It’s a wild world out there! Whether you choose to explore Hilton Head Island by land, sea or air, here is a guide to just a few of the creatures you might encounter on your next adventure.
Size: Can grow up to 15 feet long and weigh up to 1,000 pounds
Lifespan: Up to 50 years
Diet: An apex predator that will eat anything, alive or dead, it can get its jaws around.
Fast Fact: To determine the length of an alligator, count the inches between the nose bump and eye bump: that number translates into feet
Habitat: Nest in Lowcountry marshes during the summer months.
Color: White head and neck, light pink wings with bright pink borders and pink legs
Size: Up to 2.5 feet tall with a five-foot wingspan
Diet: Use their large, spoon-shaped bill to detect small fish, invertebrates, shrimp and crabs
Fast Fact: Nest in large colonies with their own species, as well as other wading birds, over water.
Habitat: Tropical and subtropical waters.
Size: Up to 6 ½ feet wide and more than 200 pounds. The tail can be twice as long as the body.
Lifespan: Up to 13 years.
Diet: Forage for crustaceans, fish, shellfish and oceanic worms in saltwater shallows.
Fast Fact: Give live birth. The number of pups a female has is directly related to her size.
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Habitat: Warm, tropical waters, both inshore and offshore.
Size: Grow up to 3 ½ feet.
Lifespan: Up to 12 years.
Diet: Small, bony fish, as well as worms, shrimp, crabs and mollusks.
Fast Fact: Have 25 rows of teeth on both their upper and lower jaws.
American Green Tree Frog
Habitat: Coastal plains, especially under porch lights on summer nights.
Size: 1-2 inches long.
Breeding Habits: Males belt out songs to attract females and establish their territory.
Fast Fact: Sensitive to pollution, they serve as important indicators of environmental conditions.
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Habitat: Marshes and mangrove swamps to wooded forests, lakes and rivers.
Size: Up to 2 feet tall.
Diet: Crustaceans, insects, small fish and reptiles.
Breeding Habits: Monogamous and nest in the same area every year.
Fast Fact: Small prey is swallowed whole, while larger prey may be shaken until it breaks apart or is crushed or speared by the beak.