Pea Island Bird Walk Offers Fun for All Experience Levels

Pea Island Bird Tour

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.


National Wildlife Refuge Week kicks off on Oct. 13th

Take a few hours out of your busy fall schedule to explore Alligator River and Pea Island refuges during National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14-20th!

Get the celebration started with a tram tour at Alligator River from 9am until noon on Saturday, October 13th. Explore the refuge and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all of the wildlife that call this territory home, while enjoying a beautiful fall morning on the OBX.
You may register ahead of time by calling Cindy Heffley at 252-475-4180 to make your reservation. Tickets are $7 for adults, while children 12 and under may register free with one or more paying adults. Unreserved seats will be filled at no charge, on a first come/first serve basis the morning of the tour.

Later that evening, join a refuge guide to learn about the endangered red wolf while participating in a special Red Wolf Howling to celebrate Wolf Awareness Week. Starting at 6pm, the guides will introduce and speak about the Red Wolf Recovery Program in place at Alligator River refuge and then your group will venture into the heart of the refuge in an attempt to hear the resident red wolves. No reservation is required. Meet at Creef Cut Trail located on Milltail Road and US Hwy 64 west of Manns Harbor.

On the mornings of October 17-19th, from 8am to 9:30am, take part in a guided bird walk at Pea Island refuge to experience a variety of resident and migratory birds. Meet at the Pea Island Visitor Center near milepost 32 on Hwy 12.

Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities to connect with the wildlife of the OBX!


Refuge – Pea Island Premiers Tonight on UNC-TV at 10:00pm

The drama continues tonight on UNC-TV as REFUGE – Pea Island will be broadcast for the first time. Third in the REFUGE Series, STRS Productions has produced a film like no other on one of the most unique Refuges that lies along the coast of North Carolina, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, where wildlife abounds. A year in the making with nearly 100 hours of footage, using 16 cameras, covering all four seasons, and capturing some of the most rarest wildlife ever seen on the Outer Banks with it’s always changing environment, producers Blake and Emily Scott are joined by videographer Ron Marchand and brave some of the most brutal weather the coast has to offer. Using night vision cameras, the STRS Productions film team captures a Loggerhead Sea Turtle hatching that will leave you breathless.
From Nor’easters to hurricanes, hurricane Bill, the fifth largest cylone in history, to solid freeze overs and a rare snow storm, Refuge – Pea Island’s wildlife, which ranges from resident animals to migratory visitors, endure and sometimes loose the daily battle for survival on a peice of land that borders from being taken over by the mighty powerful Atlantic Ocean. Filmed in Hi Definition and narrated by award winner Denise Kelly and assited by script writer – executive producer Ernest Marshall and biologist Dennis Stewart and staff, STRS Productions is able to bring you Pea Island NWR from land, air, and sea thanks to Sydney and Hanah Britt. Working closely with Executive Producer for External Productions – Scott Davis, REFUGE – Pea Island has been edited especially for broadcast for UNC-TV. Can’t catch the broadcast tonight, have no fear as UNC-TV will continue to broadcast the show all next month on UNC-EX. Below is the scheduled dates and times. Join UNC-TV on one of these dates and you will never look at the coast of North Carolina the same.

Thursday April 14 at 10:00pm UNC-TV.
Friday April 15 at 4:00am UNC-MX
Monday May 16 at 9:00pm UNC-EX
Tuesdau May 17 at 10:00am UNC-EX
Wednesday 18 at 3:00am UNC-EX
Saturday May 21 at 9:00am UNC-EX

Community Information provided by the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce.


Movie based on Pea Island “Rescue Men” Premieres

On February 27th, 7:30 p.m., the Indoor Theater at Roanoke Island Festival Park will host the Outer Banks debut of the documentary film Rescue Men, The Story of the Pea Island Life Savers. The movie, which is produced and directed by Los Angeles based DreamQuest Productions, has been in the works for several years and tells the story of one particular brave Hatteras Island life saving crew. Continue reading


Wings over Water Wildlife Festival runs from Nov. 3-8

The 13th annual Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, a celebration of wildlife and wild lands in Eastern North Carolina, will run from Tuesday, Nov. 3, until Sunday, Nov. 8. The six-day event celebrates the natural wonders of the Outer Banks and offers many opportunities to explore and discover the richness of the region’s environment. Continue reading


Outer Banks Scenic Byway Receives National Designation

The Outer Banks Scenic Byway received national status on Friday as one of America’s Byways®, placing NC Highway 12 on the map, so to speak, for its fascinating coastal heritage and unique natural landscapes, making the leg of the historic two-lane highway from Nags Head, NC to Down East a perfect autumn drive for exploring the beauty of the barrier islands and connecting with the coastal communities that set the destination apart. Continue reading


Free Things to Do on Hatteras Island

One of the best aspects of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is that a day at the beach on Hatteras Island doesn’t cost a thing. There are plenty of free public accesses all along the 70 miles of National Seashore, with lots of parking, and even shower and restroom facilities. Most folks can also find free easy beach access right outside the door of their vacation rental home, but no matter where you hit the beach, you’ll never have to pay for a long, sunny day on the sand. Continue reading


Video filmed on the Outer Banks wins Country Music Video of the Year

Brad Paisley’s “Waitin’ on a Woman” has been popular with locals and Hatteras Island lovers alike for its gorgeous scenes shot on an undeveloped stretch of shoreline along the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras Island.

Now, the popularity of the video keeps growing, as it has just been named the Academy of Country Music® Video of the Year in conjunction with the 44th Annual ACM Awards. The awards will air live on April 5, 2009 on CBS Television Network 8:00 p.m. ET/delayed PT. This makes two top awards for the celebrated video. Continue reading


New documentary to be filmed on Pea Island

While the upcoming Richard Gere and Diane Lane movie “Nights in Rodanthe” is drawing lots of attention, it’s not the only film in the works that centers around Hatteras Island.
Alan Smith of Dreamworks Productions and his crew are planning an October trip to Hatteras Island, (their 4th trip in 2008), for the filming of their upcoming documentary “The Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Lifesavers.” The film is based on the 2001 book “Fire on the Beach: Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers” by David Wright and David Zoby. Continue reading