JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - Charleston County Parks is excited to take part in an international birding experience on Oct. 7! Held at James Island County Park, the event, called “A Big Sit,” challenges birders to identify as many birds as possible while staying in a designated location.
Created with accessibility in mind, this inclusive birding program is open to birders of all levels, including beginners. Participants will stay within a 17-foot diameter circle to spot as many birds as possible in the area. Some of the species that organizers hope to see include birds like Pileated Woodpeckers, Wood Storks, Anhingas and a variety of songbirds. Charleston County Parks’ naturalists and members of the Coastal Master Naturalists Association will be on hand to help with birding questions and identification.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own seat, whether it be a camp chair, wheelchair or otherwise. Some binoculars and chairs will be available to share. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but birders can drop in and participate for however long they wish during that timeframe.
“Seeing and/or hearing birds is good for our well-being. Research has consistently shown that more interaction with our natural world is associated with better body and brain health. This inaugural event hopes to attract a wide range of people and introduce them to the potential health benefits of birding,” said CCPRC Natural History Interpretation Specialist Kristina Wheeler. “Whether you are a seasoned birder or brand new, come give it a try. This is a great opportunity for people with limited mobility, so they too can experience the joys of birding. We plan to learn some new things and most importantly - have FUN!”
The Big Sit is an annual international birding event. It was founded in 1992 by the New Haven (CT) Bird Club, and birders throughout the world will participate in this bird-a-thon the same weekend.
There are no fees to participate in A Big Sit; the program is free with regular admission to James Island County Park ($2 per person or free for Gold Pass holders). The activity is open to ages 12 and up and will meet near the park’s primitive campground. Accessible parking, accessible restrooms, accessible water fountains, and accessible picnic tables are near the event location’s “count circle.”
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