Pea Island

Birds

brochure Pea Island - Birds

Birds at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

BIRDS of the OUTER BANKS Nearly 400 species of birds have been sighted within Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This impressive number is due to several factors, which include: the rich diversity of habitats; the fact that the ocean off the Banks is biologically rich, in part because of the mixing of subtropical waters from the south with the temperate waters from the mid-Atlantic; and the limited extent of land, which tends to concentrate vagrants. In spite of its rich potential, the Banks is actually underbirded. In fact, sometimes a visiting birder discovers a species that has never been recorded in this area before. The area covered by this list includes all of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, from Nags Head south to Ocracoke village, to include Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Also included is the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island. Note that the bar-graph statuses provided in this list are based on the sites where species are easiest to find. For instance, the statuses given for most waterfowl species are based on their abundances at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Some resident landbird species that are easy to find at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site are much harder to find further south on the Banks, e.g. Brown-headed Nuthatch. WHEN and WHERE Birding is always exciting on the Outer Banks though the greatest variety of species occurs during spring and fall migrations. For those seeking out migratory shorebirds, the various inlet tidal flats, the ponds at Pea Island and Bodie Island, and the salt pond at Cape Hatteras Point offer the greatest concentrations. However, the ponds at Pea Island and Bodie Island offer the greatest variety, and typically the best chance of seeing one of the rarer species. Landbird migration in fall can be excellent, but typically only after strong cold fronts. The best areas to look for these migrants is along the dikes at Pea Island; the northern tip of Pea Island, near the Oregon Inlet bridge; and at Fort Raleigh, especially in and around the Elizabethan Gardens and along the section of the hiking trail that ends at Croatan Sound. In winter, ocean-watching is generally best from Cape Hatteras northward. Occasionally in winter, especially in severe weather, Cape Hatteras Point may be almost blanketed with gulls, providing the opportunity to see several of the rarer species. Often in late May, impressive numbers of pelagic birds—storm-petrels, shearwaters, jaegers—may be seen in northward migration passing just off the tip of Cape Hatteras Point. Even if you visit the Outer Banks during a slower period, don’t forget that exciting birds can turn up any time. J F M AM J J A S O N D ABUNDANCE DESIGNATIONS GREBES __ __ __ __ COMMON: Certain to be found in proper habitat FAIRLY COMMON: Will usually be found UNCOMMON: Present, but will often be missed OCCASIONAL: May require several visits to find * Pied-billed Grebe Horned Grebe Red-necked Grebe Eared Grebe •••••••• •••**** __ __ __ __ VERY RARE TO ACCIDENTAL: Found less often than five times a decade. See separate list at end of checklist ••••*** • • •• * •* *• * •• ••** Cory's Shearwater Great Shearwater Sooty Shearwater Manx Shearwater __ Audubon's Shearwater J F M AM J J A S O N D GEESE & DUCKS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Snow Goose (Light Morph) "Blue Goose" Ross's Goose Brant Canada Goose Mute Swan Tundra Swan Wood Duck Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon American Black Duck Mallard Blue-winged Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal "Common Teal" Canvasback Redhead Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup King Eider Common Eider Harlequin Duck Surf Scoter White-winged Scoter Black Scoter Long-tailed Duck Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Common Merganser Red-breasted Merganser Ruddy Duck ***** •••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••• ••*********** ••••••• *********** • ••****** •• • **••• •••• •••••••••••••• ••••••• ••** •• •••** •• •• • **** ******* ••• ••• •**** • • • ••• •••• •••• •• ********** ******* ••••••••••••****** ***•••••• *********** ****** •******* •• • •• •••************•• •••••* ••• ••* *• •• ••• • ********** ***** •••*********•••• •••******* *•• GALLINACEOUS BIRDS __ Northern Bobwhite LOONS __ Red-throated Loon __ Common Loon STORM-PETRELS * __ Wilson's Storm-Petrel __ Leach's Storm-Petrel •••••••************•• • •• ••****** *•• ••••••••••••• J F M AM J J A S O N D PELICANS & ALLIES __ __ __ __ __ __ American Bittern Least Bittern Great Blue Heron Great Egret Snowy Egret Little Blue Heron Tricolored Heron Reddish Egret Cattle Egret Green Heron Black-crowned Night-Heron Yellow-crowned Night-Heron ••• •••**** ••••••**********•••••• •••••••••**********************• Osprey Swallow-tailed Kite Mississippi Kite Bald Eagle Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper's Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Broad-winged Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk *•• __ __ __ __ Yellow Rail Black Rail Clapper Rail King Rail __ __ __ __ Virginia Rail Sora Common Moorhen American Coot ************ ••••••••••••• ************ ••••••••••• • • •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••• Black-bellied Plover American Golden-Plover Wilson's Plover Semipalmated Plover *************•••••••••••**** ••*** ***••• •••• OYSTERCATCHERS __ American Oystercatcher AVOCETS & STILTS ••**********••• ********* __ Black-necked Stilt SANDPIPERS **•• ********•• ******••••••••*** ••* ••••••• •• ******•• ••••••****** *******•• ••• **** ***••••••***** *•••** * •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••• •• ** ••••••••••** ***••• ** • •** •**• *•• • • • •••••**** * __ American Avocet __ Turkey Vulture __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ *• __ Piping Plover __ Killdeer VULTURES HAWKS & EAGLES •••** ••••** ••••••** RAILS & ALLIES __ __ __ __ IBISES __ White Ibis __ Glossy Ibis __ American Kestrel __ Merlin __ Peregrine Falcon __ __ __ __ Spotted Sandpiper Solitary Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Willet __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Lesser Yellowlegs Upland Sandpiper Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Hudsonian Godwit Marbled Godwit Ruddy Turnstone Red Knot Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Least Sandpiper White-rumped Sandpiper Baird's Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper Dunlin Curlew Sandpiper Stilt Sandpiper Buff-breasted Sandpiper J F M AM J J A S O N D SANDPIPERS (cont'd.) PLOVERS *••••********** •••**********•••• Magnificent Frigatebird Northern Gannet Double-crested Cormorant Great Cormorant American White Pelican Brown Pelican BITTERNS & HERONS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ***•• ***** ***••••••• **••••••** •••••••*** SHEARWATERS RARE: Not recorded every year J F M AM J J A S O N D FALCONS **** ******* *••••••••* •••**** •••• **********• ******************************** •** *•• ••••••••••••• ••••• ••••• •••• ••* • ***•• • •** **• ••* ****••••••••** •* *•• ••* * ••** *•• ••••••••••••• *** **••••••******* •* *•• * * *••••••••* •• **** ••••*******************•••• __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Ruff Short-billed Dowitcher Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson's Snipe American Woodcock Wilson's Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Red Phalarope ******** ************ •* •• •* ***••• ••••*********************••••• ••*** **** *•• **•••* ****••******** ****************** ****************** Black-legged Kittiwake Bonaparte's Gull Black-headed Gull Little Gull Laughing Gull Ring-billed Gull California Gull Herring Gull Thayer's Gull Iceland Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Glaucous Gull Great Black-backed Gull Sooty Tern Least Tern Gull-billed Tern Caspian Tern Black Tern Roseate Tern Common Tern Forster's Tern Royal Tern Sandwich Tern SKIMMERS __ Black Skimmer ••••••******** *************** •••** *••• •••••• •••**** **•••••• ****•••••• ******** ****** South Polar Skua Pomarine Jaeger Parasitic Jaeger Long-tailed Jaeger J F M AM J J A S O N D __ Ruby-throated Hummingbird __ Rufous Hummingbird WOODPECKERS • ** ••*********••••••• ••************•• ••*********••••••• ••* ****•• *** ****** ****• __ __ __ __ Eastern Wood-Pewee Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Acadian Flycatcher Alder/ Willow Flycatcher ****************** __ Mourning Dove •••• •••••••• •* • ********** __ __ __ __ Least Flycatcher Eastern Phoebe Great Crested Flycatcher Western Kingbird __ __ __ __ White-eyed Vireo Yellow-throated Vireo Blue-headed Vireo Warbling Vireo •••**** J F M AM J J A S O N D ••••••••• • •••••••• ** • • **• **** ••••** •• *** *** *** ••** ******•••••••**** •• ****** ********* ********************* ••••••••• __ Philadelphia Vireo __ Red-eyed Vireo **** •• ********* __ Eastern Kingbird __ Gray Kingbird __ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher __ Rock Pigeon __ Black-billed Cuckoo •••••••• FLYCATCHERS •• ********* ••••••••••*** • ******** ••••••••••• ************ Red-headed Woodpecker Red-bellied Woodpecker Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker __ Hairy Woodpecker __ Northern Flicker __ Pileated Woodpecker •* •••••••• •• __ Belted Kingfisher __ __ __ __ __ Yellow-billed Cuckoo J F M AM J J A S O N D HUMMINGBIRDS ****•• **•••••••••••••••••** ••** • • ••** ••• •• ••** **•• ••••• •••*************** ••••** *• •••••••• •• ********** •• • __ Chimney Swift KINGFISHER DOVES __ Eurasian Collared-Dove __ White-winged Dove • SWIFTS ****• ****• •••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••******* ••••••• ******** __ Eastern Whip-poor-will VIREOS __ Razorbill •••••••••••• ******** __ Common Nighthawk •••••••••• ••••••••••**** ALCIDS __ Dovekie ************************************************ NIGHTJARS ****• CUCKOOS ******* Barn Owl Eastern Screech-Owl Great Horned Owl Short-eared Owl Northern Saw-whet Owl ••••••**** JAEGERS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Chuck-will's-widow GULLS & TERNS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ J F M AM J J A S O N D OWLS •• •• **** *•••• •••••••••• JAYS & CROWS __ Blue Jay __ American Crow __ Fish Crow LARKS __ Horned Lark ****** ** J F M AM J J A S O N D J F M AM J J A S O N D SWALLOWS __ __ __ __ *• Purple Martin Tree Swallow N. Rough-winged Swallow Bank Swallow __ Cliff Swallow __ Cave Swallow __ Barn Swallow ••** ••• • •••••• ••••* ••• •••• ••** ••••••**** *• *• •* •••* TITMICE __ Carolina Chickadee __ Tufted Titmouse **** NUTHATCHES ********** •••*** __ Red-breasted Nuthatch __ Brown-headed Nuthatch CREEPERS *•• • •• __ Brown Creeper WRENS __ __ __ __ __ Carolina Wren House Wren Winter Wren Sedge Wren Marsh Wren ••••** • • ***• **•• THRUSHES & ALLIES __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet Eastern Bluebird Veery Gray-cheeked Thrush Swainson's Thrush Hermit Thrush Wood Thrush American Robin ** •••******** •• • • • • • • •• • __ Gray Catbird __ Northern Mockingbird __ Brown Thrasher STARLINGS __ European Starling __ American Pipit ••••••••••****** WAXWINGS • •• •••••••••••••• __ Cedar Waxwing LONGSPUR & SNOW BUNTING __ Lapland Longspur __ Snow Bunting __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Blue-winged Warbler Golden-winged Warbler Tennessee Warbler Orange-crowned Warbler Nashville Warbler Northern Parula Yellow Warbler Chestnut-sided Warbler Magnolia Warbler Cape May Warbler Black-throated Blue Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Green Warbler Blackburnian Warbler Yellow-throated Warbler Pine Warbler Prairie Warbler Palm Warbler Bay-breasted Warbler Blackpoll Warbler Black-and-white Warbler American Redstart Prothonotary Warbler Worm-eating Warbler Ovenbird Northern Waterthrush Kentucky Warbler Connecticut Warbler Mourning Warbler Common Yellowthroat Hooded Warbler Wilson's Warbler Canada Warbler Yellow-breasted Chat *•••* **** *********** ••* ***••• • •* * *******••• ••** • •***** •* •••••• • • *• • • • ** • • •••• •* • • • ••• ••• • •••••••••*** ••••••••• ••••*******• •••••• • •••• ** • * ••••••****** • *••••• • •• *** • *** ************** •• •******* ••* •••••• •••••••••• ••••• •• •• ***** *** *** ••••••• • •• ****** ••••••******** SPARROWS & ALLIES MIMICS PIPITS J F M AM J J A S O N D WARBLERS ********* ••••••** *•••••**** *•••••••• J F M AM J J A S O N D __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Eastern Towhee Chipping Sparrow Clay-colored Sparrow Field Sparrow Vesper Sparrow Lark Sparrow Savannah Sparrow "Ipswich Sparrow" Grasshopper Sparrow Nelson's Sparrow Saltmarsh Sparrow Seaside Sparrow Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln's Sparrow Swamp Sparrow White-throated Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco • •••• *••••••** •••••••••••••• • ••••••••••• •••* •••* •••*** *•••••••**** *• ••••••••• ******** • • •••• ********** ••••••••••••••* • ••* ** ***** *• • • ••••••• • J F M AM J J A S O N D J F M AM J J A S O N D TANAGERS • __ Summer Tanager __ Scarlet Tanager •••••••••••••••••• ••** • •* CARDINALS & ALLIES __ __ __ __ __ __ Northern Cardinal Rose-breasted Grosbeak Blue Grosbeak Indigo Bunting Painted Bunting Dickcissel •• • • •••••••••••••*** •• •• ***•••••• ***••••••*** BLACKBIRDS & ORIOLES __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Bobolink Red-winged Blackbird Eastern Meadowlark Yellow-headed Blackbird Rusty Blackbird Common Grackle Boat-tailed Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird Orchard Oriole Baltimore Oriole • • • •* ************ *••••••**** ** • ** • • •••****** FINCHES __ __ __ __ Purple Finch House Finch Pine Siskin American Goldfinch •••• ••••••** ***************** ••••••• **•••••••• *********** •• OLD WORLD SPARROWS __ House Sparrow J F M AM J J A S O N D FIELD NOTES VERY RARE /ACCIDENTAL SPECIES Date: Fulvous Whistling-Duck White-winged Tern Greater White-fronted Goose Arctic Tern Cackling Goose Great Skua Cinnamon Teal Common Murre Garganey Thick-billed Murre Ring-necked Pheasant Common Ground-Dove Pacific Loon Snowy Owl Western Grebe Burrowing Owl Clark's Grebe Antillean Nighthawk Yellow-nosed Albatross Olive-sided Flycatcher Northern Fulmar Say's Phoebe Black-capped Petrel Vermilion Flycatcher White-faced Storm-Petrel Ash-throated Flycatcher Band-rumped Storm-Petrel Tropical Kingbird White-tailed Tropicbird Fork-tailed Flycatcher Red-billed Tropicbird Loggerhead Shrike Wood Stork Northern Shrike Masked Booby White-breasted Nuthatch Brown Booby Bewick’s Wren Anhinga Northern Wheatear “Great White Heron” Revised By: Sage Thrasher White-faced Ibis Sprague’s Pipit Ricky Davis October 2010 Roseate Spoonbill Black Vulture Black-throated Gray Warbler Cover Design & Calligraphy Courtesy of: Northern Goshawk Townsend’s Warbler Patricia J. Moore Swainson’s Hawk Cerulean Warbler Golden Eagle Swainson’s Warbler Purple Gallinule Louisiana Waterthrush Sandhill Crane American Tree Sparrow Snowy Plover Lark Bunting Spotted Redshank Leconte’s Sparrow “Eurasian Whimbrel” Harris's Sparrow Black-tailed Godwit Western Tanager Bar-tailed Godwit Western Meadowlark Little Stint Brewer’s Blackbird Sabine’s Gull Shiny Cowbird Franklin’s Gull Red Crossbill Common (Mew) Gull White-winged Crossbill Yellow-legged Gull Common Redpoll Bridled Tern Evening Grosbeak Observers: “Cayenne Tern” Location: Please report unusual sightings at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center or at the Hatteras Island Ranger Station. Compiled By: John Fussell, III 2002 Leaflets Courtesy of: Eastern National & Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society Please Visit Our Websites At: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge http://peaisland.fws.gov Cape Hatteras National Seashore http://www.nps.gov/caha

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