Winter Wildlife Festival Returns January 26-28

Registration Begins Nov. 15.

bird watchersBirders and nature lovers, get ready because registration begins Nov. 15 for the 2018 Winter Wildlife Festival. This annual event presented by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation in partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is just what Mother Nature ordered. Explore winter wildlife all around Virginia Beach during a time when fascinating animal activities and migration takes place. Observe and identify these incredible creatures and fowl in their natural settings – right here in Hampton Roads. 

Don’t miss an incredible keynote from self-proclaimed “bird nerd” Noah Strycker. In 2015, Strycker became the first human to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. This humorous and inspiring presentation will leave you with a new appreciation for the birds and birders of the world. The keynote is free, but advanced registration is required.

Register for this and all of the exciting excursions and presentations before they’re full! ​

Examples of excursions:

​Cape Henry Tour:

This trip highlights two destinations in the historic Cape Henry area of Virginia Beach— First Landing State Park and the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse located on Fort Story. These locations offer views of the Chesapeake Bay where shorebirds, wintering seabirds, and waterfowl can be plentiful. In addition to wildlife viewing this trip will include historical information on the first landing of the Virginia Company and the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse. 

Pleasure House Point Birding:

This 188-acre site at Lynnhaven Inlet encompasses maritime forests, beaches, marshes and mudflats and was recently added to the Virginia Birding Trail. These varied habitats support a wide array of birds and wildlife like songbirds, raptors and shorebirds, and is home to many breeding diamondback terrapins. At one time this site was targeted for intense development, but a partnership between the City of Virginia Beach, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The Trust for Public Land made the preservation of this space possible. Recommended for experienced birders.​

Intro to Nature Photography:

Award winning photographer, G. Michael Brown will inspire you with his superb nature images. Learn the basics of your digital camera and how to apply them in capturing the extraordinary natural subjects that inhabit our area.  Basic concepts of image composition and proper lighting will be highlighted using bird, flower, and landscape digital images. All experience levels welcome.​

Back Bay/False Cape Terra-gator and Tram Tour:

Take a scenic tram ride through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park to the site of the historic Wash Woods community in what is now False Cape State Park. Hike the 1-mile round-trip trail to the historical site, where a church steeple and cemetery remain. Ride back along the remote beach observing shorebirds and perhaps whales while riding in our unique beach transporter, the Terra-Gator. All experience levels welcome.

Build a Bluebird Box:

Join staff from Eastern Shore of Virginia and Back Bay NWR for an interpreted bird box building. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about land bird habitats and the significance of suitable habitat for them. Participants will receive the supplies needed to build a blue bird box to build and take with them. This craft activity is suitable for all ages, however registration is limited to ensure that adequate supplies are available.​

Whales & Wildlife Sea Adventure:

Join the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the longest running and most experienced whale watching entity in Virginia, in an immersive encounter with some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures. Specialized educators will share a program built upon the Aquarium’s scientific research and almost three decades of experience connecting guests with the area’s marine mammal visitors. Trips take place on a spacious and stable catamaran that boasts one of the most comfortable rides in Virginia Beach, and has been outfitted especially for conducting dolphin and whale watching trips. Experience spectacular views from the outdoor covered seating areas, or from cushioned seats inside a heated cabin. This ~2.5-hour adventure is an exploration in search of whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds. Marine mammal sightings are not guaranteed. All experience levels welcome.

Registration details and additional information can be found on

Contact Information