“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?” – David Attenborough
We already know that the Carolina Coast is a wonderful melting pot for people from all over the United States and beyond. We are preaching to the choir when we say its beautiful beaches and welcoming environment makes anyone and everyone want to make Southeastern North Carolina home! But humans aren’t the only ones making our wonderful region home! We are blessed to share the Cape Fear Region with some of the most beautiful species of birds in the world. Whether you’re admiring a beautiful red Cardinal on your backyard bird feeder or watching a Pelican swoop down at the beach, birds bring beauty and enjoyment to our lives.
The Cape Fear Region is unique in that it offers both fresh and saltwater habitats thus attracting many species of birds. The oceans, ponds, lakes and marshes as well as grasslands and forests are home to a very diverse blend of birds. A few of the species drawn to the area’s wetlands are the Osprey, Seagulls, Loggerhead Shrike, Peregrine Falcon, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, White Ibis and Royal Tern. These birds often make their nests and lay their eggs in the sand of our local beaches. The eggs are naturally camouflaged to blend in with the sand until they are ready to hatch. Visitors and residents alike can even visit their protected nesting areas in our very own Wrightsville Beach; the ‘Southend’ in particular is a favorite spot for many beach-nesting species.
Birds that prefer to live in trees on land as opposed to taking up residence by bodies of water, are called arboreal birds. Some examples of these are the Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Robin, Red-headed Woodpecker and American Crow. A perfect spot for checking out these tree dwelling birds is the Holly Shelter Game Lands in nearby Hampstead. With over 10,000 acres of longleaf pine forest, it hosts many species of birds; some found nowhere else!
With so many different species and so much to learn; The North Carolina Birding Trail provides a list of the best places to see birds as well as information about how to get there and what to look for. There are 20 sites in Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover Counties alone! Plus, your backyard in The Bluffs on the Cape Fear is a great spot for bird watching. So break out your binoculars and prepare to take in the beauty and majesty that is all around you! You should see ducks, geese, herons, owls, cardinals, and more!