You expect to see turtles when you visit Hilton Head, but did you also know that you could visit
at the very time those turtles are giving birth? How many eggs will you see hatch? These are
just a few questions you might have when you are considering the ecosystem you’ll find in the
Lowcountry at Hilton Head. Because the town is devoted to preserving the environment of its
local wildlife, spotting some of the resident creatures might bring up even more thoughts. Such
How Many Species of Birds Reside in Hilton Head?
The casual birdwatcher might have a tough time counting them all, because over 200 species of
birds call Hilton Head home at some point during the year. If you decide to explore the 11-mile
lagoon system in Palmetto Dunes, chances are you will come across a great blue heron wading
in the shallow water. Herons help their environment by feasting on alligator eggs as well.
How Big is a Loggerhead Turtle?
There’s no missing this endangered giant. Weighing in at about 400 lbs., you probably won’t
catch it in a hasty retreat. However, just because they are slow doesn’t necessary mean they
are friendly. Always use caution and never touch these turtles. If it is hatching season (May-
October), you may come across a mother trying to protect its eggs. She’s got a big job, as a
Loggerhead turtle could lay 100- 125 eggs at a time. During the hatching season, man-made
lights near the ocean go out at 10 p.m. to help the turtles find their way out to sea.
What Season is Alligator Season?
Yes, South Carolina is far enough south for the American alligator to find a home. But if you are
visiting in the winter and expecting to see one, you might be out of luck. Alligators hibernate
during the winter. And while you might see the roaming around during the spring and fall,
many alligators stay hidden in the cool refuge of the water during the summer. But since it can
grow up to 15 feet long, weighing half a ton, if an alligator is out there, chances are you should
be able to see it.
What Do Bottlenose Dolphins Eat?
Watching dolphins play near the shoreline can be a lot of fun. One of the most interesting
activities to watch them engage in is strand feeding, where the dolphins gather in a group to
corral the fish, squid and other invertebrates that they eat to force them onto the shore for an
easy buffet. Wanna get even closer to the fun without hurting these gentle creatures? Rent a
paddleboard and see if any decide to come swim with you!
If wildlife watching is your favorite activity, you won’t be disappointed when you come to Hilton
Head. Pick your favorite class of animals: fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, etc., and come see what you can find! Be sure to rent bicycles for the whole family so you have a better chance of seeing all the fascinating creatures here on the island.