Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Eastern Bluebird
 
 

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Species Acct.
Loons
Grebes
Procellarids
Pelicans
Herons
Ibises
Storks
Vultures
Flamingos
Waterfowl
Raptors
Turkeys
Quail
Rails
Limpkin
Cranes
Shorebirds
Gulls
Terns
Auks
Doves
Parrots
Cuckoos
Owls
Goatsuckers
Swifts
Hummers
Kingfishers
Woodpckrs
Flycatchers
Shrikes
Vireos
Crows/Jays
Larks
Swallows
Tits
Nuthatches
Creepers
Wrens
Kinglets
Gnatcatchers
Thrushes
Mimids
Starlings
Pipits
Waxwings
NW Warblers
Tanagers
NWSparrows
Cardinalines
Icterids
Finches
OWSparrows

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Muscicapoidea)
         Family Turdidae - Thrushes

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Muscicapids include waxwings, dippers, thrushes, Old World flycatchers, starlings, and mimids.
Thrushes are medium-sized insectivores that often feed on the ground and are known for their songs. They have slender bills and robust legs - the tarsus is covered with a single scale. Their nest is usually an open cup. Young have spotted plumage.
Bluebirds. Found in North America only. Brightly colored birds with soft, musical songs. Bluebirds are hole nesters and compete with wrens and introduced starlings and House Sparrows. They will, however, use nest boxes and are very successful where they are available.
     
     
  Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis
 
    Cornell     USGS     Wiki     EoLL
        YEAR ROUND - Common, breeds / Common
            OPEN WOODS, FIELDS (with scattered trees, posts)
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   Male Eastern Bluebirds have a blue head, back, and wings with orange on the throat, sides of the neck and on the flanks. The belly and under-tail coverts are white. Females and young are less blue and the orange is duller. They are often seen sitting on wires along the road as you drive.
Eastern Bluebird
     
Eastern Bluebird. Female and Male. Clemson
       
  RANGE: Eastern Bluebirds breed From the East coast (New England to Florida) west through the Dakotas, Iowa, , Missouri, Arkansas and eastern Texas, then east along the Gulf Coast and Florida and north again to New England. In winter they withdraw from most of their range north of the Ohio River.
  BREEDING: Polygynous (often). The female builds a nest using grass, weeds, pine needles, and twigs in a woodpecker-excavated cavity or nest box. It takes her 10 days of so to build. She lays 4-5 (3-7) eggs which she incubates for 12-14 (13-16) days. Young are altricial and fledge after 15-20 days. The female broods and both sexes feed the young.
   They usually raise more than one brood/year. Young from a previous brood may help at the nest.
   Bluebirds may flock in winter. They often roost singly but sometimes join in small groups in next boxes to spend the night.
  DIET: Bluebirds feed on insects and invertebrates including earthworms, and fruit or berries in the winter. They forage by perching low and fluttering down to catch insects - often while hovering. They may also flycatch.
  VOICE: Their song is soft and consists of mellow whistles, "chiti WEEW, wewidoo," with variations. Their call is a soft musical whistle. If you learn their song, you will see more bluebirds! Pause along the golf courses and listen! Bluebirds will sing on brighter days in the late fall through the winter and are early nesters in the spring.
  NOTES:
   Checkllsts -
      Seabrook (breeds). Kiawah - common year round (breeds). Edisto - resident.
      Coastal - common permanent resident. Hilton Head - common permanent resident. Cape Romain - uncommon year-round, breeds.
         Huntington Beach - uncommon, year-round.
      Caw Caw - fairly common year-round, breeds. ACE - common year-round, breeds.
   Kiawah Island banding - Night Heron Park - 29 summer 2011.
   CBC: ACE 133, 77, 74, 195, 96, 114, 137, 113; Charleston 49, 130, 80, 54, 57, 182, 197, 231;
            St Helena/Fripp x, x, x, x, x, x, 39, 74; Hilton Head 722, 508, 577, 655, 523, 575, 336, 646;
               Sun City/Okatie 56, 239, 121, 315, 173, 141, 219, 152;
            McClellanville 268; 55, 35, 30, nc, 18, 101, 99; Winyah Bay x, x, 20, 31 14, 44, 56, 92; Litchfield/Pawley's 44, 149, 110, 62, 82, 93, 76, 123.
   SCBBA: All counties.
   P&G: Common resident. Egg dates: 6 March - 19 June.
   M&P: Increased from 1966 to 1987 despite severe winters in 1976-77 and 1977-78.
   Avendex: No records.
   Potter: Fairly common permanent residents of open woodlands, orchards, farmyards, and roadsides. They are locally scarce or absent on or near the coast and at high elevations in the mountains.
    ●  Eastern Bluebirds are common birds of edges and open country in South Carolina. They are often seen sitting on wires or fences along the road. On Seabrook, they are found around the garden plots and Palmetto Lake and along the marsh and other edges including the golf courses where there are now 46 boxes. We hear them regularly in Creekwatch. During the  winter, they are regular visitors at suet feeders. I must say I "see" many more bluebirds since learning their mellow song... Watch for occupants of our new boxes by the Lake House.
       
    Banner - Eastern Bluebird. Clemson.
       
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