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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 24, 2016
PHOTO CAPTION: Thousands of majestic Tundra Swans spend their winters at Lake Mattamuskeet in eastern North Carolina.
Bird Tours at Lake Mattamuskeet

LAKE MATTAMUSKEET, N.C.––The Swan Days Festival returns to Lake Mattamuskeet on Saturday, December 10, 2016. This event is a celebration of the annual return of the Tundra Swans and other migratory birds to Lake Mattamuskeet, providing fun for the entire family. The event is jointly sponsored by Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, the Greater Hyde County Chamber of Commerce, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Guided tours will begin early on Saturday, December 10, to view thousands of migratory birds.
            Advance reservations are required for the bird tours. The Refuge staff will begin taking reservations on November 14, at 8:00 a.m. Space is limited on the tours, so it is essential that everyone who would like to participate call the refuge at 252-926-4021 to reserve a seat. According to Pete Campbell, manager of Mattamuskeet Refuge, the tours are so popular that all seats are usually reserved before the end of the first day so he stresses the importance of calling onNovember 14. Campbell explained that the tours will take visitors into gated areas that are usually closed to the public. This will include diked impoundments where the refuge grows crops to provide winter habitat for the migratory birds.
            Lake Mattamuskeet is the largest natural lake in North Carolina, and the winter home for thousands of migratory birds. These include Tundra Swans, Snow Geese, Canada Geese, and more than twenty species of ducks. There are also large numbers of wading birds, including the Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and two species of Ibis. According to Dr. Lewis Forrest, executive director of the nonprofit Mattamuskeet Foundation, it is always exciting to see a Bald Eagle during a refuge tour. Mattamuskeet Refuge has more than two hundred species of birds and is a favorite place for birders, photographers, and sportsmen.
            The festival will also include educational programs for all ages, exhibits, a photography workshop, and food vendors, set up adjacent to historic Mattamuskeet Lodge, which was originally the pumping plant for America’s most famous pump-supported land reclamation project. Among the educational programs will be an update on the restoration of historic Mattamuskeet Lodge by Mark Williard, architect for the lodge restoration project. Marco Gibbs of Hyde County will speak on the Native American History of Lake Mattamuskeet and Hyde County and Dr. Forrest will present a program on the history of Lake Mattamuskeet and Mattamuskeet Lodge.
            For more information about the festival, contact Mattamuskeet Refuge at 252-926-4021 or by email at <>. Additional information is also available at <> and on the festival’s Facebook page.