5 of the Best Places to Watch the Birds of the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a wildlife wonderland for birdwatchers. Discover a variety of coastal birds when you explore some of our nature parks and gardens. Before you grab your binoculars in search of the unique birds of the Outer Banks, take a peek at our complimentary Vacation Guide. It includes all the best things to do, places to dine, and sights to see on the Outer Banks to make your vacation a memorable one.

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Where to Discover the Birds of the Outer Banks

Take advantage of a sunny day on the Outer Banks and surround yourself with beautiful North Carolina greenery. The OBX region is a popular spot for both birds and birdwatchers. The best way to spot birds is to follow the North Carolina Birding Trail, which spans across the entire state, and has several locations on OBX. Follow this guide to help you scout for unique animals!

1. Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Climb to the top of the highest sand dune on the East Coast for a unique view of migrating raptors and wintering waterfowls. Jockey’s Ridge State Park has a unique habitat that’s hot and dry, so you’ll see plants and animals you don’t see regularly! 

2. Elizabethan Gardens

Explore 10.5  acres of oak forest and lush gardens at the Elizabethan Gardens. You’ll discover nearly 200 species of unique birds while walking the trails. Most of the trails are also wheelchair accessible. 

Come in the spring and fall to see a larger variety of migratory birds, including several types of warblers. You’ll hear them singing as you make your way through the garden. If you visit during the winter months, be on the lookout for ruby-throated hummingbirds. They usually make an appearance if the weather doesn’t get too cold.

3. Roanoke Island Marsh Game Land 

Search for a tundra swan or a glossy ibis when you birdwatch at the Roanoke Island Marsh Game Land. Walk a short, looped trail where you’ll see a 40-acre waterfowl impoundment and marsh. You’ll also spot a variety of shorebirds when you visit during periods of low water levels in the wintertime.

4. Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Bodie Island

Spot a black-necked stilt on Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Bodie Island. Then, see shorebirds when you take the quarter-mile trail that stems from the visitors center and ends at a freshwater pond. You can also travel the Bodie Island Dike Trail which is just short of a mile long. Schedule your trip in the spring and fall to see the migrating birds, such as the black-bellied plover or whimbrel.

5. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a birder’s paradise that includes more than 5,000 acres of beach dunes, marshes, and ponds. The refuge is a nesting and wintering habitat for birds such as brown pelicans and snowy egrets. You’ll also see thousands of snow geese residing in the refuge impoundments when the weather is cooler.

Stay at a Paramount Destinations Vacation Rental

After your bird watching excursion on the Outer Banks, make your way back to a luxury vacation rental. Complete your birders getaway when you stay in our Egret Alley vacation home in Corolla. This sunshine-colored home is in the Currituck Club, surrounded by natural scenery and wildlife. Relax on the patio and keep an eye out for herons, deer, and egrets. 

The Currituck Club offers amazing community features, including a pool, trolley service to the beach, fitness center, tennis courts, golf course, and more! What are you waiting for? Check our availability and book your dream vacation today!