2023 Winter Meeting Summary

GOS Winter Meeting
Tybee Island, GA
13 – 16 January 2023
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Clark Rushing, University of Georgia
Friday Night Speaker: Dr. Bob Sargent, Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Approximately 50 attendees participated in our Winter Meeting activities which included interesting and informative presentations on Friday and Saturday, the banquet, and field trips. For the weekend, participants found 155 species (see list below) on field trips to the Corps of Engineers Disposal Site, Fort Pulaski, Fort Stewart, Harris Neck NWR, Hutchinson Island, Little Tybee Island, Richmond Hill Wastewater Treatment Facility, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Skidaway Island, Solomon Tract, and Tybee Island. As always, thanks to our field trip leaders (Steve Calver, Larry Carlile, Diana Churchill, Stan Gray, Rene Heidt, Malcolm Hodges, Patrick Maurice, Mary Richards, Bob Sargent, Pam Smith, Russ Wigh, Steve Wagner).

Our Friday speaker, Dr. Bob Sargent, is a wildlife biologist for the Georgia Department of Natural resources and long-time member of the GOS executive committee. In his Friday evening presentation, “Not Your Average Flu Bug: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus’ Toll on Wild Birds in Georgia and Across the U.S.”, he discussed the history of avian flu and provided detailed information on recent impacts on birds in Georgia and elsewhere. 

Dr. Clark Rushing, Assistant Professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, gave the Saturday Keynote address. His presentation, “New Technological Tools Advance Age-old Question in Avian Ecology”, focused on the various technologies available for tracking bird movements. Attaching tracking devices to birds allows researchers to gather information about local movements, dispersal, and migration. Dr. Rushing shared several examples of research that he and his graduate students are engaged in that use some of these different tracking technologies. 

Bird List (155 species):

Canada Goose

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler


Mottled Duck

Northern Pintail

Green-winged Teal



Ring-necked Duck

Greater Scaup

Lesser Scaup

Black Scoter


Hooded Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Pied-billed Grebe

Horned Grebe

Eared Grebe

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Common Ground Dove

White-winged Dove

Mourning Dove

King Rail

Clapper Rail

Virginia Rail


Common Gallinule

American Coot

American Avocet

American Oystercatcher

Black-bellied Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Piping Plover


Marbled Godwit

Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knot

Stilt Sandpiper



Least Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher

Wilson's Snipe

Spotted Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs


Lesser Yellowlegs

Bonaparte's Gull

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Forster's Tern

Royal Tern

Black Skimmer

Red-throated Loon

Common Loon

Wood Stork

Northern Gannet


Double-crested Cormorant

American White Pelican

Brown Pelican

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron

Tricolored Heron

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

White Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Bald Eagle

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

American Kestrel


Peregrine Falcon

Eastern Phoebe

Western Kingbird

White-eyed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

Loggerhead Shrike

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Tree Swallow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

House Wren

Winter Wren

Sedge Wren

Marsh Wren

Carolina Wren

European Starling

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Cedar Waxwing

House Finch

Purple Finch

American Goldfinch

Grasshopper Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Seaside Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Henslow's Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Western Meadowlark

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Rusty Blackbird

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Northern Waterthrush

Black-and-white Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Palm Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Western Tanager

Northern Cardinal