Great Horned Owlets are the Talk of the Island–Follow Along by Raptor Cam Now

There's one specific nest that is not only famous on the island, but around the world. Find out how you can follow along on the owlet's journey by Hilton Head Island Land Trust's Raptor Cam.

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What was once a well-known eagle’s nest on Hilton Head Island, is now home to a family of owls. Specifically, two great horned owls named Bayley and Joshua, along with their newly-hatched owlets.

The best part is, you don’t have to be on the island in order to see them!

It’s really all thanks to two bald eagles named Harriet and Mitch, the two majestic birds who prompted the Hilton Head Island Land Trust to install the Raptor Cam in the first place. The eagles last used the nest in 2021, and captivated viewers across the world. After Harriet and Mitch, came Charles and Charlotte, a pair of ospreys that used the nest in 2023.

Example of Live Stream from February 13th, 2024

If these names sound familiar, you’re actually on to something. Each bird has been named after a person who has shaped the course of Hilton Head’s history. Let’s dig into it:

  • Harriet (eagle) is named after Harriet Tubman, the American abolitionist who conducted rescue missions by way of the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman spent some time on Hilton Head Island, providing the Union Army with intelligence while training local scouts.
  • Mitch (eagle) is named after General Ormsby M. Mitchel, the Union Army General who founded the Town of Mitchelville on Hilton Head Island.
  • Charles (osprey) is named after Charles Fraser, founder of Sea Pines and real estate developer who essentially put the island on the map as a world-class resort location.
  • Charlotte (osprey) is named after Charlotte Heinrichs, the founder of The Deep Well Project. The organization was originally founded to help those who’d fallen ill after drinking contaminated water from shallow wells. Now, the organization helps the community in many different ways. Learn more here.
  • Bayley (owl) is named after John Bayley, an Irishman who had been granted a barony that included most of Hilton Head Island and other surrounding areas by the Lords Proprietors. Funnily enough, Bayley never visited the island, and the 48,000-acre barony was sold off in sections.
  • Joshua (owl) is named after General Joshua Howell, the namesake of Fort Howell. This earthworks fort was constructed in 1864 to protect Mitchelville.

The Raptor Cam can be found on the Hilton Head Land Trust’s website, as well as on HDonTap’s website, where you’ll have access to a large collection live streaming cameras that not only include wild animal observation feeds, but refuges and zoos as well. The website also has cameras covering beautiful beaches, marinas, and other scenic locations from ski lodges in Colorado to the Vegas Strip.

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