The Birds are Coming! The Birds are Coming!

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Giving the Hawk eye photo by Sue Rice

On Columbus Day weekend, the Eastern Shore might look like a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The only fear you should have is missing the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival. Now in its 24th year, the festival attracts birders from across the United States.

Due to the unique geographic location of Cape Charles, Virginia, the Eastern Shore provides a natural funnel effect for migrating birds in the Fall. Hawks, warblers and songbirds find their way to the Delmarva Peninsula. An average of 165 species of birds are seen each year at the Festival. Cape Charles is a rest stop for the birds as they make their four to eight week trip to the rainforests of Central and South America.

A short rest before a long flight     photo by Roberta Kellam

A short rest before a long flight photo by Roberta Kellam

The Virginia Coast Reserve was created by the Nature Conservancy in the early 1970s. It is one of the few remaining coastal wildernesses on the eastern seaboard of the US. The islands and marshes shelter more than 250 species during the year including, waders, seabirds, raptors, songbirds, and winter waterfowl. If you a birder, this is the place to be.

Elegance and grace....photo by Roberta Kellam

Elegance and grace….photo by Roberta Kellam

The four day festival, October 6th-9th, offers over 95 field trips, boat trips, walking tours and workshops. But you need to register soon because slots fill up quickly.  Here are a few tips to make your visit outstanding:

  • Get out on the water! One of the best ways to view the birds is by taking a boat trip to the marshes, islands and bays that make up the Virginia Coast Reserve. These tickets go quickly so you will want to book now.
  • Bring your binoculars and field guide! You can’t very well see the birds without binoculars–unless you have bird-like vision.
  • Watch the weather forecast! Fall in Virginia always brings unpredictable weather. However, the best birding is in unpleasant weather. Bring your rain gear.
  • Plan your stay! We invite you to stay with us at the Bay Haven Inn while you attend the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival. Please let us know if you are a “birder” when booking your room. Who knows what special bird surprise may be waiting for you?

Whether you are joining us to partake in the festivities at the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival or just need a weekend away, we welcome your stay at the Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles.

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