Outer Banks Birding

With the beach’s alternating marsh-beach environments and array of nature preserves, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for birding. Outer Banks birding can be enjoyed as you tour Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island Sanctuary and Center, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head Woods Preserve, Kitty Hawk Woods, Buxton Woods, Springer’s Point and other Outer Banks nature reserves and trails. As you explore these parks and preserves, you’ll get to see a diverse population of birds interacting in their natural habitat. Another way to experience Outer Banks birding is to do so from the water. Some charter fishing boats offer alternative trips that can help you and your crew find birds you have a better chance of seeing on the water as opposed to on land. In July and August on Roanoke Island at the old Manns Harbor bridge, you can witness one of the Seven Wonders of the Outer Banks when thousands upon thousands of purple martins take flight in one huge swoosh at sunrise then return in the same way at sunset. It’s a sight you’ll never forget. Whether you want to spend the day searching for native species of birds or prefer to spot one of two while doing other activities, check out the listings below to see where will help you add that 100th specie of bird to your birding journal.


Outer Banks Things To Do by Area

Corolla | Duck & Southern Shores | Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head
Roanoke Island & Manteo | Hatteras Island | Ocracoke Island

Outer Banks Things To Do by Category

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Outer Banks Birding
Milltail Road, off U.S. Highway 64, Manteo
(252) 473-1131

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion of Dare and Hyde counties. It was established in 1984 to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type, the pocosin, and its associated wildlife species. Pocosin is a Native American word meaning ‘‘swamp-on-a-hill’’ and is characterized by poorly drained soils high in organic material. The refuge's diversity of habitat... read more

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion... read more

Elizabethan Gardens

Outer Banks Birding
1411 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64) next to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
(252) 473-3234

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English colonists, The Elizabethan Gardens is a rare treasure and a beloved Outer Banks attraction. It’s a haven of verdant, flourishing growth and natural prosperity. The gardens are in bloom year round with azaleas, dogwoods, roses, camellias, daphne, a variety of annuals and herbs and much more. Adding exquisite touches are... read more

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English... read more