Bird Watching in Chesapeake

Chesapeake is a nationally recognized watcher's oasis providing sanctuary to birds and bird watchers since the 17th century.

The wooded swamplands and canebrakes of Chesapeake's Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge create lovely living conditions for the 213 species of birds that nest in or near the refuge. In fact, more than 200 species have been identified on the refuge since its establishment.

On the 8.5 mile Dismal Swamp Canal Trail birders can spot more than 200 types of birds that visit the refuge each year. Almost half of these species call the 111,200 acres of forest wetland home year round.

Serious bird watchers will delight in catching a glimpse of the Swainson's Warbler and the Wayne's warbler (a race of the Black-throated Green Warbler, two of the most secretive and least observed of all North American birds. Bird watchers can also catch a "peep" of the white-throated Sparrow, the graceful Great Egret and even the regal Bald Eagle. Other birds of interest that can be seen in the Refuge include the wood duck, barred owl, Pileated Woodpecker and Prothonotary Warbler. To schedule a guided birding trip for individuals or groups, visit the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge or call (757) 986-3705.

Explore birds in Bells Mill Park, the 2.5 mile footpath through natural area with elevated scenic overlook of Southern Branch of Elizabeth River. Don't forget to check out the South Chesapeake Loop, part of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, which meanders through the Oak Grove Lake Park, Northwest River Park, the Chesapeake Arboretum, and other unique sites. You may discover the nuthatches, nesting Prothonotary Warblers, and even see the great blue heron having dinner!

So grab your field specs and come catch a bird's eye view of what Chesapeake has to offer.

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