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Resolution Schmesolution

The inevitable question — “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”

We all know that New Year’s resolutions are frail, fickle, and never followed through. Either you roll with it and pretend you’ll change something, or you are honest with yourself and say, “I’m not making any resolutions this year.”

But let’s consider a third option. Let the birds keep you accountable. Below are twelve New Year’s Resolutions for birds, one for every month. Choose your favorite or choose them all!

January: Ditch plastics.

Ask your local officials for a plastic bag ordinance in your area. If you’re in Beaufort County, urge your town and county officials to vote for ordinances that are on the table now. Sea turtles and beach-nesting birds will soon arrive to lay their eggs, and single-use plastics can be harmful if not deadly! Check out tips on how to communicate with elected officials at the bottom of this page.

February: Declare your love for birds.

Not in a creepy way though. Show your love for your favorite bird on Valentine’s Day by writing an open letter on social media and tagging Audubon South Carolina (@scaudubon). For example: “Dear Brown-headed Nuthatch, your sweet squeaks make me smile every day! Love, Mary”

March: Find a native plant nursery near you.

March is the perfect time to find bird-friendly plants for your garden. Some native plants are starting to bloom! To help get you started, here are some of our favorite local native nurseries. If you’re not yet sold on buying native plants, learn why native plants are better for birds.

April: Get to know your state reps.

Audubon South Carolina is working on several important issues in the state legislature this year, including the Conservation Bank and Native & Solar Policy. Urge your public officials to do the right thing for birds by heading to our Speak Up for Birds page.

May: Kick off beach season!

Encourage your friends to Let ‘em Rest and Let ‘em Nest. Tell your beach-going friends that disturbing beach-nesting birds like Brown Pelicans or American Oystercatchers is not cool! We can all share the beach this summer, helping declining species like the Wilson’s Plover and Least Tern that need a comeback. Email me to learn more at nschillerstrom@audubon.org.

June: Keep cool by visiting one of Audubon South Carolina’s wildlife sanctuaries.

Get a break from the heat under the trees! And really, it’s just cool to see all the amazing wildlife that thrive in our Francis Beidler Forest and at Silver Bluff Sanctuary.

July: Get outside more.

Look up, look down, look all around. You’ll be surprised how much you can see by just keeping your eyes open. This time of year, nesting birds are still very active, and chicks are starting to emerge and explore the world. Spot some cute little fluff-ball babies on a self-guided tour, or join us for bird walks and other events around the state.

August: Up your photography game.

It’s time to enter our Audubon South Carolina Photo Calendar Contest! The 2018 contest will be announced in August, but until then check out our 2017 winners.

September: Add a feeder to your yard.

Fall migrants and wintering birds love feeders! Now that you’ve got a bunch of native plants, think about adding a feeder or two to your yard. If you’re in Mt. Pleasant, try Wild Birds Unlimited for feeders and seed, or find their closest store here.

October: Leave the leaves.

We know you don’t really want to rake the leaves in your yard, so just leave them be. They’re great for birds and other critters! While you’re at it, now’s the time to consider other ways to make your yard bird friendly.

November: Be a community scientist.

Need an excuse to spend more time on the water? Do you have access to a boat? Help Audubon South Carolina monitor wintering American Oystercatchers by re-sighting banded birds from the water. Email me if you’re interested at nschillerstrom@audubon.org.

December: Join a Christmas Bird Count!

There’s literally no better way to get started birding. It’s the longest-running wildlife census in North America, and it's a ton of fun. It runs across the state of South Carolina every year from December 14th through January 5th. Check here to find an event near you.

Congrats! You made it to the BONUS RESOLUTION:

Donate to Audubon South Carolina so we can keep helping you make a difference for birds!