Spring Birding Days

April 30th - May 7th

Celebrate spring migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on specialized excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time in addition to our typical naturalist-guided adventures.

SEVEN-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $5,075** 

Arrive April 30th and depart May 7th 

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,375** 

Arrive April 30th and depart May 3rd   

FOUR-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,850** 

Arrive May 3rd and depart May 7th

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, soft drinks, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island. 

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates.  

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or email: lodge@littlessi.com link below to check availability. 

Photos from Phillip Murdaco.

Guest Ornithologists

Scott Weidensaul

 

Author and researcher Scott Weidensaul has written more than two dozen books, including his widely acclaimed Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, which was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize.

In addition to writing about wildlife, Weidensaul is an active field researcher whose work focuses on bird migration. He is a co-director of Project Owlnet, a collaborative effort among nearly 125 banding and research stations across North America studying owl migration, and for nearly 20 years he has directed a major effort to study the movements of northern saw-whet owls, one of the smallest and least-understood raptors in North America.


Drawn from Nature

Illuminating John Abbot’s Butterflies, May 12th - May 14th

Join us as we celebrate the butterflies and moths of coastal Georgia, inspired by John Abbot (1751-1840), renowned naturalist-artist and likely Georgia’s first entomologist. We have planned special activities and excursions designed to highlight butterfly, moth, and plant diversity on Georgia’s barrier islands. In the spirit of Abbot, the event’s activities draw from nature on Little St. Simons Island to merge natural history and art.

  • Lecture on John Abbot’s life, artistic works, and contributions to entomology by distinguished Abbot scholar, Beth Fowkes Tobin.
  • Field excursions. We will focus on spotting, identifying, and appreciating butterflies and their nectar and larval host plants. Distinguished coastal ecologist, Christa Frangiamore Hayes, will share natural history background on the species we encounter, illuminating the fascinating lives of our flora and fauna.
  • Beginner field sketching workshop. Kate Tweedy, LSSI ecological coordinator and self-taught artist, will lead the group on a field sketching adventure, focusing on enhancing your appreciation and understanding of nature through art and observation. We will provide all materials needed for the workshop.
  • Introduction to butterfly citizen science. Learn about local efforts to document and conserve migratory butterflies and the habitats and plants they depend on.
  • Evening exploration to discover moth diversity. Join us at a “moth cloth” after dinner. Black lights set up at hanging cloths attract moths and other nocturnal insects, providing opportunities to observe these often-overlooked critters. 

Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and gear to document their sightings.

If you are interested in butterflies and moths, the ecological roles of native plants, or natural history art, we hope you will join us at LSSI May 12 – 14 as we illuminate John Abbot’s butterflies.

Optional pre-event walk: We encourage you to join us for a walk at St Simons Land Trust’s Guale Preserve on the north end of St. Simons Island. The walk will be led by the event hosts, plus St. Simons Land Trust staff, at Guale Preserve from 1-3pm on May 12th to discover butterfly and plant diversity. We will explore unusual coastal habitats along the preserve’s 1.5-mile loop trail before traveling to the LSSI marina for the 4:30 PM ferry.

TWO NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1400**

~ Arrive Wednesday, May 12th and depart on Friday, May 14th ~

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, soft drinks, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island. 

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates.  

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or email: lodge@littlessi.com to check availability. 

 

 

 

Red-bordered Emerald moth on Eastern Baccharis, by John Abbot

The first photo features a Giant Swallowtail butterfly on Hercules’ Club, by John Abbot

Event Hosts

Christa Frangiamore Hayes

A passion for the intersection of art and science has long shaped the trajectory of Christa’s life. A Bachelor of Visual Arts culminated twenty years later in a Masters of Science at the Odum School of Ecology. She apprenticed in traditional art glass at Atelier Fanjat in Lyon, France in 1977, returning to Atlanta to open a glass studio that in 1989 became the Southeastern headquarters for Earth Day 1990. Her position as non-fiction acquisitions editor for the University of Georgia Press led her to the coast of Georgia. There, she metamorphosed into a naturalist mesmerized by the resiliency of butterflies in a landscape fraught with drought, hurricanes and humans. After more than a decade of studying the butterflies and habitats of coastal Georgia, Christa initiated Butterflies of the Atlantic Flyway Alliance (BAFA). This public-private partnership is dedicated to the study and conservation of butterflies along the southeastern Atlantic coast.

 

Beth Fowkes Tobin

Beth Fowkes Tobin is retired Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Georgia. For the past two decades, she has been specializing in eighteenth-century British natural history, focusing on cultures of collecting and the material culture of natural history illustration. Her most recent book, The Duchess's Shells: Natural History Collecting in the Age of Cook's Voyages (Yale, 2014) explores late 18th-century cultures of shell collecting, tracing the movement shell specimens from the Pacific to natural history dealers' showrooms in London to the Duchess of Portland’s cabinet. The research for this book was supported by NSF's Science and Society Program’s Scholars Award, 2007-2008. She is also the author of Picturing Imperial Power: Colonial Subjects in Eighteenth-Century British Painting (Duke, 1999), winner of "Best Book on British Art before 1800, presented by the Historians of British Art," and Colonizing Nature: The Tropics in British Arts and Letters, 1760-1830 (Penn, 2005), the writing of which was supported by NEH Senior Fellowship in 2001. This book was awarded the "Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship" in 2006. Her current book project is a study of John Abbot (1751-1840), an English naturalist and artist who settled in Georgia where he collected insects and birds for European natural history collectors and drew thousands of watercolors of birds, butterflies, moths, beetles, and spiders.

 

Kate Tweedy

Kate is the ecological coordinator at Little St. Simons Island. Most often, she is working with professional partners to plan and implement monitoring and research on-the-ground at LSSI. This includes partnering with BAFA (in which she plays a leadership role) to implement citizen science at LSSI and beyond.  Inspired by the rich ecology of coastal Georgia, Kate enjoys illustrating natural subjects. 


Shark Days 2021

June 25th - June 28th

 

Join shark biologists and Little St. Simons Island naturalists on adventures and activities that give you and your family hands-on experience with real research.

You and/or your future marine biologist will have the opportunity to take and record data, handle and tag sharks, and learn from professionals. This is a truly unique opportunity to engage in current field biology, giving you a new perspective, and giving young aspiring biologists invaluable experience for their future endeavors.

Recent observations on Little St. Simons Island lead Naturalist alum Andrew Lyons, Dr. Bryan Franks, Dr. Eric Reyier, and aiding researcher Bonnie Ahr, to believe that our waters around the island might serve as nursery habitat for the Lemon Shark (Negaprion brevirostris). If proven, this would represent a new location known to the science of Lemon Shark reproductive biology.

You’ll be joining this  team on their mission in the field and in an informal lecture setting during this 3-night event, while enjoying the endless natural beauty of Little St. Simons Island. 
 
Activities: 

  • Field work with researchers: observe and assist working researchers at your leisure
  • Charter fishing trip in the Hampton with Capt. Brooks Good- Weather dependent
  • Fishing: for local fish (if sharks are caught, you can assist in tagging and data gathering by researchers)
  • Presentations and activities after dinner
  • Naturalist-led adventures (ie. Kayaking, safari excursions, hiking, birding, history excursions)

 

Three-night all-inclusive package: $2,375** 


Arrive June 25th and depart June 28th  
Package rates includes lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, soft drinks, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.  
 
**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates.  
Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily for availability and reservations. 


Turtle Days

 July 18th - Aug 29th

 

Little St. Simons Island's pristine coastline provides critical nesting habitat for endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Each summer, female turtles venture from the Gulf Stream to beaches along the Atlantic Coast to nest. In about two months time, hatchlings will emerge from these nests and dash to the tide line to begin their lives.

In celebration of this age-old annual ritual, the Island is hosting Turtle Days, a special program focused on exploring the wonderful world of sea turtles through evening beach walks, presentations, and post-hatch nest inventories in addition to our regular Naturalist-led excursions.

All-Inclusive Rates

Rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, non-alcoholic beverages, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island. All rates are based on double occupancy.

Space is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or email: lodge@littlessi.com to check availability. 

 

Photos from Phillip Murdaco.


Fall Birding Days 2021

Sept. 24th - Oct. 1st

Celebrate the fall migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time in addition to standard naturalist-guided adventures.  
 
  
SEVEN-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $5,075** 
Arrive September 24th and depart October 1st
 

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,375** 
Arrive September 24th and depart September 27th 


FOUR-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE:  $2,850** 
Arrive September 27th and depart October 1st  

 

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, non-alcoholic beverages, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island. 

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates.  

Space is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or email: lodge@littlessi.com to check availability. 

Photos from Phillip Murdaco.

 

Guest Ornithologists

Adam Betuel

Adam Betuel was introduced to the world of birds and birding at the age of 16 and has never looked back. Shortly after he began his studies at Ohio State University, where he earned a degree in Zoology, Adam was lucky enough to take a position at the university’s museum of biological diversity. While there, Adam met graduate students who introduced him to the exciting world of field ornithology. Adam went on to conduct avian research on marsh birds in Florida, Purple Martins in North Carolina, Eastern Bluebirds in Ohio, and spent a summer in Paraguay cataloguing the country’s bird diversity. After a few years of field research, Adam spent five years studying the White-throated Sparrow in Upstate New York and Indiana while a graduate student at Indiana State University. 
After leaving ISU, Adam became the first conservation director for Atlanta Audubon. In this role, he manages multiple conservation programs, including bird banding projects and Project Safe Flight Atlanta, which focuses on the issue of bird-building collisions. Adam also teaches workshops, oversees multiple citizen science programs, leads birding tours domestically and internationally, and dedicates time to many other projects designed to make Atlanta a place where birds and people thrive. 

 

Richard Hall

Richard grew up in England, and according to his parents, started birding before he could walk. His lifelong passion for birds led him to pursue ecological research, and since joining the faculty at the University of Georgia in 2009, he has worked on understanding drivers of wildlife infectious diseases and how animal migrations respond to environmental change. Richard is a former president of the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society, and currently serves on the Georgia Ornithological Society’s Checklists and Records Committee. Richard visits the Georgia coast regularly with student groups and for Christmas Bird Counts; he has fallen in love with Georgia’s pristine barrier islands, and is excited to share their untamed beauty and incredible birdlife with you.