North Carolina has twenty-five species of nesting colonial water birds. Many, including herons, egrets, ibises, pelicans, skimmers, gulls, and terns, breed on the state's barrier islands and nearby ocean fronts. Some colonies are faring well; others face an uncertain future. Competition with people for prime beach real estate affects the flocks' habitats. Surveys of the birds' nestings began in 1976-1977. Cameron discusses how several of the species are surviving.