The call of the wildlife


State refuges offer buffet of wildlife, natural resources

By Barbara Shook - [email protected]



Even the muskrat finds a home in the wildlife refuge.


An abundance of coots are found in the marshes. Although they look like ducks, they are members of the rail family.


The striking Northern Shoveler is recognized by his long, spoon-shaped bill and unique coloring.


Tundra swans can be seen in the late afternoon coming in from the lakes to farmland where food is bountiful.


Tundra swans are also found swimming in the waters of Lake Mattamuskeet.


Each fall approximately 70 thousand tundra swans migrate to northeastern North Carolina and find food in the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes in Hyde and Washington Counties.


The familiar Canada geese glide gracefully on Lake Mattamuskeet.


Located in northeastern North Carolina, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge are extensive networks of open water, marsh, timber and cropland that provide habitat for a great number of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, as well as a photographer’s paradise.

During the late fall and winter months, migratory birds, especially tundra swans, find their way to the the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes where the agricultural fields provide winter nourishment. This crop management is the result of an agreement between the Wildlife Service and local farmers.

Lake Mattamuskeet, the largest natural lake in North Carolina, is a shallow 40,000 acre lake that also provides a haven for wildlife. There are many wetland areas that can be easily accessed by car to get very close to all types of migratory birds and resident wildlife.

Although the area is rather remote, it is certainly worth the trip to relax, look for unusual wildlife, and make an extensive number of photographs.

Barbara Shook works with The Sampson Independent, is president of the Shutterbugs Photography Club and has taken all three Sampson Community College photography classes.

State refuges offer buffet of wildlife, natural resources

By Barbara Shook

[email protected]

Even the muskrat finds a home in the wildlife refuge.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0704.jpgEven the muskrat finds a home in the wildlife refuge.

An abundance of coots are found in the marshes. Although they look like ducks, they are members of the rail family.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0711.jpgAn abundance of coots are found in the marshes. Although they look like ducks, they are members of the rail family.

The striking Northern Shoveler is recognized by his long, spoon-shaped bill and unique coloring.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0748.jpgThe striking Northern Shoveler is recognized by his long, spoon-shaped bill and unique coloring.

http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0612.jpg

Tundra swans can be seen in the late afternoon coming in from the lakes to farmland where food is bountiful.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0639.jpgTundra swans can be seen in the late afternoon coming in from the lakes to farmland where food is bountiful.

Tundra swans are also found swimming in the waters of Lake Mattamuskeet.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0778.jpgTundra swans are also found swimming in the waters of Lake Mattamuskeet.

Each fall approximately 70 thousand tundra swans migrate to northeastern North Carolina and find food in the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes in Hyde and Washington Counties.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0799.jpgEach fall approximately 70 thousand tundra swans migrate to northeastern North Carolina and find food in the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes in Hyde and Washington Counties.

The familiar Canada geese glide gracefully on Lake Mattamuskeet.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DSC_0737.jpgThe familiar Canada geese glide gracefully on Lake Mattamuskeet.

Barbara Shook works with The Sampson Independent, is president of the Shutterbugs Photography Club and has taken all three Sampson Community College photography classes.

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