Farm | Nature

New Homes at Kiawah River …for the Birds

Have you seen the birdboxes along the fences at The Goatery? 

The new additions to the Kiawah River are courtesy of the Kiawah River Wildlife Conservancy (KRWC) and are helping to attract more birds to the farm area and throughout the property.  

Over the past three years, our Chief Environmental Officer Jeff Snyder has been leading the effort to build and install more bird nesting boxes throughout the property. “An old friend of mine on Johns Island, Albert Thompson, builds the bluebird boxes that we use,” Jeff explains. The KWRC, a volunteer resident group under Jeff’s guidance, then installs them strategically throughout the property. The new boxes at The Goatery are perfect for Eastern Bluebirds, who prefer to nest along open fields. Carolina Wrens and Chickadees have also been spotted nesting inside.   

Members of the KRWC are educated on the nesting habits of these birds and routinely inspect the birdhouses to monitor the residents. According to Jeff, volunteers check the houses weekly and record data on how many eggs are in each nest, what stage the nest is in and how many chicks have fledged each time. The most exciting part of the process is keeping the data on how many baby birds are successfully raised and have left the nest.  

While making their rounds, volunteers may discover that some boxes are less successful than others. When that happens, the KWRC will change the angles of the houses, the direction they face, whether they have a perch and the size of the entry hole. These are all variables that can affect the appeal of a bird box and are easily tweaked to make the homes more attractive for nesting birds. 

New trails and boxes are being added throughout Kiawah River all the time—keep an eye out for new ones and our feathered friends that make their homes there! We ask that you observe from a safe distance since disturbing nesting birds can harm the birds inside. If you’re interested in volunteering to help with this and other KRWC projects, please contact Jeff Snyder at jsnyder@kiawahriver.com.