Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding Trail

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Description: Located at the mouth of the Savannah River, this 5,600-acre national monument consists of McQueen's Island, Cockspur Island and the adjacent salt marsh. These diverse habitats are home to 200 species of birds.

Types of Birds: Songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl

Best Birding Times: Songbirds (all), shorebirds (all), wading birds (all), waterfowl (winter)

Specialties: Painted bunting

Tips: Look for painted buntings from spring through summer along the edges of woodlands on Cockspur Island. This is an excellent place to spot migratory songbirds in spring and late summer through fall. Clapper rails, seaside sparrows and marsh wrens can be seen and/or heard in the marshes around the fort throughout the year. Shorebirds can best be seen along the shoreline at low tide.

Fee: $3 per adult (16 years old and older). Receipt valid for additional six days.

Hours: Birding areas are open 24 hours. For facilities, mid-August through Memorial Day the fort is open 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m. daily and the bridge closes at 5:15 p.m. For the rest of the year, the fort is open 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily and the bridge closes at 6:45 p.m. If arriving before gates open, park beside the closed gate.

Telephone: (912) 786-5787

Fun Things to Do: Tour the fort, visitor's center and grounds. Watch for dolphins and marsh birds. Fort Pulaski is a well-preserved 19th century fort that was used during the Civil War. One of three walking trails is easily accessible to wheelchairs, the two others are earthen. At the turnoff entrance is McQueen's bike path and a bridge which is utilized for fishing.

Directions: Travel east from Savannah on Georgia Highway 80 (Victory Drive) approximately 10 miles. The entrance to Fort Pulaski is on the left. (There is no turn-in lane, so watch for oncoming traffic.) See the map.