The diversity of birdlife on the island makes it a "birder's paradise". It is a wintering ground for tundra swans, Canada geese and over 25 species of ducks. In the summer, herons, egrets and ducks make their home here. During Spring and Fall, many migratory birds stop in for a quick visit to Ocracoke.
Around 4:00 p.m. when the charter boats return from a long day's fishing expedition, islanders and visitors alike line up at the docks to view the days catch, such as tuna, wahoo and dolphin. The boats also land billfish such as blue and white marlin and sailfish, but release most as a conservation measure. Look for the white and blue flags on the boats.
Sailing the waters off Ocracoke may make you decide to leave it all behind and and move here permanently! You can play with a school of dolphin or just let the wind billow the cobwebs out of your mind. Charters are available at several locations along the harbor and cost around $10 - $15 per person.
A dock or pier is a good place to catch Blue Crabs, but anywhere along the shore will do. Tie a fish head or raw chicken leg to a piece of string and let it go in the water. Sit quietly while the crabs gather, then scoop them in a dipnet and place them in a bucket. Nets can be purchased at many island shops. Steam crabs until they turn red. Meat is sweet and tender.
Kayak around Ocracoke on an eco tour or follow Blackbeard's trails. Take a trip to Portsmouth Island by kayak and paddle with the dolphins along the way. Tour the creeks of the island with experienced guides. Kayak tours are available at several locations on the island. Rates vary but average around $35 per person. Group rates are available. A fun-filled day or just an hour.
Coastal Living Magazine has named Ocracoke as #2 of the best US shelling beaches. The Scotch Bonnet can be found on a semi-regular basis, and is the NC state shell. Expected finds can be welks, helmet conchs, olive shells, etc.. Sand dollars are also great find and regularly wash up.