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Walking in the Beidler Forest

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

The Audubon Society’s Francis Beidler Forest is the world’s largest untouched cypress-tupelo swamp, the perfect habitat for Prothonotary warblers, sometimes called swamp warblers. Specific birds have been tracked returning to the exact same hollowed out tre, year after year to build their nests. When a foot or two foot above water, these nests are less likely to be raided by racoons.

A boardwalk makes this natural treasure which teams with unusual wildlife and plants accessible to the public, the adjacent long-leaf pine grasslands beckon as well. Because of COVID, you must make advanced reservations. The opportunities for nesting sites for this warbler have been expanded by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation. They partner with Kershaw County’s Andrew Jackson school to build nesting boxes and Wildlife staff have mounted over 300 in suitable places to attract these birds.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.