North Carolina
Birding on the Outer Banks: Coastal Forests & Island Sanctuaries
Add to your birding list as you learn about and identify rare birds alongside experts, visit Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and explore the pristine beauty of the Outer Banks.
Rating (5)
Program No. 14083RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Discover areas of the Outer Banks that the National Audubon Society call “essential strongholds of avian abundance and diversity.” Waterfowl, waders, songbirds and shorebirds from over 200 species — 23 of which are rare — call the sandy barrier islands, marshes and forests home. Explore rare habitats of pocosin and maritime forests as our ornithology experts help you locate and identify ospreys, terns, herons, oystercatchers, plovers, geese and more.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walks up to two miles over varied terrain, some wet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Journey by boat to Bird Shoal, the sandy, uninhabited barrier island and best place to see the rare species of plovers skirting the waves.
  • Explore the last remnants of rare maritime southern pine forests and the shrubby, bog-like pocosins habitats with birding forays with our ornithology experts.
  • Learn more about the birds of prey with a demonstration from a raptor rehabilitator.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: The unique experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a single room to yourself for only $100 more (for many programs). All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
Featured Expert
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John Fussell
John Fussell is a North Carolina native who has seen 423 species of in his home state. Starting his first bird list in 1962, John earned his bachelor’s and master’s from North Carolina State in zoology and botany, with his primary interests being the birds and plants of the pine savanna habitats. He has written two books, “Birding in Carteret County” and “A Birder's Guide to the North Carolina Coast.”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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John Fussell
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Becca Knudson
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Suggested Reading List
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