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

February 12, 2008

Kid's Birdwattching
What better family activity than to grab the binoculars and head out to a national wildlife refuge to watch wildlife? For more information about national wildlife refuges in North Carolina, visit
Photo Credit: Audubon Society

On Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, avocets like these may be observed on most winter days.
Photo Credit: Ron Marchand

Great Backyard Bird Count: Count For Fun, Count For the Future!

This February 15-18th bird watchers all across North America will be participating in the 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count- what about you? If you live in a city, this popular hobby can be done from your yard, a city park, nature center, even your fire escape. Best of all, your actions truly make a difference as your count is included with thousands of others, helping science and conservation spotlight changes in bird populations and distribution from year to year. If you live in eastern North Carolina, your local national wildlife refuges are the perfect places to go and count! Get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, connect with wildlife resources, and register to record how many birds you counted on your adventure!

Last year's count was a record-breaker. Citizen scientists across the United States and Canada counted more than 11 million birds and tallied 616 species, submitting 80,000 checklists, exceeding the previous record of 61,000 checklists in 2000 by 33 percent! The Northern Cardinal was once again the most frequently spotted bird, while American Robins were the most numerous species counted. Rare birds found during the 2007 GBBC included five Lesser Prairie-Chickens in Oklahoma and two Pink-footed Geese in Rhode Island – first records for the GBBC!

Visit to learn more about last years results, view the GBBC online photo gallery, and to enter the 2008 photo contest as well. Up and coming film directors, please upload your video to YouTube and tag it "Great Backyard Bird Count." Some of the best clips will also be posted on the Bird Count site.