The South Carolina Wildlife Federation recently announced the start of its Palmetto Pro Birder Program, with a series of training sessions taught by a lifelong birder.
Ornithologist Dr. Drew Lanham, a certified wildlife biologist at Clemson University, is teaching classes around the state in an effort to build a corps of citizen scientists who can identify birds by sight, sound, and behavior and speak as ambassadors for their conservation. You might know Lanham from his role as co-host of the birding show on SCETV's "Your Day" radio segments.
To become a certified pro birder, you'll need to attend four training modules, each at a cost of $150. The next training sessions will be:
• June 23-24: Congaree National Park, Columbia
• Oct. 27-28: Dewees Island, Charleston
• Dec. 29-30: Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Summerton
In each module, students will learn to identify 30 to 50 different bird species and how to get involved in protecting birds' habitats. Each two-day module will include classroom time and field work on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a field trip on Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon.
To register for a spot in one of the classes, visit the S.C. Wildlife Federation website or call (803) 256-0670.