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Bird Island, North Carolina, Photos

Jo O'Keefe Copyright 2011. Photos may be used for educational purposes only. Contact me with inquiries.

Bird Island Coastal Reserve Sign, photo courtesy of CarolinaOutdoorsGuide.com
   
Bird Island
Bird Island
Bird Island
Sea beach Amaranth
Amaranthus pumilus
Sea beach Amaranth, (Amaranthus pumilus Rafinesque) a threatened species, 07/30/06
Bird Island Jetty
Bird Island Jetty
Small portions of the jetty
 
The SC portion of the jetty jutting out from Waties Island
A jet skier zooms past the jetty
 
Backside of Bird Island
SC Side of Bird Island
 
Bird Island, back side including maritime forest
Kindred Spirit Mailbox
Kindred Spirit Mailbox
Kindred Spirit Mailbox
Woman reading journal from Kindred Spirit Mailbox
Kindred Spirit Mailbox & visitor reading journal entries

The sole man-made structure on Bird Island is the renowned Kindred Spirit Mailbox. Visitors to both Sunset Beach and Bird Island leave their thoughts in journals inside, describing losses, joys, and the beauty of the island. One day when I was walking toward the jetty, I wondered if I had already passed the mailbox. I asked a stranger if she knew where it was. She did not. Much later we again passed one another. She said, "I saw the mailbox. Do they really come all the way out here to pick up the mail?"

In 2002 Mr. Dennis F. Daniels, a research historian with the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, wrote a report on Bird Island. Mr. Daniels wrote:

"The tradition of the Kindred Spirit mail was established by an anonymous Hope Mills, North Carolina, woman who is a friend of [Frank] Nesmith and is known only as the Kindred Spirit. Following a dream she had about a mailbox at the edge of the ocean in May 1981, the woman set up a mailbox on a "little spit of sand" in Tubbs Inlet between Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach.... Access to the little spit was by boat or swimming. After three years, the spit washed away. Nesmith then came up with the idea of putting the mailbox on Bird Island. When Madd Inlet still had water and people had to wade through it at low tide to get to the island, a year would elapse before a journal would be filled-up. When the inlet closed [1997], people had easier access to the mailbox. The journals were written in more frequently, often filling in a month's time. Over the summer, five or six notebooks would be filled up."

Ghost Crab on Bird Island
Sand Dollar near Jetty
Ghost Crab
Bird Island Sand Dollar
Sundown over dune
Sundown over dune
Sunset over dune
Bird Island Sunsets
Sundown over dune
Pelican at sundown
Dusk on Bird Island

Last updated 03/28/11