Winter Wildlife Festival

Join us for a month-long celebration of coastal wildlife and nature! We're going the distance this year and presenting virtual and in-person components to ensure a safe, yet engaging experience for all. See all the festival highlights below.
SAVE THE DATE: The 2022 Winter Wildlife Festival is scheduled for January 28-30. Program registration will open Nov. 15.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Photo Contest

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Birding Challenge

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Big Sits & Excursions

 Virtual Activities & Keynote

TheBirdWayJenniferAckerman.jpg2022 Keynote Information

Virtual Keynote: The Bird Way: Friday, January 28 @ 7pm via Zoom (Free, but registration required and begins Nov 15.)

The multimedia presentation on The Bird Way explores a kaleidoscope of fascinating behaviors in the bird world through the lens of five arenas of daily activity—communication, work, play, love, and parenting.  It tells stories about some of the extraordinary ways that birds do these things and the secret, sophisticated intelligence underlying their behavior.  

The talk also explores the new discoveries that are overturning many of our old, conventional ideas about how birds live their lives, describes how science is making some of these astonishing discoveries, and shows the most stunning examples from each section of the book.  

The talk ranges from the tropical rainforests of eastern Australia and the remote woodlands of northern Japan, to the rolling hills of lower Austria and the islands of Alaska's Kachemak Bay, and includes audio, video, and spectacular photos by professional photographers.

Instagram: @JenniferAckemanAuthor
Twitter: @JenGAckerman

JenniferandCockatoo.jpgAbout the Speaker

A bird lover since childhood, Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about nature and science for three decades.  Her most recent book, The Bird Way, was selected as a Best Science Book of 2020 by NPR’s Science Friday and is a finalist for the PEN America Literary Award in Science.  Her bestselling The Genius of Birds is published in 25 languages and received numerous awards.  Jennifer is the author of five other books and her essays and articles have appeared in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, Scientific American, and other publications. She is the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Photo Contest

 ‭(Hidden)‬ StoryWalk® & Children's Activities

 Wildlife Advocate Award

Mary Reid Barrow Wildlife Advocate Award

Named after Mary Reid Barrow, who devoted her entire career to engaging the public about our natural environment, the Wildlife Advocate Award was created in 2020 as a way to honor those in our community that strive to make a difference for wildlife and the environment. Barrow's weekly columns made nature relatable to the average person and she was a gentle, but tireless, advocate for wildlife. She continues to serve the community through her involvement with environmental non-profits and campaigns. 

Click the button below to nominate a candidate who exemplifies this award by December 15, 2021. 

2021's Winner: Meredith Broadhurst

Mary Reid Barrow.jpgOn Friday, January 29, during the 11th Annual Winter Wildlife Festival keynote presentation, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation announced the recipient of this year’s Mary Reid Barrow Wildlife Advocate Award as Meredith Broadhurst

Broadhurst is a valued member of the wildlife rehabilitation community who goes above and beyond to help injured animals in need. Answering the calls of concerned citizens at all times of day or night, her dedication knows no bounds when it comes to assisting wildlife. To aid in her work, she raises funds and finds creative ways to educate the greater community through social media, outreach, training, and workshops. Through those efforts, she has also established a network of other caring individuals to share in the work of caring for the animals. It is for all of those reasons that she was nominated and selected as the 2021 award recipient. 
Read the press release.


Plan Your Birding Adventure

It’s easy to discover Virginia’s wild side with the Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail (VBWT), an organized network of outdoor sites highlighting the best places to see birds and wildlife in the Commonwealth. With 400 species of birds, 150 species of mammals, 150 species of amphibians and reptiles, 250 species of fish, plus hundreds of butterfly, dragonfly, and other invertebrate species, you’ll soon see why Virginia is a premier destination for birding and wildlife viewing.  The VBWT features 65 trail loops to help you plan your outdoor travels to multiple birding and wildlife viewing sites each with a webpage, map, descriptions, and links to tourism information. 

Free Apps

Connect with Nature. Explore and share your observations from the natural world with these free apps. Download and follow the step-by-step instructions for using the apps from a mobile device.

​Download eBird
​Download Merlin
​Download iNaturalist
Google Play
App Store
Google Play
App Store
Google Play
App Store

Hidden Treasures in our Parks & Natural Areas 

Discover the hidden treasures, unique wildlife, flora, and fauna tucked within our city parks and natural areas.
Watch Hidden Treasure video series >>

Virginia Beach Public Libraries Wildlife Resources


Special Thanks to our Festival Partners

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