The Majestic Osprey

One of the local favorites featured on the H20 Alligator Tour in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve is the Osprey. This majestic bird is a member of the raptor family and a common sight on our tours.

Mostly, you can observe these birds circling high above the water searching for prey. They are extremely precise hunters with impeccable eyesight and deadly accuracy. Many times during our tours, patrons are fortunate enough to see them plummet from great heights and plunge into the water for fish. It is not uncommon to see them then circle back toward one of their nests with a prize catch in their talons. You may even hear them calling to one another or to babies in their nests.

Osprey and humans have developed a symbiotic relationship on Hilton Head Island, and their numbers in the area are a testament to how both humans and animals can peacefully coexist. In spite of the construction and development around the area, it is encouraging to see the steps humans have taken to live alongside these majestic birds. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, but most notable are the spaces and designated nesting sites built and carefully protected for the use of the birds.

Ospreys build heavy nests that can weigh hundreds of pounds. Due to their size, this adds strain on the natural structures they build upon, such as tree limbs; however, Hilton Head’s man-made structures are built to intentionally support the weight demands of a large osprey nest. Examples of this include bridge supports, telephone poles, billboards and much more. Because of the efforts to support this bird’s nesting habits, our community is fortunate to be able to observe and enjoy them as we watch their numbers increase.

The osprey is a fantastic example of how humans and the natural world can exist with one another and remain in balance. We invite you to learn more with our knowledgeable guides this spring on the H20 Alligator Tour in The Sea Pines Forest Preserve.

Written by Anthony R. Savarese, Reel Carolina. H2O Sports in Harbour Town is a great place to spark curiosity and inspire learning through adventure in all ages. To make reservations for the Alligator and Wildlife Tour or the Wine & Cheese Sunset Alligator Tour, please call (843) 671-4386. For details on other water activities offered by H2O Sports, visit