Lowcountry Nature: Birds of Pawleys Island

By Marissa Polascak ˙ June 28, 2019

The Pawleys Island area is the perfect destination for birders to visit, as the beautiful nature of the lowcountry provides birds with a fantastic environment to thrive. There are a variety of species of birds that can be found in and around Pawleys Island, especially in certain areas.

Birders who have visited Pawleys Island recommend places such as Huntington Beach State Park, Hobcaw Barony, Sandy Island, Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, Brookgreen Gardens, and the Myrtle Beach State Park as nearby places to go bird watching. Each of these places is home to a variety of trees and plant life that provide different species of birds with ideal living conditions.

Those looking for colorful, eye-catching birds will be pleased to know that the Pawleys Island area is home to species such as the Baltimore oriole, rose-breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, and indigo bunting. Indigo buntings are easily recognized by their bright blue plumage, and the Painted bunting, which is also common in South Carolina, is known for it’s blue, green, yellow, and red feathers. Both of these birds can usually be spotted on feeders, and Huntington Beach State Park is home to several feeders that are filled with millet, which is favored by the species. Other birds that enjoy these feeds include sparrows, finches, chickadees, cardinals, house finches, brown-headed cowbirds, and red-winged blackbirds.

Of course, by the water, bird enthusiasts are sure to spot shorebirds such as brown pelicans plovers, sandpipers, snipes, dowitchers, and more. Sandpipers and sanderlings can be spotted at Huntington Beach State Park as well as on most any other beach along the Grand Strand. Other birds that can be seen by the water include loons and waterfowl like red-throated loons, razorbills, scoters, and long-tailed ducks, and fish-eaters like ospreys and bald eagles.

Wading birds, found in ponds or in marsh wetlands, include herons, egrets, and bitterns. They’re quite popular in the marshes at Huntington Beach State Park, around the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, and other marsh areas in Pawleys Island. Brookgreen Gardens is also home to an aviary where birders can get up close and personal to beautiful birds like the white ibis, great blue heron, black-crowned- night-herons, and cattle egrets.

The lowcountry area of Georgetown County is home to three species of owls: the screech owl, the great horned owl, and the barred owl. While Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens provide great habitats for birders to spot these majestic owls in the wild, visitors to the Lowcountry Zoo at Brookgreen Gardens will see multiple captive owls that have been rehabilitated and are unable to be released back into the wild for safety reasons.