1
Apr
2018

360 Degree Bird Sanctuary Experience Opens for North Carolina Nesting Season, Thanks to The Orton Foundation

Audubon North Carolina Releases Behind-the-Scenes 360 Video of Nesting Bird Colonies on the Lower Cape Fear River

WILMINGTON, NC (XX DATE) – As nesting season approaches, Audubon North Carolina is readying to manage eight sanctuary islands in Brunswick County and New Hanover County, benefitting over 50,000 birds and thousands more chicks. To help keep these sanctuary islands free from human disturbance, Audubon North Carolina is bringing nesting birds and visitors together virtually by releasing a series of interactive 360-degree videos.

The 360 videos allow the public to experience the amazing sights and sounds at Audubon North Carolina’s bird sanctuaries without exposing birds and their chicks to human disturbance during nesting season. On North Pelican Island, viewers sit just feet away from a colony of nesting Brown Pelicans. On South Pelican Island, Royal and Sandwich Terns fly by within inches of the camera’s lens. On Battery Island, White Ibis chicks begging for food sound out like cicadas on a summer night.

“Island sanctuaries for birds on the Lower Cape Fear River are essential for successful nesting and migration,” said Curtis Smalling, director of conservation for Audubon North Carolina. “The long-term impact of habitat that remains free from human disturbance is higher productivity rates for birds (more chicks each year), stable to growing islands, healthier fisheries and improved water quality for local communities.”

Thanks to renewed funding from The Orton Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon, Audubon North Carolina biologists will leverage two decades’ worth of monitoring data to identify land management practices most successful at protecting and increasing nesting pairs and populations on these three sanctuary islands, and five more along the Lower Cape Fear River. Birds like the American Oystercatcher, Great Egret, Brown Pelican, Royal and Sandwich Tern, and more will be impacted by this work.

“We applaud Audubon North Carolina’s commitment to the beautiful nesting birds of the iconic Cape Fear River and are thrilled about the opportunity visitors will have to learn more about these essential sanctuaries while keeping a safe distance,” said Ann Colley, executive director and vice president of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliates. “Audubon North Carolina’s sanctuary management will benefit wildlife, the river, and coastal tourism and recreation.”

Citizens are invited to explore the islands via three 360-degree videos that can be viewed on Audubon North Carolina’s YouTube channel:

Local residents can also watch these videos to get tips to safely watch birds all summer long:

About Audubon North Carolina
With over a century of conservation history in North Carolina, Audubon strives to conserve and restore the habitats we share with all wildlife, focusing on the needs of birds. Audubon North Carolina achieves its mission through a blend of science-based research and conservation, education and outreach, and advocacy. Audubon North Carolina has offices in Corolla, Boone, Wilmington and Chapel Hill. Learn more at nc.audubon.org and @audubon nc.

About Louis Bacon and The Orton Foundation
Louis Bacon is a conservation philanthropist who has spent more than two decades supporting efforts to protect natural resources in the United States and abroad. Mr. Bacon is the Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliate foundations including North Carolina affiliate The Orton Foundation.

The Orton Foundation focuses on protecting the Cape Fear River Basin’s unique wetlands, lands, forest and wildlife habitats. The Orton Foundation also supports educational, health services and community programs in the region.