Unique Wildlife & Animals In The Outer Banks

If you get excited at the thought of being surrounded by animals, the Outer Banks will become your new favorite vacation spot. The Outer Banks is home to a large variety of unique wildlife.   Some of the most popular animals you will run into are listed below!

Sea Turtles

Five different kinds of sea turtles nest on Outer Banks beaches: leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, loggerhead, and green turtles. You can most often see sea turtles during the summer months between May 1st and October 31st.


Everyone’s favorite Outer Banks animal is the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. In order to spot dolphins head to the nearest shore, you’ll look for the dorsal fin and out further you look for a whole pod with a bunch of splashes. Remember that when you see them, there is usually just one or two together instead of a whole pod

Wild Horses

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Of course, the wild horses of the Outer Banks, known as “banker ponies,” are the most famous residents of the islands. The Banker horse is a breed of feral horse living on barrier islands in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It is small, hardy, and has a docile temperament. You’re most likely to see them on Corolla beaches.


The three species that show up most often along the Outer Banks are humpbacks, fin whales and North Atlantic right whales, Clark said. All three summer in the north Atlantic region and swim southward for the winter to warm waters near Florida and the Caribbean. Seeing a humpback whale off the North Carolina coast is not super common, although sightings are becoming more frequent as the population increases.

Great Egrets

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These are beautiful, large, shore birds with white feathers you can spot these birds in marshes and along the shoreline. Their strong, pointed beaks allow them to break through crustacean shells and open shellfish. A fun fact is that great egrets with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour.