Bird watching

Bird Watching Tours on Battery Island

Battery Island is located just across the Cape Fear River from downtown Southport and is home to a huge population of birds. The annual population is between 10,000 to 15,000 nesting birds and is of great importance to the white ibis especially. Oyster catchers, Willits, clapper rails, seaside sparrows and marsh hens are some other bird species the Island hosts. Learn more on one of our Bird Watching Tours of Battery Island.

How did Battery Island come to be?

The little Island in front of Southport is the result of dredging operations done to increase the depth of the shipping channel in the Cape Fear river. When they dig the sand from the river bottom they have to put it somewhere and they decided to put it on a sandbar that had already formed there naturally. Over the years the Island has gained much vegetation and grown in mass to become what it is today.

Why Is it such a good place for birds?

There are many features of Battery Island that make it a birds paradise. Probably the most important is the fact that there are no natural predators on the Island. The Cape Fear river has a very swift current sometime exceeding 6 knots which is almost 7 miles per hour. The fox and hound cannot swim these long distances in strong current and do not reach the Island. Vegetation also plays an important role in keeping the birds happy. The are many trees and shrubs densely packed on the Island to give refuge to any tired bird.

How many birds are on the Island?

Thanks to the Audubon society we have an idea of the current bird populations on the Island and what exact species it holds. Here is the data

Species Population:
White Ibis (B) – 15, 463 prs
Great Egret (B) – 231 prs
Tricolored Heron (B) – 251 prs
Little Blue Heron (B) – 217 prs
Black-crowned Night-heron (B) – 43 prs
Other wading birds (B) – 65 prs
American Oystercatcher (B) – 10 prs

All info on the Audubon Society website http://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/battery-island

Southport Boat Rentals will take you there!

Here at Southport Boat Rentals we want to help you see the Island and offer boat tours around the Island. Our Bird Watching Tours are a great experience. We do this to educate and for your birding pleasure. Contact us for details.