November 07, 2022
By Chelsea Reed
The Outer Banks is a fantastic place to visit for people and birds alike! Over 400 bird species visit the Ribbon of Sand as they migrate the Atlantic Flyway. That’s why fall and winter are spectacular times for birdwatching. Can you spot these feathered beauties the next time you’re outside?
Thanks to conservation efforts, Great Blue Herons are common today. They’re the largest heron species in North America and are visible in the Outer Banks all year. Great Blues are a good start for novice watchers. The acrylic painting “I’m Mr. Blue” by Jackie Zagon shows off the bird’s bold color and tall size.
Warblers often migrate through the Outer Banks, but they’re tougher to watch. You are fortunate if you see a Yellow Rump Warbler in the wild. It’s much easier, of course, to see a painted version in person! “Yellow Rump Warbler in Red Bud Tree” is a beautiful oil painting on ivorine by Beverly Abbott.
Not to be confused with the Eurasian Teal Duck, the Green-Winged Teal Duck frequents the Outer Banks marshes in the fall and winter. “Pea Island Visitors” by Beth Parcell Is an oil painting that accurately depicts these striking ducks in their seasonal habitat.
Tundra Swans are one of only two native North American species. The Outer Banks is one of the few destinations where they gather for the winter. These graceful “snowbirds” have a bugle-like call and favor sound side marshes. They look a lot like the oil painting “Sparkles” by David Starbuck.
Common Loons are winter residents in the Outer Banks. While other birds prefer the sound, loons are natural ocean swimmers. Bird watchers delight in the Common Loon’s striking head bobbing up and down above the ocean. This watercolor painting “River’s Calm (Common Loon)” by Rebecca Latham shows us a detailed close-up view.
Believe it or not, the Bald Eagle is a full-time Northeastern North Carolina resident. While Bald Eagles prefer living in the inland forests, they do occasionally fly to the Outer Banks to fish. Be sure to savor the moment if you see this majestic national bird. “Freedom’s Solace” by Bonnie Latham is a gorgeous watercolor of this United States icon.
Only the most fortunate bird watchers are graced with the presence of a Harlequin Duck in the Outer Banks. While these ducks are more common further north, they’re a rare winter visitor for our humble Southern coastline. “Harlequins II” by David Hunter is an accurate etching of these colorful birds.
If watching painted birds is more your cup of tea, Seaside Art Gallery has plenty more feathered friends waiting for you. Come see the rest of the flock right here on this website. Or, you can say hello to the staff at Seaside Art Gallery any time you like!
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes winning content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina. She might not be building sandcastles or swashbuckling with pirates these days, but the Outer Banks beaches continue to keep her young at heart.
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