Because of its position on the Atlantic Flyway, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal place for birds to rest, feed, nest, or winter. This makes the refuge a great place for bird watching. Over the course of the year, a variety of bird species passes through the refuge, staying anywhere from a day to a few weeks to several months. Some species even spend the entire year at the refuge.
Some of the popular sites to observe birds are at Swan Cove Pool along Beach Road. Herons and egrets can be seen in the borrow ditches around the refuge, and the hunting blind in Tom’s Cove, near Beach Road, is a favored perch for some birds, including double-crested cormorants. The Woodland Trail is an excellent place to observe songbirds, and Snow Goose Pool, in the Wildlife Loop, is a popular spot for many bird species.
A checklist of birds that have been identified on the refuge is available at the refuge visitor center or by clicking the link below.
Visitors may also borrow a pair of binoculars, free of charge, from the refuge visitor center, to help with their birding experience.
Bird Check List (PDF - 4.01 MB)
Waterfowl Survey (PDF -14 KB)
Shorebird Survey (PDF - 17 KB)
Use the refuge impoundment map, along with the above surveys, to help identify where you can see the most waterfowl and shorebirds.