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The ocean waters off the North Carolina coast harbor birds rarely seen elsewhere in the state. Seabirds thrive in the offshore waters of the outer continental shelf and Gulf Stream. An area off Cape Hatteras, where the cool waters from the Labrador Current and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream meet forms one of the richest and most important areas for pelagic birds in the western Atlantic. Productive inshore ocean waters provide important foraging areas for a great variety of birds during all months of the year, including pelicans, loons, terns, and gulls. In winter, Northern Gannets are common, and one can often observe their spectacular plunges into the sea close to shore. Cape Point in Cape Hatteras National Seashore is an excellent location where one can observe both pelagic birds and other species typical of inshore ocean waters.
Download the Coastal Region from the 2011 eBook