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Your Guide to the Birds of the North Carolina Crystal Coast

The North Carolina Crystal Coast is a beautiful area to watch for a vibrant array of birds. Spinnaker’s Reach offers a stunning selection of vacation rentals in Emerald Isle, NC, so that travelers from near and far can enjoy the unique splendor of Crystal Coast’s Bogue Banks. Please read our guide below to learn more about the birdwatching opportunities in store during your stay.

4 Spots To Watch Birds on the North Carolina Crystal Coast

Shackleford Banks  

For over 400 years, wild horses have roamed the beaches of this island and are under the protection of Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses. Beyond the wild horses, Shackleford Banks is also a popular place to watch for North Carolina Crystal Coast birds. Some of our favorite birds you can find include:

  • Piping Plover: This is one of the rarest birds you can find in North Carolina and is on the U.S. endangered species list. They are also experts at camouflage. 
  • American Oystercatchers: These North Carolina birds can open up oysters and clams. Occasionally the shellfish will fight back by clamping down on the bird’s bill. 

Fort Macon State Park 

This North Carolina State Park features a pre-Civil War fort and over 300 species of birds. There are daily tours, extensive exhibits, swimming beaches, and trails that feature salt marsh and dune fields. Here are some of our favorite birds you can see at this North Carolina treasure: 

  • Painted Bunting: Watch for these colorful and vibrant beauties during the summer breeding season. 
  • Black-Crowned Night Herons: True to their name, nighttime is the best time to spot these North Carolina birds. 

Emerald Isle Woods Park 

This lovely 41-acre park features nature trails, a picnic pavilion, a pier, four grills, a disc golf course, and a NC Birding Trail site. This is the perfect park to enjoy a dreamy picnic and birdwatching. Here are some of the birds of North Carolina you can catch a glimpse of at this spot:

  • White Ibis: These stunning coastal birds stand out with white bodies and pink legs.
  • Clapper Rail: These incredible North Carolina Crystal Coast birds have salt glands that allow them to drink seawater.

Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area

Located near the North Carolina Aquarium is the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Trail, one of the best spots to see a wide variety of North Carolina birds. Take a stroll through the unspoiled natural beauty of this 265-acre nature preserve. Below are some of our favorite bird species you could find: 

  • Great Egret: These stunning birds are the symbol of the National Audubon Society. This is one of the oldest United States environmental organizations. 
  • Black-Throated Green Warbler: These songbirds have a distinctive tune. Some say it sounds like “trees, trees, I love trees.” 

Book your stay today with Spinnaker’s Reach to glimpse the lovely North Carolina birds!