Photo contest | Why are there so many blackbirds around? | New merch! 
Audubon Center at Beidler Forest
Beidler Forest Center & Sanctuary Newsletter | January 2023
A beaver with circular dark ears glides through the dark water sprinkled with some fallen orange leaves
"For the Love of Beidler" Photo Contest is open for submissions
Dear {{FirstName or 'Friend'}},

From now until February 14th (Valentines Day!), “For the Love of Beidler” Photo Contest is happening. This contest is for everyone, whether you own a digital camera or like to use your cell phone or tablet. There are several categories including more traditional to your best-worst photo (like that perfect shot you thought you got, but clearly didn’t).

We hope you will join in on the fun – and we’ve got some awesome prizes! There is no cost to participate and our unlicensed and inexperienced judges are ready to view your submissions. 

 Learn more about the contest
North American Beaver. Photo: Richard Hernandez
A huge flock of black and brown birds fly together across the frame of the picture all in the same direction. You can't see much behind them because there are so many, like a cloud of birds.
Species Spotlight: Flocking Blackbirds in Winter Months
Why do these birds, who often choose a more solitary life during breeding season, flock together in such large numbers during the winter? It might be in response to food availability as the seasons change; blackbirds are excellent communicators and might be able to pass along resource news faster in larger groups. Perhaps predator protection is at play, using big groups to deter or confuse a bird of prey from making a meal out of a single bird. It could also be something as simple as trying to keep warm during the cold months.

Red-winged Blackbirds. Photo: Nathan Rolls
Immature Longleaf Pine stand in rows along a morning grassy field. The sun is rising.
Visit the Grassland-Woodland Trails this Winter
Have you had a chance to visit the 2-miles of trails adjacent to our front gate? Open from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year, the Grassland-Woodland trails are a delight in the cooler months. A variety of bird species can be seen in the tall grasses and keep an eye on our two seed and suet feeder stations for finches, sparrows, and woodpeckers. A newly installed StoryWalk is a fun way to get the kids outdoors and is located right beyond the parking area. It’s worth the trip! 

Longleaf Pine. Photo: Richard Covey
A man with dark hair, black shirt and brown shorts is sitting at a work desk drinking coffee surrounded by a swamp with large Cypress knees around and wet mud making up the ground.
Staff Spotlight: Q & A with Richard Covey
Do you have a spark bird? “I can’t really recall a specific or first moment that would count as a spark bird, but I’ve had hundreds of cool encounters while working at Beidler. While guiding a field trip I once convinced some twenty school kids to play red light green light with a Barred Owl that was just above the boardwalk, making everyone stop walking forward whenever the owl turned their head to look at us.” – Richard Covey

Photo: Richard Covey
A blue jay is holding a bracelet in his mouth that has the same colored strings of blue as his feathers
We have new merch - Petey approved!
We have new one-of-a-kind merch in the Visitor Center! Come by on a day we are open to check out our new bird-themed bracelets, decal stickers (look for the Ivory-billed sticker!), and the long-awaited Otter T-shirts for adults. We don’t think you will leave without buying one of these new items and you won’t find this merch anywhere else! 

Blue Jay. Photo: Jen Tyrrell
Three people are looking through binoculars on a wooden boardwalk
We are excited to share some of our 2023 programming at Beidler:
Photo: Richard Hernandez
Donate to Beidler
Audubon Center at Beidler Forest
336 Sanctuary Rd, Harleyville, SC 29448
843-487-9988 |

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