Area Wildlife – Birds, Fish, Loggerhead Turtles
When you reserve your Hilton Head Vacation rental you will see beautiful beaches, wonderful bike trails, tons of shopping and restaurants and of course golf and tennis. But remember this semi tropical island was designed with the idea that being in nature is as important to healthy well being. There is lots of area wildlife to see everywhere you look, from eagles and herons to alligators and dolphins. Here is a little information on our area wildlife – birds, fish and loggerhead turtles.
Bird to See
Bird watching is a great pastime for many outdoor enthusiasts and Hilton Head Island homes for rent provides some of the most magnificent bird watching in the country. There are over 156 different species of birds in our area. Species range from the large Blue Herons, Pelicans and White Egrets to the ever popular Red Cardinal and even beautiful hummingbirds. Some of the very best locations to see the widest variety of birds are the Pinckney Island Wildlife refuge located between the two bridges as you come onto the island or the Sea Pines Nature Preserve or Fish Haul Creek Park on the north end of Hilton Head. Bird watching is an exciting and educational way to spend the day here on the island. So take off and enjoy the great outdoors and discover all there is to see on this wonderful sanctuary we call home.
Fish to see and catch
You can watch dolphins frolicking from the shoreline or get up close on a tour out of one of Hilton Head Islands marina’s. If you want to fish our waters either inshore or out on a charter in the Gulf Stream some of the fish you may catch vary from redfish, speckled sea trout, tarpon, flounder, tiger sharks to shrimp and so much more.
Please note fishing licenses are needed to fish in saltwater, freshwater as well as in the lagoon systems on the Island. Licenses can be obtained through the DNR or authorized agents and they range from non-resident 14 day license $11 to shrimp baiting license $25. Often if you are on a charter they take care of the licenses but be sure and ask. And if you are staying in Sea Pines bring your valid car pass to the CSA Administration Building along with $5 to get your additional license.
One of the wonders of nature that few people get to experience is the loggerhead turtle. An endangered species, the turtle starts life buried in sand as a hatchling no more than three inches long, scurrying madly to the ocean for safety. The large creatures can grow to be 350 pounds and can swim up to 25 miles-per-hour.
Strict laws protect these beautiful giants, especially their nests found along the shore. Mother turtles make the journey at night to the high-tide line to deposit anywhere from 80 to 150 small, round white eggs in a nest four feet long and a foot deep. After the mother has covered her eggs, she makes the journey back to the sea and leaves the eggs to hatch in about two months.
There are citizens on the Island who have dedicated their lives to protecting these turtles. The Hilton Head vacation rental community even passed an ordinance banning lights on the beach after 10:00 p.m. to avoid confusing the turtles as they make their dash to the ocean. Fines and jail time can be enforced upon those who disrupt the nests of these endangered species. Please do not allow your children (young and old) to disturb these protected areas. For more information click here Hilton Head Island Sea Turtles