The annual migration of waterfowl to Lake Mattamuskeet is underway in Swan Quarter. Roughly 200,000 birds were counted in the National wildlife refuge this month, continuing a rising trend over years past.
"When you've got 100,000 - 200,000 waterfowl on a large lake and sound carries very well across the lake, it's just a cacophony of sound.
And the swan, their hooting and their whistling and their vocalizations appear at times to just go on endlessly. But when they leave, the first thing I notice is the silence."
The lake is 18 miles long by 7 miles wide. Stanton said it's vast expanse and shallow depths are perfect for growing vegetation for the hungry waterfowl:
Really, it's kind of like natures smorgasbord for the wintering waterfowl to have a lake that large that is shallow and is conducive to growing aquatic vegetation.
The refuge is open to the public. The birds are expected to begin migrating back north at the end of February.