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Birding Charleston’s beautiful Hampton Park

Hampton Park is a wonderful 60+ acre park located on the Charleston Peninsula. This Charleston city park offers a fantastic setting for walking, sitting, cycling, playing, and birding! The rich variety of flora, such as mature trees, dense shrubs, and colorful flowers, draws in a diverse array of bird species. The park's vegetation also serves as a year-round habitat for numerous birds. Exploring the park will allow you to experience the vibrant bird population, including Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and many other fascinating bird species!

Hampton Park
Hampton Park
Hampton Park
Hampton Park
Hampton Park
Hampton Park
Hampton Park
Hampton Park

A beloved species among nature enthusiasts, the Northern Cardinal thrives in Hampton Park. The park's dense thickets offer an excellent refuge for these impressive songbirds. During the Spring season, the melodious tunes of the Cardinals fill the air as you stroll through this stunning park.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Hampton Park is home to a healthy population of Blue Jays. Blue Jays are recognized for their high intelligence, complex social structures, and strong family ties. These colorful songbirds can be seen and heard communicating throughout the park.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Have you ever observed a Brown Thrasher in action? These birds can be hard to spot unless they are singing or looking for food. They tend to be very active during the Spring season, often seen foraging on the ground close to dense thickets in the park. Watch the video below to see a Brown Thrasher "thrashing" for food under the leaf litter.

The South Carolina state bird, the Carolina Wren has also found sanctuary in Hampton Park. These loud little birds can be spotted all over the park, singing and searching for food. I was delighted to observe a Carolina Wren foraging nearby as I strolled along one of the park's scenic pathways.

Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren

In the park's charming pond, there is a small wooded island that serves as a safe haven for many birds, including resident Canada Geese and a variety domestic ducks.

Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Domestic Duck (mixed species)
Domestic Duck (mixed species)

The island also provides refuge for birds like the Green Heron. I counted at least 3 Green Heron nests on my most recent visit. I could spot 4 fuzzy Green Heron young eagerly awaiting their parents to return with food to the nest.

Green Heron young
Green Heron young
Green Heron on nest
Green Heron on nest
Green Heron
Green Heron

Here is an adult Green Heron taking a moment to preen and stretch.

While watching the Green Herons I noticed a small shorebird scouting the edge of the pond for food. The Spotted Sandpiper is one of the more entertaining shorebirds as they constantly teeter or dip their backside.

Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper

On both May visits to Hampton Park I encountered many migrating birds. Several of these migrants will spend the summer time breeding in the Lowcountry. One of those summer residents is the Northern Parula. These small and active warblers are best detected by their buzzy song typically high in the trees. The cover of The Warbler Guide showcases these attractive little birds and they are quite beautiful to observe when they occasionally forage on a lower branch.

Northern Parula
Northern Parula
Northern Parula
Northern Parula
Northern Parula
Northern Parula
Northern Parula
Northern Parula

Another fascinating bird that resides in the Lowcountry during the warmer season is the Great Crested Flycatcher. This bird is known for its distinct vocals, they make a unique wheeeep and breeep breeep breeep call. These large flycatchers can be heard wheeepin' & breeepin' throughout the park.

Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher

Hampton Park attracts a variety of raptors. I have observed a resident Red-tailed Hawk on every visit, and I have heard from nearby residents that their is a family of Great-horned Owls although I have yet to see them. This May I have observed Mississippi Kites displaying their aerial skills high above the park!

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mississippi Kite
Mississippi Kite

I birded Hampton Park on 2 occasions in May discovering 36 species of birds. The park offers a wonderful setting to enjoy many birds foraging and nurturing young. I want to thank the Charleston Parks Conservancy for encouraging me to visit this park for our monthly Bird Walks. This has become one of my favorite Charleston Parks to walk and explore!


*Hampton Park is an excellent park for children to enjoy the outdoors and experience birds. I have designed a fun bird finding map with easy birding tasks for kids to explore Hampton Park and find birds!

If you would like to receive a complimentary Bird Tracker Map & Bird Tracker Patch for Hampton Park please complete the clickable form below and I will send you the kit for free! Get a Complimentary Bird Finding Map & Patch!


My May eBird Checklists for Hampton Park:


Happy Birding!

-Charles 





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