White Oak River Birding Cruises begin in April

A family of egrets was seen and captured during a previous cruise. The next White Oak River Birding Cruise will be held Sunday, April 9. (Contributed photo)

The N.C. Coastal Federation is hosting its spring birding cruises on the White Oak River on Sunday, April 9, May 7 and June 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The cruises will be led by local birding expert and federation board member, JoAnne Powell. The two-hour cruises, aboard a covered ferry boat, will move through estuaries of the White Oak River and Bogue Sound and participants will identify resident and migratory shorebirds, warblers, raptors and waterfowl.

Birds are most common in and around coastal estuaries, looking for food, water and shelter. 

In addition to birds, the cruise offers views of marshes, Bogue Inlet and Bear Island. 

Participants may also see sightings of dolphins and other wildlife.

“The birding cruises are always very popular programs, and Hammocks Beach State Park offers such spectacular views of the local birds and wildlife,” said Rachel Bisesi, education coordinator for the federation.

The program fee is $20 for federation members and $25 for nonmembers. All ages are welcome, but the program is geared toward adults and older children. 

Participants will meet at the Hammocks Beach State Park Visitor Center in Swansboro at 9:45 a.m. and are asked to bring their own binoculars, as well as water and a snack and to dress appropriately for the weather. 

Visit nccoast.org/events to register, or contact Sam Bland at 252-393-8185 for more information.

The N.C. Coastal Federation is a nonprofit membership organization that works to keep the coast of North Carolina a great place to live, work and play. 

Through a variety of programs and partnerships, the federation provides for clean coastal waters and habitats, advocates to protect the coast and teaches and informs people about the coast and what they can do to protect it.

The federation has offices in Ocean, Wanchese and Wrightsville Beach.

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