Birding and Bird Watching

Set Sail on a Cape Fear Cruise with Audubon!

Before They Fly Away, Buy Your Birding Tickets Today

Sponsored by the Cape Fear Garden Club to benefit the work of Audubon North Carolina, “Bird Islands of the Lower Cape Fear Cruise” is scheduled for Sunday, May 21, 2017. All profits from the cruise are given to Audubon NC in addition to a grant from the Cape Fear Garden Club that allows us to host this event each year. One of Audubon NC’s most popular events, this cruise fills up fast!

We are pleased to have aboard three experts to share their knowledge and experience with us. The cruise and viewing will be narrated by Dr. James Parnell, Professor Emeritus of UNCW and North Carolina’s top ornithologist. Walker Golder, National Audubon Society’s Director of Eastern Flyway Coasts (which includes the NC program and programs in eight Atlantic Coast states), is to speak as well. Lindsay Addison, Audubon North Carolina’s Coastal Biologist, will also discuss her work monitoring the nesting colonies on the specific bird islands we will be viewing.

The open deck on the upper level and covered viewing on the lower level includes tables and seating for all ticket holders. Restrooms are located on the lowest level of the ship. The Cape Fear Garden Club will have bottled water and snacks available for a small fee, but picnic lunches are welcome.

We suggest that attendees dress for the weather as it is generally cooler on the water. Sunscreen and/or hats are recommended. We have been fortunate to have reasonably good weather for the past 20 years, and while very light rain is not an obstacle, high winds are. Winner Boats make the determination if it is safe to cruise that day. We do not schedule a rain date. The ticket price is non-refundable and will be considered a tax-deductible donation to Audubon North Carolina if for some reason the cruise has to be canceled.

On behalf of the Cape Fear Garden Club and Audubon North Carolina, we invite you to join us on the Bird Islands of the Lower Cape Fear Cruise! We look forward to sharing the natural beauty of the Cape Fear River, the wonders of bird migration and the unique and important nesting colonies in our area with the community.

We will cruise aboard the Royal Winner Princess II departing from the Carolina Beach Marina located at 100 Carl Winner Avenue, Carolina Beach, NC 28428. Boarding will begin at 1:30 PM and the cruise ship will depart at 2 PM. Anticipated return time is 6:30 PM.  Parking is available for a fee in public lots located by the Carolina Beach Marina.

The exact timing of the cruise is determined by the anticipated time of “high tide” to enable the boat to get near enough to the islands to get a close-up view of the nesting birds. All viewing is from the ship and binoculars are encouraged. 

Tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for children ages 12 and under. To buy tickets, contact us at, or through the Wild Bird & Garden stores located in Wilmington and Southport. 


Cape Fear River Nesting Update

Cape Fear River Nesting Update

Many islands dot the Cape Fear River, but just about eight or nine islands host nesting birds. These nesting islands provide a variety of habits from open sand to shrub and tree thickets.

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