Best Time to Visit This Site:


Most Sought Species at This Site:

Least Bittern, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Clapper Rail, Black-Necked Stilt,  American Oystercatcher, Wilson’s Plover, Red Knot, Least Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, Nelson’s Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow


Deer Island is an icon in Mississippi ornithological history. Thomas Burleigh, the first scientist to systematically study the state’s coastal bird life, did much of his field work here in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s. The island is located less than one mile offshore, just south of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. Geologically, it is not a typical offshore barrier island. This site is dominated by a maritime forest of slash pine with extensive tidal marshes and some small bayous. Visitors will notice that active restoration of marsh habitat by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Least Terns and Black Skimmers nest here with a scattering of Gull-billed Terns and an occasional pair of Wilson’s Plover. Due to its proximity to shore, Deer Island receives heavy recreational use and disturbance is always a problem.


All of the barrier islands can only be reached by boat. Click on the boat icon to the right for more information on charter services.  If you are using a personal boat, the GPS way-point provided is for an area that is open to the public and easy to access.

GPS 30.37378 -88.84818

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Updated: 9/17/2013