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Home > Blog > December 2015 > Winter Birding on Bald Head Island

Winter Birding on Bald Head Island

Posted on Monday, December 14, 2015

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Winter may offer a chilly setting on Bald Head Island, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or just want to experience some of the natural beauties of the island, birding Bald Head can be a memorable experience for the whole family. There are many species of birds that inhabit Bald Head Island and though ground birds might be scarce, others enjoy the cooler weather and make for exciting hiking and photo opportunities. 

As the principal mode of transportation is bicycle and golf cart, it’s easy to rent either for a fun trip around parts of the island for birding. Sure, in the winter months it’s a bit chilly, so bundle up and get ready to explore! 

The beautiful landscape and forested areas of Bald Head Island are carefully preserved, so the natural environment is ideal for great sightings. Some common birds include Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black and White Warblers, Towhees, Common Eiders, Jaegers, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Black Skimmers, Common Gallinules, and a wide variety of ducks. According to the BHI Conversancy website 244 different species have been documented. 

There are many ways to enjoy birding on Bald Head Island. Check out the BHI Conservancy for dates and times for birding excursions. Join the Bald Head Island Conservancy staff for a 2-hour birding tour of the island. You’ll get to see some of the local wildlife and birds unique to the coastal Carolina shores. These tours include binoculars and cost $20 per person for BHI Conservancy Friend Members and non-members, $15 per person for BHI Conservancy Partners, Sponsors, and Patron Members, and is free for BHI Conservancy Life Members. To register, visit the BHI Conversancy website or call (910) 457-0089.

Ferry rides are also a great way to catch a few birds on camera and the Bald Head Island Golf Club also is said to be quite the birder-friendly course as well.

The surrounding areas of Bald Head Island provide great resources for birders and tourists to find out more about North Carolina’s birds. Check out some of these links to find out more information about tours, bird species, conservation, and bird preserves. 

National Audubon Society

BHI Conservancy

Bird Island Reserve

Whether you are an experienced birder, or want to get into the hobby, there are a few things to take with you when heading out on a birding excursion in the cooler months.

  •        Tripod – Great for setting up a static spot to quietly catch bird activity and get steady, clear photos. 
  •        Waterproof shoes –Some of the terrain can get wet and muddy. Keep your feet dry with appropriate footwear. 
  •        Coat, scarf, rain poncho, and hat – Keep warm, dry, and be ready for any type of weather. 
  •        Gloves/hand warmers – Avoid frigid fingers, have some gloves ready. 
  •        Portable charging unit for phones – If you use your phone for photos, don’t let a dead battery ruin the fun. Bring extra batteries and charging cables for cameras. 
  •        Bald Head Island map – Use a map app or get a physical copy from local area organizations.