85 Photos - Apr 24, 2010
Photo: Photo: The wild horses are protected by NC law and Town of Beaufort ordinance.

Feeding, touching, teasing or intentionally disturbing wildlife, including horse, is dangerous and illegal.

If you observe someone disturbing wildlife, take a photo and call 252-838-0886; after hours 252-726-1911.Photo: 1733 Moseley Map noted "Carrot I," most likely named due to its shape. See: Dredge-spoil Islands - Town Marsh and Carrot Island: http://beaufortartist.blogspot.com/2010/08/dredging-created-islands.htmlPhoto: Observing Canadian Geese in a small freshwater habitat at Carrot Island. Photo by Bill Meserve.Photo: View of Beaufort from Town Marsh. (There are two separate islands along Taylor's Creek. Town Marsh is composed mostly of dredge spoil and is across from the downtown area. Carrot Island is a few miles east, begins at Carrot Island Lane and extends to the east end where Taylor's Creek meets North River Channel.)Photo: As showcased in this aerial, the Rachel Carson Reserve encompasses many habitat types.Photo: RCR is only accessible by private boat, passenger ferry or kayak. Pictured here is a Rachel Carson public field trip.Photo: Brochure - WATER ACCESS AND OVERLOOK LOCATIONS: http://beaufortnc.org/sites/default/files/beaufort/Planning/Water%20access%20brochure_0.pdfPhoto: Pelicans on Bird ShoalPhoto: Great Egret Chicks - Middle MarshPhoto: MarshPhoto: Horses are that too used to interacting closely with people become "habituated." Habituated horses or other wildlife lose in the end.Photo: Egret and Heron Rookery - Middle Marshes - Off limits.Photo: Watch the wild horses from no closer than 50 feet away (about the length of a large bus).

Use binoculars. Getting too close disturbs their natural activities which can affect their health.

Back up if they approach. Horses have the right-of-way.Photo: Atlantic Bottlenose DolphinsPhoto: Ghost CrabPhoto: IbisPhoto: Great EgretPhoto: Mating Horseshoe CrabsPhoto: Rock ShrimpPhoto: Terrapin HatchlingPhoto: Oystercatcher NestPhoto: Sand DollarPhoto: Fiddler CrabsPhoto: Saltmarsh CordgrassPhoto: Saltmarsh CordgrassPhoto: RCR is home to more than 200 species of birds. 23 species are considered rare. The shrub thicket of Middle Marsh supports an egret and heron rookery.Photo: Photo: In addition to feral horse, the river otter, gray fox, raccoon and marsh rabbit inhabit the islands.Photo: Manatee sometimes seen in Taylor's CreekPhoto: Yaupon HollyPhoto: Photo: ALL ABOUT the horses of Rachel Carson Reserve: http://beaufortsbest.blogspot.com/2013/03/blog-post.htmlPhoto: Photo: Bonaparte's Gull in winter plumage - 29 March near Rachel Carson ReservePhoto: Sandhill Cranes - Photo by RCR volunteer Stan Rule.Photo: Piping Plover - Bird Shoal if one of 5 island that comprise the Rachel Carson Reserve; it is federally designate as a critical habitat for overwintering of Piping Plovers. Photo by Randy Newman, Ft. Macon State Park.Photo: Fiddler CrabsPhoto: Banded American Oystercatcher at Deep CreekPhoto: During the colder months, Yellow-rumped Warblers are easily found in the shrub-scrub habitat at the Rachel Carson Reserve. This photo taken at Town Marsh.Photo: Common LoonPhoto: Seaside/seashore Little Bluestem or Coastal Bluestem (Schizachyrium Littorale) - The caterpillar of the significantly rare Crystal Skipper Butterfly lays its eggs on the leaves. They hatch and fly twice per year.Photo: Yaupon HollyPhoto: Flock of Marbled Godwits, American Oystercatchers, Willets and Yellow Legs during the Christmas Bird Count at Carrot Island.Photo: An army of Fiddler Crabs on a mud flat at Town Marsh.Photo: Clapper Rail nest at Middle Marshes - Rachel Carson ReservePhoto: To get a close-up and safe view when observing or photographing these wild horses, without interrupting their natural behavior, use binoculars and a telephoto lensPhoto: This banded Wilson' Plover was found and photographed on Bird Shoal by volunteer Stan Rule. The bands are being reported to the proper authority. Wilson's Plovers nest on Bird Shoal in the spring (this one May 2012) -so please be careful where you step and keep your canine friends leashed.Photo: While on a reserve trail, if you must have a pet with you, keep your pet on a leash. Control protects both pets and wildlife.Photo: Sea Pink or Marsh Pink (Sabatia Stellaris) grows just above the marsh and is found at the Rachel Carson Reserve. It is commonly found in the upper part of NC marshes, but is threatened and/or endangered in some New England states.Photo: Double-crested Cormorant. Photo by volunteer Meg Luther.Photo: Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins in Taylor's CreekPhoto: Red Fox on Town Marsh by volunteer Meg LutherPhoto: Great Egret ChicksPhoto: Members of one social group or "harem;" by volunteer Robin Newton.Photo: Long lines, mats, or "windrows" of the algae sargassum can be found floating offshore. The windrows serve as fish nursery habitat. These mats often wash through inlets and onto beaches. This photo was taken at Bird Shoal, looking west toward Radio Island.Photo: This is the view you can enjoy from the Carrot Island Boardwalk. There you can view tidal creeks, spartina marsh, North River Channel, Middle Marshes and Shackelford Banks. The boardwalk can be reached by boat. It is directly across from the boat access on the east end of Front Street. Also an excellent place for birding and learning through interpretive signs.Photo: Gaillardia, fire wheel or blanket flower is a native wildflower and is a habitat for insects.Photo: May 9, 2012 photo - Rachel Carson site manager and a volunteer were there collecting data for a long-term horse activity budget study. When compared to past data, these studies provide information about herd health and environmental resources.Photo: Black Skimmers and Terns on shoals - south side of Horse Island, south of Carrot IslandPhoto: Whelk with egg case - Photo by RCR volunteer Capt. Paul Dunn.Photo: Marsh Gerardia (Agalinis Maritima) is relatively uncommon; it can be found in the upper marsh where it is somewhat drier.Photo: There are two species of fox that inhabit the Rachel Carson Reserve - the native gray fox and the red fox, introduced to North America several hundred years ago. An easy way to distinguish between the two is to observe the tip of the tail. If it's white, you are looking at a red fox. The fox featured here is a gray fox. Photo by Reserve volunteer Robin Newton.Photo: These feral horses are from the same "harem." Left to right: Sugarfoot (lead stallion), Trilobite (subordinate stallion) and Beth (female) in the background.Photo: Moon Snail - These marine gastropods feed by drilling beveled holes into clams or shellfish.Photo: Wild morning gloryPhoto: This Peregrine Falcon was photographed November 2012 at Bird Shoal by volunteer Robin Newton.Photo: View from the Town Marsh inner loop nature trail. The trailhead is located directly across Taylor's Creek from the Maritime Museum Watercraft Center. Follow the markers with the green tops for inner loop - blue tops for the outer loop. Cross over to Bird Shoal from the southeast edge of the trail. There is also another access point located a few miles east - the Carrot Island boardwalk. Call the site manager with any questions 252-838-0886.Photo: Dunlin - Photo by volunteer Stan RulePhoto: Bottlenose dolphins "Moe (pictured here) and "Buddy" were spotted in the waters around the reserve 15 Dec 2012. These dolphins are identified by the scars, nicks and notches on their dorsal fins. This photo was taken with a high-powered zoom lens. Always give dolphins their space! Learn more about this pair and others: http://www.capelookoutstudies.org/the-boys-are-back-in-town/Photo: Pelicans on Treasure Island (south side of Carrot Island)Photo: Salt-tolerant succulent "Salicornia" or glasswort is found in the salt flat habitat or in the upper marsh of an estuary. It turns red in the fall and winter. When spring arrives and new green leaves emerge, try eating a piece! It's delicious!Photo: During the spring and summer, wild horses are competing for mates; dangerous situations can arise when horses are fighting or mating. Please observe these natural behaviors from afar to give the horses their space while maintaining your safety. Remember never to walk between horses, especially a mare and her foal. This photo was taken with a telephoto lens.Photo: There are a few sections of mature maritime forest on Carrot Island; this photo was taken at the far east end.Photo: This banded American Oystercatcher was sighted on the south side of Carrot Island. The color of the band indicates it was tagged at Cape Lookout National Seashore. Reporting tags to the proper authority can help scientists track migration and dispersal patterns, thus helping inform conservation decisions. To learn more about the American Oystercatcher and how to report tags, please visit: http://amoywg.org/Photo: American OystercatcherPhoto: Buckeye Butterfly on dredge spoil - Rachel Carson ReservePhoto: The gender of a Fiddler Crab can easily be determined by examining the size of its claws. One big claw indicates the crab is male. Females have two small claws. Photo on Town Marsh across from downtown Beaufort.Photo: Flock of birds at Bulkhead Shoal - the western end of Bird ShoalPhoto: The best way to protect the local island horses is by keeping your distance and letting them carry out their natural wild behaviors. If a horse approaches you, be very still and let it pass. This photo was taken with a zoom lens.Photo: There are currently 33 horses on the reserve - including one foal born August 2012. There are seven social groups and two bachelors. (updated February 2013) MORE ON THE FERAL HORSE: http://beaufortartist.blogspot.com/2012/02/beaufort-horses-interview-source.htmlPhoto: Snowy Egrets often forage in and around oyster beds. Small fish can easily be caught in the calmness and superb habitat of an oyster bed. Photo by RCR volunteer Stan Rule.Photo: Photo: Enjoy and watch them from afar...Photo: