Birds of Seabrook Island

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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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Resources
 
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  Field Guides
General References
South Carolina Birds
Text Books on Ornithology
HOME STUDY
The Origin and Evolution of Birds
Speciation and Biogeography
Birds of the World - General References
Taxonomic References - Technical
Software and the Web
Videos
Optics
Cameras
 
 

Software and the Web

  Thayer Birding Software with the Laboratory of Ornithology publishes a Guide to Birds of North America. This gives a database with pictures,
    ranges, songs, and added information for all North American birds. All of the birds found in North America) are included for $63.95 (flash drive)
    or $49.95 (download). Be sure to install the complete reference on your hard drive... V 7.0 is the current offering.
 
birdJam software is available (with pictures and sound recordings for North American birds) loaded in an iPod (8 or 16 MB) with a iMainGo2
    Portable Speaker for playing songs in the field (or can be purchased separately if you already own an iPod). Check the web site for offerings.
 
Redshank Software. Avendex v 1.7. This software explores the recorded information about the occurrence of birds found in North and South
    Carolina and graphs occurrence by month, year, area, etc. It uses information from detailed reports, e-mail, and published descriptions back
    to the early 1950s. It is more helpful with rare or unusual sightings than with common species which are less likely to be reported.

SORA is a searchable archive of the major North American journals published from their inception to about 2000. Full text retrieval of articles is
    allowed.

National Audubon Society 
   Click here for a summary of Christmas Bird counts from 2003-2006.

Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter (USGS)

All About Birds (Cornell)
   Regard these links as suggestive. For any species or any question, GOOGLE it!

 
 

Videos

  Attenborough, D. 2002. The Life of Birds. BBC, Warner Home Video, Burbank, CA.
   (An excellent series of 10 programs covering avian biology. There is a sequence of a Lyre-bird mimicking camera shutters and a chain saw
    felling trees that is magnificent.)

Labro, P. and J. Perrin. 2001. Winged Migration. Sony Pictures. 89 minutes.
   (Pictures of birds in flight, taken from an ultralight.)
 
 

Optics

  Binoculars -
    If you are interested in buying new binoculars, check the web for a number of sites that provide information. Click here to view an article on optics offered by birdwatching.com.
    The standard binoculars for birding were 7 X 50s (7 power or 7X with objective optics measuring 50 mm across). The wide objectives make it easier to find the object you are viewing and let in more light. These are Porro prism glasses - the light path "jogs" through the prisms and the objectives are farther apart than the oculars. They are also relatively heavy. Porro prism glasses are still available and work quite well. They are usually the cheaper alternative.
    Modern technologies with glass and coatings have led to in-line binoculars with "roof" prisms. These may be lighter and somewhat easier to use - and also cost more. There are also a number of "size" options available. I prefer 10 X 42s but some may find them more subject to vibration. Above 10 power a tripod is necessary. There may be a trend toward including image stabilization in higher power lenses... at increased cost. Many binoculars now provide eye cups that can be recessed for those who wear glasses. Be sure to try out binoculars before you buy -
    The most expensive binoculars include waterproof cases with nitrogen-purged spaces and advanced coatings and cost in the range of $1800 or more. They are probably not necessary. I use a Zeiss 10X that should be available at $800 or less. Good binoculars can be found in the range of $400 or less - try them before your invest.
  Telescopes -
   Almost any spotting scope (15 X or above) will help you visualize any bird that holds still long enough for study. They require a tripod.
   Some scopes need to be used at eye level - viewing is straight through. If shared, the tripod needs to be set at a level where the shortest viewer can see (others bend over). A better solution might be a scope with an angled objective tube which everyone can use when set for "shortie." Most scopes now offer excellent zoom optics ranging from 20 to 60 X - but note that you will usually use the lower powers because of thermal distortion and vibration... For the "Cadillac" of scopes, see Questar.
  Sources -
   Some local photo shops and nature stores carry birding optics. ABA Sales offers a
comprehensive list and many other vendors can be found on the Internet (try camera stores). Many may be discounted but you should be sure that what you order is what you really want - check return policies!
 
   

Cameras

    This is a category in transition. Digital cameras have largely replaced those that use film and are generally more expensive and sophisticated (but eliminate the cost of film and prints). Bear in mind that taking pictures of birds generally requires a more advanced camera with a zoom lens (up to 300 mm hand held - longer on a monopod or tripod).
   In this web, the older pictures have obviously been taken using film - then scanned and enhanced using Adobe Photoshop. I tried a smaller digital camera with a wide zoom range with some success. You probably need 6 megapixels or so in something than zooms above 3X. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to use the LCD viewer on a camera in bright sun (you still need an optical viewer to be sure what you are doing and the newer pocket digital cameras often omit this viewer). For better pictures, I recommend a single lens reflex (SLR) camera with a 10 megapixel sensor and an 18-200mm zoom lens with image stabilization.
   If you use film, ask your processor to give you a CD with scans of your images (and omit prints unless you want to pay for them - you will get an index that gives you a first look). If you need to scan older images, you can use any of the desk-top units. Note that scanning prints will show all the artifacts and dust motes introduced by the printer and may require significant restoration. It is better to scan negatives if you have a scanner that does transmissive (vs. reflective) scans. The quality of these scans from a flatbed scanner is less than you can obtain from a true negative scanner like a Nikon Cool Scan V or other film scanner (but these scanners are relatively expensive).
   There are a number of programs that let you edit, store, and view digital images. I use Adobe Photoshop (Elements of Photoshop is a cheaper alternative) and save images as 72 dpi jpg files (good for web use but not generally for printing). Keep the originals for subsequent editing or printing...
   Backup your image files - hard drives fail. Use a CD-R, flash drive, or external hard disk (or all of them to give redundancy).
       
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