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April 15, 2023
9:00 AM–4:00 PM
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Virginia Osprey Festival in Colonial Beach

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is a proud sponsor and partner of the Virginia Osprey Festival in Colonial Beach, hosted by Downtown Colonial Beach and Colonial Beach Greenspace. The event will take place on Saturday, April 15 from 9am–4pm in the quaint beachfront town of Colonial Beach, located along the Potomac River on Virginia’s Northern Neck. This annual festival celebrates the charismatic bird of prey, the Osprey, as it returns to the area for its nesting season. With over 42 easily observable nests throughout the small town, these raptors create quite the birding spectacle!

Activities will occur throughout the day, with guided tours of Osprey nests via golf cart and trolley, numerous exhibitors (including DWR), expert presentations, children’s activities, and live raptors. Dr. Bryan Watts, Director of The Center for Conservation Biology at William & Mary, will deliver the keynote, “Osprey of the Chesapeake.” Artist and illustrator, Kate Garchinsky, will be on-hand to sign copies of her children’s book, Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight, and she will be demonstrating illustration techniques for kids. See event flyer and website for more information.

New this year, the festival has expanded to offer Sunday morning bird walks on April 16 at Westmoreland State Park and James Monroe’s Birthplace, hosted by the Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists and the Northern Neck Audubon Society. Pre-registration is required for these walks. For those who prefer to create their own adventure on Sunday morning, explore any one the 22 nearby birding and wildlife viewing sites on the Northern Neck Loop of the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail.

    April 29, 2023
    10:00 AM–2:00 PM
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    Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival

    The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is a partner and exhibitor for the Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival. The event will take place on April 28–29 at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk. This annual festival celebrates spring bird migration.

    Numerous guided bird walks, bus tours, and nature walks are offered on Friday, April 28 through Saturday, April 29. On Saturday, April 29, from 10 AM–2 PM, festival offerings expand to also include exhibitors, children’s activities, and talks by experts. On Saturday, the DWR will be one of the exhibitors and is leading an introductory bird walk for beginners. Our Non-game Bird Conservation Biologist will give a talk on “The Butcher Bird: Conservation of the Loggerhead Shrike in Virginia.”

    The entire festival is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required for all walks, tours, and presentations. Registration will close April 27 by 4:00 PM.