Share Our Shores

How to have a bird-friendly visit to the beach

South Carolina

Harbor Island

Share the Love, Share the Shore

South Beach has Dogs on Leash – Leash your dog on Harbor Island’s south beach this summer to help nesting shorebirds care for their eggs and chicks.

Give Birds Space to Nest

Beach nesting birds are extra sensitive to dogs, and even well-behaved dogs can look like predators to shorebirds. You can help protect shorebirds as they raise their young by leashing your dogs, walking around flocks, giving them plenty of space while on the south end of Harbor Island. 

When parents are scared off of the nest by a curious dog, the eggs and chicks become exposed to dangerous temperatures under the summer sun. Not only can the young overheat, they become unprotected from predators–like seagulls and crows–swooping in for a meal.

Dog chasing birds at the beach

photo by Lindsay Addison

Unleashed dogs can scare off shorebirds and prevent them from getting food and caring for their eggs and chicks. By keeping your dog on a leash, you can help shorebirds safely feed, nest, and rest.

An Important Place for Birds

Harbor Island is a globally recognized Important Bird Area, making it a great location to enjoy South Carolina’s wildlife. It’s also one of the only places that Wilson’s Plovers and other coastal birds can nest safely–because of the incredible community on Harbor Island that keeps them safe. 

Shorebirds are a key part of the beach, attracting bird watchers and families to our shores every year. It is important to protect these vulnerable birds for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

Wilson’s Plover photo by Ray Hennessey
Featured Video

Home Sweet Home

Reducing dog disturbance of shorebirds

Shorebirds face many threats, including habitat loss, predation, climate change, and human disturbance, that prevent them from tending to their young and getting the food they need to survive.

Contact Information

Nolan Schillerstrom
Coastal Program Associate, Audubon SC

Allyssa Zebrowski
Coastal Stewardship Coordinator, Audubon SC