Where to go bird watching near Richmond

Whether you’re taking a stroll through Bryan Park, Dutch Gap Conservation Area, or Oakwood Cemetery — here’s your sign to start birding in the River City


Cardinalis cardinalis, the official bird of Virginia.

Photo by gary_leavens

Virginia might be best known for its cardinals, but there are hundreds of bird species in branches across the commonwealth.

If you’re looking to grab your binoculars and brush up on your aviary knowledge, we’ve got you covered on where to start bird watching around Richmond.

🐤 For beginner birders

One of the best ways to learn the ropes is by joining the Richmond Audubon Society for a free field trip.

The group leads bird-focused expeditions around local parks several times a month. The trips are on weekend mornings and visit spots like Bryan Park and Tuckahoe Creek Park.

RAS also hosts regular social meetings, so you can start making knowledgeable connections on Richmond’s bird life.

🐦 For amateur ornithologists

Ready to leave the nest? There are plenty of parks and trails around Richmond to enjoy.

Reader Christina M. recommends Oakwood Cemetery — keep your eyes peeled for hawks and bluebirds.

Two birds of prey in flight, seen from below

Birds of prey like raptors, hawks, and osprey can be found along the James River and in the forests of Shenandoah National Park.

Photo via Virginia State Parks

The James River Park System has osprey in the spring, including Richmond’s favorite power couple, Maggie and Walker. Also keep your eyes open for bald eagles, herons, ducks, and owls.

Just south of the city, you can wander Dutch Gap Conservation Area to find American goldfinches, eastern bluebirds, and sparrow hawks, as well as a blue heron rookery.

A short drive north, Shenandoah National Park also has plenty of beautiful birds, including raptors and other birds of prey.

For more complete lists of where to look for what birds in Richmond, Birding Virginia has a thorough breakdown of what to look for in city parks. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation also has also has a guide.

Have any more suggestions? Send us an email and we might add it to our list.

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