About the Club

Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

Join us — Join, Renew, Donate

The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

The Club provides this website to all for free.

By becoming a member, you support the activities of the Club, receive reduced registration fee for meetings, can participate in bonus field trips, and receive our publications.

Join, Renew, or Donate now!

Other Resources (NOT sponsored by Carolina Bird Club)

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Robin Carter


From Exit 8 of I-95 follow US 278 east, towards Hilton Head. At about 25 miles east of the interstate you will reach the saltwater and cross a salt creek (Mackays Creek). You are now on Pinckney Island. The entrance to the refuge is on the left (north). If you get to the high bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway you have gone too far.

Birds to look for

Hooded Merganser, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Cattle Egret (s), Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (s), White Ibis, Wood Stork, Clapper Rail, Common Moorhen, American Oystercatcher, Whimbrel (m, w), Gull-billed Tern (s), Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern (s), Forster's Tern, Least Tern (s), Black Skimmer, Sedge Wren (w), Marsh Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler (w), Northern Parula (s), Cape May Warbler (m), Black-throated Blue Warbler (m), Yellow-rumped Warbler (w), Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler (w), Blackpoll Warbler (m), Black-and-white Warbler (m, w), American Redstart (m), Common Yellowthroat, Savannah Sparrow (w), Nelson's Sparrow (w), Saltmarsh Sparrow (w), Seaside Sparrow, Painted Bunting (s), Boat-tailed Grackle


Pinckney Island NWR consists of over 4000 acres of salt marsh, maritime forest, pine flatwoods, agricultural fields, brushy scrub, and freshwater ponds. About two-thirds of the refuge is salt marsh or salt creek. As you drive along the entrance road you will pass through a great salt marsh, with views of Mackays Creek to the west and Skull Creek to the east. Soon you will reach the parking lot, in the midst of a beautiful grove of live oaks. There is a display and bulletin board near the parking lot where you can pick up a refuge map and a bird checklist.

The main refuge road beyond the parking lot is closed to automobiles, so you will have to walk or ride a bicycle. The road goes for 2.5 miles, to the ranger's residence. Several walking trails branch off from this central road, including a half mile trail to White Point on Port Royal Sound at the extreme northern end of the island.

The best birding on the island is less than a mile from the parking lot, along the main refuge road. Here you will find Ibis Pond, which is the site of a major heronry. Here, in late spring and early summer, you will find several species of herons and egrets breeding. The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is common here -- this is one of the best places in South Carolina to observe this species breeding. Other species breeding in the heronry typically include Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, and Black-crowned Night-Heron. The breeding herons are joined in summer by a few non-breeding Wood Storks. Other species of interest here include Common Moorhen, White Ibis, and some large alligators. In winter you will still find a few egrets, and perhaps a duck or two. Nineteen species of ducks have been found on the refuge.

The Painted Bunting is an abundant summer resident of the island, and is easily seen in late spring or early summer in brushy spots throughout the area. In fall and early winter, look for warblers among the live oaks and in the brush.

Rarities at Pinckney Island include Upland Sandpiper.



Get directions

Return to South Carolina site map

Return to South Carolina site table of contents

Return to CBC Main Page