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Audubon Center at Beidler Forest
Beidler Forest Center & Sanctuary Newsletter | June 2023
A yellow bird with black eyes, beak and blue wings is perched on a small branch sings, beak pointing towards the sky
Message from our Center Manager
Dear {{FirstName or 'Friend'}},

This spring season has been nothing short of extraordinary, filled with dazzling nights of fireflies (with glowing reviews from visitors!) and the busy nesting season for Prothonotary Warblers in full swing. We are reminded of the delicate balance and wonders that lie within this ancient forest.  

As we approach the end of our fiscal year, we also want to extend our deep gratitude for your ongoing support and offer additional giving opportunities for you to make a meaningful impact. Join us as we celebrate the triumphs of the season by making a gift to help provide an even brighter future at Beidler Forest.

Warm Regards, 

Emily Davis
Center Manager 

 Donate to Beidler
Prothonotary Warbler. Photo: Richard Hernandez.
A red light omits across a very dark forest and boardwalk
Surveying Fireflies at Beidler Forest: Field Notes
Since March I’ve been going out at least once a week and recording from dusk to a few hours after sunset, noting temperature, the moon’s phase and position, light levels, humidity, wind, and so on, to try and build up any kind of correlative pattern that would tell us what conditions fireflies prefer. What I’ve discovered is that there’s a whole hidden world out there that glows in the dark.

Photo: Richard Covey.
The head of a yellow bird with black eyes and beak stares out from a small cavity hole in a stump
Nest Monitoring Update - Prothonotaries and Eastern Bluebirds
Prothonotary Warblers can have as many as 3 brood cycles per season, so many of our females are already on Round 2. As of this newsletter, over 43 eggs have been laid and 29 nestlings have successfully fledged from their nests. You can see several of these fledglings still being fed by parents as you walk along the boardwalk. 

Prothonotary Warbler. Photo: David Ramage.
A woman with a blue-gray ball cap, brown hair, and dangling earrings is holding a small banded yellow bird in her right hand.
Staff Spotlight: Katie Galletta
Q: What were your first impressions of southern swamps? Any surprises?
“I’ve spent very little time in the southeast and had never been to South Carolina before this job, so this kind of swamp is an entirely new ecosystem for me. I am already so blown away by how beautiful (and enchanting) it is! There’s just so much life here. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the awe I felt the first time I walked the Beidler boardwalk knowing that the trees I was surrounded by were centuries old. It’s crazy to think that this swamp looks pretty much just as it would have hundreds of years ago, and I think that knowledge makes the work we do here extra special because we have the privilege of helping protect and conserve it for future generations of humans and birds alike.”  

Photo: Jen Tyrrell.
Longleaf Pine restoration site
Beidler Forest adds over 400 acres to sanctuary
Two properties, totaling 410 acres, were recently added to the Audubon Center & Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest. The acquisitions include 380 acres of forested land along Dean Swamp in Berkeley County, as well as a 30-acre property located along Four Holes Swamp in an unincorporated area of Orangeburg County. These two new properties now expand Beidler's total acreage to 18,330 acres, and add important bird habitat while also expanding the swamp's ability to mitigate flooding, reduce runoff, and enhance water quality.

Photo: Mark Musselman.
A golden yellow fly
The Yellow Flies have arrived, but we've got some tips and tricks!
If you’ve been to our swamp in the last few weeks, you might have had the benefit of experiencing their enthusiastic greeting as you park your vehicle. I’m writing this to inform you that despite the fact that it looks like a warzone outside the window, it is not the end of the world, your day trip has not been ruined.

Yellow Fly. Photo: Richard Covey.
Rainbow colored bird perches on a small branch
More ways to engage with us at Beidler:
  • In celebration of Pride Month, we are offering 2 Let’s Go Birding Together on the boardwalk events for our LGBTQA++ community, allies and families. Reserve your tickets here
  • Our free “Second Saturday” is coming up on June 10. Make your reservations today.   
  • Have you ever considered giving the gift of your time to Beidler? We are looking for volunteers. Let us know you're interested
  • We recently had a loss of nest box monitoring equipment, here is our Amazon Wish List if you'd like to support this important work. 
Painted Bunting. Photo: Layton Parham.
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Audubon Center at Beidler Forest
336 Sanctuary Rd, Harleyville, SC 29448
843-487-9988 |

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