Gull Island is a remote, natural island in Pamlico Sound. It was previously the site of the Gull Island hunting club. The clubhouse burned in the early 1990s and was not reconstructed. The island is primarily marsh with small areas of shrub thicket. For at least three decades, this island has been a haven for nesting colonial waterbirds of many species, including terns, gulls, wading birds, and pelicans. Records of birds on this island date back to T. Gilbert Pearson?s surveys, conducted in the early 1900s, of birds along the North Carolina coast.

Ornithological Summary

The site has supported nesting colonial waterbirds for many years. Presently 8 species and approximately 4378 nesting pairs of wading birds, gulls, terns, and pelicans (Criteria 4f). The island supports one of the state's largest colonies of laughing gulls.

Conservation Issues

Erosion, disturbance to nesting waterbirds.

The island is remote and not easily accessible, so human disturbance to nesting waterbirds is a minor concern. The primary concern is erosion.


The island is protected and owned by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The island is posted and is entirely off limits to visitors during the nesting season, from April 1 to August 31.


Low saltmarsh, high saltmarsh, shrubland.

Land Use

Hunting, wildlife conservation.

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