“Virginia is for Lovers” is the state of Virginia’s official tourist and travel motto, however, the state also caters to those who are passionate about birds. From the mountains in the state’s western region to the coastal and offshore regions in the state’s eastern region, Virginia is home to a wide variety of bird species and habitats. According to eBird, more than 1.3 million checklists covering over 33,700 observers have been submitted from the Commonwealth of Virginia, resulting in the observation of 488 different birds native to Virginia.

Birds of Virginia


The Appalachians have extended the range of many species which breed in the north into Virginia, which have reached the limit of their range in the south. Breeding species from the south and the north flock to Virginia as a convergence zone. In the western highlands of Virginia, Carolina Chickadees are more common than Black-capped Chickadees. The Blackburnian Warbler and the Mourning Warbler are two examples of additional species that are found in the mountains of Virginia but normally breed farther to the north.

Types Of Birds In Virginia

Anhinga, the Mississippi Kite, the Swainson’s Warbler, and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, which has its farthest northern breeding colonies there. An isolated part of the Coastal Plain has birds native to Virginia of Black-throated Green Warblers, sometimes called Wayne’s Warblers. In places like the Great Dismal Swamp, this population’s breeding habitat extends up to its northernmost point in Virginia. In Canada, the boreal forest to the north and west of the Appalachians accounts for most of the Black-throated Green Warbler’s breeding range.

The mountains, Piedmont, the Coastal Plain, and the offshore areas of Virginia are the most important areas for birdwatching in the state. Virginia birds also have a wide variety of habitats, each of which is home to a distinct community of different types of birds in virginia that adapts to the changing of the seasons.

Types Forest Birds

Those interested in birdwatching birds in Virginia are an excellent state. A variety of forest types can be found in the state, including bottomland hardwoods, coniferous forests, oak-hickory woodlands, and mixed broadleaf-coniferous forests on mountains. Virginia Birds, many of which are targets of conservation efforts, rely on these woods and the different successional phases they provide.

  • Golden-winged Warbler
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Prothonotary Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Swainson’s Warbler
  • Red Crossbill
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • Common Raven
  • Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Types of Waterbirds

Some of the biggest pelicans and swans, the brightest ducks, the most extravagant egrets, and the most exciting birds of all can be seen in Virginia, and they are all types of waterbirds. The vast majority are expert fliers and frequent travelers.

With these skills, it is possible that common birds in Virginia and uncommon waterbirds from far away may sometimes show up in Virginia. Some examples of the “wacky” homeless people that have recently been seen in Virginia are as follows: European Storm-Petrel, Garganey a tiny duck from Eurasia, and the rare Mottled Duck typically not seen north of South Carolina.

While ducks and swans are doing well overall, many other birds in Virginia, including shorebirds, seabirds, and others, are on the decline at alarming rates. Protecting waterbirds that rely on coastal habitats is difficult because of climate change, extreme weather, and rising seas.

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Black-capped Petrel
  • Piping Plover
  • Red Knot
  • Royal Tern
  • Swans
  • Rails

Types of Backyard Birds

The majority of Virginia’s bird watchers get their start just outside their own doors. The following common birds in Virginia and plants are common in urban and suburban areas around the state. Some of the species included here are regular sights for anybody visiting Virginia, while others are a little more elusive but well worth the search.

Types of Raptors

Virginia is home to many different types of raptors, and in the fall, when migration is at its peak, there are excellent chances to view hawks from the shore or in the mountains. Some raptor species, such as the Cooper’s Hawk, the Mississippi Kite, and the Peregrine Falcon, are increasing in frequency in our cities due to human growth.

Waterfowl and day-flying raptors are two groups whose numbers are progressively increasing throughout North America. The study found that between 1970 and 2010, the number of hawks and eagles in the United States and Canada grew by 78% (15 million birds), while the number of Ospreys soared by 400%.

Read on to find out what raptors to look out for in Virginia, and keep your eyes on the sky; any one of these species might suddenly fly above.

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mississippi Kite
  • Bald Eagle
  • Peregrine Falcon

Types of Grassland Birds


Populations of grassland birds in the United States and Canada have dropped by over 53% (more than 720 million birds) since 1970. These losses were more severe than those of birds in the boreal forest, eastern forest, along the coast, or in the air. The three grassland birds listed below provide a tiny sampling of what to search for in Virginia and highlight some of the conservation efforts made on behalf of these species.

  • Short-eared Owl
  • American Woodcock
  • Grasshopper Sparrow


Which bird is Virginia known for?
The majestic Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States and the biggest of Virginia’s bird species, may be seen flying over the state in practically anyplace. It takes many years for the famous white head/white tail adult plumage to develop, so this beautiful bird comes in a wide range of colors.
Does Virginia have pigeons?
Rock Pigeons, unlike the more frequent mourning dove, are nearly never seen outside of metropolitan areas in Virginia. This species of bird is universally understood to be a “pigeon.” They congregate in great numbers in public parks to beg for scraps or birdseed.
Virginia is famous for what?
Due to its significance as the location of the first English colony in North America, Virginia is sometimes called the “birthplace of a country.” There was a total of eight gentlemen born in Virginia who went on to become president, including four of the first five.
Does Virginia have flamingos?
Flounders and algae make up the bulk of a flamingo’s diet. Unlike any other animal, these birds utilize the underside of their beaks to scoop up dirt and muck from the food they eat. Virginia is home to one of the species that has been documented there.
How many birds live in Virginia?
What is the grand total of the world’s bird population? Research from 2021 estimates that there are around 50 billion birds in the world. Yes, you read it right: there are 50,000,000,000,000 birds in the planet.

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