wildlife header 2016

Learn more. Wildlife: As We See It...

Welcome to the Kiawah Island Nature Program’s wildlife sightings page. Here, you’ll find postings from our Naturalists and island biologists showing you what is currently in the field as well as an archive of observations from throughout the year. We hope this site will get you excited about the amazing and diverse wildlife found on Kiawah. Get outside and share your photos and stories with us at Kiawah_Recreation@KiawahResort.com.


January 26, 2016 ~ Long-Tailed Duck

wawsi august 23After receiving a hot tip yesterday, my coworker and I set out to explore the beachfront at the Ocean Course in hopes of spotting a female Long-tailed Duck, a lifer for me. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the duck was no where to be seen. Despite her apparent absence, we didn’t give up our search and after about 20 minutes, the duck surfaced for what seemed like the first time since we’d arrived. This isn’t surprising because Long-tailed ducks are some of the deepest divers of all ducks and spend most of their time foraging under the water. Fortunately, we were able to digi-scope a photo of this beautiful bird to share with all of you!

January 22, 2016 ~ Cooper's Hawk

wawsi august 23This Cooper’s Hawk was seen yesterday on one of our naturalist’s car at Night Heron. These hawks are fairly common on Kiawah and are known to prey upon other birds such as doves and robins. In order to kill its prey, Cooper’s Hawks will squeeze repeatedly within their talons rather than biting it. Cooper’s Hawks are one of the smallest hawks seen on Kiawah.

January 19, 2016 ~ Bald Eagle Pair

From Juliana, one of our Naturalists- This morning’s Back Island Birding tour witnessed Bald Eagles in the throes of mating flight displays. Two pairs of Bald Eagles were seen flying closely in their individual pairs, sometimes seeming as though they would run into each other. Suddenly, a pair locked talons and began to free fall, wings flapping wildly as the eagles tumbled through the air! This lasted for only a few breathless moments, but all who witnessed were awed by the trust eagles have in their life-long mates. This experience alone was well worth the shivering and chill we endured in today’s freezing morning temperatures. Other highlights of the morning: Wood Storks amidst a flock of juvenile White Ibis, a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk dodging the advances of Blue Jays, and an undulating Anhinga snaking through the chilly waters looking for breakfast.

January 12, 2016 ~ Tundra Swan

Our Back Island Birding tour was surprised by a swan sighting as it gracefully glided over the group on the east end of the island. After some deliberation, it was determined to be a Tundra Swan and, according to the island’s authorities, is likely the first swan sighted from Kiawah Island. The wildlife on the island continues to surprise even our most experienced naturalists! You never know what you’ll get to see!

January 5, 2016 ~ Sunset over the Kiawah River

wawsi august 23Breathtaking sunset...