Audubon South Carolina is pleased to welcome Emily Davis as the new guest relations coordinator and naturalist at Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center and Sanctuary. As an artist, data enthusiast, traveler and passionate birder, Emily brings a unique perspective to the evolving field of avian rehabilitation and medicine with her to the position. Her previous role as an outreach and research coordinator with the Avian Conservation Center at the Center for Birds of Prey honed her skills and further ignited her drive to develop and support programs that preserve and protect the birds we love.
Between this and her background with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, combined with her passion for conservation, we have no doubt that Davis will be a tremendous asset at our 18,000-acre bird and wildlife sanctuary in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Read on to learn a little more about our newest staff member.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I migrated to South Carolina from the Great Lakes region of the country. My grandfather was an exceptional artist as well as a successful inventor who nurtured my talents in art and interests in science. I pursued art, knowing most of my inspiration came from nature and I could combine that passion with the ability to communicate by drawing. Formally trained in fine arts, I began to pursue more knowledge of birds and conservation initiatives, as I watched the decline of many species in the course of about 10 years. I felt a calling to be more of an instrument of change, protection, and education.
I received a BFA from Kent State University in Fine and Professional Arts and a BA in Creative Writing. I worked in the recovery and medical treatment of injured and orphaned birds at The Center for Birds of Prey along with data management, research initiatives and outreach. I continue to work for Wild Birds Unlimited in-store and remotely to educate and promote healthy backyard habitats for resident and migratory birds.
What attracted you to the role with Audubon South Carolina?
The vision and forward thinking of Audubon South Carolina.
What unique attribute or perspective do you bring to the role?
I think I bring a unique artistic perspective, as well as insight through cultural experiences I’ve had traveling to foreign countries to survey birds.
What is your first priority in your new role?
Building a strong volunteer program that meets the specific needs of various departments, and also enriches the lives of the individuals who participate.
What are you most excited about?
My most excited moments change every day but -- John Jay Audubon [Audubon’s educational Blue Jay], or maybe I am more excited for him. For me, we both started this journey together about the same time and we both are exploring what we can do given the incredible environment and tremendous team support. We found our flock.
Do you have a particularly memorable story involving a bird? We call it your "spark bird" story.
Hands-down, adult male Wood duck. I remember seeing some Amish boys off their bikes along the roadside near my Grandpa’s farm. When I asked what they were looking at, they said, “pipits and horned larks,” but in the ditch along the roadside was the Wood duck. That moment has never ended for me. I’m still there with those Amish boys off their bikes.
Anything interesting or unexpected you’d like to share with our members?
I grow mealworms (lots of them), and I saw a UFO in Kent, Ohio in 2009 while laying on my back eyes toward the dusk sky with my Nikon Monarchs as hundreds of Common Nighthawks fed on a late summer evening.
Please join us in warmly welcoming Emily to the Audubon family!