2020 Wildlife Sightings: Incredible Findings and Photos

Welcome to the Kiawah Island Nature Program’s 2020 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 05, 2020 ~ Why did the turkey cross the road? 

If you’ve spent any time on Kiawah between November and now, you probably spotted the two Wild Turkeys that have been roaming the western half of the island. We often spot them foraging along the Kiawah Island Parkway, scratching through the leaf litter looking for nuts, seeds, or berries to snack on and sometimes invertebrates like snails or beetles. It is not uncommon to come across Wild Turkeys in this area, in fact this species can be found in 49 of our 50 states, Mexico and even into Canada! If you are coming to visit Kiawah in the coming months, make sure to drive slowly and keep an eye out for these two beautiful birds and you may be able to catch a glimpse of their iridescent feathers.
– Naturalist AK


January 10, 2020 ~ Winter = Sparrow Season 

Many birds opt to move south as temperatures drop and food becomes scarce in the north. Some fly as far south as the southern tip of South America. Others are content spending the mild winters right here on Kiawah Island.

The bird in the picture is extra special winter resident to Kiawah Island. It is a Salt Marsh Sparrow and as their name suggests, they are found in the vast marshes on the backside of Kiawah Island. For the last several years Biologist from the town of Kiawah have waded out in to these marshes to capture and band these birds (along with a couple other unique sparrows) to better understand them. After provided a unique banding code they are released with the hopes they will be captured again in the future. This ongoing study has shown that many of these individual birds return to Kiawah year after year… And not only that, but they have a tendency to return to pretty much the same area they were captured at in previous years! Really neat stuff demonstrating how important healthy marshes to some fascinating animals.

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