Birding in Ocean Springs

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is rich in beautiful wildlife and nature to discover during your stay!

We invite you to explore our outdoors in places like the Gulf Islands National Seashore at Davis Bayou—part of the National Park Service, Weeks Bayou Nature Trail—part of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, and Ocean Springs East Beach.

Part of the beauty of our natural surroundings is the abundant display of wildlife, including the many predatory, marine, and migratory birds who call the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Ocean Springs their home. Look out for the birds listed below while you’re exploring around Ocean Springs!

The Osprey

When you stay at The Inn, make sure to take a short walk down to Ocean Springs Front Beach where you can find our regular pair of ospreys gliding and diving for dinner along the shoreline. Ospreys feed exclusively on fish and are called “fish hawks” by boaters and fishermen. Look for a chocolate-brown top body and a pure white underbelly. The enormous stick nests built by mating osprey pairs are also fun to spot high up in the oak and pine trees that line Front Beach.

Bald eagles in Ocean Springs Harbor by  Jeff Impey Photography

Bald eagles in Ocean Springs Harbor by Jeff Impey Photography

The Bald Eagle

Did you know that our national bird, the bald eagle, also has a natural habitat in Southern Mississippi? Ocean Springs East Beach has a pair of bald eagles that have been spotted at various times of the year by locals. These swift predators are less picky than the osprey and will even steal fish from other birds. Bald eagles have been documented feeding on birds as large as the Great Blue Heron! Adults are easy to spot with their classic snowy white head, but the younger birds have dark brown feathers with mottled white in various spots. To visit East Beach, head down towards Shearwater Pottery and follow Shearwater Dr. across Weeks Bayou to one of the most accessible, yet secluded, public beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Also, the sunsets on East Beach can’t be beat. Just give us a call if you need directions!

An East Beach sunset by Brenna Landis

An East Beach sunset by Brenna Landis

A Great Blue Heron at Ocean Springs Front Beach by  Steven Lepre Photography

A Great Blue Heron at Ocean Springs Front Beach by Steven Lepre Photography

The Great Blue Heron

One of the most common birds along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the Great Blue Heron. Sometimes confused with a stork or a crane, this is the largest and most prevalent heron in North America. If you head to East Beach, make sure to stop by Weeks Bayou Nature Trail where you will more than likely find Great Blue Herons searching for their next meal by wading in the shallows and catching small fish and other marine animals with their long bills. With a wingspan of up to 6 feet, they’re hard to miss when in flight.

A bird’s eye view of Weeks Bayou by Spencer Buskirk

A bird’s eye view of Weeks Bayou by Spencer Buskirk

The Brown Pelican

The brown pelican is probably one of the most commonly spotted marine birds on the MS Gulf Coast. Since being close to extinction in the late 1960s, this cousin of the white pelican has become one of the greatest success stories of marine life rehabilitation. There are now petitions to take it off the endangered species list due to its high population. The birds nest offshore at the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Chandeleur Islands southeast of Louisiana, and return with their young to the Mississippi Gulf Coast every year. Some of them stay year round. You can’t miss this large bird when walking along any of our beaches.

Brown pelican with some leftovers from fishermen at Ocean Springs Harbor by  Steven Lepre Photography .

Brown pelican with some leftovers from fishermen at Ocean Springs Harbor by Steven Lepre Photography.

Brenna Landis

Brenna is a native Biloxian who claims Ocean Springs as her second hometown.