Kiawah Island Wildlife Viewing

Where to See Wildlife

Kiawah Island has a thriving ecosystem with over 100+ species of wildlife including sea turtles, eagles, dolphins, alligators, deer and much more more! This guide will show you the best spots for Kiawah Island wildlife viewing and where to learn more about Kiawah’s incredible creatures. Learn more about Kiawah Island’s top 5 wildlife here.

Kiawah Island Wildlife Viewing Options

The entrance to Kiawah Island Nature Center, nestled amidst lush greenery, inviting visitors to explore local wildlife and natural attractions.

Visit the Heron Park Nature Center

Inside the Heron Park Nature Center, you will find exhibits of the local wildlife, interactive displays and information about the ecosystems that comprise Kiawah Island. Resort naturalists and staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have and help direct you to Kiawah’s nature hot spots. The Nature Center is the heart of the Resort’s Nature Program and is a great first stop to get information about the various activities, or to make reservations for nature tours and programs.

An adult egret and its chicks in a nesting ground at Kiawah Island, a prime location for birdwatching.

View Egret’s Nesting Ground

This is a terrific place to watch the Egrets roost – there are normally several dozen of the graceful white birds perched in the trees right over the lagoon. Located at the west end of Sea Marsh Drive.

A bottlenose dolphin leaping out of the water near Kiawah Island.

Watch Bottlenose Dolphins Play

Dolphins are most active in the morning and evening, and prefer to hunt and play when the tide is low. One of their unique feeding behaviors, “strand feeding,” involves herding schools of fish towards the shore and then stranding them on the beach, where the dolphins can enjoy their catch.

A child's hand holding a sand dollar found on Kiawah Island's beach, a treasure of the local marine ecosystem.

Pick Up Sand Dollars on the Beach

During low tide you’ll be able to walk out into the ocean and search for sand dollars with your toes.

Close-up view of an alligator at Kiawah Island, exemplifying the island's diverse and accessible wildlife.

Spot an Alligator

Kiawah island is home to more than 600 alligators. They can be found in nearly everyone of the island’s ponds. To spot one, just locate a nearby pond and take a look!

A family of deer playing in the dunes of Kiawah Island, a serene wildlife spectacle.

Watch Deer Play in the Dunes

During the setting of the sun, deer can be found playing in the dunes by the beach.

A baby loggerhead turtle making its way across the sandy beach of Kiawah Island, symbolizing new life and conservation efforts.

Volunteer With Kiawah Logger Head Turtle Patrol

The Kiawah Turtle Patrol is an all-volunteer group that locate and mark turtle nests on the beach.