Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Seasons: Spring, Fall, Winter
  • Site Contact: (757) 331-2960 x20
  • Site Access: See Description
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Site CES01: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel


$12 one-way fee, $5 return trip if made within 24 hours. Birding site locations available to the public are the southernmost island located 3 1/2 miles offshore from Virginia Beach and the scenic overlook located at the northern end of the facility. To access the second, third or fourth islands, individuals and groups must make application for permission and pay a fee in advance prior to their planned trip. To obtain an application visit or write the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Dept. 001, P.O. Box 111, Cape Charles, VA 23310-0111, (757) 331-4565 (fax). The birding habitat consists of concrete, steel, asphalt, and rock islands located in open water. These manmade islands support the bridge and provide rest stops for migrating shorebirds during spring and fall. The site also picks up numerous unusual or locally rare sightings due to its position out in the bay. Northern gannet, brant, king eider, little gull, great cormorant, purple sandpiper, and rarities such as black-tailed gull make this the best winter birding site in Virginia. The presence of occasional harbor seals and wintering whales add to the allure of this venue. Access to the islands requires written permission from the bridge district.


From I-64 take Exit #282, US 13 North/Northampton Boulevard. Proceed 6.0 miles (following the signs) to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Loop Map