Brown pelican

A brown pelican, like this one, can be seen on one of the N.C. Coastal Federation’s White Oak River birding cruises. (Sam Bland photo)

The N.C. Coastal Federation is hosting its spring birding cruises on the White Oak River on three Sundays, April 15, May 20 and June 10, from 10 a.m. to noon each day.

The cruises will go through Hammocks Beach State Park and 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 dolphins and other wildlife.

Rachel Bisesi, coastal education coordinator for the federation, said the birding cruises are always a popular program.

“Hammocks Beach State Park offers such spectacular views of local birds and wildlife,” she said. “JoAnne Powell does a fabulous job teaching the group about the sights they see, and her commitment to teach others about our beautiful coast has been a positive reflection on the federation and the work that we do.”

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, a snack and appropriate dress.

For more information or to register, visit the website or contact Sam Bland at 252-393-8185.

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