Hampton Roads Birdwatching

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Hampton Roads Virginia is a wonderful birdwatching destination. Birding areas range from swamps and woodlands to coastal beaches and ocean waters.

Parks, Refuges, and Wildlife Management Areas

State and national parks, wildlife refuges, seashores, and wildlife management areas (WMAs) are vital stops for birds. These areas provide refuge from danger, food and water, and a wide range of bird habitats.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) owns more than 201,000 acres on 39 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) located across the Commonwealth, with several located near Hampton Roads.

Some WMAs contain public lakes or access to saltwater estuaries. These areas are popular among birdwatchers, outdoor enthusiasts and others.

Located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is an outstanding place to enjoy birding. The refuge includes more than 112,000 acres of forested wetlands. The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge headquarters is located in Suffolk, Virginia.

A prime birding trail around Hampton Roads is the Seashore to Cypress Birding Trail. The trail links locations such as First Landing State Park, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, False Cape State Park, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Published: May 26, 2011 | Updated: January 31, 2018

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