Birding on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Buxton, North Carolina

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The Cape Hatteras National Seashore harbors an incredible variety of birds, making it one of the East Coast’s year-round birding hotspots. The park’s open spaces provide habitat for birds who live here all the time and those that visit for only part of the year to breed, feed, rest, or nest. Salt marshes, tidal flats, salt ponds, impoundments, dunes, beaches, small pockets of maritime forests, and sound and ocean waters provide varied habitat for waders, shorebirds, waterfowl, landbirds, and songbirds. The area is especially interesting for watching migratory birds and waterfowl and pelagic birds. The National Audubon Society named both Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge as Important Bird Areas, and it is easy to see why. More than 400 species of birds have been sighted in these areas and the surrounding waters. This impressive number is due to the varied habitats, the area’s location along the Eastern Flyway, and the fact that strong winds and storms often bring in unusual “vagrant” birds. Pea Island and Cape Point are prime places for spotting accidental avian visitors.
Exploring Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Exploring Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores

by Molly Perkins Harrison (Falcon Guides)

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore harbors an incredible variety of birds, making it one of the East Coast’s year-round birding hotspots. The park’s open spaces provide habitat for birds who live here all the time and those that visit for only part of the year to breed, feed, rest, or nest. Salt marshes, tidal flats, salt ponds, impoundments, dunes, beaches, small pockets of maritime forests, and sound and ocean waters provide varied habitat for waders, shorebirds, waterfowl, landbirds, and songbirds.

The area is especially interesting for watching migratory birds and waterfowl and pelagic birds. The National Audubon Society named both Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge as Important Bird Areas, and it is easy to see why. More than 400 species of birds have been sighted in these areas and the surrounding waters. This impressive number is due to the varied habitats, the area’s location along the Eastern Flyway, and the fact that strong winds and storms often bring in unusual “vagrant” birds. Pea Island and Cape Point are prime places for spotting accidental avian visitors.

©  Molly Perkins Harrison/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Buxton
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Year-round
Local Contacts: Contact information for the national seashore, visitor centers, and local resources are provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to Birding on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

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Apr 2018