Popular Birds of Lake Norman

Westport Marina is lucky enough to be located in the southwest section of Lake Norman. This area is ideal for a lot of things, including fishing, boat cruises, tubing and swimming. One of the greatest things about our part of the lake is the wildlife. From the deep waters to our green, vibrant shoreline, there’s plenty to enjoy.

In this week’s blog, we’ve complied a list of popular birds you should keep a lookout for. This list is far from all-inclusive, but should give you a general idea of what Lake Norman has to offer. You can even compile your own list of your favorite birds and share it in the comment section below. Be sure to bring your binoculars!

*Pictures for each bird are displayed below the description.

  • Osprey – Sometimes referred as the sea hawk, these large birds feed exclusively on fish and use sharp talons to scoop up prey from the water. Their wingspans can be over six-feet long. 

Osprey Lake Norman

  • Seagull – Don’t overlook the seagulls! They are very clever birds and even have the ability to learn, remember and pass on certain behaviors and tactics, like stamping the the ground to trick the worms into thinking it’s rain. Just don’t feed them.

Seagull Lake Norman

  • Great Blue Heron – These long legged birds are impressive fishermen but also feed off other small amphibians and mammals. They snare prey by walking slow or standing for long periods of time, waiting for an animal to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills.

Great Blue Heron Fishing

  • Turkey – You can usually spot a family of turkey strutting their stuff near the wooded shorelines of our lake. They can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour, and can run up to 15 miles per hour on the ground.

turkey lake norman

  • Cardinal – Spotting a cardinal is a sign of good luck. These beautiful red birds can be found perching on nearby trees and searching the ground for insects and seeds. They are also talented songbirds.

cardinal Lake Norman

  • Red Bellied Woodpecker – Their strikingly barred backs and gleaming red caps make them an unforgettable sight. Look for these birds hitching along branches or trucks, using their bills to peck into the bark for small insects.

woodpecker Lake norman

  • Mallard Duck – Seen commonly around the piers of Westport Marina, these ducks are strong fliers, migrating at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. A standard duck’s quack is the sound of a female. Males only make a quiet, rasping sound.

duck lake norman

  • Red-tailed Hawk – Also known as a chicken hawk, these birds of prey soar above the open water, turning in slow circles. Other times, you can see them perched on telephone poles or atop large trees, hunting for rabbits and mice.

red-tailed hawk lake norman

  • American Goldfinch – These bright yellow birds are unforgettable and can really grab your attention. They eat seeds almost exclusively and stay around the lake year round.

American goldfinch Lake Norman

  • Belted Kingfisher – With its top-heavy physique, energetic flight and piercing chirp, the belted kingfisher are great fishermen – diving to catch fish with its heavy straight bill. It is very entertaining to watch them hunt. They may be smaller than other birds of prey, but they are mighty.

Belted Kingfisher lake norman

Planning your next trip to Lake Norman? Don’t forget to stop by Westport Marina for all your boating needs. Form more information or to rent a boat, please call 704-483-5172 or email us. We’ve got everything you need for a great day out on the water – even the birds!