If you missed the National Geographic Channel series, “Great Migrations,” you missed a wonderful natural history documentary. In the series Nat Geo shows some of the more amazing migrations that occur around the globe. As is to be expected, the photography is wonderful and the narration filled with fascinating information bout the forces that drive these epic migrations. Though no featured in the series, North Carolina serves as a major stopping point for a major migration every year.
Every fall hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and coastal birds arrive in North Carolina for the winter. Probably the most apparent and will known of these migratory visitors are the Tundra Swans and Snow Geese that flock to the Outer Banks every year. There is, of course, a wide number of other waterfowl species that calls North Carolina home for the winter months. Perhaps not so well known are the various shore birds that spend time in the Carolinas. Some use our region for their breeding grounds. Others leave their breeding grounds on the tundra far, far north of here to winter in the area. Still more just pass through while moving from their summer to winter homes.
The best known areas for viewing and photographing migratory birds in North Carolina are Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, the Pungo Unit of the Poccosin Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Below are a few images from a recent visit to those areas.