Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary

Property Location

Edisto Island, SC 29438

Latitude: 32.549  Longitude:-80.1809
County: Charleston


Property Type: Seabird Sanctuaries

Hours of Operation

Deveaux Bank is closed year-round above the high water line with the exception of a portion on the Seabrook Island side designated for limited recreational use.

Seasonal closure of a portion of the intertidal zone (beach) for coastal birds is from March 15 - October 15.

Closed areas will be demarcated by symbolic fencing and will occur on the seaward side of the island.

The beaches on the ends of the island, facing inland, will continue to be open year round. Dogs and camping are prohibited year-round.


Activities / Facilities

Important Bird Area Nature Viewing

Property Description

Photograph of Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary

Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary lies at the mouth of the North Edisto River in Charleston County. The size of this sanctuary varies, and it may sometimes disappear entirely. As an estuarine island, Deveaux Bank was first documented in 1921, and it has been documented as a seabird rookery since the 1930s. As part of a dynamic system, the island completely subsided in 1980 due to erosion from Hurricane David. It slowly reemerged and seabirds again started nesting on the island in 1983.

Deveaux Bank supports colonies of nesting seabirds and shorebirds because of its isolated nature and lack of mammalian predators. Although all species may not nest on the island each year, examples of species that have used the island include: brown pelican, least tern, royal tern, black skimmer, gull-billed tern, sandwich tern, common tern, laughing gull, Wilson's plover, American oystercatcher, willet, great egret, snowy egret, tricolored heron and ibis. Besides providing nesting habitat, the sanctuary provides winter loafing and feeding areas for numerous species, including the federally-threatened piping plover.

The colonial nesting behavior of seabirds makes them very susceptible to disturbance. Birds are densely packed into breeding sites during the nesting season, rendering the entire colony susceptible to disruption or destruction. Therefore, the sanctuary is closed year-round above the high water line with the exception of a portion of Deveaux Bank on the Seabrook Island side designated for limited recreational use. Seasonal closure of a portion of the intertidal zone (beach) for coastal birds is from March 15 through October 15. Closed areas will be demarcated by symbolic fencing and will occur on the seaward side of the island. The beaches on the ends of the island, facing inland, will continue to be open year round. Dogs and camping are prohibited year-round.

Deveaux Bank is designated as an "Important Bird Area" in South Carolina by Birdlife International and the National Audubon Society due to its importance as a nesting, feeding, and resting area for seabirds and shorebirds.