One of our favorite pass times on Jekyll Island is bird watching. With so many bird species either living on or visiting the island on a regular basis, Jekyll Island is the perfect venue for identifying birds to add to your life list.
Beautiful birds abound on this island noted for it's varied bird habitat. Whether looking for sea gulls, terns, or sand pipers on the beach, or searching for familiar or exotic song birds, Jekyll Island has something for everyone - experienced birders and novices alike.
As one of 18 spots along Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding Trail, the island is noted for year-round avian activity.
Here are some great bird observation points where you can encounter all types of birds.
St. Andrews Observation Deck -
This tower is at St. Andrew's Beach and overlooks the Jekyll River. This wild life viewing platform gives you another great view of surrounding marsh land. Watch for deer and raccoons as well as birds.
Observation Tower at the Jekyll Island Visiting Center -
This tower is located behind the visitor's center. Views are excellent, but to make it easier to identify birds here, bring good binoculars or a spotting scope. Look for cranes, herons, and egrets, rosette spoonbills, and wood storks, among others.
There's also a display poster located here that shows different birds on it (which may make identifying birds easier for those of us who are new to the activity).
Behind the Amphitheater -
Many birds gather and roost in the trees at the edge of the pond behind the old amphitheater. We've seem green herons, wood storks, cranes, egrets, and other species that we didn't know. Lots of colorful birds, and a good spot for photographing birds on the roost. Best time to catch birds in your lens is late afternoon or early evening.
When performances used to be held in the amphitheater, it was kind of surreal to see groups of birds gliding in to roost while the actors were going through their paces.
South End of the Island
The southern tip of Jekyll Island is a good place to find migrating birds. Jekyll Island sits on the Atlantic Flyway, and is a wonderful spot to discover all types of birds, especially in the spring and fall. Seabirds are abundant here.
All this abundant bird habitat has earned Jekyll Island an Important Bird Area (INA) designation from the National Audubon Society.
Of course, you can see all types of birds, from ocean birds to beach birds to song birds, just about everywhere on the island, so make sure you have a camera, along with a great pair of binoculars or a spotting scope, with you at all times.
If you've ever wanted to discover birding, or introduce your kids to this great family activity, there's no better place to do it than Jekyll Island, on your next Jekyll Island Family Adventure.