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Featured Event: Birding at Pinckney Island (near Hilton Head Island, SC)

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, with its diverse mixture of land types, provides habitat to many species of birds. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the island’s wildfowl during a bird-watching expedition from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26. An expert from the Coastal Discovery Museum will lead the tour.

Wildlife habitat

The refuge’s 4,053 acres are made up primarily of tidal creeks and salt marsh. Other land types found on the refuge include fallow field, brush-land, forestland and freshwater ponds. These lands provide home to a variety of birds, including shorebirds, waterfowl, wading birds, neo-tropical migrants and raptors.

Hilton Head Bird Watching

Diversity of Species

Depending upon the season, bird species occupying the island include the American bald eagle, eastern kingbird, painted bunting, summer tanager and yellow-bellied sapsucker, as well as herons, egrets and many others. Bird watchers might also keep an eye out for other animal species native to the island, including the American alligator and nine-banded armadillo.

Tips for Visitors

Birders are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring cameras and binoculars if they have them. Due to its federally protected status, time seems to stand still on Pinckney Island. The bird-watching tour of the refuge is an opportunity to experience wildlife in its most natural state, undisturbed by vehicle traffic, construction or other human activities typically found elsewhere.

Cost and Registration

The tour, for ages 12 and up, costs $12 per person. Registration is required. To register, contact Robin Swift at 843-689-6767, ext. 223, or email


Take SC Exit 8 east off I-95 toward Hilton Head Island. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is about 16 miles from the exit. The entrance gate is on the left. Please be advised that there are no restroom facilities on the island.

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