About the Refuge

Aerial photo of the refuge.

Located at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, this area is one of the most important avian migration funnels in North America. Each fall, like colorful clockwork, the refuge is the scene of a spectacular drama as millions of songbirds and monarch butterflies and thousands of raptors converge on their voyage south. Favorable weather patterns push migrating species through the area in waves. Clouds of tree swallows swirl overhead and flame orange and black-winged monarch butterflies float aloft. Protected habitats such as these provide critical stopover areas where birds and butterflies can rest and feed before resuming their arduous journey.

Download the refuge brochure (pdf)

Eastern Shore of Virginia Tear Map (pdf)

Comprehensive Bird List at Eastern Shore NWR (pdf) 

National Wildlife Refuge System Visitor Guide Brochure (pdf)

ES Native Plant Guide (pdf) 

Contact Us

Visitor Center

32205 Seaside Road
Cape Charles, Virginia 23310
Phone: 757-331-3425

Our visitor center is currently open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. It is also available for use by local, state, federal and non-profit agencies for meetings. Contact our refuge office at (757) 331-2760 to inquire. 

Refuge Headquarters 

5003 Hallett Circle
Cape Charles, VA 23310
Phone: (757) 331-2760

Our refuge headquarters is open by appointment only. Please call ahead at (757) 331-2760 to schedule an appointment. 

email: FW5RW_ESVNWR@fws.gov