Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Eric Rosch


Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC, USA is considered a “hotspot” for birds, according to the eBird database (eBird, 2020). The park is also visited by approximately 300,000 people, annually (Hobdy, 2019). The causeway at the park is an area of high human and wildlife activity. Here, the differences in desensitization, or lack thereof, of year-round and transient bird species to the stimuli of vehicles and humans were determined. Multiple surveys of the birds at Huntington Beach State Park were conducted from 22nd September, 2019 to 13th June, 2020. Desensitization was quantified by use of a range finder and by observation of behavior. The vast majority of the birds surveyed were desensitized to the stimuli on the causeway. The birds that showed a response to the stimuli continued foraging behavior after the response, which suggests a level of tolerance to the stimuli.