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Hello Friends!

We are in full holiday swing now. Thanksgiving is next week, and then, before you know it, its gift giving time! Fortunately, we have gorgeous gifts available in the shop. Simple and sweet seasonal gifts like flour-sack towels, tree ornaments, and mugs are in every corner of the store, as well as all our classic gifting favorites like bird feeders and houses!We are running a couple of specials right now (details below) to help you maximize your holiday spirit. We hope to see you in the store this week!

Below you will find another excellent trip summary from our recent trip to Fort Fisher by our friend Wayne Hoffman, a new bird outing, and our current specials.

Keep in mind that we offer curbside pickup. If you prefer not to go into the store in person, just give us a call and order on the phone. We will bring it out to your car for you! No contact, safe, and helpful!

Thank you for joining us in this space!

Happy birding!




Make your own sale!

Now through Sunday November 20th, get 20% off any single (1) in-stock item!

*This special excludes optics and Brome Squirrel Busters

Senior Days!

Seniors (those folks who are 65+) can get 10% off their purchases on Mondays in November.

*This special excludes optics and only includes in stock items

Upcoming Classes & Outings

Birding at North Wrightsville Beach 

Wednesday January 25 | 8:00-11:00 am

Registration is $55 per person

Join Jill and Evan on a birding trip to the north end of Wrightsville Beach. This is an important area for shorebirds to rest and refuel. Because of this, visitors can get great looks of flocks of Black Skimmers, Short-billed Dowitchers, mixed-flocks of gulls, and peeps, among others! 100% proceeds will go to the Cape Fear Bird Observatory, a local 501(c)(3) organization working to do long-term research on the birds that depend on the greater Cape Fear Region.

Fort Fisher Bird Trip Report

by Wayne Hoffman

On Oct. 27, Jill Peleuses and Wayne Hoffman led the Wild Bird and Garden’s “Birding at Fort Fisher” morning walk.  [Full Disclosure: the accompanying photos were taken by Wayne at Fort Fisher, but not on the field trip day.] Fort Fisher is a great birding area as well as an important historical site. Its location on the narrow peninsula separating the Cape Fear River estuary from the Atlantic was critical in protecting blockade runners bringing in weapons and supplies to the Confederacy. The same topography concentrates fall migrant birds, who often pause migration to wait for favorable weather before crossing the river.

The trip participants met at 8:30 at the public boat ramp – the end of the road. The sky was overcast, with a fresh northerly breeze – a little chilly but it kept away the mosquitoes! This area has the open expanse of the Cape Fear estuary to the west, the shallow open water of “The Basin” just to the south, extensive saltmarshes dominated by Spartina grass, and a small area of upland, dominated by Battery Buchanan, the southernmost earthwork of the Confederate fort. As we gathered, a sparrow flew over the adjacent marsh and sat up briefly in a clump of taller reeds, long enough to be seen by a few of us and identified as a Saltmarsh Sparrow.

The tide was quite high and still rising as we began by walking to the boat ramp itself. A group of 5 adult Little Blue Herons flew directly over us, and the marsh just east of the ramp hosted several Snowy Egrets, 2 Tricolored Herons, 2 Great Egrets, and several White Ibis. The ramp and the small rock jetty protecting it held a Ruddy Turnstone and several Short-billed Dowitchers. Also present were Laughing Gulls, a Royal Tern, one adult and 4 juvenile Herring Gulls and several very demonstrative Boat-tailed Grackles. A large flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds circled briefly overhead, presenting an identification challenge.

We then walked over to the paved walkway that leads out across the marsh to the low rock work protecting the Basin. The tide was very high and continuing to rise, so we did not venture far into the marsh. A group of about 15 American Oystercatchers were roosting on the walkway further out, giving good scope views. Several flocks of Brown Pelicans, totaling over 50 birds, flew past.

Next, on top of Battery Buchanan, we got a panoramic view of the marsh and estuary. A large container ship pushed big wakes towards the riverbanks, and we watched the ferry approach from Southport. A flock of about 15 Willets flew back and forth past the rock jetty by the boat ramp, but then flew over and joined the Oystercatcher flock on the walkway. Looking west, Jill noticed a bunch of birds on the beach of Ferryslip Island, a small dredge spoil island on the east side of the navigation channel. Her spotting scope showed that the island beach was covered with a dense flock of hundreds of Brown Pelicans.

Next we relocated to the Fort Fisher Historic Museum for a restroom break and for a stroll around the fortifications.  The path we took circles the main earthworks of the fort. A juvenile female Cooper’s Hawk flew over, displaying a distended crop, a sure indicator of a successful breakfast hunt.  The stockade wall found good use as a raised perch for Eastern Bluebirds, an Eastern Phoebe, and several Palm Warblers. The stand of mature Live Oaks on our right held a few Carolina Chickadees, some Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a couple Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Two Caspian Terns flew over, alerting us with their distinctive squawks.  A Northern Harrier hunted over the marsh to the north, unfortunately too far away for good looks.

After circling the earthworks we crossed over to the ocean side, and walked up to the gazebo, but it unfortunately was closed for repairs. We stood in its lee for a bit and watched pelicans, gulls, and terns diving into the choppy ocean. More bluebirds and another Red-bellied Woodpecker perched in the oaks along the park road. We adjourned about 11:15 a bit windblown but pleased with the morning. 

Cape Fear Bird Observatory

Our friends over at the Cape Fear Bird Observatory are finishing up their fall migration bird banding earlier this month. Check out the link below to learn more about their work with birds and the community and ways to support that work.

CFBO website

Wild Bird & Garden

3501 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 - 910-343-6001


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