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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Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions

Friday, Jan 13
Half-day Morning Half-day Afternoon All-day
Trip 1Palmetto Peartree Preserve and Futch Game Land7:00am
Trip 2Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary and Duck Boardwalk7:00am
Trip 3Alligator River NWR (Rt. 264 Corridor to Milltail Rd.)7:00am
Trip 4Corolla Escapade (A Handicap Accessible Trip)7:15am
Trip 5Pea Island NWR Visitors Center and Southside Dike7:15am
Trip 6Jennette's Pier Ocean Watch7:30am
Trip 7Waterfowl ID Workshop8:00am
Trip 8Oregon Inlet & Bodie Light8:30am
Trip 9Nags Head Woods Preserve & Jennette's Pier Escapade (HC Accessible Trip)1:00pm
Trip 10Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve area & Kitty Hawk Pier1:00pm
Trip 11Pea Island NWR North Pond & Visitors Center1:15pm
Trip 12Oregon Inlet & Bodie Light1:15pm
Trip 13Roanoke Island Marshes & Wanchese Harbor and Marshes1:15pm
Trip 14Alligator River NWR (Buffalo City Rd. to Milltail Rd.)1:00pm
Trip 15Hummingbird Safari meets in Buxton1:30pm
Trip 16Pelagic Birding Adventure5:30am
Trip 17A Pursuit for 100 Birds5:00am
Trip 18Pocosin Lakes (Pungo and Phelps) NWR5:15am
Trip 19Hatteras Point & Hatteras Island6:15am
Trip 20Roanoke Island—Ft. Raleigh to Wanchese6:30am
Trip 21Pea Island NWR (North Pond to Split Pea Bridge)6:45am
Saturday, Jan 14
Half-day Morning Half-day Afternoon All-day
Trip 23Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary and Duck Boardwalk6:45am
Trip 24Alligator River NWR (Rt. 264 Corridor to Milltail Rd.)6:45am
Trip 25Birding Basics—Field Identification7:00am
Trip 26Duck Town Boardwalk & Kitty Hawk Pier Escapade (HC Accessible Trip)7:00am
Trip 27Pea Island NWR Visitors Center and Southside Dike7:15am
Trip 28Oregon Inlet & Bodie Light7:15am
Trip 29Northern Roanoke Island—Ft. Raleigh Area7:30am
Trip 30Jennette's Pier Ocean Watch7:30am
Trip 31Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary and Duck Boardwalk1:00pm
Trip 32Futch Game Lands & River Rd. in Alligator River NWR1:00pm
Trip 33Alligator River NWR (Buffalo City Rd. to Milltail Rd.)1:00pm
Trip 34Pea Island NWR Visitors Center & Bodie Light Boardwalk Escapade (HC Accessible Trip)1:15pm
Trip 35Pea Island NWR North Pond & Visitors Center1:30pm
Trip 36Photography Workshop1:30pm
Trip 37Jennette's Pier Ocean Watch1:30pm
Trip 38A Pursuit for 100 Birds5:00am
Trip 40Mattamuskeet NWR6:15am
Trip 41Hatteras Point & Hatteras Island6:15am
Trip 42Habitats from North Corolla to Kitty Hawk6:30am
Trip 43Pea Island NWR (North Pond to Split Pea Bridge)6:45am
Trip 44Roanoke Island—Fort Raleigh to Wanchese6:30am
Sunday, Jan 15
Half-day Morning
Trip 45Alligator River NWR or uncommon/rarities seen7:30am
Trip 46Search for uncommon & Rarities seen7:30am
Trip 47Birding Basics7:30am

Field Trip Descriptions

Half-day trips

Trip 1 – Palmetto Peartree Preserve & Futch Game Lands

We will look among the possible seven species of woodpeckers for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. During our search we should see a good assortment of woodland and edge species. Learn more about P3 by visiting www.palmettopeartree.org. After birding here, the group will travel to the Futch Game Lands where the flooded fields and catfish ponds hold ducks as well as other water birds and shorebirds.

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour
Conditions: Vary from uneven trails to roadside surfaces. There is a service Station at Mann's Harbor; otherwise, plan on no restrooms.
Trips 2, 23 & 31 – Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary & Duck Boardwalk

Audubon Preserve is a remnant of maritime sandy forest and brush along Currituck Sound. The varied habitats and boardwalk will provide opportunity for land and water birds, and raptors are often identified as they hunt over the woodlands. Duck Town Boardwalk is a 0.4-mile gem. We will scope the sound for loons and ducks. Orange-crowned Warbler is often found along the Boardwalk as well as winter sparrows.

Approximate Travel Time: 45 minutes to Pine Island
Conditions: Vary from wet turf to gravelly trails to a boardwalk. Restroom at Duck.
Trip 3 & 24 – Alligator River NWR (Rt. 264 Corridor to Milltail Road)

The east side of ARNWR has woodland but also many wet fields. We will travel Rt. 264 as far as Stumpy Point Bay, targeting Sound waterbirds. Then the drive will go west into ARNWR to Milltail Road's boat ramp area seeking woodland species, and finishing at the fields across from the Maintenance Buildings or the trail at the Rt. 64 intersection. Uncommon birds in the area have included Golden Eagle and Rough-legged Hawk.

Approximate Travel Time: 40 minutes
Conditions: Gravel roads. Restroom options will be quite limited.
Trip 4 – Corolla Escapade (A Handicap Accessible Trip)

4 HC Accessible Trips are scheduled this weekend, and several other of our trips are partially HC Accessible. There should be space available for non-HC attendees – same great birding but with good footing. This trip will visit both public and privately owned boardwalks to the Sound at Currituck Banks Forest Trail Preserve, the OBX Center for Wildlife Education and Duck Town Boardwalk.

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour
Conditions: Boardwalks. Restrooms will be at Duck only, or a stop at a service station.
Trips 5 & 27 – Pea Island NWR Visitors Center and Southside Dike

In the morning the pond behind the PI Visitors Center is lit by the rising sun. Resting and actively feeding birds are in the best direction for viewing field ID clues. The adjacent dike affords views of North Pond and Newfield Pond, capped by a 2-story platform that also overlooks the inland waters and marsh.

Approximate Travel Time: 40 minutes to the Visitors Center
Conditions: Wide grassy trail to the viewing platform. Restroom at the Visitor's Center
Trips 6, 30 & 37 – Jennette's Pier (Nags Head) Ocean Watch. ($3 entry fee)

A scope is essential on this trip to scan the Atlantic for the winter near-shore birds and occasional pelagic species 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 scan the ocean with you as you watch the action for Loons, grebes, scoters Razorbills, Gannets, sea ducks, gulls, and hopefully a Dovekie or Shearwaters.

Approximate Travel Time: 15 minutes
Conditions: Boardwalk. Restroom in the Pier Entry Building.
Trip 7 – Waterfowl ID Workshop/Field ID

This workshop will focus on key characteristics, such as profile, foraging behaviors, and habitat. The leader will provide clues to field ID features or activity which can aid birders on all levels to describe a species. The field trip location(s) will be as determined by the leader.

Approximate Travel Time: TBD
Trips 8, 12 & 28 – Oregon Inlet and Bodie Light

It seems every winter an unexpected bird spends the season in the dunes overlooking the ocean on the south side of Oregon Inlet. The local Peregrine Falcon never reveals it's night time roost but who looks for it at those hours? 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. We'll continue on to Bodie Lighthouse Pond where we will scope for waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders from the observation platform. The boardwalk to the platform traverses marsh that is good for rails and marsh wrens. The platform is the last stop as the evening light can be spectacular on the waterfowl.

Approximate Travel Time: 30 minutes to Oregon Inlet
Conditions: Sand paths on the south side of Oregon Inlet, pavement on the north side and where a restroom is available. A restroom is also located at the Lighthouse.
Trip 9 – Nags Head Woods Preserve & Jennette's Pier Escapade (HC Accessible Trip)

The forested sandy dunes of the Nature Conservancy's Nags Head Woods Preserve are home to woodland species, some of which curtail migration for the warmer zone of the OBX. Their Handicap Accessible Trail offers opportunity for chair users, and other participants, to search for birds in mixed foraging flocks. See Trip 6 for a description of Jennette's Pier. ($3 fee to the pier)

Approximate Travel Time: 10 minutes to Nags Head Woods
Conditions: Packed trail and boardwalks. A restroom is in the Pier Access Building.
Trip 10 – Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve area & Kitty Hawk Pier ($3 Entry Fee)

Several protected woodlands at Kitty Hawk will provide opportunity for wintering land birds. A Sound view stop is planned and special permission has been acquired with the Pier at the Hilton Garden Inn at Kitty Hawk for ocean viewing. This final stop will fully and truly round out the birding opportunities. If access is unavailable at the pier due to hotel events the Regional Beach Access will be used.

Approximate Travel Time: 20 minutes
Conditions: The pier or Beach Access has a restroom.
Trip 11 & 35 – Pea Island NWR North Pond and Visitor's Center

North Pond is open to the public year-round. Simply enjoy the thousands of ducks and other water birds. Know we have a great opportunity to be a part of yet another tour to see the expected and unexpected at PINWR. A stop in the Oregon Inlet area may be included as time permits.

Approximate Travel Time: 30 minutes
Trip 13 – Roanoke Island Marshes & Wanchese Harbor and Marshes

Habitats will include woodland edges for winter land species, marsh birding and water views over the sound. We will tailor the visit based on local observations but likely start at the Roanoke Marshes Game Lands in search of species such as Marsh Wren, Seaside Sparrow, and Clapper and Virginia Rails. The impoundment should hold a few shorebirds and waterfowl. Then we will stop by the harbor in Wanchese Village and scan the surrounding water and marina, interesting for the numerous gulls and landbirds that roam about oyster piles. Just south of the harbor is a road across the marsh ending at the Sound.

Approximate Travel Time: 25 min.
Conditions: Grassy trails at the Roanoke Marshes to gravelly roads around the harbor. Use service stations for a restroom.
Trip 14 & 33 – Alligator River NWR (Buffalo “Camp” Road to Milltail Road)

Alligator River NWR holds miles of huge impoundments with THOUSANDS of ducks, and often shorebirds. The trail at the end of Buffalo Road affords opportunity for land birds easily missed with so much flooded impoundments demanding viewer attention. The Buffalo Soldiers during the civil war resided here, the source of the namesake. Not a part of the tour is an option to stay in the Refuge at dusk after the tour at the intersection of Sawyer Lake Road and Milltail Road, the place to be for Short-eared Owl, Red Wolf and Black Bear.

Approximate Travel Time: 35 minutes
Conditions: Gravel roads. Restrooms are limited. There is a waterless toilet at the entrance to ARNWR (Rt. 64 at Milltail Rd.)
Trip 15 – Hummingbird Safari

This is a unique opportunity to see and learn about wintering hummingbirds on Hatteras Island. The area is one of the first in the US to be identified as wintering habitat for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds as well as other hardy western species. Feel free to bring your camera as well as binoculars!

Approximate Travel Time: *90 minutes*. Group will meet at the Fessenden Center in Buxton and then proceed to the host locations nearby.
Conditions: Bring a chair! Group will make a couple stops where we will stand and/or sit and watch hummingbirds at feeding stations. Restrooms available at nearby NPS Visitors' Center as well as local convenience stores.
Trip 25 & 47 – Birding Basics – Field Identification

This trip is designed for those new to birding, or even less comfortable describing a sighting, but anyone can come along! Birding techniques will be discussed including how to view a bird, what are diagnostic marks, how to “pish”, the importance of habitat, how to act, and even what to wear. The leader can help you with what to look for in binoculars, scopes, and field guides. The leader will decide the destination(s).

Approximate Travel Time and conditions: TBD
Trip 26 – Duck Town Boardwalk and Kitty Hawk Pier Escapade (HC Accessible Trip),

The almost 1/2-mile boardwalk at Duck is a viewing platform for both wintering landbirds and waterbirds. It is located along a brushy shoreline and the Sound. As time permits other Sound view locations may be included. The trip also includes the great opportunity granted to CBC for ocean viewing at the Hilton Garden Inn Pier ($3 fee). Scopes are the best tool for this last stop. If the pier is closed due to an event at the hotel the nearby Regional Beach Access will be our site for ocean viewing.

Approximate Travel Time: 35 minutes to Duck
Conditions: Boardwalks. Restrooms will be at both sites.
Trip 29 – Northern Roanoke Island -Fort Raleigh Area

The northern area of Roanoke Island has several birding sites visited by the locals. Habitats range from manicured turf to woodlands and Sound viewing. If Elizabethan Gardens is used by the leader a fee is required ($8). The trip may go as far south as the Roanoke Island Marshes.

Approximate Travel Time: 25 min.
Conditions: Maintained trails vary. Restrooms will be available, either onsite or at a nearby service station.
Trip 32 – Futch Gamelands & River Road (ARNWR)

There are hundreds of acres of impoundments at the Futch Game Lands. Ducks move about the artificially flooded cells of ag lands. Shorebirds and marsh sparrows round out the impoundment birds and brushy woodland edges offer a variety of passerines. River Road can be a bonanza when rains flood the field.

Approximate Travel Time: 45 minutes to the Game Lands
Conditions: Gravelly roads and grassy paths along dikes. Plan on no facilities available.
Trip 34 – Pea Island NWR Visitor's Center and Bodie Light Boardwalk Escapade (HC Accessible)

The PI Visitors Center viewing windows and area within the parking lot offer excellent birding on North Pond, especially for ducks, with chances for Brown & White Pelicans a distinct possibility. We will then travel to the Boardwalk at Bodie Light where we will scope for waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders from the lower portion of the observation platform. The boardwalk to the platform cuts through marsh that is excellent for rails and marsh wrens. The platform is the last stop as evening light can be spectacular on the waterfowl.

Approximate Travel Time: 35 minutes to PINWR
Conditions: A restroom is available at both sites.
Trip 36 – Photo Workshop.

This is an opportunity to glean tips that will help you hone your skills in the field. It is an afternoon trip so should afford excellent light conditions. Bird with your lens and binoculars.

Approximate Travel Time: TBD
Conditions: Sites will be selected by the leader.
Trip 45 – Alligator River NWR or uncommon/rarities seen
Trip 46 – Search for Uncommon & Rarities Seen

Full-day trips

Trip 16 – Pelagic Birding Adventure.

Extensively experienced, world-renowned pelagic birder, Brian Patteson, will lead a day trip on Friday for intrepid, lifebird-seekers with a full day afloat out toward the Gulf Stream. Bring your lunch, drinks, and foul weather gear for this adventure. We will leave from a port determined by Brian just before the weekend. Note the trip is scheduled for Friday but Saturday is the rain date for this trip.

Approximate Travel Time: TBD
Conditions: Pelagic waters. Restroom onboard the vessel.
Trip 17 & 38 – A Pursuit for 100 Birds

Rules for this Full (up to 12 hours allowed) Day of Fun Birding address the scoring. Bird wherever the team decides. The scoring method requires a team to win. Teams of 4 with varying experience levels will vie for 100, or more, species in 12 hours. You do not have to be an experienced birder to join in this fun. The team gets a score of up to 4 points at the end of the day for each bird tallied. The points per bird is based on how many members saw or heard the bird. (4 points for 4 members, 3 points 3 members, but only 1 point for 2 members. If only 1 member sees a bird the team gets 0 points but the bird counts toward the species total.) The team has all day for all members to see each bird. Full rules available at registration check-in. 4 teams maximum each day.

Approximate Travel Time: Start at Host Hotel as early as 5 am. Return promptly by 5pm.
Trip 18 – Lake Pungo and Phelps. (Pocosin Lakes NWR).

Pocosin Lakes is famous for huge flocks of wintering Snow Geese lifting off at sunrise, a spectacle in itself. We will look through flocks of blackbirds with hopes of spotting a Yellow-headed Blackbird. Overhead, we'll keep an eye out for Golden Eagles as this is one of the most reliable spots in the state for these awesome birds. Other possibilities include waterfowl species, 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 in the Mattamuskeet NWR area.

Approximate Travel Time: 1.5 hours
Conditions: Roads, boardwalks and dirt paths. Restroom sites will not be available.
Trips – 19 & 41 – Hatteras Point & Hatteras Island,

A full day that just has – well – promise. We will bird 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. We will scan the ocean for alcids or other rarities. The salt pond usually hosts good populations of birds. Snow Buntings, Horned Larks and a Sprague's Pipit may be present. Your leader may plan a stop at a local woodland area or some side trips on the way back depending on what has been seen that morning at points north. Please note: Depending on the weather conditions, we may be walking the sandy beach to Hatteras Point, about two miles round trip.

Approximate Travel Time: 90 minutes
Trips 20 & 44 – Fort Raleigh to Wanchese

This is the all-day trip to discover the many hotspots on the north end of Roanoke Island and have adequate time to search the Roanoke Marshes and the marshes at Wanchese.

Approximate Travel Time: 25 min.
Conditions: Maintained trails vary. Restrooms will be available, either onsite or at a nearby service station.
Trips 21 & 43 – Pea Island NWR (North Pond to Split Pea Bridge)

As an all-day trip you will have more valuable time to scan the area habitats and increase those chances for life birds, or to study the posture and feeding habits that are guides to shorebird ID. The trip also goes south of the Visitors Center to the Newfield Platform (NOT the dike) and the Oceanview Trail for pelagic species hopefully near shore, and may possibly travel further south to the marsh area at Split Pea Bridge. A stop at Oregon Inlet will be considered dependent upon time. DO NOT WALK THE DIKE BEYOND THE NEWFIELD PLATFORM. It is a closed area.

Approximate Travel Time: 35 minutes
Conditions: Sandy road shoulders and path to the ocean, grassy trails. Restrooms at Oregon Inlet and the PINWR Visitors Center.
Trip 40 – Mattamuskeet NWR.

A birder's paradise, Mattamuskeet can be incredible. We will bird the Lake Landing area for waterfowl, shorebirds and waders, sorting through the more common species and hoping for something rare. We will also bird along the causeway, famous for its overwintering passerines and at other sections of the refuge where passerine habitat abounds. The entrance road follows the main viewing impoundment.

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Conditions: Restroom at Lake Landing and in the Refuge Visitors Center at the end of the entrance road.
Trip 42 – Habitats from North Corolla to Kitty Hawk ($3 Fee)

It takes more than a day to fully explore the area between Corolla and Kitty Hawk. However, the pace of this trip and stops will allow multiple opportunity to see landbirds and waterbirds along this coastal area. The trip starts at the Currituck Banks Coastal Forest Trail, not on previous OBX itineraries, visiting the 4000+ feet of boardwalk at Duck, the Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary, Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve and ending at the Kitty Hawk Pier. The variety of habitats boosts opportunities for many species.

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour
Conditions: Boardwalks primarily. Restrooms at Duck and the ocean viewing site. Service Stations may be nearby.