About the Club

Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

The Club provides this website to all for free.

By becoming a member, you support the activities of the Club, receive reduced registration fee for meetings, can participate in bonus field trips, and receive our publications.

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Meeting info
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Outer Banks Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions

Friday, January 30 Saturday, January 31
Half-day Morning Half-day Morning
Trip #1Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR – 6:45
Trip #2Pea Island NWR / North and South Ponds – 7:00
Trip #3Pea Island NWR / Bodie Island and Oregon Inlet – 7:15
Trip #4Pine Island Sanctuary and Points North – 7:30
Trip #5Roanoke Island – 7:30
Trip #6Ocean Watching – 7:30
Trip #7Beginners' Birding – 7:30
Trip #18Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR – 6:45
Trip #19Pea Island NWR / North and South Ponds – 7:00
Trip #20Pea Island NWR / Bodie Island and Oregon Inlet – 7:15
Trip #21Pine Island Sanctuary and Points North – 7:30
Trip #22Roanoke Island – 7:30
Trip #23Hummingbird Banding – 7:30
Trip #24Beginners' Birding – 7:30
Trip #25Young Birders' Rarity Chase – 7:30
Half-day Afternoon Half-day Afternoon
Trip #8Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR – 1:00
Trip #9Pea Island NWR / North and South Ponds – 1:00
Trip #10Pea Island NWR / Bodie Island and Oregon Inlet – 1:00
Trip #11Pine Island Sanctuary and Points North – 1:15
Trip #12Roanoke Island – 1:15
Trip #13Ocean Watching – 1:15
Trip #26Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR – 1:00
Trip #27Pea Island NWR / North and South Ponds – 1:00
Trip #28Pea Island NWR / Bodie Island and Oregon Inlet – 1:00
Trip #29Pine Island Sanctuary and Points North – 1:15
Trip #30Roanoke Island – 1:15
Trip #31Ocean Watching – 1:15
All-day All-day
Trip #14Pelagic aboard Stormy Petrel II
If depart from Hatteras – 6:00
If depart from Oregon Inlet – 6:30
Trip #15Mattamuskeet NWR – 6:45
Trip #16Hatteras Point, Hatteras Island & Pea Island – 6:45
Trip #17Pocosin Lakes NWR – 7:00
Trip #32Mattamuskeet NWR – 6:45
Trip #33Hatteras Point, Hatteras Island & Pea Island – 6:45
Trip #34Pocosin Lakes NWR – 7:00

Outer Banks Meeting Field Trip Descriptions

Trips 1, 8, 18, & 26 - Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR
Plan for about a one-hour drive to “P3” as it is known by the locals. We will look among the seven species of woodpeckers present for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. During our search we should see a good assortment of woodland and edge species including kinglets, warblers, nuthatches, and sparrows. Red-shouldered Hawk is likely, and Barred Owl and Bald Eagle are real possibilities. Learn more about P3 by visiting www.palmettopeartree.org. After birding P3, the group will drive through Alligator River NWR searching primarily for raptors and sparrows, although many species will be possible, including waterfowl and shorebirds. This refuge may be the best place in the state to find Ash-throated Flycatcher. Rough-legged and Swainson's Hawks have wintered here in the recent past. Black Bears, Bobcats and Red Wolves are also a possibility. Short-eared Owls are very possible over the fields just before dusk (although the afternoon trips will wrap up before darkness falls.)

Note: there are lots of birds but few restrooms in this part of the world. Restrooms can be found at the Visitor's Center on Roanoke Island, service station at the western end of Alligator River bridge, and porta-johns at the entrance to Milltail Rd in Alligator River NWR)

Trips 2, 9, 19, & 27 - Pea Island NWR, North and South Ponds
Drive down to the entrance area of South Pond, parking carefully along the roadside. If you get there in advance of the guide, wait by the road. We will scan flocks of common birds hoping for such species as Eurasian Wigeon, American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, American Bittern, and American White Pelican. In the grassy strips and in the shrub edges along the way we should find sparrows and warblers. After leaving South Pond we will visit nearby North Pond to continue our search. This area has seen quite a few rarities over the years, including Glaucous Gull, California Gull, Hudsonian Godwit, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Cave Swallow, and Brewer's Blackbird, just to name a few. Anything is a possibility at Pea Island! We'll scope the ocean across from the Visitor's Center for sea birds. Last time, a Sora was an easy find under the feeders. If time permits, we may stop by Oregon Inlet or Bodie Island on the trip back. A spotting scope comes in quite handy in these areas. Even in January, mosquito protection may be advisable. South Pond is off-limits except while on approved field trips.
Trips 3, 10, 20, & 28 - Pea Island NWR, Bodie Island and Oregon Inlet
At the north end of Pea Island are Oregon Inlet and the Bonner Bridge. We'll check the inlet out to the rock groin, looking for species that may include Great Cormorant, Common Eider, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper, Piping Plover, Glaucous Gull, “Ipswich” Sparrow, Razorbill and many more. This is “hallowed ground” to birders and many rarities have shown up here over the years. On the north side of the bridge is the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, where we will scope the inlet for Long-tailed Duck and other diving ducks. Common Eiders and Brant have been seen here as well. We'll continue on to Bodie Lighthouse Pond where we will scope for waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders from the new observation platform. Eurasian Wigeon and Cinnamon Teal have been seen here. The boardwalk that cuts through the marsh is good for rails and Marsh Wrens.
Trips 4, 11, 21 & 29 - Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary and Points North
This trip will afford CBC members an introduction to Audubon's 2,600-acre site on the Currituck Sound. We will explore this former hunting mecca for waterfowl, shorebirds, marsh birds and raptors—Bald Eagle is a distinct possibility. Afterwards, we'll head north and bird around the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and N.C. Center for Wildlife Education. A boardwalk will take us to the edge of Currituck Sound where we will scan for waders, shorebirds, terns and waterfowl. King Rails and other marsh birds are a possibility. The forest edge can be good for overwintering passerines as well. Time permitting, we may scan the nearby ocean for scoters, loons and grebes. If you have not ever birded this area of the Outer Banks, this field trip will provide an experience you will be able to use in your future trips to the Banks.
Trips 5, 12, 22, & 30 - Roanoke Island
We'll begin at the north end of the island where we will search the woodland edges for winter species such as Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Creeper, White-throated Sparrow, and hope to turn up over-wintering warblers. Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Black-and-white, Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green Warblers have all been seen in recent winters, as have Baltimore Oriole, Painted Bunting, and Western Kingbird! Wintering Ruby-throated Hummingbirds should be present as well. After that, we will visit the Roanoke Marshes Game Lands in search of saltmarsh species such as Marsh Wren, Seaside Sparrow, and Clapper and Virginia Rails. The freshwater impoundment should hold a few shorebirds and waterfowl for us to view, along with Belted Kingfisher and a raptor or two. Then we will stop by the harbor in Wanchese Village at the south end of the island and scan the surrounding sound and marina for gulls, loons, grebes, and diving ducks. Two Glaucous Gulls were seen there last winter. Wear comfortable shoes because you are going to cover a lot of ground on this field trip
Trips 6, 13, & 31 - Nags Head Ocean Watch
A scope is essential for this trip to scan the Atlantic for the winter birds that feast on the bounty of the ocean. If you don't have a scope, there should be plenty in the group. Your leader will select some premium locations from which to watch the action, including Jennette's Pier. Loons, grebes, scoters and other sea ducks as well as gulls, gannets and many more are on the menu. There is a modest fee to walk out on Jeanette's Pier.
Trip 7, 24 - Beginners' Birding
This trip is designed for those new to birding, but anyone can come along! Birding techniques will be discussed including how to view a bird, what type of diagnostic marks to look for, how to “pish”, the importance of habitat, how to act, and even what to wear. The leader will explain what to look for in binoculars, scopes, and field guides. The destination will be decided by the leader, who will also answer any participant questions.
Trip 14 - Pelagic Trip
Departure is from Hatteras or Oregon Inlet depending on conditions. Time and departure location will be determined the week of the meeting. Captain Brian Patteson's trips aboard the Stormy Petrel II are very popular with birders from all over. It's a different world out there with very different and special birds. The trip is offered to a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 CBC members. The back-up date for this trip is Saturday, January 31. In the event of a cancellation both days due to weather, participants will receive a full refund. Bring lunch and warm clothing, including waterproof outer layers. It's colder on the ocean than on land, so come prepared. If you're prone to seasickness, take whatever precaution you need. Please send your check ($165 per person, payable to Brian Patteson, Inc.) to P.O. Box 772, Hatteras, NC 27943. Give him your contact information as well—email and phone numbers. Go to www.patteson.com for more information.
Trips 15 & 32- Mattamuskeet NWR
A birder's paradise, Mattamuskeet can be incredible. One of the best spots in the state for Golden Eagle, we will bird the Lake Landing area for Tundra Swans and other waterfowl, shorebirds and waders, sorting through the more common species and hoping for something rare, such as Cackling Goose, Ross's Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, or “Common” Teal. American White Pelicans have been seen here several times in recent winters. There is a good chance we will be allowed access to some of the off-limit areas. We will also bird along the causeway, famous for its overwintering passerines. In just the past few winters the causeway has hosted at least 13 species of warblers, including Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Yellow and Nashville. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Baltimore Orioles are to be expected, and recently an Ash-throated Flycatcher and Bell's Vireo turned up. A Black-headed Gull is present most years, too, usually seen near one of the culverts that pass under Highway 94. Side trips on the way back to the coast may include Stumpy Point Bay and Alligator River NWR.
Trips 16 & 33 - Hatteras Point, Hatteras Island, Pea Island
The guide will rendezvous with the CBC party at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse parking lot. We will cover the Point Campground, the Salt Pond and the beach, sorting through the gull flocks in search of Thayer's, Iceland, Glaucous and California Gulls. Lesser Black-backed Gulls should be common. Peregrine Falcon is often seen as well. We will scan the ocean for loons, grebes, scoters and other water birds, hoping for alcids or other rarities. Common Eider, Black-headed and Little Gulls, and Eared Grebe are also possibilities. Last time we had great looks at Iceland Gull, Dovekie, and Razorbill. The Salt Pond usually hosts good populations of birds. Snow Buntings and Horned Larks could show up, and a Sprague's Pipit was seen here once, not far from the Salt Pond. Your leader will plan some side trips on the way back depending on what has been seen that morning at points north.

Please note: We will be walking to Hatteras Point, about two miles round trip. Come prepared for walking on both hard-packed and deep, soft sand.

Trips 17 & 34 - Pocosin Lakes NWR
Pocosin Lakes is famous for huge flocks of wintering Snow Geese. We will search through them for Cackling, Ross's, and Greater White-fronted Geese. Red-winged Blackbird flocks can number in the tens of thousands, a spectacle in itself. We will look through them with hopes of spotting a Yellow-headed Blackbird. Overhead, we'll keep an eye out for Golden Eagles—this is one of the most reliable spots in the state for these awesome birds. Other possibilities include other waterfowl and farm field and edge species, such as sparrows, pipits and Horned Larks. There is a lot of territory to cover on this trip with potential side trips on the way back.
Trip 23 - Hummingbird Banding
After Friday night's program on hummers, Susan Campbell will set up a banding station at the Visitor's Center at Mattamuskeet NWR. Participants will be able to help in the banding of these colorful darters. Ruby-throated are to be expected, but there is always a chance of western species, such as Rufous, Calliope, Allen's or Black-chinned. This will be a great opportunity to see them up close and ask questions.
Trip 25 - Young Birder's Rarity Chase
This trip is for the young birders of the club, but anyone is welcome to come along. We will visit the hot spots and look for the rare or unusual birds that were found on Friday. The destinations will be decided that morning.

Winter Meeting Planning Notes

The times listed in the schedule are when the cars are lined up in the parking lot and leaving. Please be there at least 10 minutes early and identify yourself to the leader. If you decide not to go on a trip, either scratch through your name beforehand on the supplied lists, or show up at the meeting place and tell someone.

All trips depart from hotel in the parking lot. Look for the placard with your trip number. There will be a sheet with all directions for your trips e-mailed to you in advance. Please bring it on each trip as caravans sometimes break down, and, if so, you'll still be able to get to the trip site. Get the leader's cell number before you leave, just in case.

Food for purchase during field trips may be somewhat limited. Accordingly, plan to take snacks and beverages with you, and be sure to pack a lunch for the allday trips.

We try to take as few vehicles as possible on field trips in order to save fuel, make caravanning easier, and to make better use of the limited parking that exists at some stops. Please plan on carpooling, and if you would like to drive and have room for new or old friends, please let your trip leader know when you arrive for your outing.

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