Hilton Head Audubon club to release results of Christmas Bird Count

Posted by From staff reports on February 26, 2014 

Separate event planned to honor departing leaders

The Hilton Head Audubon Society will release a report on its 2013 Christmas Bird Count at a meeting March 13 and honor three members who are leaving leadership positions with the organization in a March 6 meeting.

Both events are at Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head Island. The bird count report is 3 p.m. March 13 The event is free, no registration is required and the public is welcomed. The society's departing leaders will be honored at 5:30 p.m. March 6. Reservations are required, and those interested in attending can call Mary Jane Major at 843-342-5804 for information.

Club members and other volunteers -- 206 in all, including 72 new participants -- combed Hilton Head Island, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Palmetto Bluff and parts of Bluffton on Dec. 15 for the bird count. They found a total of 28,148 birds and 133 species. This information will be sent to the national Audubon Society, according to a club news release. The national organization compiles results from more than 2,000 areas around the country.

Some birds of note for the Hilton Head club's count included three canvasback ducks, 87 white pelicans, a summer tanager, 25 bald eagles, 11 Nelson's sparrows and nine seaside sparrows.

This year's count marked a transition for the club. Longtime leader Barry Lowes is stepping back from his role as count chairman, along with co-chairwoman Charlotte White and compiler Nan Lloyd.

Lloyd, a long-time birder, moved to Hilton Head Island from Delaware in the early 1990s. She soon became active in the local Audubon Society, first as the field trip chairperson, then as president from 2003 to 2005. Each December, she served as a team captain in the local Christmas Bird Count and as the compiler of data collected by its participants.

Lowes, an amateur ornithologist, is from Toronto and winters on Hilton Head Island. He also is a photographer, whose work has been exhibited in a variety of regional photography shows, according to the club's release. Lowes' photos also are in private collections in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Since the early 1980s, Lowes has headed the local Christmas Bird Count and conducted a popular pre-count bird identification slide show.

White grew up in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is the daughter of missionaries. She moved to the United States and became a nurse, and currently is a volunteer for Volunteers in Medicine. White served as program chairwoman for the Hilton Head Island Audubon Society from 2006 to 2010. She assisted Lowes with the bird count from 2010 to 2014.

Kelly and Susan Murphy will take over leadership of the 2014 Christmas Bird Count.

Details: Contact program director Kathy Greider at 404-313-8208


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