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.

Join, Renew, or Donate now!

Other Resources (NOT sponsored by Carolina Bird Club)

Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions

Friday, January 18 Saturday, January 19 Sunday, January 20
Half-day Morning Half-day Morning Half-day Morning
Trip #1Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR–6:45am
Trip #2Pea Island NWR/North and South Ponds–7:15am
Trip #3Oregon Inlet & Bodie Island–7:15am
Trip #4Roanoke Island–7:30am
Trip #5Ocean Watching—Jennette's Pier–7:30am
Trip #6Bird Watching 101 Workshop/Field–8:00am
Trip #7Waterfowl Workshop–8:00am
Trip #22Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR–6:45am
Trip #23Pea Island NWR/North and South Ponds–7:15am
Trip #24Oregon Inlet and Bodie Island–7:15am
Trip #25Bodie Island—Casual & Handicapped accessible Birding–8:30am
Trip #26Roanoke Island–7:30am
Trip #27Ocean Watching—Jennette's Pier–7:30am
Trip #38Alligator River NWR–7:30am
Trip #39Search for Rarities Seen–7:30am
Half-day Afternoon Half-day Afternoon
Trip #9Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR–1:00pm
Trip #10Pea Island NWR/North and South Ponds–1:00pm
Trip #11Oregon Inlet and Bodie Island–1:00pm
Trip #12Alligator River NWR–1:00pm
Trip #13Ocean Watch—Jennette's Pier–1:15pm
Trip #14 Owl Prowl—After evening program –9:00pm
Trip #29Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR–1:00pm
Trip #30Pea Island NWR/North and South Ponds–1:00pm
Trip #31Oregon Inlet and Bodie Island–1:00pm
Trip #32Shorebird Workshop/Field–1:00pm
Trip #33Ocean Watch—Jennette's Pier–1:15pm
Trip #34Winter Hummingbird Workshop–1:15pm
Trip #35Photography Workshop/Field–1:00pm
All-day All-day
Trip #16Mattamuskeet–6:45am
Trip #17Cape Hatteras & Pea Island–6:45am
Trip #18Pelagic–5:30am
Trip #19Pocosin Lakes NWR–5:15am
Trip #18Rain Date for Pelagic trip–5:30am?
Trip #36Mattamuskeet–6:45am
Trip #37Cape Hatteras & Pea Island–6:45am

Field Trip Descriptions


Trips 1, 9, 22 & 29: Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Alligator River NWR

"P3" as the locals know it. 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, Barred Owl and Bald Eagle are real possibilities. Learn more about P3 by visiting www.conservationfund.org/projects/palmetto-peartree-preserve. 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 Hawks and a Swainson's Hawk have wintered here in the recent past. Black Bears, Bobcats and Red Wolves are all possible. Another possibility is Short-eared Owls over the fields just before dusk. You would need to stay later than the afternoon trips are scheduled.

  • Approximate travel time: 1:10
  • Facilities: There are lots of birds but few restrooms in this part of the world, but they can be found (Visitor's Center on Roanoke Island, service station at western end of Alligator River bridge, and porta-john at entrance to Milltail Road in Alligator River NWR.)
  • Access: P3 uneven surfaces. Alligator River NWR partial driving route and walking on occasional trails with potentially uneven surfaces.
Trips 2, 10, 23, & 30: Pea Island NWR, North and South Ponds

If you drive down to the entrance area of South Pond, park carefully along the roadside. If you are 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. 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. 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. Remember: South Pond is off-limits except with the approved guide.

  • Approximate travel time: 30min
  • Facilities: Restrooms at Pea Island Visitor Center
  • Access: Mostly improved trail, potentially uneven surfaces of grass and sand.
Trips 3, 11, 24 & 31: Oregon Inlet and Bodie Island

At the north end of Pea Island are Oregon Inlet and the Bonner Bridge (and its replacement). We'll check the inlet out to the rock groin, looking for species that could 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 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.

  • Approximate travel time: 25min
  • Facilities: Restrooms
  • Access: Bodie Island boardwalk/observation platform. Pea Island improved trails. Oregon Inlet walking on soft to hard packed sand.
Trips 4 & 26: 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. In the past two Glaucous Gulls were spotted. Wear comfortable shoes because you are going to cover a lot of ground on this field trip.

  • Approximate travel time: 25min
  • Facilities: Yes
  • Access: Sidewalks and trail with potentially uneven surface
Trips 5, 13, 27 & 33: Jennette's Pier, 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 for loons, grebes, scoters, Razorbills, Dovekie, gannets, other sea ducks, and gulls. There is a small fee to enter the pier.

  • Approximate travel time: 15min
  • Facilities: Yes
  • Access: Beach/Boardwalk Pier
Trip 6: Birding Watching 101 Workshop/Field

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 leader, who will also answer any participant questions, will decide the destination.

  • Workshop: Ramada
  • Approximate Travel time: To be determined
  • Facilities: Yes
  • Access: Field portion to be determined.
Trip 7: Waterfowl Workshop

Winter waterfowl can be found in many habitats, from the open ocean along our coast, to wetlands, lakes, and rivers throughout the state. Determining which species you are looking at can be tricky, especially from a distance. This workshop will help those looking to improve their waterfowl identification skills by exploring field marks, behaviors, and other tips. After an indoor presentation, including a PowerPoint and taxidermy birds and wings, we'll hit some of the waterfowl hotspots nearby. Spotting scopes are recommended, and we hope to have at least a few to share among the group.

  • Workshop: Ramada
  • Facilities: Restroom
  • Access: Field trip portion to be determined will be a reasonable.
Trip 12 & 38: Alligator River NWR

A drive through Alligator River NWR searching for raptors and sparrows. Stopping at impoundments checking for waterfowl and shorebirds. This refuge may be the best place in the state to find Ash-throated Flycatcher. Rough-legged Hawks and a Swainson's Hawk have wintered here in the recent past. Black Bears, Bobcats and Red Wolves are all possible

  • Approximate travel time: 45 min
  • Facilities: porta-johns at entrance to Milltail Road in Alligator River NWR
  • Access: Gravel unimproved roadway, mostly driving with frequent stops.
Trip 14: Owls (after Friday evening speaker)

We will venture across S. Croatan Hwy to an entrance of Old Nags Head Preserve. The Owls that may be present are the Great Horned and Eastern Screech Owl. Stopping at different spots to listen.

  • Approximate travel time: 10 min
  • Facilities: Restrooms-Ramada
  • Access: Requires getting in and out of the car several tmes.
Trip 25: Bodie Island—Casual & Handicapped accessible Birding

This barrier island location can offer ideal foraging habitats for many resident shorebird species. Bodie Island Lighthouse is the most northern site on Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It offers a handicapped boardwalk and observation platform, which overlooks a freshwater marshland. We will also bird the surrounding areas of the parking lot.

  • Approximate travel time: 25 min
  • Facilities: Restrooms
Trip 32: Shorebird ID Workshop/Field

Workshop: The shorebird workshop will focus on key characteristics, such as overall profiles, foraging behaviors, and habitat, which can aid birders on all levels to quickly and confidently identify a species. We will review all shorebird families, but our primary focus will be Charadriidae (plovers) and Scolopacidae (sandpipers). If you're interested in refining your "peep" identification skills, then please join me in this discussion-based workshop.

Field Trip: Bodie Island Lighthouse and the north end of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: These barrier island locations can offer ideal habitats for many resident and migratory shorebird species. Both sites provide a great opportunity to focus on silhouette and foraging behavior identification. Target species at both locations will be American Avocet, Black-bellied Plover, yellowlegs, Marbled Godwit, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Purple Sandpiper! Other shorebirds we may observe include Willet, Dunlin, Wilson's Snipe, Sanderling, Dowitcher, and Whimbrel.

  • Approximate travel time: 30 minutes (Bodie Island), 45 minutes (Pea Island)
  • Facilities: Restrooms
  • Access conditions: This trip will involve moderate walking, boardwalk/observation platform at Bodie Island Lighthouse; trail with potentially uneven surface at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Trip 34: Winter Hummingbird Workshop

Susan Campbell, a hummingbird expert, provides this 2-hour workshop. Come learn about winter hummingbirds in coastal NC. Find out what species to expect, how to identify them and why they are here. Discussion on winter feeding tips will also be included.

  • Workshop: Ramada
Trip 35: Photography Workshop "Birds in Action"


  1. Indoor Session: open to all (enjoyable to non-photographers too)
  2. Outdoor Photo-shoot: Limited to the first 8 that sign up

This workshop begins with a 45-min. (plus Q&A) indoor presentation by award winning nature photographer Bob Schamerhorn, which demonstrates and discusses an array of bird activities including: flight, takeoff, landing, feeding, bathing, drinking, preening, diving, nesting, and more. Also shows the reasons why birds are so active, their motivation and characteristics of activity including: migration, food gathering, and avoidance of danger. Includes both basic photography techniques and more advanced skills. Learn how to improve your action photography abilities, both technically and physically, by optimizing your location, learning good motor-skill practices, using auto-focus, image research, and proper shutter speed settings. The subject of "birds in action" is one of the most challenging, but also most rewarding, of nature photography endeavors. Followed by a two-hour outdoor photo-shoot opportunity to put these learning's into practice, location TBD.

  • Workshop: Ramada
  • Approximate travel time: To be determined
  • Facilities: Restrooms
Trip 39: Search for Rarities Seen

Attempts to relocate rarities that had been seen over the weekend


Trip 16 & 36: 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. In recent winters American White Pelicans have been seen here. 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; in the past we have had Ash-throated Flycatcher and Bell's Vireo. A Black-headed Gull is present most years, too, usually seen near one of the culverts that pass under Hwy. 94. Side trips on the way back to the coast may include Stumpy Point Bay and Alligator River NWR.

  • Approximate travel time: 1:30
  • Facilities: Restrooms
  • Access: Driving and walking on potentially uneven surfaces.
Trips 17 & 37: Hatteras Point, Hatteras Island, Pea Island

The guide will rendezvous with the CBC party at the 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 here 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. In the past we have had great looks at Iceland Gull, Dovekie and Razorbill. The salt pond usually hosts good populations of birds. Snow Buntings, Horned Larks and a Sprague's Pipit may be present. 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.

  • Approximate travel time: 1:10
  • Facilities: Restrooms
  • Access: There should be packed sand
Trip 18: Pelagic Birding Adventure

Brian Patteson will offer an all-day pelagic trip on Friday, January 19 with Saturday being a weather date. Cost is $169.00 per person with a limit of 20 people on the trip. Sign up early for this trip, as Brian will offer it to the general public after January 1, 2019. The departure point will be Hatteras or Wanchese depending on weather conditions. The departure location will be announced and communicated to those who have registered. On Brian's winter trip you may see Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Red Phalarope, Great Skua, Black-legged Kittiwake, Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill and Dovekie among others. This time of year the Northern Gannets put on quite a show when on a school of fish, and they are also frequently close at hand for the chum provided, making for excellent photo opportunities. Please send your $169.00 per person payment, by check, directly to Brian Patteson, P.O. Box 772, Hatteras, NC 27943. For more information about Brian's trips, expected birds, and preparations see seabirding.com. Brian can be reached at (252) 986-1363 or by e-mail at hatteraspetrel@gmail.com. Please remember to indicate on your CBC registration form that you plan to do the pelagic trip, even though Brian is handling the reservations. A brown-bagged breakfast will be provided.

  • Approximate travel time: to be determined depends on departing port
Trip 19: Pocosin Lakes NWR. Lead by a Local Ranger

Pocosin Lakes is famous for huge flocks of wintering Snow Geese lifting off at sunrise. We will search through them for Cackling, Ross's, and Greater White-fronted Geese. Red-winged Blackbird flocks can number in the 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. High clearance vehicles recommended traveling on dirt roads with the potential of mud. Due to early departure a brown-bagged breakfast will be provided.

  • Approximate travel time: 1:45
  • Facilities: On way to Pocosin
  • Access: Driving and Trail with potentially uneven surface

Meeting Notes