2020 Winter Wildlife Festival

Save the date - January 24-26, 2020 and join us for the festival's 10th anniversary. Presented by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.​

Registration begins 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 15th​​​​​

2020 Keynote Speaker Sharon 'Birdchick' Stiteler
John Marzluff

Since 1997, Sharon ‘Birdchick’ Stiteler has travelled the world as a field trip leader, birding consultant, humorous keynote speaker, bird field technician, bird bander and writer. She is the author of the books Disapproving Rabbits, City Birds/Country Birds and 1,001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know. Birdchick is #32 in the Geek A Week Trading Card set and works as a National Park Ranger for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Birdchick is a regular on television and radio broadcasts including Outdoor News Radio, All Things Considered, and the NBC Nightly News where she answers bird questions. Visit Birdchick.com to learn more about Sharon 'Birdchick' Stiteler. 

Welcome Sharon ‘Birdchick’ Stiteler as the 2020 keynote speaker at the 10th Anniversary Winter Wildlife Festival!​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 Friday Schedule

Friday Schedule: Excursions, Workshops & Keynote

Birding Tour of the Southern Eastern Shore​ - FULL

Friday, January 24 • 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Location: Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Road)​

Ages 18 & up  The southern tip of the Eastern Shore offers many exciting opportunities to view a variety of wintering coastal species including waterfowl, sea birds, and shorebirds. Visit the 4th Island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Magothy Bay and Pickett's Harbor Natural Area Preserves and Kiptopeke State Park. Additional registration form​ required by January 10. Meet at Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Rd.) for transportation to locations. Recommended for experienced birders. Lunch is not included in price. This day trip will require walking a total of approximately 3 miles; please wear boots as some areas may be muddy.  $45

Birding Basics Workshop & Field Session

Friday, January 24 • 8:30 a.m. - noon | Location: Brock Environmental Center (3663 Marlin Bay Dr.)​

Ages 10 & up  Are you just starting to get into birds? Do you enjoy watching them in your backyard and wish you knew what they were? Then this class is for you! This workshop will introduce you to the pastime of birding and will cover all of the basics: how to identify birds, tips for finding birds, and the materials and equipment you need to get started. There will be an indoor presentation, followed by an outdoor nature walk to practice your new birding skills! A limited supply of binoculars will be available for loan during the class, but if you have your own, it is recommended to bring them. Meets at Brock Environmental Center (3663 Marlin Bay Dr.). Recommended for new birders. Be sure to build a little extra time into your schedule to tour the Brock – the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s state of the art “Living Building”.  Adults $5 | Ages 10-17 free

North Landing River Boat Tour - FULL

Location: Pungo Ferry Boat Launch (2272 Old Pungo Ferry Road)​

  • Friday, January 24 | 10 a.m. - noon & 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 25 | 10 a.m. - noon & 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 26 | 10 a.m. - noon & 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.​

Ages 10 & up  Join Moore to See Expeditions for an in-depth eco-tour of the marshlands that surround the North Landing River.  These areas provide critical habitat for many species of wintering waterfowl including snow geese, tundra swans and a variety of ducks.  This trip will provide many unique opportunities for taking nature photos.  All experience levels welcome. Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers, a hat, gloves or mittens, a wind- or waterproof outer layer, and waterproof shoes or boots for getting in and out of the boat.  $35

Atlantic Coastal Birds Workshop

Friday, January 24 • 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. | Location: Brock Environmental Center (3663 Marlin Bay Dr.)​

Ages 16 & up  Join national award-winning nature photographer, Bob Schamerhorn, as he discusses a wide variety of species typical to the coast through beautiful photography and entertaining stories. Learn information about shorebirds, their habitats, migration patterns and challenges. This program covers the gamut of our coastal birds and is perfect for new birders or those new to coastal birding.  This event is free; registration required

Festival Keynote & Reception

Friday, January 24 • 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | Location: Zeiders American Dream Theater (4509 Commerce Street, Town Center)​​

Ages 12 & up • "My Birding Career” with Sharon Stiteler – Since 1997 Sharon Stiteler has made it her goal to get paid to go birding, that has led to some interesting days on the job from finding restrooms in cornfields to being a sober ride for drunk waxwings or learning how to count ducks over the Mississippi River while going 100 miles an hour. Laugh along with Sharon as she shares some of the odd situations she’s found herself in while looking for birds and learn what the second worst parasite she’s ever had on her body as a result of her work. Book sales and signing to follow. In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, there will be light refreshments, a cash bar and silent auction prior to the keynote. Join us as we toast this milestone!  This event is free; registration preferred 

 Saturday Schedule

​​Saturday Schedule: Excursions & Workshops

Chesapeake Bay Birding Boat Trip

Location: Dockside Marina (3311 Shore Drive)

  • Saturday, January 25  8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
  • Sunday, January 26  8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 

Ages 16 & up  View the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Islands up close and personal! This boat trip offers eye-level views of birds, harbor seals and other wildlife on and around the CBBT islands. This is an excellent opportunity to view sea ducks, shorebirds and seabirds. Meets at Dockside Marina (3311 Shore Drive).  Recommended for experienced birders. All experience levels welcome. Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers, a hat, gloves or mittens, and a wind-or waterproof outer layer.  $40​

Waterfowl Walk

Saturday, January 25  8 a.m. - 10 a.m. | Location: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (4005 Sandpiper Rd.)

Ages 10 & up  Thousands of waterfowl visit the Back Bay every year to rest and feed during the winter migration. This one-mile walk will be led by local expert birders and focus on identification of the various ducks found at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Binoculars and cameras are highly recommended. A spotting scope will be available but participants may bring their own if desired. Meets at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (4005 Sandpiper Rd.). Recommended for experienced birders.  $5

Fisherman’s Island - A Wildlife, Nature and History Walk​

Saturday, January 25 • 8 a.m. - noon | Location: Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Rd.)​

Ages 10 & up • Fisherman’s Island has been a marine hospital (1890), an artillery site (1942), part of Back Bay (1973) and the Eastern Shore of Virginia (1984). Additionally, it is a critical habitat for royal terns and brown pelicans. Join us as we walk along sandy trails through the maritime forest, swales, secondary dunes, and beach areas. Migratory birds and a variety of flora and fauna are also part of this walk. Don’t miss out on the spectacular views this location offers of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel!  Meets at Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Rd.). All experience levels welcome.  $15

​ Exploring Virginia’s Seaside Lagoon System - FULL

Location: Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Rd.)

  • Saturday, January 25  8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 26  8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Ages 16 & up  This boat trip begins in Oyster Harbor at high tide and meanders along salt marshes looking for seabirds, raptors, seals and other interesting wildlife as we make our way toward the barrier islands. If weather conditions allow, we will disembark on Wreck Island, a remote barrier island owned and managed by the VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Natural Heritage Program. There we may encounter flocks of dunlin, American oystercatchers and other shorebirds.  As the tide continues to drop, we will check out exposed mudflats on our way back to Oyster Harbor and look for additional species of shorebirds and other avifauna. Please keep in mind, this trip is weather dependent and may be cancelled if conditions are deemed too dangerous. The decision to go or cancel will be made by 5 pm the night before. Keep in mind temperatures and wind chills are much colder on the water than on land.  Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers and bring a hat, gloves or mittens, a wind- or waterproof outer layer, and waterproof knee or hip boots for getting in and out of the boat.  You are also strongly encouraged to bring sunscreen, sunglasses. Bring your favorite binoculars, spotting scopes are optional. Trip leaders will bring light snacks and water and several spotting scopes.  $55 *Meets at Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Road)

​​​NEW Cape Henry Tour

Saturday, January 25  8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) 

Ages 8 & up  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. Participants 16 & older are required to bring a government-issued picture ID for access to Fort Story.  Meet at the Princess Anne Recreation Center for transportation to locations.  All experience levels welcome.  $15

Pleasure House Point Birding

Saturday, January 25  8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. | Location: Pleasure House Point (3957 Marlin Bay Dr, please park along roadway)

Ages 16 & up  This 188-acre site at Lynnhaven Inlet encompasses Maritime forest, beaches, marshes and mudflats and was recently added to the Virginia Birding Trails. These varied habitats support a wide array of birds and wildlife like songbirds, raptors, 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.  Meets at Pleasure House Point – 3957 Marlin Bay Drive; please park along roadway. Recommended for experienced birders.  $5

North Landing River Boat Tour - FULL

Location: Pungo Ferry Boat Launch (2272 Old Pungo Ferry Road)

  • Saturday, January 25  10 a.m. - noon & 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 26  10 a.m. - noon & 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Ages 10 & up • Join Moore to See Expeditions for an in-depth eco-tour of the marshlands that surround the North Landing River.  These areas provide critical habitat for many species of wintering waterfowl including snow geese, tundra swans and variety of ducks.  This trip will provide many unique opportunities for taking nature photos.  All experience levels welcome. All experience levels welcome. Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers, a hat, gloves or mittens, a wind- or waterproof outer layer, and waterproof shoes or boots for getting in and out of the boat.  $35 *Meets on location

Back Bay/False Cape Terra-gator & Tram Tour 

Saturday, January 25 • 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) ​

All ages • 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. Meet at Princess Anne Recreation Center for transportation to the location. All experience levels welcome.  $15

Urban Birding Tour

Saturday, January 25 • 1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) 

Ages 12 & up • Did you know that there are many “birdie” places right in the heart of the city?  This trip will take you to some of Virginia Beach’s prime urban bird spots where a surprising variety of birds can be seen.  Some of the sites are so easy to bird, we may not have to leave the bus! This trip focuses on acquainting you with various places to go birding in Virginia Beach.  Meet at Princess Anne Recreation Center for transportation to locations. Recommended for new or casual birders, but all experience levels welcome.  **A limited supply of binoculars will be available for loan during the class, but please bring your own if you have them.**  $15

Whales & Wildlife Sea Adventure

Location: Virginia Aquarium Dock (717 General Booth Blvd.)

  • Saturday, January 25  2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
  • Sunday, January 26  10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

All ages  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 & whale watching trips.  Experience spectacular views from the outdoor covered seating areas, or from cushioned seats inside a heated cabin. This adventure is an exploration in search of whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds. Marine mammal sightings are not guaranteed. Meets at Virginia Aquarium Dock (717 General Booth Blvd.)  All experience levels welcome.  Rates to determined; please continue to check back for more information. 

First Landing Nature Walk

Saturday, January 25  2 p.m. - 4 p.m. | Location: First Landing State Park (2500 Shore Drive – Trail Center)

Ages 5 & up  Experience firsthand the amazing habitats that exist within First Landing State Park. Discover what makes the park’s environment so unique that it has been made a national natural area. The 2-mile hike will take participants across swamp overlooks and through maritime forest in search of wildlife and natural phenomena found within the park. Meet at the First Landing State Park Trail Center (2500 Shore Dr.).  All experience levels welcome.  $5

Owl Prowl

  • Saturday, January 25 • 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | West Neck Natural Area (2249 North Landing Road)
  • Saturday, January 25 • 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | Great Neck Park (2513 Shorehaven Drive)
  • Saturday, January 25 • 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | First Landing State Park (2500 Shore Drive) meet at Trail Center.
  • Saturday, January 25 • 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. | False Cape State Park (Meets at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 4005 Sandpiper Rd.)​

Ages 10 & up  Explore the night time woods looking and listening for their nocturnal hunters. Great horned, barred and screech owls and other creatures of the night are all possibilities for these trips. Meet at the location. All experience levels welcome.  $10​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 Sunday Schedule

Sunday Schedule: Excursions & Workshops

Chesapeake Bay Birding Boat Trip

Sunday, January 26  8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m​| Location: Dockside Marina (3311 Shore Drive)

Ages 16 & up  View the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Islands up close and personal! This boat trip offers eye-level views of birds, harbor seals and other wildlife on and around the CBBT islands. This is an excellent opportunity to view sea ducks, shorebirds and seabirds. Meets at Dockside Marina (3311 Shore Drive).  Recommended for experienced birders. All experience levels welcome. Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers, a hat, gloves or mittens, and a wind- or waterproof outer layer.  $40​

Princess Anne Wildlife Management Area Birding

Sunday, January 26  8 a.m. - noon | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) 

Ages 12 & up • This trip will visit the Beasley and Whitehurst Tracts of Princess Anne WMA.  The WMA is a patchwork of marshes, weedy fields, narrow freshwater impoundments and pine woodland. This area is known for plentiful winter waterfowl, including impressive numbers of snow geese. Raptors, wintering songbirds, and wading birds can also be found in the varied habitats here. Meet at Princess Anne Recreation Center for transportation to the location.  Recommended for experienced birders. **Please note that some of the trails may be wet this time of year; comfortable waterproof shoes or rubber boots are required.**  $15

Back Bay/False Cape Birding

Sunday, January 26 • 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) ​

Ages 12 & up  Take a scenic ride through Back Bay NWR on the “Blue Goose Express” observing wintering snow geese, swans and other wildlife. Journey to the heart of False Cape State Park for a chance to further observe and photograph the abundant wintering waterfowl. Scopes and cameras are allowed and encouraged. Due to refuge policy, no stops will be made while traveling through Back Bay NWR. Meet at Princess Anne Recreation Center for transportation to Back Bay/False Cape. Recommended for experienced birders.  $15

NEW Exploring Virginia’s Seaside Lagoon System - FULL

Sunday, January 26  8 a.m. - 1 p.m.​ | Location: Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Rd.)

Ages 16 & up  This boat trip begins in Oyster Harbor at high tide and meanders along salt marshes looking for seabirds, raptors, seals and other interesting wildlife as we make our way toward the barrier islands. If weather conditions allow, we will disembark on Wreck Island, a remote barrier island owned and managed by the VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Natural Heritage Program. There we may encounter flocks of dunlin, American oystercatchers and other shorebirds.  As the tide continues to drop, we will check out exposed mudflats on our way back to Oyster Harbor and look for additional species of shorebirds and other avifauna. Please keep in mind, this trip is weather dependent and may be cancelled if conditions are deemed too dangerous. The decision to go or cancel will be made by 5 pm the night before. Keep in mind temperatures and wind chills are much colder on the water than on land.  Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers and bring a hat, gloves or mittens, a wind- or waterproof outer layer, and waterproof knee or hip boots for getting in and out of the boat.  You are also strongly encouraged to bring sunscreen, sunglasses. Bring your favorite binoculars, spotting scopes are optional. Trip leaders will bring light snacks and water and several spotting scopes.  $55 *Meet at Bayville Farms Park (4132 First Court Road)

NEW Backyard Nature Photography

Sunday, January 26 • 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) ​

Ages 16 & up  Sometimes the best place to photograph nature is right in our own backyard. This program is information-packed with tips and experiences on how to photograph and attract nature to almost any backyard, rural or suburban. Discusses suggestions and inventive techniques of how to observe and photograph them. Includes visual proof of the variety of wildlife from birds to butterflies, insects and mammals that can benefit from a little habitat improvement. This educational program is composed of colorful award-winning photography and the occasional HD video clip, to make this a true multimedia presentation.  $5​

NEW Birds in Action Photography 

Sunday, January 26 • 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) ​

Ages 16 & up  Moving objects are an especially difficult subject to capture, both technically and physically. This multimedia program demonstrates and discusses an array of bird activities including flight, take-off, landing, feeding, bathing, drinking, preening, diving, nesting, and more. Plus, discussion of the reasons why birds are so active, the elements of their motivation and characteristics of activity including migration, food gathering, and avoidance of danger. Includes both basic photography techniques and then fine-tuning the skills needed to capture sharp images of active animals. Learn how to improve your action photography abilities, both technically and physically, by optimizing your location, learning good motor-skill practices, using auto-focus, research, and proper shutter speed settings. This is one of the most challenging, but also most rewarding, of nature photography endeavors.  $5​

NEW Virginia Beach Notable Trees Field Trip - FULL

Sunday, January 26 • 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) ​

Ages 12 & up  Join Lynnhaven River Now’s Captain Brent James in visiting some of Virginia Beach’s Notable Trees! While seeing these trees up close you will learn the history of the property on which they reside, their approximate ages, as well as their sizes relative to the state and national champion trees of that species. Meet at Princess Anne Recreation Center for transportation to locations. All experience levels welcome. It is recommended that you wear sturdy, waterproof footwear.  $15​​

NEW Nature Art Class

Sunday, January 26 • 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) ​

Ages 16 & up   Bring the outdoors in with this creative twist on a painting class!  Guided by a talented artist, you’ll create a nature-inspired mixed-media masterpiece to take home. All supplies provided.  $20

NEW Nature Art for Kids

Sunday, January 26 • 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Library (1444 Nimmo Parkway)​​

Ages 5-10   Unleash your child’s inner Picasso! During this workshop participants will be guided through nature-inspired crafts that they will take home. All supplies provided.  $10

North Landing River Boat Tour - FULL


Sunday, January 26  10 a.m. - noon & 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.​ | Location: Pungo Ferry Boat Launch (2272 Old Pungo Ferry Road)

Ages 10 & up • Join Moore to See Expeditions for an in-depth eco-tour of the marshlands that surround the North Landing River.  These areas provide critical habitat for many species of wintering waterfowl including snow geese, tundra swans and variety of ducks.  This trip will provide many unique opportunities for taking nature photos. All experience levels welcome. Please wear (and bring extra) warm layers, a hat, gloves or mittens, a wind- or waterproof outer layer, and waterproof shoes or boots for getting in and out of the boat.  $35​

Whales & Wildlife Sea Adventure

Sunday, January 26  10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  | Location: Virginia Aquarium Dock (717 General Booth Blvd.)​

All ages  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 & whale watching trips.  Experience spectacular views from the outdoor covered seating areas, or from cushioned seats inside a heated cabin. This adventure is an exploration in search of whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds. Marine mammal sightings are not guaranteed. Meets at Virginia Aquarium Dock (717 General Booth Blvd.)  All experience levels welcome.  Rates to determined; please continue to check back for more information. ​

K-5 Teacher Workshop

Sunday, January 26  1 p.m. - 4 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Library (1444 Nimmo Parkway)​​

project learning tree.pngLooking at Plant and Animal Interactions through new Project Learning Tree Units 18 & up -This workshop will highlight the new on-line Project Learning Tree units "Treemendous Science" (K-2) and "Energy in Ecosystems" (3-5).  Following with same award-winning hands-on format, these units highlight interactions between plants and animals. During the workshop, you will participate in activities from both of the units and receive the materials necessary to conduct those activities at your school. The cost of the workshop will cover only these materials, not the cost of the curriculum. Both units are available for purchase from the PLT store after the workshop.  Bring your laptop and join in the fun.​​ • $10

 Walk-up Workshops

Walk-up Workshops

All workshops are free and last approximately one hour. Pre-registration is preferred.

Large Whales of Virginia 

Saturday, January 25  9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) 

10 & up  The waters off Virginia Beach are teeming with diverse species of flora & fauna of all sizes.  Learn more about the largest animals that frequent our coastal habitat during the winter:  whales!  In addition to species specifics & sightings reports, you’ll find out more about the three decades of research and conservation that’s been put forth by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to help learn more about & protect these mammals.  

Amphibians and Reptiles in the Winter: Naptime for Some, Hanky-panky for Others 

Saturday, January 25  11 a.m. - noon | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) 

10 & up  Many of Virginia's reptiles and amphibians undergo periods of extreme seasonal inactivity when the weather turns cold. They may experience decreased heart rates, slowed metabolisms and lower overall body temperatures. However, some species become quite active and take advantage of the winter rains and seasonally flooded wetlands to reproduce. Either way, this is a uniquely challenging time of the year. This presentation will discuss some of those challenges and the adaptations reptiles and amphibians have evolved to survive and thrive during the winter. 

If You Burn it, They Will Come

Saturday, January 25  1 p.m. - 2 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway) 

Ages 10 & up  In 2019, a breeding pair of endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers was successfully established at DGIF's Big Woods Wildlife Management Area (WMA); the first occurrence for any state-managed land in Virginia. In this workshop, you will learn an overview of this recent conservation success story and how DGIF and partners restored habitat at the WMA to provide habitat for these endangered birds and a host of other species. The talk will discuss timber management and prescribed fire as key methods in the restoration process.

Sea Watch Station   

Saturday, January 25 • 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Location: Boardwalk at Rudee Inlet                                                                                                                                                       ​ 

All ages • Stop by to see what birds are flying over the waves, feeding, or resting on the water. You are likely to see Surf & Black Scoters, Buffleheads, Northern Gannets, Double-crested Cormorants, and an assortment of gulls (Ring-billed, Herring, Lesser Black-backed, & Great Black-backed). Red-throated & Common Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Laughing Gulls, and Forster’s Terns are also possible. And if you are really lucky, you might see a Common Eider, White-winged Scoter, Horned Grebe, or Bonaparte’s Gull. Bring binoculars if you have them. If not, we’ll have birding scopes set up. Dress warmly!

Virginia Beach Notable Trees Program

Saturday, January 25 • 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway)       

Ages 10 & up • Historically, Virginia Beach was covered in Maritime Forests made up of thousands of Old Growth trees; today, a few of these trees still remain and are the oldest living things in our City.  Join Lynnhaven River Now’s Captain Brent James as he introduces you to Virginia Beach Notable Tree program whose purpose is to identify, catalogue, memorialize, and publicize these hardy survivors.

Saving Sea Turtles

​​​​​Sunday, January 26 • noon - 1 p.m. | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway)    ​

Ages 10 & up • Virginia Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Ally McNaughton will discuss the Pier Partner Program. The Aquarium’s Stranding Response team works with the local recreational fishing piers to report and safely bring in sea turtles that have interacted with or ingested fishing hooks. The animals are assessed and ranked by the severity of their hook interaction to help determine the best method for hook removal and the extent of medical care required prior to release. 


SmartPhone Birding

Sunday, January 26 • 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. ​ | Location: Princess Anne Recreation Center (1400 Nimmo Parkway)    ​

Ages 10 & up  We may call it a phone, but these pocket computers with cameras give us more access to birding information than ever. Join keynote Sharon Stiteler to learn about the latest apps for identifying and reporting birds. You may be surprised with some new technology coming down the pike. This program will also cover how to take pictures and videos with your smartphone using a spotting scope or binoculars. 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Photo Contest

​​

Do you have an eye for photography? Enter our photo contest!

Show off your skills by capturing unique moments during the Winter Wildlife Festival and enter to win some great prizes. Contest is open to all registered participants. Submissions due by 11:59 pm on Saturday, February 2, 2019. Submit up to four photos in our Winter Wildlife Photography Contest. Limited to one submission per category. 16 MB total upload size for each submission. View complete contest rules


​​​​​​

Photo Categories

  • Wildlife Portrait – must show wildlife during a festival excursion; animal(s) must be still. Excludes animal ambassadors in exhibit hall, children’s activities and walk-up workshops.
  • Wildlife Action – must show wildlife during a festival excursion; animal(s) in motion, displaying a behavior, etc. Excludes animal ambassadors in exhibit hall, children’s activities and walk-up workshops.
  • Festival in Action – must include festival participants participating in any festival activity; this includes: the Exhibit Hall, walk-up workshops, keynote, excursions, children’s activities, etc. Submission should capture the “spirit” of the Festival.
  • Youth – any subject, any festival location; must be under 16 to qualify.
  • People’s Choice – any subject, any festival location. Photographs entered in any of the above categories may also be entered in the People’s Choice category. Winner will be chosen by followers of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation on Facebook.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Festival Partners

Special Thanks to our Festival Partners

The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics
Chick-fil-A
Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge
Great Outdoor Provision Co.
G. Michael Brown Photography
LLBean​
Lynnhaven River Now
Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge
The Nature Bus
REI Virginia Beach
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Virginia Beach Audubon Society
Virginia Beach Public Library
Virginia State Parks​​