A woman with a braid in her hair looking through binoculars at a scrubby landscape

The refuge is a birding hotspot, with excellent habitat for field and forest birds. In winter, the farm fields support thousands of wintering waterfowl, including elegant tundra swans. The field habitats are also home to species such as the declining northern bobwhite quail, northern harriers, indigo bunting, and blue grosbeaks. During spring and fall, the forest edges can host migrant warblers and other songbirds. In summer, breeding species abound in the pocosin forests, including prothonotary, prairie, and worm-eating warblers, and uncommonly Swainson’s warblers. If you’re lucky, you may see a barred owl perched quietly in a cypress! Refuge marshes are home to elusive king and Virginia rails—more frequently heard than seen. Stop on Milltail Road by the maintenance shed on Milltail Road (0.5mi south of Creef Cut parking area) and see breeding purple martins using the “apartment complex.” Visitors can view recent bird sightings on eBird.