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Shorebirds At NC Beaches Near Carteret County Waterways, Sounds, Rivers, Estuaries, And Bays

This article will focus on the many different species of shorebirds that inhabit waterways, beaches, sounds, rivers, and marshes in NC and will focus on many areas of interest in Carteret County. However, all of these birds also inhabit waters in the Outer Banks, Pender, Brunswick, and New Hanover county areas.

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The intent of this article is to have readers interested in birding to share a specific online database where they can talk to others interested in this fascinating hobby. We are interested in seeing your pictures and hearing about specific areas of the coast where you found unique species of birds.

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Readers can use and subscribe to the discussions using the form at the bottom of this document, and we hope that you will consider sharing this article on the popular social media sites like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter so that others can learn more about shorebirds at NC beaches and about the Carteret County waters near the southern Outer Banks.

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For readers who enjoy watching waterfowl and their habitats, we will have a similar article on that topic soon.

Species We Know About

Black skimmer

American oystercatcher

Piping plover

Least tern

Western sandpiper

Royal tern

Common tern

Black-tailed godwit

Black-necked stilt

Black bellied plover


Snowy egret

Brown pelican

Tundra swan


Great egret

Red knot

Semipalmated sandpiper

Bar-tailed godwit

Franklin’s gull

American herring gull

Greater yellowlegs


Semipalmated plover

Area Waterways

Bogue Sound, Pamlico Sound, Core Sound, Back Sound, South River, North River, Newport River, Atlantic Ocean, Bogue Inlet, Neuse River, Taylors Creek (Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve), Calico Creek, White Oak River, Beaufort Inlet, and dozens of small bays, estuaries, and marshes in down east near Harkers Island, Sealevel, and Cedar Island.

Area Barrier Islands

Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve, Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Harkers Island, Cedar Island, Bogue Banks, Sugarloaf Island, and Radio Island.


If you are local to Carteret County NC and mark birding as a hobby, what advice on the waterways, estuaries, bays, and rivers from above or barrier islands can you give to someone visiting the area?

What are some good places where a boat is not needed to go bird watching locally?

What are some shorebirds in the county that we missed from our list above?

Are there any groups in the local area who meetup monthly to plan adventures to well know bird areas in the county?

As someone who considers herself or himself as a advanced birding hobbyist in NC and who is also familiar with species along the NC beaches and the islands off Carteret County, what are some recommendations for ferries or other operations that can take people to Shackleford Banks, Camp Lookout, and other more remote areas down east?

What types of digital recording, photography, or camera equipment is needed or suggested?

Are there any local guides or well known walking trails?

We know that the Rachel Carson Wildlife Reserve is accessible by boat or sailboat, but for those visiting the area and wishing to access this island via kayak or canoe, what advice can you give and which part of the reserve is best for seeing specific species of birds?

More Research

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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