If you’re looking for a birdwatching adventure, Hilton Head is the perfect place!
Home to some of the most diverse and lesser-known shorebird species in the world, this coastal paradise offers an exciting glimpse into their lives. Get ready to raise your binoculars and watch these incredible birds as they soar across the sky or trudge through shallow water.
are one of the most popular shorebirds that can be found on Hilton Head Island. These little birds have a unique look and a special way of feeding – they run along the coastline in search of food, chasing each wave as it recedes! This behavior has earned them the nicknames “beach runners” or “tide-runners.”
are shy shorebirds are well-camouflaged and blend in with their marshy habitat. When they want to remain unnoticed, they stand motionless or sway back and forth like reeds in the wind. They’re often referred to as “thunder-pumpers” because of their deep booming call.
The Laughing Gull
is a beautiful shorebird, native to Hilton Head. This seabird sports a striking black head and upper wings, grey back, and white body. Its call is a loud and unmistakable laugh-like sound that gives it its name. It’s often seen in large flocks near the shore, and its vibrant presence enlivens the landscape.
The Black-bellied Plover
is a beautiful shorebird, especially during its winter migration. This bird is known for its amazing ability to fly long distances. The black-bellied plover is a master at blending in with its surroundings, therefore you have to look closely to spot one. The best way to find them is to look for their distinctive black-and-white coloring as they gather in large groups on the beach.
The Red Knot
is a small shorebird that can be found in many different habitats, from intertidal mudflats to estuaries and tidal creeks. During certain times of the year, the Island’s beaches are filled with these charming shorebirds, who come to feed and rest for their long migratory journeys.
has an incredible sense of camouflage, with its mottled brown feathers making it almost invisible against the leaf litter on the forest floor. It also has a unique habit of spiraling into the air and making a chirping sound that can be heard up to 1,000 feet away.
The Greater Yellowlegs
can be spotted standing in shallow waters, searching for small prey to feed on. These birds migrate over long distances and can be found in different environments from marshes and wetlands to grassy fields. Look out for the greater yellowlegs’ bright yellow legs and long bill.
With patience and some luck, you’ll see one or two of these fascinating shorebirds found on Hilton Head.