When it comes to natural, whole-body wellness, chiropractic care is one of the most effective ways to heal your body. Unfortunately, in today's society, people with neck and back pain settle for addictive pain medication or invasive surgeries over chiropractic treatments. At Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center, we specialize in correcting pain through non-invasive, quality chiropractic work. Rather than treat symptoms that return over time, we address your body's underlying conditions. That way, we can provide you with real results and a long-term solution to your pain problems.
No surgery. No strange meds. No aggressive sales tactics or fine print.
Whether your journey to wellness involves light chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression, or custom shoe insoles, we can help. We're proud to be your trusted chiropractor near Kiawah Island and treat every client with the utmost respect and compassion, whether it's their first or fiftieth visit. Unlike some chiropractors in South Carolina, we believe in a client-centric approach based on real results and one-on-one service. We strive to foster a positive environment with a community feel. You won't ever be judged or shamed at our practice. On the contrary, we will communicate with you in a friendly, encouraging manner, empowering you to live your best life.
At Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center, we offer our valued clients a wide range of chiropractic services that solve serious symptoms like:
If you are always in pain and have given up on your doctor's suggested therapies, we've got great news - a permanent solution to your back and foot pain may be closer than you might think.
We like to think there's a simple reason why so many clients return to our chiropractic office near Kiawah Island. Sure, our state-of-the-art, modern equipment and technology are leaps and bounds above the rest. But what truly sets us apart is our dedication to you, the client.
We see you as so much more than a financial transaction. Our team knows that no two people are the same. As such, we never use "cookie-cutter" plans in our chiropractic treatments - we use a personalized approach, focusing on your long-term pain relief and wellness.
As doctors and specialists, we hold true to our core values:
We want you to feel comfortable knowing that from your first visit, you will be treated with the care and compassion you would expect from a team of professionals.
At Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center, our doctors are not just experts. They're people, too, and understand how pain and back problems can be crippling. Our goal is to get you well as soon as possible, without drugs or surgeries. That way, you can get back to a normal, healthy living for years to come.
We pair cutting-edge technology with advanced chiropractic services like spinal decompression to get your life back on track.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to see a chiropractor as soon as possible, we're here for you. Our chiropractors have treated thousands of patients, and we can treat you too.
Our office offers a robust range of chiropractic services near Kiawah Island, from custom shoe insoles for your feet to adjustments and massages for your back.
For many patients suffering from serious disc problems in the past, the path to pain-free living often involved addictive medicines and invasive spinal surgeries. Thankfully, those days are gone, and today, patients benefit greatly from spinal decompression services.
This powerful treatment was developed for patients with herniated or degenerated discs and treats sciatica and lower back pain better than other more dangerous solutions. Spinal Decompression Therapy not only reduces back pain and nerve pain - it allows patients the chance to reclaim their lives and enjoy activities that they thought were impossible to experience.
Thousands of people, including athletes and elderly patients, are choosing spinal decompression over surgery and medication. They're sick of masking their pain with strange medicines that cause horrible side effects. They're frustrated by ineffective shots and costly surgeries, which result in weeks of downtime and scarring. Spinal decompression is safe, effective, and non-invasive, but it's not right for everyone. For that reason, it's essential to work closely with your chiropractic doctor at Kiawah Island Spine & Disc to ensure successful treatment. Our doctors will work with other applicable health professionals in your care network to discover the exact nature of your back pain and which treatments are best.
While physical therapy, traction, and traditional chiropractic manipulation reduce disc pressure, only spinal decompression near Kiawah Island can elicit negative spinal pressure. Clinical trials show that spinal decompression techniques create negative pressure as low as -110 mm HG3. Usually, when pulls are exerted on your spine, it triggers your sensory receptors, which cause your back to tighten the muscles around your vertebrae and discs. Your body does this to prevent injury. However, spinal decompression circumvents this natural response by pulling on the spine slowly, which relaxes your back over time. This process, performed by experienced physicians at Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center, lets your discs be repositioned without muscle guarding or spasms.
Most often, spinal decompression patients do not experience any major, negative side effects. One common side effect occurs after the first couple of treatments, which can include dull aches or soreness. It feels similar to working out for the first time in a very long time. Patients rarely suffer from pain worse than the injury that caused them to seek treatment. Some patients with severe, acute herniations can experience mild back pain during the first couple weeks of treatment. That's because the disc herniation needs to retract, eliminating nerve pressure. Despite some minor aches and pains, most spinal decompression patients enjoy up to 50% relief after only a few sessions. At the end of the day, spinal decompression from Kiawah Island Spine and Disc Center is a comfortable, safe treatment.
Prior to treatment, patients are examined manually with advanced imaging technology, to determine if spinal decompression is suitable and which spinal discs are compressed. Once you're approved for spinal decompression treatment, the patient is placed in a comfortable position on the decompression table. A specific force is applied to your compressed discs while a computer alternates decompression and relaxation cycles. Typically, we apply a series of 18 one-minute alternating decompression and relaxation cycles, which takes approximately 30 minutes. During this process, your spine is gently elongated, creating a vacuum that pulls your discs back into proper position. Realigning the discs in this manner reduces pain and promotes healing. Our spinal decompression treatments are not "one and done" - most patients need up to 24 treatments over a six-week period to completely relieve pain.
If you suffer from one or more of the following signs, spinal decompression may be a suitable treatment for you. Remember, you should always consult with your chiropractic doctor before moving forward.
If you're ready to get started on the path to pain-free living, contact our office today to schedule your no-cost spinal decompression consultation.
Custom shoe insoles sound exactly like what they are: shoe inserts that are custom-made for your feet. They are specially crafted to fit your foot shape perfectly and treat foot and body conditions that cause pain and discomfort. Our custom insoles are calibrated using your intended use and weight, providing incredible support during weight-bearing activities like standing and running.
Our custom shoe insoles help anyone experiencing pain from walking or imbalances in the body that are known to cause pain. One tremendous benefit of custom orthotics is that you can wear them on a daily basis, so you can enjoy normal activities without pain.
Unlike some chiropractors near Kiawah Island, we offer custom shoe insoles that are clinically proven to improve your body's total wellness. Our insoles also reduce pain by balancing your body from the ground up. After all, your feet are your body's foundation.
When you suffer from structural imbalances in your feet, you may be suffering from symptoms like:
Plantar Fasciitis: Also called heel pain syndrome, this malady is considered the most common type of heel pain. It becomes apparent after a gradual degeneration of your plantar fascia or when sudden trauma occurs. It feels like a deep ache or sharp stab and often happens in the morning when you first take a step.
Lower Back Pain: Low back pain is very common, especially in hardworking men and women. It can be caused by an unusual "gait" or walk, which imbalances your lower extremities like your knees, feet, and ankles. This causes pain throughout the body, but particularly in your lower back.
Sciatica: If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness that starts in your lower back and shoots down your leg, you might have sciatica. When combined with chiropractic treatments, custom shoe insoles can solve your sciatica issues.
Plastic Deformation: The soft tissues that make up the three arches in your feet are stretched every day. However, over the years, your arches suffer from decreased elasticity when they're pushed beyond their limits. Once your feet's arches are stretched beyond their limits, they will never be the same. Custom shoe insoles from Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center give you more stability and shock absorption. This helps support the structure of your feet and provides pain relief daily.
Knee Pain: Knee pain is a very common problem for adults in the U.S. It can come about through sudden injuries or may be part of an underlying condition, like arthritis. In many cases, successfully treating your knee pain requires a comprehensive treatment plan from your chiropractor, starting with custom insoles for your shoes.
You might be asking yourself, "how do I get started with orthotics?"
We start with a one-on-one consultation to discover your pain points. Once we have learned everything possible about your problems and symptoms, we'll take a foot impression or scan to show imbalances in your feet, which lead to problems within your body. Once we have a proper foot scan, we get to work crafting your insoles.
Our team pulls together our collective training and experience to build you a custom insole for enhanced support and long-term pain relief. That way, you can get back to enjoying an active life.
At Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center, we're proud to use Foot Levelers custom insoles for our patients. Only Foot Levelers support all three arches in your feet. Your arches give your feet the strength to keep your body balanced. Balancing your foundation helps relieve pain and prevents future issues.
Q.Who Are Custom Shoe Insoles Right For?
A.Custom-made insoles are necessary for many athletes, diabetics, and people with debilitating injuries. They often suffer from Achilles tendinitis, lower back pain, overpronation, hip pain, knee pain, etc. But not all shoe insoles are created equal. You can count on our team to select the ideal materials for your insoles while ensuring a perfect fit tailored to your body for maximum comfort.
Are you looking for a chiropractor near Kiawah Island, SC who treats more than just symptoms? If you're sick of chiropractic services that aren't tailored to your needs and body, it's time to make a change. Our expert chiropractors at Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center focus on your needs, not an idealized version of you. From chiropractic adjustments to custom shoe inserts and spinal decompression, we have the services and treatments you need to live life to the fullest.
Ready to live your best life free of pain? Contact our office today or explore our site to learn more about the Kiawah Island Spine & Disc Center difference. We want you to feel comfortable knowing that you will be treated with care, compassion, and excellence every time you visit our office.
A 15 minute conversation with one of our doctors before agreeing to treatment
Looking for some fun day trips in Charleston? This South Carolinian city is full of amazing things to do, including fun adventures, suitable for vacationers from all walks of life. From incredible beaches to fascinating history to beautiful nearby plantations, there is plenty of things to see and do in and around Charleston. The city's downtown area is walkable and boasts top-notch restaurants, iconic landmarks, and some of the ...
Looking for some fun day trips in Charleston? This South Carolinian city is full of amazing things to do, including fun adventures, suitable for vacationers from all walks of life. From incredible beaches to fascinating history to beautiful nearby plantations, there is plenty of things to see and do in and around Charleston. The city's downtown area is walkable and boasts top-notch restaurants, iconic landmarks, and some of the most breathtaking harbor views. But just a few miles outside, there are several bucket-list-worthy spots to discover. Here are the best day trips from Charleston that you shouldn't miss.
Boasting an award-winning stunning 10-mile beach with plenty of fun activities, such as shelling, kayaking, surfing, fishing, and incredible wildlife spotting opportunities, Kiawah Island is one of the best day trips from Charleston that one shouldn't miss. Biking is another popular activity on this side of South Carolina and is a perfect way of exploring parts of the island that tourists cannot reach by car. The island has more than 30 miles of paved biking trails to enjoy. Kiawah's golf courses are considered some of the most impressive in the world. The Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Osprey Point, and Turtle Point are world-class golf courses that travelers can explore.
Myrtle Beach is one of the most beautiful destinations in South Carolina, famous for its spectacular boardwalk. Located along the South Atlantic coast of the state, Myrtle Beach has plenty of top-rated things to do, making it a great spot for families, from amusement parks to an aquarium to several water sports opportunities. Vacationers can spend time on the pristine beaches, play golf, and explore a wide range of restaurants and eateries serving delicious cuisines. This town has something for everyone and makes a perfect day trip for travelers staying in Charleston.
Beaufort may be one of the most underrated destinations in the US, but it's definitely full of unforgettable experiences. Situated on Port Royal Island, this is among the most culturally rich towns in the South, making it a perfect day trip from Charleston for vacationers interested in the local culture and history. The best of getting around this historic town is walking since almost all its most striking attractions are located in the downtown National Historic District. Tourists will also find numerous restaurants and hotels here.
Savannah is one of the most beautiful towns in Georgia to visit. The city is brimming with fun and unique activities, ranging from exploring the historic cemeteries to spending time in its incredible museums to taking its fascinating trolley tours. The city has some of the most exciting and unusual experiences that make it one of the best day trips from Charleston that one shouldn't miss. Savannah Historic District, Forsyth Park, and Bonaventure Cemetery are the top-rated attractions to visit.
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Located 78.5 miles from Charleston, Huntington Beach State Park is an incredible day trip for vacationers. It has plenty of activities, including swimming, hiking, camping, and spotting turtles, alligators, and more beautiful creatures. Preserving three miles of coastline, this park is suitable for beach lovers, fishermen, and history lovers looking to experience something unique. Vacationers can choose to spend some time on the sand, explore the remains of Atalaya Castle, or take advantage of the birdwatching opportunities along the trails.
While Wadmalaw Island is located pretty closer to Charleston (just above half an hour’s drive), it feels far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an incredible spot to relax. The island is home to Charleston Tea Plantation and Deep-Water Vineyard, which are among its top attractions. The Tea Plantation boasts the world's only American-grown tea. The vineyard, on the other hand, is special and unique because it's the only one in South Carolina.
Launched in 1976, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is dedicated to educating the public on the war's history. Visitors can see the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, used by the U.S. Navy during WWII and the Vietnam War. Other fun exhibits take us back in time, explaining the struggles and achievements the soldiers went through to make America a better place. Any travelers interested in the United States history will find Patriot's Point an incredible day trip from Charleston.
Sometimes referred to as the Edge of America, Folly Beach offers an incredible experience of the Atlantic; while it's among the most popular beach destinations in South Carolina, it retains its small-town charm. This makes it a wonderful day trip from Charleston for tourists looking for a spot to relax with a spectacular view of the Atlantic before them. It's only about 11 and a half miles from downtown Charleston so tourists shouldn’t miss an opportunity of exploring its natural beauty and enjoy plenty of amenities.
Hilton Head is a perfect spot for golf lovers because it's home to two dozen golf courses, Harbor Town Golf Links being one of the most notable. But there are plenty of other things to do, including beachside activities, such as boat tours and dolphin cruises, deep sea fishing, and volleyball. There are numerous beach bars where tourists can catch some fun live entertainment after spending a whole exploring the island. Rich in natural and cultural history, Hilton Head is one of the most impressive day trips from Charleston.
Related: Does Hilton Head Island Live Up To The Hype? Here Are Some Things You Might Not Know You Can Do There
Recognized among the Top 10 Gardens in the United States by TripAdvisor, Brookgreen Garden is home to a variety of plants and wildlife – a great adventure for families. There are plenty of events to catch, including the Brookgreen Gardens Art Festival, featuring some of the most talented artists and craftsmen showcasing their sculptures, paintings, glassware, pottery, and more. There is a lot to explore in the gardens, and every traveler is guaranteed to find something interesting.
Players on the LIV Golf tour scored another major victory on Wednesday.One day after the R&A announced that it wouldn’t ban players from the controversial Saudi-backed circuit from competing in this year’s British Open, the PGA of America followed suit when announcing its criteria for this year’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club outside Rochester.The decision comes a...
Players on the LIV Golf tour scored another major victory on Wednesday.
One day after the R&A announced that it wouldn’t ban players from the controversial Saudi-backed circuit from competing in this year’s British Open, the PGA of America followed suit when announcing its criteria for this year’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club outside Rochester.
The decision comes as something of an about face after PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said during last May’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills that players banned or suspended by the PGA Tour likely would lose their PGA of America privileges, which would prevent them from playing in the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. While Waugh on Wednesday acknowledged the ongoing civil war between the Tour and LIV, he said the goal is for a competitive PGA Championship with the best field possible.
“Our decisions are always based on what’s in the best interest of the PGA of America and conducting the best Championship possible,” Waugh said. “Sadly, the current division in the professional game is not good for the sport or the future of the game. We hope there might be some resolution soon. In the meantime, as always, our focus will be on our mission to grow the game and improve the lives of our members, who work so hard to impact millions of lives every day.”
The R&A made a similar announcement on Tuesday, declaring that players from LIV who are eligible will be allowed to tee it up at Royal Liverpool this July.
The PGA’s decision means that past winners of the PGA Championship who have bolted for LIV will be allowed to compete in this year’s tournament May 20-23. Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Martin Kaymer all have won the PGA previously and all currently play on LIV.
Winners of the other three majors in the last five years and winners of the Players Championship in the last three years will also get an invite.
Brendan Steele and Mito Periera, both of whom also ditched the PGA Tour for LIV, are also eligible for the PGA Championship after finishing in the top 15 at last year’s championship at Southern Hills.
Mickelson, who became golf’s oldest major champion at age 50 when he won the 2021 PGA at Kiawah Island, skipped last year’s tournament following the fallout from his controversial remarks about Saudi Arabia before he later left for LIV.
The news also means that players from LIV who are eligible will be able to tee it up in all four of golf’s majors, with Augusta National and the USGA previously stating they would not ban LIV players from this year’s Masters and U.S. Open, respectively.
It’s high time you added this Lowcountry destination to your beach bucket list.Follow winding, oak-shaded roads 25 miles southwest of downtown Charleston's cobblestone streets and celebrated restaurant scene, and you'll find yourself on Kiawah Island. Carved by the Kiawah River on one side and fronting the Atlantic Oc...
Follow winding, oak-shaded roads 25 miles southwest of downtown Charleston's cobblestone streets and celebrated restaurant scene, and you'll find yourself on Kiawah Island. Carved by the Kiawah River on one side and fronting the Atlantic Ocean on the other, the barrier island is a true escape. Here, nature reigns supreme: ten miles of beaches roll out along the Atlantic; cicadas form their own sort of soundtrack; and lights-out is often determined by the sea turtles' nesting season. Even so, there's plenty to do for travelers who like their time in nature punctuated with good food, luxurious creature comforts, and a frozen drink in hand. Here are seven things to do in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
For access to all of Kiawah's amenities, from bike rentals to pools, you'll have to stay on the island. For an experience that's luxurious but unpretentious, book a room at The Sanctuary, an oceanfront hotel known for its five-star service and elevated onsite dining. For families who want a little room to spread out (or a kitchen), villa and home rentals are a smart choice; reserve through the resort directly, or book through a site like VRBO or Airbnb.
On the west end of the island, Beachwalker Park is Kiawah's only public beach access feels like a hidden gem, thanks to its wide, unspoiled expanses of sand. It offers the best of both worlds too: in addition to the ocean frontage, you can also score views of the Kiawah River here.
Five state-of-the-art golf courses are open to the public. For avid fans of the sport, the Ocean Course alone makes Kiawah worth the trip. Host to two PGA Championships, the 18-hole course is not for the faint of heart. Raised above the dunes to capitalize on the expansive shore views, golfers are also subjected to ocean breezes (which don't exactly make for an easy or predictable trip around the green). Try Cougar Point for marsh views and a slightly less technical experience.
One of the best ways to explore the island is to leave the car in park and take a beach cruiser for a spin (you can reserve them through the resort or bring your own). Between 30 miles of paved trails and 10 miles of hard-packed beach, there's no shortage of routes to explore. Ask for directions to the Marsh View Tower, an observation deck primed for birdwatching and soaking in the marsh and river scenery.
The naturalists here will school you in many of the species who call the island home, from bobcats and white-tailed deer to loggerhead sea turtles and American alligators. Sign up for a guided tour, like "Back Island Birding", "Marsh Kayaking," or "Ocean Seining and Beach Combing," or ask for their recommendations for the best nature-spotting places in the area.
Built around a lush lawn, Freshfields Village has plenty of restaurants and shops to explore, plus a boutique stay, the Andell Inn. Pick up a beach read at Indigo Books; snag treats for your four-legged friends at Dolitte's; and gear up for island adventures SeaCoast Sports and Outfitters. Start the morning with coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Java Java; settle in for grilled cheese and a milkshake at retro Vincent's Drugstore & Soda Fountain; or cap off the day with house-made frosé from newly opened The Co-Op. Check their calendar for seasonal events, like summertime's "Music on the Green" concert series and farmer's market.
Make the short drive to neighboring Seabrook Island for a taste of the area's salty maritime culture. Snag a umbrella-shaded table on the upper deck at Salty Dog Café for fresh catch, a cold beer, and riverfront views of the boats coming and going from the marina.
Outer Banks is a Netflix series about teenagers and modern day treasure hunting on the coast of North Carolina, known as the Outer Banks or OBX. In the show, teens hunt for buried treasure that is believed to be linked to John B's father disappearing. The island is essentially split into two parts, Figure 8 and The Cut. John B and his friends are part of the group known as the Pogues who hail from The Cut, or the lower cl...
Outer Banks is a Netflix series about teenagers and modern day treasure hunting on the coast of North Carolina, known as the Outer Banks or OBX. In the show, teens hunt for buried treasure that is believed to be linked to John B's father disappearing. The island is essentially split into two parts, Figure 8 and The Cut. John B and his friends are part of the group known as the Pogues who hail from The Cut, or the lower class on the islands. The Kooks are the wealthy upper class from the Figure 8 part of the island, and they are also in search of the treasure, which causes the two groups to clash in a very modern day West Side Story fashion.
Season 3 of Outer Banks just released in early January of this year and there is a fourth season confirmed for this favorite teen mystery series. Although the series in set in North Carolina, most, if not all, of the series was filmed in South Carolina. If you can't get enough of Outer Banks and want to immerse yourself fully into the show, take a look at some of the real life filming locations below.
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Majority of the boating and water scenes for Kildare Harbor were filmed in Shem Creek. Shem Creek is a South Carolina local favorite spot for hanging out by the marina, watching the sunset and enjoying different dining locations. Heyward's Seafood, owned by Pope's dad, was filmed inside the real restaurant of Geechie Seafood that sits in Shem Creek. The Wreck, owned by Kiara's family, was also filmed inside a Shem Creek local restaurant known as The Wreck Of Richard and Charlene.
The Kiawah Island Golf Resort is located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, which is just south of Charleston. The golf resort was used as the location for the Island Club, which is where the Kooks host the Midsummer Night Ball and tends to be the fanciest place to gather together and hang out. If you want to visit this location in real life, you can enjoy an oceanfront restaurant and many beachside activities.
Pitt Street, located in Mount Pleasant's Old Village District, is the location for many scenes in Outer Banks. Downtown Kildare uses Pitt Street as its backdrop. The Sheriff's Station is filmed in a local condominium building and the Kildare Island Surfboard Store was filmed inside The Green Shutter antique shop. Visiting Pitt Street means you can visit all the cute and quaint mom-and-pop shops and restaurants.
Sarah Cameron's family estate can actually be seen by visiting the low country of Charleston. The Lowndes Grove is used primarily for weddings and events. Its 18th century architecture and art makes it a place of wonderment for anyone who visits and gets to experience the ambiance there for their events.
If you've wanted to stay in the hotel room that John B and Pope break into at the Summer Winds Motel, you can! Book room 229 at the Creekside Lands Inn in Charleston to see where that episode from Season 1was filmed.
One of the islands just below Charleston, Morris Island, was used to film the marches and shipwreck scenes from Outer Banks. Specifically, the Lighthouse Creek in Morris Island is where those scenes were filmed and the red and white lighthouse can even be spotted in the background of some of those scenes.
After receiving some clues about the treasure, the Pogues visit the Redfield Lighthouse. The Redfield Lighthouse was filmed at both the Morris Island Lighthouse and the Hunting Island Lighthouse. The Hunting Island Lighthouse near Beaufort, South Carolina, is used as the interior for the Redfield Lighthouse, and the Morris Island Lighthouse is used as the exterior for the Outer Banks location.
When John B and Sarah visit UNC at Chapel Hill, they are actually visiting the Gaillard Center of Charleston. The Gaillard Center hosts many performers, artists, scholars, and even the Charleston Symphony. While visiting UNC, John B and Sarah also stroll through a picturesque park that can be seen if you visit Washington Square. Washington Square is just a short four-minute ride around the corner from the Gaillard Center.
The iconic and scenic rocky beach from Season 2 when the Pogues plan to rescue Sarah from her family was filmed in Barbados. The teens infiltrate the ship and all eventually jump ship and swim to the nearest island to be free of Sarah's family. Bathsheba Beach is known for its unique rock formations and eventually becomes known as Poguelandia in Season 3.
In Season 3 when the gang travels to El Dorado and through the South American jungle, the stumble upon the El Dorado cave. While looking like it's filmed in South America, this cave was actually filmed in Barbados. The Welchman Hall Gully is a tropical park that is open to the public and has scenic hiking trails and cave tours.
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Bird banding season just wrapped up for the fall on Kiawah Island. It was a record-breaking season with more than 5,700 birds banded.It’s a tedious process for one biologist on Kiawah Island, but worth the time as he works to learn more about the different kind of birds that migrate through the island.My photographer, Jason Tighe, and I got to tag along for a day to see the process. It was a cloudy morning as we drove to the western edge of Kiawah Island and then hiked through some mud t...
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Bird banding season just wrapped up for the fall on Kiawah Island. It was a record-breaking season with more than 5,700 birds banded.
It’s a tedious process for one biologist on Kiawah Island, but worth the time as he works to learn more about the different kind of birds that migrate through the island.
My photographer, Jason Tighe, and I got to tag along for a day to see the process. It was a cloudy morning as we drove to the western edge of Kiawah Island and then hiked through some mud to where they capture the birds.
“It’s a very fine mesh net, and up against a dark background the birds are moving from one patch of cover to the other, it’s very hard for them to see,” said Aaron Given, Kiawah Island biologist.
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They have 30 nets set up. Each bird captured is carefully put in a cloth bag and taken back to the bird banding station.
“There is a lot of work involved with this banding project, and this is just one site,” said Given. “We actually have another site at the other end of the island where we do the same thing with, so we have two of these going concurrently, and each year I hire between five and six seasonal helpers that they are out here with me every day.”
The same information is gathered at both stations: species, sex, weight and wing length. Some of the birds have already been banned, but if they aren’t, they get a shiny, new accessory.
“This is the band that goes on the bird’s leg. It’s got nine digits on it,” said Given. “This is a unique number for this bird. No other bird will have this number, so when we catch this bird again, we will be able to track its health and its movements.”
They can also monitor if the birds are putting on weight if they are recaptured.
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“If they are, that’s a positive thing for the habitat out here," Given said. That means there is enough food for them to continue their migration."
They captured 100 different species of birds this fall – everything from a screech owl to a snowy egret to a cardinal to a woodpecker, in addition to more common species.
“This is a ruby crowned kinglet, one of the smallest birds, that we capture here at the banding station,” Given said. “This is a bird that spends its winter here on Kiawah.”
“The yellow-rumped warbler is probably one of the more common songbirds in the Lowcountry during the wintertime, and the reason for that is because of all the wax myrtles that we have growing,” Given said. “They are one of the few species that can actually digest the waxy coating on the wax myrtle berry, so that allows them to eat those. That food resource allows them to spend the winter further north than most other warblers.”
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The long-term goal is to pick up on changes in the environment and see how the birds are responding to them. For now, lots of birds seem to enjoy coming to the island – even if it’s only a stop along their migration south.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the habitat that we have on Kiawah. We have a lot of natural habitat left of Kiawah even though there is development on the island,” Given said. “The way it was developed – it was done in a more environmentally sensitive way, so a lot of the lots that we have, they are cleared just the footprint for the home and all the natural vegetation is left intact so that creates and leaves these corridors for the wildlife to use and move through between the houses and between the dunes and between the homes and the marsh.”
For more from the Kiawah Island Bird Banding blog, click here.