are We?

The Columbia Audubon Society (CAS), located in Columbia, South Carolina, is a chapter of the National Audubon Society. We are active in both birding and conservation activities in and around the Midlands of South Carolina. Meetings are held several times each year, generally from September through May.  Field trips are held approximately once a month. Check this web site for the most current information. Non-members are always welcome at all events. There is no charge for most meetings and field trips. The list of field trips includes both those sponsored or cosponsored by Columbia Audubon Society and selected events sponsored by other local organizations that are open to the public.

Volunteers Needed!

Columbia Audubon Society is a non-profit volunteer organization. Like most such organizations, we can always use more volunteers. If you would like to contribute in some way, let us know. You could lead a field trip, give a talk, visit a school, read to children, design a nature trail, visit a garden club, or staff an information table. If there's something else you really like to do, let us know.

Join or Renew Online

National Audubon has recently set up an online membership form that chapters can use. Our Chapter Code is U52. Be sure to enter this in the form by selecting it from the drop-down box. If you get a membership form that does not have a chapter list, PLEASE try the form link again. We get part of your membership dues to support our local activities if you join using this form.

Injured Birds and Other Animals

You may encounter injured birds and animals at home or in the field. Columbia Audubon Society can not help you with these. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation is not part of our mission, and we do not have the appropriate qualifications. Keep in mind that a young bird or mammal found on the ground may not be abandoned; its parent may be simply waiting for you to leave. In the Midlands area the appropriate organization to contact is Carolina Wildlife Care. Their emergency hotline number is 803-772-3994.

Wannamaker Nature Preserve

Columbia Audubon Society owns and manages the Wannamaker Nature Preserve in Calhoun County near St. Matthews. It contains flood plain, bluff, and higher areas. It is not open for general visitation. Each year there are several Wannamaker Work Days. We have adopted a section of South Carolina Highway 6 beside the preserve and schedule regular trash pickups. There are a large number of invasive alien plants on the preserve, and we also schedule regular invasive removals. Columbia Audubon and other groups also have field trips to the preserve.

Social Networks

The Internet has changed the communication patterns of birding dramatically over the past decade. We now have a Facebook page: Columbia Audubon Society. If you're on Facebook, find us and like us.

Participating in Field Events
Field events are held outside! Be prepared. It is possible to find mosquitos any month of the year. [Actually they find you!] Ticks and chiggers may also be encountered. Insect repellent is advised, especially during the warmer months. Bring food and water as appropriate. Meals may or may not be part of an activity. Binoculars and field guides are essential for serious bird study but not for more casual enjoyment. Dress for the weather. Long pants and sturdy walking shoes are appropriate for most trips.

Things to Do

May Program Meeting

Tuesday, September 1
Eric Howard -- Wintering Golden Eagles in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina and Virginia

Eric will be sharing imagery and information gathered by researchers working to document movements and land use of Golden Eagles in their southern wintering grounds. 

Eric Harrold is a freelance naturalist, bird guide, and professional falconer living in northwest North Carolina. He has worked on a number of avian projects in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains, and for the past three years, he has worked for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program in the southwest region of the state. In addition to his appreciation for avian species, he also enjoys wildflowers and rare plants, edible mushrooms, trout fishing, and rendering abundant wild fruits into jelly and wines. 

From the Carolina Butterfly Society website:

Carolina Butterfly Society emphasizes identifying and watching butterflies in the field and garden rather than collecting them. Every season we organize several butterflying field trips to the various biogeographic regions of the Carolinas. We offer advice on butterfly gardening, encourage photography and record-keeping, provide fact sheets for outdoor educators, sponsor gardening workshops, and collect data for conservation use.

The Carolina Butterfly Society includes

  • Gardeners who like to attract butterflies to their flower, herb, or vegetable gardens
  • Bird-watchers who have found a new focus for their enthusiasm
  • Amateur naturalists who like to learn about all aspects of the natural world
  • Photographers, artists, and crafts people who like to incorporate butterfly designs in such things as papermaking and graphic arts
  • Professional biologists who are interested in collecting data on the butterfly fauna of the Carolinas
  • Educators who teach in public schools, as well as in nature centers

 The Society sponsors several field activities each year, including butterfly counts at Congaree National Park. The next one will be on Saturday, June 13. Marty will provide information on how you can participate in this count.

We will meet  at the Jim Hamilton - L.B. Owens Airport Conference Room, 1400 Jim Hamilton Blvd, Columbia SC 29205 at 7 PM. Join us for an informative program, socializing, and refreshments.

April Meeting

Unfortunately, we did not get the website updated before the April meeting. Chuck Braun, intrepid world birder from Aiken, took us on a virtual tour to Papua New Guinea. In addition to the expected bird pictures, we saw pictures of a large snake and some of the human residents of the area. 

Saluda Shoals Bird Walk:

Bird walks are held at Saluda Shoals Park on Bush River Rd the LAST SATURDAY each month. These walks are led by Audubon member Patricia Voekler.  From just interested to novice to experienced birders, these groups share their interests and talents.  Binoculars are required, guidebooks are optional, insect spray and sunscreen are appropriate, and water is a great accessory.

No registration is required.  Just show up.  Your contact information will be taken at the walk.  Those with emails will receive a copy of the Birds Seen/Heard during their walk.  Checklists are available in the Environmental Center for those who want to bird throughout the month on your own.

Wannamaker Nature Preserve Work Day -- Saturday, April 4

We'll be scheduling another Wannamaker Nature Preserve Work Day soon. Traditionally we have had one on or near Halloween to pick up trash. Costumes are optional.

Fun Facts and Features

Golden Eagle at Mahogany Rock
Golden Eagle at Mahogany Rock

Bird Lists

What bird is that? What do you do to answer this question? Ask someone? There may not be anyone around. Check a field guide? You may come up with a bird that looks like the one you saw but doesn't live anywhere near South Carolina. One useful tool is a bird checklist listing the birds to be expected in an area. There are some local checklists you might find useful. And you might even be able to help keep them up to date.

Saluda Shoals. Patricia Voelker has prepared a list of commonly seen birds for Saluda Shoals Park. These are organized into residents, winter birds, summer birds, and migrants. This list is a good starting point for most places in the midlands of South Carolina.

Congaree National Park. Robin Carter prepared a comprehensive bird list for Congaree National Park based upon years of observations. Columbia Audubon maintains this list and prepares copies for the park to distribute. You can pick up a copy when you visit the park or download it from the park's Maps and Brochures List. This list is in taxonomic order and includes status information for each bird.

Gills Creek Watershed. Caroline Eastman is preparing a list of birds reported to eBird for locations in the Gills Creek Watershed. She is working with Lewis Kirk from the Gills Creek Watershed Association to update this list with additional observations. This list is also in taxonomic order. It does not yet include status information; a few of the birds on the list are vagrants not commonly seen in the area. 

Subpages (1): CongareeBirdList