Nature Viewing & Photography

Group of white ibis in a tree
White ibis in a tree

National Park Service

Natural beauty abounds at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Birds migrate through, taking advantage of the coastal ecosystems. The night skies of Cape Hatteras are some of the darkest skies east of the Mississippi River, making star-gazing a wonder to behold, while the sunrises and sunsets are artistic displays of color. Ocracoke Island, the southern island in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, is home to a herd of banker ponies. Different wildflowers signal changes in the seasons.
Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

National Park Service

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a wonderful place to look for birds. Over 400 species have been spotted in and around the seashore, though the number and types of birds viewable here changes with the season, as well as the habitat you visit. Refer to the checklist to see when certain species are around, or where you might find them.
Night Sky
Some of the darkest night skies in the United States of America east of the Mississippi River are found here, making this an ideal spot for gazing at stars. You can view celestial wonders just about anywhere in the seashore, as well as during any time of year. During the summer and fall, there are full moon climbs offered at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for a chance to look at the night sky from a different perspective.
Two Ocracoke ponies
Ocracoke Ponies

National Park Service

Ocracoke Ponies
Ocracoke Island is home to a herd of ponies that you can view from two viewing decks found at the Pony Pen & Parking Lot. The Ocracoke ponies have a long and storied history that extends to today's care of them.

Last updated: June 24, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 473-2111

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