Bird watching is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors, and North Carolina provides wonderful opportunities to see a variety of species, from charming backyard birds like the Carolina Chickadee and Northern Cardinal to mountain migrants like the Golden-winged Warbler and coastal species like the Brown Pelican. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about 50 million Americans are bird watchers, and bird watching contributed about $36 billion to the economy in 2006. If you want to join a group of friendly birders, consider joining an Audubon Chapter.

One reason bird watching is so popular is that birds are everywhere, and anyone can find and observe them. Their beautiful plumage, varied and intricate behavior, and seasonal migrations make birds fascinating to study. To get started with bird watching, all you need to do is look out your window. To learn more, such as how to use a field guide, select binoculars and identify birds, visit How to Begin Birding and explore the links below.

North Carolina Bird List – What species might you see in North Carolina? There have been 473 species recorded in the state, and this list will show you which ones you might encounter.

North Carolina Birding Trail – Not sure where to go to watch birds? The North Carolina Birding Trail is a network of 311 sites divided by region—mountain, piedmont and coastal plain—for which directions, species and other information is provided.

Carolina Bird Club – The Carolina Bird Club organizes field trips, publishes The Chat, a quarterly journal for ornithology in the Carolinas, and maintains a listserv for bird sightings.

eBird –eBird allows birdwatchers to report their sightings online to scientists who will use the data to study bird distribution, movements and abundance trends. It’s also a great place to electronically store your bird lists.

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