The Crab Bank Pelicam gives viewers front-row seats to a bird sanctuary
Gentle waves crash against the shore as gulls call and the sun begins to brighten the islet known as “Crab Bank.” The place’s namesake crustacean skitters across the sand, a pack of pelicans gaze out at the water, and a tern swoops just inches from your face—or so it seems. Watching the Crab Bank Pelicam, you almost feel like you’re right there on that half-acre swath, surrounded by Charleston Harbor, with Mount Pleasant in the distance.
And that was exactly the idea when the Coastal Conservation League partnered with Mt. Pleasant Radio to install a solar-powered camera that transmits live video to coastalconservationleague.org/pelicam. “It allows people to see what’s happening without impacting the birds’ habitat,” explains League program director Emily Cedzo.
As one of only five active seabird nesting sites in South Carolina, Crab Bank is closed to boat landings from mid-March through mid-October. “It takes one incident—say, a kayaker getting too close—to decimate a colony,” says Cedzo, noting that the bank is vital to the survival of multiple bird species. To meet the whole gang, just visit the Pelicam.
Photograph by (pelicans) Caitie Forde-Smith