The Roanoke River flows through northeastern North Carolina, supporting a floodplain that covers more than 150,000 acres. Over 219 bird species have been recorded on the floodplain. Between the Nature Conservancy, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge, more than 70,000 acres of floodplain forestlands are protected or managed, with additional protection efforts still in progress.
Over hundreds of years, floods of varying magnitudes have sculpted the various geomorphological features (ridges, swales, flats, and natural levees) found on the floodplain, creating a rich mosaic of plant and animal communities that provide great birding opportunities. Although much of the floodplain is under private ownership, birding opportunities are available on the public lands and by floating the river. Habitats: Bottomland hardwoods, cypress and tupelo swamps, mixed hardwood and levee forests. Key birds: Summer: Bald Eagle; Mississippi Kite; American Redstart; Kentucky, Swainson’s, and Cerulean Warbler; Summer and Scarlet Tanager. Winter: Red-headed Woodpecker.
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