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May 2007:
No. 283

Newsletter of the Hilton Head Island Audubon Society

Audubon Refuge Keepers


By Howard Costa Tues. May 8, 2007, 5:30 pm at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve
As we wrap up our Audubon year, I feel
compelled to repeat a favorite quote of mine.
"Conservation is not about wildlife, it is about Picnic Time Again!
people." In other words, it is human behavior When: Tuesday, May 8th at 5:30 pm
that causes problems for wildlife, and it is Where: Fish Island Picnic Pavilion in
human awareness and effort that solves these
problems. Hilton Head Island Audubon Society Sea Pines Forest Preserve (Use Ocean Gate)
is no doubt a bird club, but we are also more Cost: $5.00
than that. We are a conservation organization, Reservations: Please call Thea Luba at
well respected, a group whose collective ef-
(843) 785-3214 or
forts have made a real difference for wildlife
and the community for many years. Our role E-mail at
is important, and we must continue to thrive as Menu: Scrumptious fried and rotisserie chicken plus
an organization. the great tasting side dishes, salads and desserts
Our strength and our success lies in our brought by those who attend. (see below) Paper
membership, and particularly in those who take goods and tableware are provided as are water and
an active role. I am going out on a limb here to soft drinks, Those with last names beginning with A-M, please bring a side
thank those of you who helped make this year dish or salad. N-Z, please bring a dessert. Please provide enough for six to
such a success for us. When it is pointed out to
me whom I have overlooked (this is risky busi- eight people and bring along serving utensils. We hope to see everyone there!
ness), I will graciously thank you next year.
So here we go. Thank you Betty Walter, MARK YOUR CALENDARS ~ by Bill Nicol
Joan Wilson, Karen and Mike McGinty, Fran
Baer, Bill and Joan Nicol, Charlotte and Steve SEPTEMBER FIELD TRIP
White, Polly Herron, Clem Dietze, Susan Fried-
man, Barry Lowes, Nan Lloyd, Karen Wert- Place: Timucuan Preserve, Jacksonville, FL
heimer, Joan and Richard Shulman, Virginia Date: Wednesday through Friday, September 26, 27, 28, 2007
Coulter, June and Jim Collins, Ed Nash, Betsy
Pehrson, Thea Luba, Nicola Jordan, Miriam and If you attended the April meeting and heard the presentation by NPS Ranger
Larry Waterhouse, Mary Ann and Jim Curry, Roger Clark on Timucuan Preserve, you would understand what an exciting
Helen Cartmill, Ginny and Dan Mairs, Dorothy bird area this is. To explore this area, we have tentatively scheduled a trip to
Gibb, Ken Neitzke, Sally Krebs, Tim Cronin, Jacksonville for the 26th, 27th and 28th of September, 2007. The fall migra-
Amy Torcellini, Wanda Leopold, Ingrid Lowe,
Jack Colcolough, Tom Norwood, Jim Grove, tion will be in full swing. We are giving you a heads up so you can plan ahead.
Mary Alice Walker, Jim Williams, Pat Marks, This announcement will be repeated in the September Ecobon. If you think
Peg Martin, Carlos Chacon, John Bower, Patty you want to participate, please call Bill Nicol at 671-4721 or e-mail me at
Benz, Lois Lewis, Jane Hester and Jean Gehrett. so I can have some indication of the number of members
Also, thanks to everyone who participated on
interested for planning purposes.
Christmas Bird Count, and those who attended
meetings and went on field trips. Whew!
I have enjoyed my first year as president and
am pleased with the direction we are headed. I
am hopeful that some new folks will step for-
ward to take more active roles next year, and
that we will see lots of new faces in the meeting
AHave a happy summer ~
room and on field trips. Have a Great Summer
~ Howard
See you in September!
Board of Directors: - by Clem Dietze
Howard Costa 842-9447 6:00 AM - Pitch black outside the screen porch and stillness is only broken by the first of
Vice President the ever early rising Cardinals tentatively beginning the pre dawn chorus. At first light
Joan Wilson 837-2874 they'll be joined by Carolina Wrens, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadees and others.
Karen McGinty 681-8498 I wonder if the Ornithologists have ever figured out why Cardinals seem to be the first
Fran Baer 686-6348 songbird callers and feeders of the morning and the last feeders at dusk. Make a mental
Recording Secretary note to so some research. A Great Horned Owl hoots from across the pond. Drain the last
Steve White 837-4597 of the coffee and head to Pinckney NWR.
Corresponding Secretary
Polly Herron 342-6129 6:30 AM - The Pinckney gate slides open and I slip into the park. There a light fog blocks
Members-at-Large enough light to rouse the pair of Painted Buntings I know have already staked out their turf
Clem Dietze 837-2612 in a grove just inside the gate. I'll catch them later. The tide is right and a mixed flock of
Barry Lowes 671-3537
Nan Lloyd 363-2092 Great and Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons are browsing the flat on the right enroute
Betty Walter 842-7147 to the parking lot. Alone, among the big guys, a Spotted Sandpiper bobs up and down
probing the mud.
Committee Chairpersons: Inside gate unlocked and relocked, I move on to Ibis Pond as morning breaks and Coots
Adopt-A-Refuge (Pinckney) and Moorhens begin their cackling and feeding.
Clem Dietze 837-2612
Karen McGinty 681-8498 At Osprey Pond, a pair of Wood ducks and 4 offspring are gliding through the surface
Audubon Newhall Preserve algae. Is there anything we have (besides a male Bunting) to rival the breeding plumage
Joan Shulman 842-9246 of a male Wood duck?
Bird Walks/Field Trips
Bill Nicol 671-4721 Meandering slowly I stop and raise the binoculars. A Bobcat is working on something
Bird House Construction along the roadside. As I come near the cat gives me a backward glance as he scampers into
Jim Collins 671-1240
the undergrowth. Inspection reveals a hapless Armadillo turned upside down, bottom plate
Bird Seed Sale
Ed Nash 681-5725 clawed off, and innard total devoured by the cat. The damp mud clearly shows the cat's
Christmas Bird Count tracks and signs of the Armadillo's hopeless struggle to survive.
Barry Lowes 671-3537
Education Turning down the Dick Point road, two Wild Turkeys strut across my path paying little
Betsy Pehrson 689-2243 attention to my approach. Fog has lifted and at the boat landing, I cut the engine and leave
Historian the car enjoying the wonderful solitude of early morning on the banks of Mackay Creek
June Collins 671-1240 which has yet to funnel fishermen toward Port Royal Sound. An Anhinga calmly dries its
Hospitality wings on a ramp piling. Two Brown Pelicans and a Forster's Tern fly up the creek. An
Thea Luba 785-3214
incredibly swift Mink darts over a reed mat and into the creek where a pod of dolphins are
Nicola Jordan 681-5664 lazily arching their way down to Calibogue Sound.
Membership Roused from my reverie by a group of noisy Crows, I turn down the trail we call Red Head
Thea Luba 785-3214
Newsletter Circulation Alley and spot my first Red Head of the season cleaning out a nest cavity in a pine tree. Early
Mary Ann Currie 681-8525 White Eyed Vireos are also beginning to call and Common Yellowthroat poses for me.
Helen Cartmill 342-9086
Newsletter Editors Returning to the main road, I stop again at the Osprey platform and watch Mama on her
Betty Walter 842-7147 nest waiting for her mate. After about 10 minutes he soars in, settles on the nest and Mama
Ginny Mairs 671-5776 heads out for some fishing of her own.
Charlotte White 837-4597 Off in the distance the unmistakable flat winged glide of a Bald Eagle is visible at high
Publicity & Public Relations altitude.
Clem Dietze 837-2612
Sales Table What a morning - what a day! Pinckney never ceases to provide beauty and surprises. I
Dorothy Gibb 686-6406 monitor our 23 Bluebird boxes and in one discovered our first newborns of the season.
Shorebirds/Conservation Many others are fully nested with mothers on 3 to 5 eggs. They fly off as I open the box
Howard Costa 842-9447
and after I have backed off a distance soon fly back in to resume the incubation.
Special Projects
Richard Shulman 842-9246 Our Friends of The Savannah Coastal Refuge group has begun the formation process.
Sun City Representative Karen McGinty and I will keep you posted as we go along. We will not lose our local
Ken Neitzke 705-3970
treasure, by electronic gate count, the most visited refuge in the complex. In the meantime,
Sally Krebs H: 757-2973 O: 341-4690 get out there and enjoy.

E-MAIL Reminder
The Ecobon is a monthly publication (Sep-
tember through May) of the Hilton Head Island
Audubon Society. Subscription is a benefit of
membership. Direct inquiries to P.O. Box 6185,
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29938 or call
Have you sent your E-mail address in to Nan?
one of the above officers or chairpersons.
If not, please send it to Nan at

Page 2 May 2007

by Joan Shulman by Jack Colcolough
Every spring seems special, doesn’t it? Here’s my take on Spring migrants and summer birds are showing up in our
spring in the Newhall Preserve in mid-April. The pink bell- area while some winter birds are still hanging around. It’s a
shaped blossoms of the fetterbush are abundant this year. They great time of year for birding! The migration seemed to slow
are particularly evident along the main trail to the pond. At the a little with cooler weather but that should be over and nothing
entrance to the parking lot, the white blossoms of the aptly named but good birding ahead.
fringe tree fluttered in the breeze. Lyre-leaved sage flourished
Recent new warbler arrivals reported: Prothonotary,
around the parking area and in the garden to the left of the pond.
Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue, Louisiana Waterthrush,
For the first time in my memory of the Preserve, lance-leaved
violets filled the area in front of the boardwalk at the pocosin. Northern Parula, Palm,Yellow-throated and Black & White.
The blossoms of the Cherokee rose never last long enough for Other first-of-the-year (FOTY) birds were: Hairy
me. This year it bloomed a bit earlier than usual. Woodpecker, Wilson’s Plover, Chuckwill’s-widow, Red-
The March and April walks went well. Mary Alice Walker throated loon, Whimbrel, Spotted Sandpiper, Wild Turkey,
led three walks for garden clubs and TidePointe residents in late Red-eyed Vireo and Canada Goose.
March, earning the Preserve generous checks. Visitors have also Other good birds included: Bonaparte’s Gull, Ruby-
written sizable checks that they have left in the Money Post or throated Hummingbird, Painted Bunting, Piping Plover,
mailed. The Trail Guides are popular. We have to check the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Barred Owl and 800
box a couple times a week to make sure the supply is ample for Semipalmated Plovers.
Trail Monitors are still needed for July, August and Septem- Audubon members found 67 species on our successful
ber. Give me a call at 842-9246, if you can help out. trip to Bear Is./Donnelley WMA on March 22nd. Highlights
were: American White Pelican, Bald Eagle, American Avocet
and Loggerhead Strike. Other good birds included: Black-
LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS necked Stilt, Stilt Sandpiper, Common Merganser, Caspian
by Niki Jordan Tern, American Black and Mottled Ducks, both Yellowlegs,
The SC Assembly is in session these days, and it’s difficult American Kestrel and Prairie Warbler.
to predict what will transpire between Ecobon’s April publication Thanks to those reporting sightings: Karen McGinty, Barry
deadline and the date you read this. However, there are some issues Lowes, Howard Costa, Doris McCullough, Peter Zachmann,
that have been prominent in recent state and federal action alerts. et al.
First, the SC Coastal Conservation League is optimistic that To report a rare, unusual or FOTY bird sighting in our area,
the Assembly will pass a budget that includes not only full funding e-mail:, call 689-3455 or send a
for the SC Conservation Bank, but also an additional one-time $5 blank e-mail to:
million to deal with the continued sell-off and fragmentation of to join birding
forestlands. The House of Representatives did not approve any group and report the bird found.
additional funding in March. The Senate Finance Committee was
supportive in early April. Lobbying by conservationist continues
with the goal of ensuring that the bank is fully funded in the final LETTERS…
version of the budget.
From Miriam Waterhouse…
Action also continues on first cleaning up and then eliminating Dear Friends,
(within 5 years) river shacks, which have been moored in and pol- We apologize for being so late in thanking you all, especially
luting the state’s public waterways for too long. The companion Barry Lowes, for the wonderful framed photograph of the
bills are S.447 and H.3466. The already-passed Senate version is Painted Bunting, Audubon's treasured symbol. Both of us ap-
preferable, because it requires marine toilets to be installed on all preciate your generosity and will always treasure this beautiful
river shacks. CCL is working to see that the final bill that emerges photograph, which is prominently displayed in our living room.
for joint Senate and House reconciliation will be as strong as pos- We have such good memories of our years of membership in
sible. The Hilton Head Island Audubon Society and will recall many
Unlike neighboring states, SC does not regulate water with- of them every time we look at this lovely photograph.
drawals from its rivers and lakes. Now two bills (S.428 and Best wishes to all of you, Miriam
H.3578), which have support from both business and conservation
interests, would establish a surface water withdrawal permitting Clem Dietze replies ~
program at DHEC. Sponsors are seeking additional support from Miriam and Larry, Thank you! and know that the prayers of
farming interests in order to obtain consensus on several amend- all of us are with you both. We thank you for your years of
ments. devoted service to the society.

May 2007 Page 3

Our beautifully designed, well written, and lovingly edited
Ecobon will certainly miss the talented Betty Walter at its helm,
but never fear, Betty plans to stay actively involved with the Hilton
Head Island Audubon chapter! Ever since she arrived permanently
on the island in 1987, Betty has been a vital part of this chapter. First
she went on every bird trip she could - learning from master birder
Barry Lowes. Then she got involved on the Board where she served
as President during our 25th anniversary year when she helped plan
the celebratory dinner at the Country Club of Hilton Head with Todd
Ballantine as guest speaker. She’s served as Program Chair, been the
Hospitality Chair and led numerous nominating committees. With
her gentle persuasive approach, she helped find other talented people
to help out. And best of all, she’s kept us informed about birds,
chapter news, and ecological issues through our newsletter.
“Guess Who?”
Betty has always loved to write. She majored in English at
Wheaton College in Norton, Mass, and then took her skills to the
Christian Science Monitor as a “Girl Friday” for the foreign editor.
One task was to work with the copy editor - a job she described like Me Sorey Wife
“dealing with and erupting volcano!” She returned to her home town
I only asked for fifty pounds, of bird mix in a bag.
of Montclair, NJ as a young bride and after raising her children, first
taught English and later worked in real estate. She has consistently And now I’ve bought a feeder too, Me wife, she’s gonna nag.
been willing to volunteer her talents - as editor of a Junior League And then before I hit the door, The feed man says, “Look here.”
Newsletter, as a trustee of the Montcair Art Museum where she was
And now I got a birdbath heater. Me wife, she’s gonna sneer.
also a docent, and here on Hilton Head as President of the Sea Pines
Garden Club and a beach walking docent of the Coastal Discovery I almost make it to me truck, When I hear the cashier yell,
Museum. “One minute, sir Our special’s on, You need a birdseed bell.”
Betty has thoroughly enjoyed her time as Ecobon editor and So me, I goes back in again, and gets a bell of seed.
working with her able assistant, Ginny Mairs and with Julie at The I know when I get home with these, Me wife, she will be teed.
Island Printer. She encourages one or more of you Chapter members
But since I’m in such awful straights, I might just get’er all.
to take on this rewarding job - as Betty put it - if you want to keep up
with what’s happening at Hilton Head Audubon, you will be among So I buy enough sunflower, To last me through the fall.
the first to know as editor! And knowing from Betty’s track record of Me wife’s a lovely woman and I don’t like getting her sore.
past community involvement, she will surely lend you a helping hand So I hide what I can, hang out some then throw me hat in the door.
when needed.
If it don’t come back, I’m pretty safe and I ease in real light.
Thank you, Betty, for all your tireless work and for the sharing of
But if she’s mad then be it so, Me birds are worth a fight.
your talents and wisdom.
Mary Ann Putnam
~ Courtesy of Dick E. Bird News and Miriam Waterhouse
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
PLEASE NOTE: Current members are encouraged to use this membership form to sign up friends, relatives, and neighbors as new
members. Our Chapter benefits significantly from a “return of dues” from National if our local form is used for new memberships


MEMBERSHIP FORM  New  1 YR. - $20  2 YRS. - $30
NEW MEMBERS ONLY  Senior  1 YR. - $15  2 YRS. - $30
 Junior  1 YR. - $15  2 YRS. - $30
Name ______________________________________________________________
Address _____________________________________________________________________
City ___________________________________________State__________ Zip ________________
Phone__________________________ Preferred First Name(s) ___________________________
Full Year Resident ______ Part Year Resident ______ I/We first joined Audubon in _______________
Mail a check payable to NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY U50
National Audubon Society, Chapter Membership Data Center, P.O. Box 51001, Boulder, CO 80322-1001 7XCH

Page 4 May 2007

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May 2007 Page 5

283 Issue #:
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29938
P.O. Box 6185
Hilton Head Island Audubon Society Organization:
Monthly Sept.-May Frequency:
May 2007 Issue Date:
Permit #39
Ecobon Title:
Hilton Head Island, SC
U.S. POSTAGE Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29938
Non Profit Organization
P. O. Box 6185

MAY ~ SEPTEMBER 2007 Calendar

If you wish to honor a family
Thurs. May 3 Board Meeting at the Seabrook ......................... 2:00 pm
member or friend with a memorial
Tues. May 8 Annual Picnic at Sea Pines Forest Preserve ........ 5:30 pm gift, or remember the Audubon Ne-
Fish Island Picnic Pavilion whall Preserve or the Hilton Head
Island Audubon Society in your will,
your gift may be in the form of secu-
rities, cash, life insurance, real estate,
or other property.

SEPTEMBER Contact your own estate plan-

ner or our Audubon Chapter at P.O.
Weds to Fri. Box 6185, Hilton Head Island, South
Sept. 26, 27, 28 Field Trip to Timucuan Preserve, Jacksonville, FL Carolina 29938.
Details to be announced
Sharing your estate with Audu-
bon not only reduces the taxes on
your estate but will help protect birds,
Monthly meetings of the Hilton Head Island Audubon Society are regularly scheduled wildlife, and their habitat in the years
at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month, September through May, in the to come.
Auditorium at the Seabrook, 300 Woodhaven Drive. Members and guests welcome!

Page 6 Printed on recycled paper May 2007