Birding - Pea Island National Refuge
While recent statistics shows that gardening hails as America's
favorite pastime, birding follows it as close second, with a big chunk
of the population a casual birder. Discussion on birds in North Carolina
would easily direct it to the Outer Banks region, a chain of islands of
over 100 miles long that includes the Cape Hatteras National Seashore,
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and other protected areas. Birding
is essentially a hobby pretty much immortalized via photography; it's
unlikely for hobbyists to take home birds for souvenirs. Other
remarkable locations for bird watching are the National Wildlife
Refuges: Alligator River, Pea Island, Mattamuskeet, Pee Dee, Pocosin
Lakes and Roanoke River and the the Nature Conservancy of North Carolina
including Grandfather Mountain, Nags Head Woods Preserve and Big Yellow
Here are places where you can enjoy watching a wide array of species of
ducks, sparrows, shorebirds, warblers and other southern species.
Outer Bank's annual Wings Over Water Festival is just in time to attract
tourists and take advantage of birds' migrating the season, which
welcomes variety of species like Harlequin Ducks, spoonbills, teals and
ruffs. The Wings Over Water Festival is a six-day event that celebrates
the natural wonders of the area.
November 2013 will mark the festivalís
twelfth year anniversary. Other birding events are Manns Harbor Purple
Martin Roost (every August), Goose Creek State Park's Annual
International Migratory Bird Day Festival (April to May), Lake
Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge Open House Tours (December) and
Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend (December).
Many bird clubs have been established in North Carolina, attracting
bird enthusiasts to converge and discuss on possible ways to suggest and
transform the hobby into a more endearing and worthwhile activity. First
in the list of organization devoted to birding and environmental
movement in North Carolina is the Audobon Society in North Carolina
(which also led to the formation of a smaller group devoted to the
Forsyth County). This 105-year old society (formed in 1902) has been an
advocate against the slaughter of wild birds which also led their
purchasing of land that will serve as protected sanctuaries for birds.
They also educated the North Carolinians and instill on them the
importance of protecting the birds.
Other clubs advocating preservation of bird species include are the
following: Carolina Bird Club (1937), Carolina Raptor Center (1975),
Chapel Hill Bird Club (1930s), Nature Conservancy in North Carolina,
North Carolina Bluebird Society (1986), Piedmont Bird Club and more.