2013 Wrightsville Beach Chick Party

Another entry in Abby’s Birdbrained Summer.  Abby, the summer communication intern for the Coast Office of Audubon North Carolina, is visiting sites with Audubon’s field staff and our community of volunteers. After she goes into the field, she’ll post blogs detailing her experiences.

Last weekend, Audubon North Carolina celebrated its volunteers and a successful breeding season for shorebirds on the south end of Wrightsville Beach. Wrightsville Beach Bird Stewards, Sea Turtle Volunteers, and curious passers-by all gathered to watch the chicks and the full moon.   People with spotting scopes and binoculars lined the beach. High tides as a result of recent rainfall and the super moon had recently washed out some eggs, but chicks were still in abundance. A little girl stood on tip-toes to look through a spotting scope at a Black Skimmer chick, and called to her mom, “It’s so furry!”

People gathered for the Chick Party. By Abby Chiaramonte

Walking to the bird posting, I was amazed to wade through water up to my knees in an area of beach that is normally one hundred feet from the tide line. Stewards Kathy Hannah and Garold Carlisle arrived early to build a trench that diverted the rising high tide from a particularly vulnerable area of the posting. Their effort was successful, so the high tide did not dampen anyone’s spirits.

The tide crept towards the posting. By Abby Chiaramonte

“I think we are absolutely key to the success of the colony,” Garold said of the Wrightsville Beach Bird Stewards. “We’re also vital to educating the public. I’m convinced most people who walk on the beach have no idea that there are birds behind the barrier, and if they do, they think they’re gulls.”

Volunteer coordinator Marlene Eader has certainly facilitated the success of the colony and the steward program; she has recruited over 40 active volunteers to support the shorebirds and share knowledge with the community. The chicks will start fledging soon, so be sure to get out to the posting!

Your donations and volunteer hours are crucial to Audubon North Carolina. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, contact Marlene at or click here to donate. Every contribution helps!

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