Bird Watching in Beaufort NC

Located across Taylor’s Creek from the Beaufort Hotel, you’ll discover diverse arrays of important coastal habitats at Rachel Carson Reserve including: tidal flats, salt marshes, ocean beach, soft bottom, shell bottom, dredge spoil areas, sand dunes, shrub thicket, submerged aquatic vegetation, and maritime forest.

More than 200 species of birds have been observed at the site. So be sure to bring your binoculars.

The Rachel Carson Reserve is a complex of islands which includes Carrot Island, Town Marsh, Bird Shoal, and Horse Island.

The Carrot Island-Bird Shoal complex is known as a major roosting area for waterbirds, and having a rich diversity of shorebirds. It has probably the richest diversity of intertidal shorebirds of any area in North Carolina.

At certain times of the year, Carrot Island-Bird Shoal serves as a roosting areas for thousands of birds.

You’ll see plenty of wild horses while bird watching. These horses were brought to the site by a local citizen in the 1940s and eventually became wild or “feral,” thus they are considered non-native inhabitants of the islands. Today, the Reserve is home to approximately 30 wild horses.

Drive Time
6 min.
Distance from Hotel
2.2 miles
White bird on shoreline

Locals Recommend


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Experience Beaufort North Carolina’s Attractions

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