How To Go Bird Watching on Tybee Island
It’s no secret that Tybee Island is a great place to see stunning wildlife. However, what many don’t know is that our barrier island is on the Colonial Coastal Birding Trail. Host to over 211 bird species, Tybee Island and Little Tybee are perfect destinations for observing migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway. So, whether you stroll the beach, lounge on the veranda or take a boat ride along the marshes, Tybee Island’s bird population is sure to keep you entertained!
One location on Tybee Island with excellent birding is North Beach, near the Tybee Island Lighthouse. There, you’re likely to find Northern Gannetts, Terns, ducks and gulls flying offshore or digging in the sand for food. The North Beach jetties are a favorite hangout for Purple Sandpipers. The further north you venture, the more likely you are to see mixed flocks of shorebirds roosting, including Black Skimmers, Black Backed Gulls, Red Knots, Plovers and rare American Oystercatchers.
The island’s many nature trails host a variety of birds. McQueen’s Trail and the Sally Pearce Nature Trail are great places to spot warblers, the Painted Bunting and other vocal birds.
Little Tybee Island is home to a wealth of bird species. Thanks to the fact that the island remains uninhabited, the birding is spectacular. Little Tybee is a 7,600 acre Natural Heritage Preserve owned by the state of Georgia and, as such, is a haven for so many undisturbed species.
Take a boat or kayak for a ride through Tybee’s intracoastal waterways and marshlands to glimpse the Black and Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Louisiana Heron, Osprey, Brown Pelican, and so many more. Be sure to paddle past the Cockspur Lighthouse for a great view of birds sunning themselves on the rocks!
Fort Pulaski is also a point of interest for birders. The marsh that surrounds the fort and nearby Lazaretto Creek Bridge is a great spot to spot Sparrows as well as Marsh Wrens. There are plenty of trails to walk along the perimeter where you may spot a flock of Cedar Waxwings. The trails are another good spot for warblers and the Painted Bunting. On the bridge leading to the fort, look out for Forester’s Terns lining the railing, almost like your own little welcome party!
Happy Birding, y’all!
Jess Brannen is Visit Tybee’s Digital Content Coordinator. She graduated from Armstrong State University with her BA in English and Professional Communications. Jess is a Savannah native and loves playing with Sir Charles Barkley, her neurotic golden retriever, and watching reruns of Martha Stewart’s cooking shows while eating chocolate.