Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

Back to News Home Page

News Release

September 15, 2008

The BIG SIT on October 12: A Tailgate Party for Birders on Two Local National Wildlife Refuges!

Every year, there is a competitive bird watching extravaganza that is both national and international in scale. The name of the event is the Big Sit, in which folks at each location count and identify bird species from sunrise to sunset from a “circle”. All tallies are recorded, and rankings are posted for “Top Spots” by number and “Top States” by cumulative number. View 2007 results and see the plans for 2008 at

This year, the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society will be hosting two Big Sits: one at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the other at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Both sites were part of the Big Sit extravaganza last year, with Pea Island placing 5th in the nation, identifying 95 species of birds. The Big Sit at Alligator River identified an impressive 45 species.

This year’s Big Sit is set for Sunday 12 October. The site at Pea Island is the platform at the North Pond (coordinator is Jeff Lewis), while the site at Alligator River is the intersection of Milltail Creek and Sawyer Lake Road (coordinators are Bucket Taylor and Jay Ross).

If you are interested in a fun birding outing in the fall, this is your invitation. Please contact either Jeff ( or Bucket ( Or call the Refuge Volunteer Coordinator Abbey Reibel at 252-987-1118 or cell- 252-475-4190 to learn more about involvement in the 2008 event.

Volunteers are welcomed at any time, but we would like for you to let us know in advance so we can make sure we have coverage all day.

Photo credits: Bucket Taylor

Black Bear
On the Alligator River BIG SIT, birds aren't the only wildlife seen! This bear wandered right by the viewing platform during the 2007 BIG SIT!

Big Sit Sunrise at Alligator River NWR
This is the way we brought in the day on the 2007 BIG SIT on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge!

Flatbed Truck
The Refuge provides a portable platform (a flatbed truck!) to give a good vantage point for the BIG SIT participants.