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Outer Banks of North Carolina - 1 of 2. Last updated: 5/31/2011.

A Red-billed Tropicbird at Cape Point, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Truly awesome! This stunning species is typically found in tropical seas such as the Caribbean and off Pacific Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the U.S. East Coast, but a real contender - along with White-tailed Tropicbird - for eventual addition to the Maryland state list. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Above and below: A Red-billed Tropicbird at Cape Point, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Truly awesome! This stunning species is typically found in tropical seas such as the Caribbean and off Pacific Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the U.S. East Coast, but a real contender - along with White-tailed Tropicbird - for eventual addition to the Maryland state list.

A Red-billed Tropicbird at Cape Point, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Truly awesome! This stunning species is typically found in tropical seas such as the Caribbean and off Pacific Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the U.S. East Coast, but a real contender - along with White-tailed Tropicbird - for eventual addition to the Maryland state list. Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Red-billed Tropicbird at Cape Point, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Truly awesome! This stunning species is typically found in tropical seas such as the Caribbean and off Pacific Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the U.S. East Coast, but a real contender - along with White-tailed Tropicbird - for eventual addition to the Maryland state list. Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Red-billed Tropicbird at Cape Point, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Truly awesome! This stunning species is typically found in tropical seas such as the Caribbean and off Pacific Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the U.S. East Coast, but a real contender - along with White-tailed Tropicbird - for eventual addition to the Maryland state list. Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Red-billed Tropicbird at Cape Point, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Truly awesome! This stunning species is typically found in tropical seas such as the Caribbean and off Pacific Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the U.S. East Coast, but a real contender - along with White-tailed Tropicbird - for eventual addition to the Maryland state list. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (Pseudorca) and is not closely related to true Orcas.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Pseudorca! False Killer Whales (<em>Pseudorca crassidens</em>) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Brian Patteson said this was only the sixth time he'd encountered this species on his trips. This species wanders the tropical and temperate seas of the world and will attack and kill other cetaceans. It is the only member of its genus (<em>Pseudorca</em>) and is not closely related to true Orcas. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: Black-capped Petrels off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This beautiful representative of the genus Pterodroma (Gadfly Petrels) was studied at length on our two days offshore.

Black-capped Petrels off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This beautiful representative of the genus <em>Pterodroma</em> (Gadfly Petrels) was studied at length on our two days offshore. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Black-capped Petrels off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This beautiful representative of the genus <em>Pterodroma</em> (Gadfly Petrels) was studied at length on our two days offshore. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Black-capped Petrels off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This beautiful representative of the genus <em>Pterodroma</em> (Gadfly Petrels) was studied at length on our two days offshore. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Black-capped Petrels off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This beautiful representative of the genus <em>Pterodroma</em> (Gadfly Petrels) was studied at length on our two days offshore. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A rare Fea's Petrel (right) with a Black-capped Petrel (left) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). It breeds in the Cape Verde Islands and Madeira Islands (Bugio) on the other side of the Atlantic. How rare? How awesome? Here's its range map.

A rare Fea's Petrel (right) with a Black-capped Petrel (left) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). It breeds in the Cape Verde Islands and Madeira Islands (Bugio) on the other side of the Atlantic. How rare? How awesome? Here's its <a href='http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/images/range/thumbs/144856.png' target='_blank' class='text'> range map.</a> Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Scopoli's Shearwater off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This is the Mediterranean form (diomedea) of Cory's Shearwater, which is a candidate for a future split. Note how the white extends into the dark primaries and its smaller bill.

A Scopoli's Shearwater off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). This is the Mediterranean form (<em>diomedea</em>) of Cory's Shearwater, which is a candidate for a future split. Note how the white extends into the dark primaries and its smaller bill. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Cottonmouth, or Water Mocassin, on the Outer Banks, North Carolina (5/29/2011). When noted swimming across the salt pans, we noticed that this pit viper appears to float, giving a very different impression from a water snake even at a distance.

A Cottonmouth, or Water Mocassin, on the Outer Banks, North Carolina (5/29/2011). When noted swimming across the salt pans, we noticed that this pit viper appears to float, giving a very different impression from a water snake even at a distance. Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Manx Shearwater is spotted in an area rich in Sargassum off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011).

A Manx Shearwater is spotted in an area rich in <em>Sargassum</em> off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Manx Shearwater is spotted in an area rich in <em>Sargassum</em> off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Common Nighthawk near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/29/2011).

A Common Nighthawk near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: This foraging King Rail was a very pleasant surprise during a dusk watch near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011).

This foraging King Rail was a very pleasant surprise during a dusk watch near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Least Tern at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011).

A Least Tern at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Gull-billed Tern near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/28/2011).

A Gull-billed Tern near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Gull-billed Tern near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Parasitic Jaeger permits stunning views offshore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011).

A Parasitic Jaeger permits stunning views offshore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Parasitic Jaeger permits stunning views offshore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Parasitic Jaeger permits stunning views offshore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Yellow-bellied Slider on the Outer Banks, North Carolina (5/30/2011).

A Yellow-bellied Slider on the Outer Banks, North Carolina (5/30/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Sooty Shearwater off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011).

A Sooty Shearwater off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A Sooty Shearwater off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/28/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A Semipalmated Plover near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/29/2011).

A Semipalmated Plover near Cape Point, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: Wilson's Storm Petrels "dancing" as they forage off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). In the second image, note the yellow webbing between the toes!

Wilson's Storm Petrels "dancing" as they forage off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). In the second image, note the yellow webbing between the toes! Photo by Bill Hubick.

Wilson's Storm Petrels "dancing" as they forage off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). In the second image, note the yellow webbing between the toes! Photo by Bill Hubick.

Wilson's Storm Petrels "dancing" as they forage off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). In the second image, note the yellow webbing between the toes! Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below: A mind-blowing close encounter with a South Polar Skua off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011).

A mind-blowing close encounter with a South Polar Skua off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A mind-blowing close encounter with a South Polar Skua off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A mind-blowing close encounter with a South Polar Skua off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

A mind-blowing close encounter with a South Polar Skua off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (5/29/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

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