SC is home to hundreds of year-round + migrating bird species, each with their own characteristics, habits, and songs. You’ve likely seen more of them lately — at your feeders, on your fence posts, or swooping overhead. In South Carolina, we get to celebrate the arrival of winter finches — like the American Goldfinch each winter.
Since so many birds are active right now, you may be wondering what they all are — and you don’t need a lot of expensive gear to figure it out. The most important things are your own two eyes…and a little curiosity. If one of your new year’s resolutions was to get out more or to try a new hobby, birding might just be the thing for you.
Here are some tips + tricks below to get started birdwatching.👇
There’s an app for that Websites + apps have made birdwatching more accessible than ever. Here are a few we recommend. ○ Merlin: This free identification app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology includes photos, an identification tool, and a database of songs + calls for every bird you’re likely to come across in your area. ○ ebird.org: Also from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, ebird is a great website for birders to find birds, keep track of bird lists, explore the latest sightings + contribute to science. The best part of ebird is the hotspots locator. Columbia has many local spots where birders have seen more than 200 species. ○ Audubon South Carolina: State-specific information on species, conservation, resources + tips for birdwatching, bird-friendly gardening and more.
Feed the birds The easiest way to view birds is to bring them to you. Retailers like Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Walmart, Tractor Supply, and Lowe’s all have good selections of bird feeders in different shapes and sizes. This link has some ideas on the best types of bird feeders to purchase + what kind of food (seed, suet, or nectar) to offer.
The folks at Wild Birds Unlimited (four locations)can hook you up with a great bird feeder + locally-sourced seed and suet (a birdseed cake). They’re also extremely knowledgeable about all things birds.
Announced ○ Yesterday, Cola Concerts announced two concerts at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center this spring – Blackberry Smoke and North Mississippi Allstars on April 23 + Mt. Joy with Briston Maroney on May 15. Tickets for both events will go on presale tomorrow at 10 a.m. Find more details here.
Coronavirus ○ Walk-in vaccinations have been paused at Prisma Health for this week due to a limited vaccine supply. Health officials recommend that those who’ve received the first dose should make an appointment for the second dose. (WIS) ○ The UofSC School of Medicine and the Columbia VA announced a partnership to repurpose lab equipment to conduct COVID-19 testing for students, employees, and veterans. The system will process up to 400 tests per day + provide results in as little as 24 hours. (Soda City BizWire) ○ Lexington Medical Center has updated its visitation policy + the updates go into effect today. The changes allow one visitor in the emergency department (for non-COVID cases), one visitor for non-COVID inpatients between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., a spouse or support person in obstetrics during labor and following delivery, one support person in the special care nursery, and one visitor for surgical and procedural areas. ○ The COVID-19 vaccine is now available, but what should you do if you are pregnant, considering pregnancy or nursing? Kacey Eichelberger, MD, shares what you need to know. 💉 Ⓟ
Edu ○ Dr. Christine DiStefano, a professor in UofSC’s College of Education, conducted a study on the stressors of distance learning for families and teachers. Her results showed that, among other things, teachers were more stressed last fall than last spring, there is a significant number of missing assignments + that overall, teachers are proud of themselves and parents are grateful for the schools. (WLTX)
NowOpen ○ The Hilton Garden Inn Columbia Airport hotel (110 McSwain Dr., West Columbia)is now open. The hotel has 122 guest rooms, 5,000 sqft in meeting space and is a 10 minute drive from the airport. (Soda City BizWire)
State ○ This year, South Carolina broke its recordfor the number of women in state politics with 17.6%. This is an increase from the 16.5% in 2019 and 2020. (WRBL)
Ranked ○ 38. Columbia’s ranking in a recent WalletHub study on the best places to get married in the US. Columbia also ranked first in most wedding chapels and churches per capita. The study looked at key indicators including venues per capita and average cost. Orlando, FL ranked first overall and Providence, RI ranked last. (WalletHub)
Number ○ 30. The number of bus driver openings in Lexington School District One is looking to fill. The vacancies are for both full and part time positions. Those who are interested can apply here. (WIS)
Listen ○ Nephron Pharmaceuticals was recently featured on South Carolina Public Radio in a segment on their new syringe-filling robots, part of their partnership with the University of South Carolina’s colleges of engineering and pharmacy. Listen here. 🤖 Ⓟ
Finance ○ Meet the highest-paying cash back card, boasting a 3% cash back choice in 6 categories (think: online shopping, dining, travel, gas + more). Cardholders also receive a $200 bonus offer and 0%interest for 12 months – with no annual fee. Learn more.Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) has partnered with local nonprofit Family Connections of South Carolina to expand Art in the Airport and display the “LOOK!” photography exhibit, which showcases the beauty of children and young adults living with disabilities in SC.
The exhibit is being displayed by the food court through the summer.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #COLAtoday on social media.
Show ○ USC Dance Company Spring Concert| Wed., Feb. 10-Sat., Feb. 13 | 7:30-9:30 p.m. | Drayton Hall | $15+ | Experience an exciting night of dance featuring three new contemporary performances. 👯♀️ ○ Galentine’s Day| Wed., Feb. 10 | 7-11 p.m. | Tin Roof | Free | Grab your girls + dance the night away to your favorite songs. 💃
TryThis ○ Music Bingo| Wed., Feb. 10 | 7 p.m. | The GRAND | Free | Test your knowledge on classic love songs. 🎶
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
Part of the Layr Engineering Team | Photo by Barbie Andrews, Gaki Media
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Answered: Yesterday, we got a little cheesy for National Pizza Day and asked y’all how you felt about pineapple on pizza.58% answered that pineapple is delicious on pizza + 41% decided that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza. 🍍
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