Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is known as one of the best birding sites on the east coast.
Each Friday, and every Wednesday from May through September, you can stroll through the maritime forest around North Pond with an experienced guide discovering all kinds of species of birds. From ducks and geese to pelicans, bitterns, herons, sandpipers, gulls, terns, swallows, and sparrows – there are nearly 400 species of birds that call this refuge home, for at least part of the year. Much of the reason for the large species number is the variety of habitats the refuge contains, forests, beaches, marshes, ponds and sand dunes all provide feeding grounds and habitat for these birds.
All levels of bird-watchers are welcome. Bring your binoculars and expect knowledgeable volunteers might bring binoculars to borrow and high-powered birding scopes. Pat Moore, director of the Hatteras Island Birding Club explains, “Birding is not only done with your eyes, using your ears you can often hear a bird’s call before it’s even visible.” No matter what your experience or interest, you’ll be sure to leave with a new appreciation of these fascinating beautiful creatures.
The Bird Walk starts in the parking lot at the Pea Island Visitor Center at 8:00am each Friday and Wednesdays from May through September. It is free of charge. Field guides, binoculars, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended.