Lookit all of these birds
Why do thousands of swans and geese choose to spend their winters in eastern North Carolina? Here's why.
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One of the benefits of working for Our State magazine is this: Sometimes a bunch of phenomenal pictures come in, and you get to figure out what to do with them.
A while back, the photographer Chris Hannant went out to the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in far eastern North Carolina. He came back with some phenomenal still images and a lot of video of tundra swans, snow geese, and more. You can see literally thousands of birds flying across the sky.
In short: whoa.
I wondered, exactly, why those birds picked that particular spot to congregate. After all, the further south you go, the warmer it gets, and there are plenty of other places that could accommodate them. But when I called up outdoorsman Tom Earnhardt (no relation to Dale), he replied that Pocosin Lakes have everything a bird needs for a perfect winter vacation. We talked via Zoom, and I edited together this short video that explains the whole thing:
I know I can be quite verbose. But in this case, the video speaks for itself.
It’s been a bit since I’ve made something like this, so let me know what you think. As for the birds, they’re getting ready to get out of there and head back north to Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and even Russia. So until they come back, at least you’ll have this to tide you over.
Also, here is a GIF. Use it indescriminately:
h/t James Mieczkowski
I, Jeremy Markovich, am a journalist, writer, and producer based outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. If you liked this, you might like Away Message, my podcast about North Carolina’s hard-to-find people, places, and things. Season 4 was all about the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Author avatar by Rich Barrett.
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Wow, pretty interesting that there are so many birds in one place. I enjoyed watching the video!