N E Y S By Colleen Thompson
Each year birds make an epic journey, flying thousands of miles across open ocean, leaving behind the
cold weather of the Arctic and heading to different wintering spots around the world, including south-eastern
North Carolina. They’ve been making these long flights for centuries, but recent research and
monitoring by coastal biologists and organizations like the Audubon Society show how these journeys
are affected by hurricanes and storm surges, and just how human activity is disrupting them.
Birders should avoid flushing flocks, like these black skimmers at New Topsail Inlet, NC, although they are pretty in
flight. NC Audubon Coastal Biologist Lindsay Addison says birds need to save their energy for their long migrations
and to survive cold winter nights.