October Calendar of Wildlife & Habitat Happenings

yellow-bellied sapsucker
Yellow-bellied sapsuckers and other winter resident birds are return to the Piedmont and Coastal Plain this month.

Opportunities to experience natural North Carolina are as diverse as our state’s spectacular landscape. And there’s no shortage of things to do, see and hear this month – from duck hunting and surf fishing to the migration of shorebirds and hummingbirds. Take a look at the October calendar below and explore NCWF’s upcoming events.

  • Oct. 1: Delayed harvest trout waters opens.
  • Oct. 1: In the Coastal Plain and Eastern Piedmont, walking stick mantids (aka Brunner’s mantids) are active and depositing their oothecae (egg clusters). These unusual native mantids occur only as females and reproduce parthenogenetically. 
  • Oct. 2: Last of the season’s loggerhead sea turtle nests are hatching. Nodding ladies’ tresses are in bloom. 
  • Oct. 3: Autumn tiger beetles are mating. This rare, usually bright green species is known from only a few areas in our Sandhills region. Nearly all our other tiger beetle species breed in spring. 
  • Oct. 5: Surface activity peaks for eastern and southern hognose snakes. 
  • Oct. 6: Fall runs of bluefish and red drum offer good surf fishing opportunities. 
  • Oct. 10: Tail end of migration peak for many shorebird species. 
  • Oct. 10-16: National Wildlife Refuge Week. Contact your favorite National Wildlife Refuge for listings of special activities. 
  • Oct. 11: Ruby-throated hummingbirds are leaving for Central and South America. Hummingbird feeders can be taken down. 
  • Oct. 12: This time of year appears to be a surface activity peak for the mimic glass lizard, a rare legless lizard associated with large pine flatwood tracts in our southeastern Coastal Plain.
  • Oct. 12: Yellow-bellied sapsuckers and other winter resident birds are returning to the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. 
  • Oct. 15: Eastern mud turtles and chicken turtles begin hibernating. Unlike most aquatic turtles, these two species typically leave their ponds to overwinter terrestrially in nearby uplands. 
  • Oct. 16: Eastern red bats are mating. 
  • Oct. 17: October flower is in bloom
  • Oct. 18: Fall hardwood foliage colors are peaking in the mountains. Many overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway provide especially good color shows. 
  • Oct. 18: Small game season opens for squirrel, rabbit, grouse, bobcat and raccoon.
  • Oct. 19: The first frosts may be expected in the Piedmont. 
  • Oct 21-23: Early inland duck season runs.
  • Oct 29-30: Early coastal duck season runs.

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