Jekyll Island, GA
The Jekyll Island Causeway cuts across the marshes of Glynn County, made famous by the poet Sidney Lanier. These rich salt marshes are home to an amazing array of birds and other wildlife. Two different sites along the causeway are identified as great places to watch birds. One is behind the Welcome Center where there is a two-story wildlife viewing platform. The first level of the tower is American Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible. It overlooks the marsh in a northwest direction, and depending on the time of day whimbrels, black-bellied plovers, and avocets are frequently seen. Occasionally otters are seen, as well. The second location is on the old bridge deck, where low tide offers expansive views of the tidal marsh flats. There is parking on both the island side and causeway side of the bridge deck. Restrooms are available at the Visitor Center.
Osprey, bald eagle, clapper rail, northern harrier, roseate spoonbill, white pelican, red knot, black-necked stilt, white ibis, wood stork, American avocet, black-bellied plover, and saltmarsh, Nelson’s and seaside sparrows, belted kingfisher.
Shorebirds are best seen at mid- and high tide from mid-summer through spring. Look for nesting ospreys in spring and summer. Listen for clapper rails and marsh wrens in the salt marshes. Watch for northern harriers flying low over the marsh in winter. Look for roseate spoonbills in summer. Birding at the Visitor Center is best during shorebird migration at high tide when thousands of birds can be seen in the marsh behind the building. The causeway is probably the most accessible location in the state to see saltmarsh and Nelson’s sparrows. These species, present between November and April, are most easily seen along the marsh edge in black needle rush and sea oxeye patches, where they can be abundant during extremely high tides. Numerous seaside sparrows are also present in this vegetation during high tides. During the nesting season (November–April), bald eagles can often be seen perched on the power poles on the left as drivers come onto the island over the bridge.
Other Wildlife Highlights
Otters, diamondback terrapins, eastern kingsnakes and marsh rabbits.
Best Birding Seasons
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