Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge If you're looking for the official source of information about the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, please visit our homepage at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/back_bay/.
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For more information about the USFWS, head to http://www.fws.gov/ Welcome to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Located in the southeastern corner of Virginia, Back Bay NWR was established by Presidential Proclamation in 1938 to provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl, particularly greater snow geese. Today, the Refuge continues to be an important link in the chain of National

For more information about the USFWS, head to http://www.fws.gov/ Welcome to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Located in the southeastern corner of Virginia, Back Bay NWR was established by Presidential Proclamation in 1938 to provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl, particularly greater snow geese. Today, the Refuge continues to be an important link in the chain of National

Back Bay NWR is looking for a Youth Conservation Corps Leader. Job Details: Work is primarily outdoors, from late June t...
06/04/2021

Back Bay NWR is looking for a Youth Conservation Corps Leader.

Job Details: Work is primarily outdoors, from late June through mid-August. Projects focus on trail maintenance, demolition and construction. Crew leaders work 40 hours/week, Monday - Friday.

Please contact Mary Riley at [email protected] to apply!

Back Bay NWR is looking for a Youth Conservation Corps Leader.

Job Details: Work is primarily outdoors, from late June through mid-August. Projects focus on trail maintenance, demolition and construction. Crew leaders work 40 hours/week, Monday - Friday.

Please contact Mary Riley at [email protected] to apply!

Check out Back Bay NWR's newest citizen science project! You can help us track changes in habitats at the wildlife refug...
06/03/2021

Check out Back Bay NWR's newest citizen science project! You can help us track changes in habitats at the wildlife refuge by taking part in the Chronolog project.

Chronolog creates a time lapse using crowd-sourced images taken at specific locations. The refuge has four Chronolog stations. Three are open to the public year-round, at the Sunset Point Overlook, the end of the Dune Trail (on the beach) and at the Wildlife Viewing Window. The fourth station is in the impoundment complex. Refuge staff and interns will supply the photos to this time lapse so the public can see how the impoundments change throughout the year.

https://www.chronolog.io/project/BKB

Check out Back Bay NWR's newest citizen science project! You can help us track changes in habitats at the wildlife refuge by taking part in the Chronolog project.

Chronolog creates a time lapse using crowd-sourced images taken at specific locations. The refuge has four Chronolog stations. Three are open to the public year-round, at the Sunset Point Overlook, the end of the Dune Trail (on the beach) and at the Wildlife Viewing Window. The fourth station is in the impoundment complex. Refuge staff and interns will supply the photos to this time lapse so the public can see how the impoundments change throughout the year.

https://www.chronolog.io/project/BKB

Ospreys are a common site at this time of year. However, while hiking or biking on the West Dike Trail keep an eye out f...
05/31/2021

Ospreys are a common site at this time of year. However, while hiking or biking on the West Dike Trail keep an eye out for bald eagles. Several adults and juveniles have been seen along this trail over the last few months. We hope you are able to spot one of these magnificent birds!

Ospreys are a common site at this time of year. However, while hiking or biking on the West Dike Trail keep an eye out for bald eagles. Several adults and juveniles have been seen along this trail over the last few months. We hope you are able to spot one of these magnificent birds!

Pond turtles like yellow-bellied sliders (pictured here) have been laying nests in the area for several weeks. Don't be ...
05/29/2021

Pond turtles like yellow-bellied sliders (pictured here) have been laying nests in the area for several weeks. Don't be surprised if you come across one of these turtles digging a hole with their back legs. Some of these nests will be predated by animals such as raccoons and foxes. But others will hatch successfully in the fall!

Pond turtles like yellow-bellied sliders (pictured here) have been laying nests in the area for several weeks. Don't be surprised if you come across one of these turtles digging a hole with their back legs. Some of these nests will be predated by animals such as raccoons and foxes. But others will hatch successfully in the fall!

The West Dike Trail opens today for access to False Cape State Park. Thank you for your patience as we completed an exci...
05/28/2021

The West Dike Trail opens today for access to False Cape State Park. Thank you for your patience as we completed an exciting impoundment management project along this trail.

As you travel down the West Dike you may notice a new dike has been built, separating one of the pools about halfway down the trail. This new division has created a storage pool and a new unit we can manage for the benefit of bird life throughout the year. This project was possible through partnership with Ducks Unlimited.

The West Dike Trail opens today for access to False Cape State Park. Thank you for your patience as we completed an exciting impoundment management project along this trail.

As you travel down the West Dike you may notice a new dike has been built, separating one of the pools about halfway down the trail. This new division has created a storage pool and a new unit we can manage for the benefit of bird life throughout the year. This project was possible through partnership with Ducks Unlimited.

Songbirds abound during the spring. You may see a few of these little birds on your next visit to the refuge. The photos...
05/27/2021

Songbirds abound during the spring. You may see a few of these little birds on your next visit to the refuge.

The photos are of the following birds:
1) Common Yellowthroat
2) Indigo Bunting
3) Red-winged Blackbird (female)
4) Northern Cardinal

Sea turtle patrols started this month. While we have not found a turtle nest yet, this little otter surprised us last we...
05/26/2021

Sea turtle patrols started this month. While we have not found a turtle nest yet, this little otter surprised us last week! It is rare for us to see otters on the beach. Usually these animals stick to the freshwaters of Back Bay.

Local rehabilitators believed this young otter was in need of assistance so they picked up the otter to care for it at their facilities. If you find injured wildlife call Tidewater Wildlife Rescue at (757)255-8710.

Sea turtle patrols started this month. While we have not found a turtle nest yet, this little otter surprised us last week! It is rare for us to see otters on the beach. Usually these animals stick to the freshwaters of Back Bay.

Local rehabilitators believed this young otter was in need of assistance so they picked up the otter to care for it at their facilities. If you find injured wildlife call Tidewater Wildlife Rescue at (757)255-8710.

Bald eagles are likely the most well-known endangered species success story, but other species have recovered from near ...
05/21/2021
Service delisting Carolina plant from Endangered Species Act due to recovery

Bald eagles are likely the most well-known endangered species success story, but other species have recovered from near extinction as well. On this Endangered Species Day we celebrate a recently recovered species.

A small plant in North Carolina and South Carolina was recently delisted, the dwarf-flowered heartleaf. In 1989 the species was listed as threatened, with only 24 known populations. It is now present in 129 populations, 27 of which have more than 1,000 plants.

https://www.fws.gov/southeast/news/2021/04/service-delisting-carolina-plant-from-endangered-species-act-due-to-recovery/

Following a review of the best-available science, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to delist the dwarf-flowered heartleaf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to recovery. The move represents years of ESA-inspired collaborations between state, federal and local stakeholders on be...

Happy Endangered Species Day! Did you know you can watch livestream footage of endangered California condor nests? This ...
05/21/2021
California Condor

Happy Endangered Species Day! Did you know you can watch livestream footage of endangered California condor nests? This pair just hatched a chick on April 10. Check out its progress on the Condor Cam!

For more information on the pair: http://ow.ly/8bDU50EDig7

Watch the California Condor cam

Have you visited the Horn Point Kayak/Canoe Launch on the west side of Back Bay? It is a beautiful spot for a morning pa...
05/20/2021

Have you visited the Horn Point Kayak/Canoe Launch on the west side of Back Bay? It is a beautiful spot for a morning paddle and a little fishing.

CREDIT: Bill Gassett

05/19/2021

The East Dike Trail is now back open to the public. Thank you for your patience as we work to make headway in the fight against Phragmites.

The Dike Trails will be closed at the parking lot tomorrow, Wednesday, May 19 for aerial herbicide spraying of the invas...
05/18/2021

The Dike Trails will be closed at the parking lot tomorrow, Wednesday, May 19 for aerial herbicide spraying of the invasive plant species Phragmites australis. As soon as the aerial spray operation is complete the dike trails will open.

The Seaside Trail, Refuge beach, Raptor Trail and Kuralt Trail remain open for visitor recreation.

The Dike Trails will be closed at the parking lot tomorrow, Wednesday, May 19 for aerial herbicide spraying of the invasive plant species Phragmites australis. As soon as the aerial spray operation is complete the dike trails will open.

The Seaside Trail, Refuge beach, Raptor Trail and Kuralt Trail remain open for visitor recreation.

Mammals of fun creatures to see when out and about at the refuge. Last week a muskrat stole the show, swimming through o...
05/18/2021

Mammals of fun creatures to see when out and about at the refuge. Last week a muskrat stole the show, swimming through one of the impoundments at the north end of False Cape State Park.

Muskrats are small water rodents, weighing only about 2-4 pounds. They primarily feed on vegetation and sometimes build platforms on which they drag their food to eat.

Mammals of fun creatures to see when out and about at the refuge. Last week a muskrat stole the show, swimming through one of the impoundments at the north end of False Cape State Park.

Muskrats are small water rodents, weighing only about 2-4 pounds. They primarily feed on vegetation and sometimes build platforms on which they drag their food to eat.

A walk down the Raptor Trail is an opportunity to view a variety of wildlife. This cardinal, common yellowthroat and bul...
05/17/2021

A walk down the Raptor Trail is an opportunity to view a variety of wildlife. This cardinal, common yellowthroat and bullfrog were all seen just this weekend. Thank you Reese Lukei for sharing these photos!

Today is #MarineScienceDay! The Virginia Institute of Marine Science  is hosting a day full of activities, including an ...
05/15/2021
Marine Science Day

Today is #MarineScienceDay! The Virginia Institute of Marine Science is hosting a day full of activities, including an art contest, costume contest and virtual activities ranging from a cooking demonstration to a discussion about ocean acidification. Head on over to the VIMS website for more information - https://www.vims.edu/public/msd/index.php

HomePublic ProgramsMarine Science Day Marine Science Day Marine Science Day 2021    Photo - of -Hide Caption Multimedia ResourcesFacility RentalsVolunteering FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInInstagram Saturday, May 15th 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (EDT) Join us online for a day of fun, educational, and engag...

The speed limit on the entrance road is 25 mph. This speed limit is in place for the safety of hikers and bikers using t...
05/14/2021

The speed limit on the entrance road is 25 mph. This speed limit is in place for the safety of hikers and bikers using the road for recreation and for wildlife who pass across the road to reach the habitats on either side.

Drive slowly, use caution and watch for people and wildlife.

The speed limit on the entrance road is 25 mph. This speed limit is in place for the safety of hikers and bikers using the road for recreation and for wildlife who pass across the road to reach the habitats on either side.

Drive slowly, use caution and watch for people and wildlife.

It's #NationalPoliceWeek! Thank you to our Refuge Law Enforcement Officer for keeping Back Bay NWR safe for both wildlif...
05/13/2021

It's #NationalPoliceWeek! Thank you to our Refuge Law Enforcement Officer for keeping Back Bay NWR safe for both wildlife and people. We also appreciate all the support from the Virginia Beach Police's Sandbridge patrol team and the Law Enforcement Officers at False Cape State Park.

It's #NationalPoliceWeek! Thank you to our Refuge Law Enforcement Officer for keeping Back Bay NWR safe for both wildlife and people. We also appreciate all the support from the Virginia Beach Police's Sandbridge patrol team and the Law Enforcement Officers at False Cape State Park.

05/13/2021
Eight Can't Miss Paddle Spots in VA

The warm weather means it is time for paddling. We hope you can visit soon for a paddle at Back Bay NWR! There are two kayak launches available to the public - one at the Visitor Center parking area at the end of Sandpiper Road and one at the Horn Point Kayak/Canoe Launch site at the end of Horn Point Road. We hope you can check out both spots!

05/09/2021

Raccoons need to stay hydrated too! Last week we saw these mammals in the morning swimming through the impoundments and taking sips of water from the shore.

Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, although they may be active in the mornings and evenings.

Have you seen all the thistles popping up around the refuge? If you think the leaves look spiky you are correct! This is...
05/08/2021

Have you seen all the thistles popping up around the refuge? If you think the leaves look spiky you are correct! This is an adaptation that helps this plant avoid being eaten by herbivores.

It welcomes pollinators though! Bees and butterflies enjoy the plant, using it as either as a host for larvae or a food source for adults.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Owens

Have you seen all the thistles popping up around the refuge? If you think the leaves look spiky you are correct! This is an adaptation that helps this plant avoid being eaten by herbivores.

It welcomes pollinators though! Bees and butterflies enjoy the plant, using it as either as a host for larvae or a food source for adults.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Owens

The Fee Booth hours of operation will change begin Sunday, May 9th. Please plan to come during these hours to obtain a R...
05/07/2021

The Fee Booth hours of operation will change begin Sunday, May 9th. Please plan to come during these hours to obtain a Refuge Annual Pass, America the Beautiful Pass or Federal Duck Stamp.

The new hours are Fridays - Mondays 8:00am - 5:30pm. Outside of these hours the honor system is in effect. Self-pay envelopes are provided, along with maps and other refuge information.

The Fee Booth hours of operation will change begin Sunday, May 9th. Please plan to come during these hours to obtain a Refuge Annual Pass, America the Beautiful Pass or Federal Duck Stamp.

The new hours are Fridays - Mondays 8:00am - 5:30pm. Outside of these hours the honor system is in effect. Self-pay envelopes are provided, along with maps and other refuge information.

Looking for a little synopsis of the trails at Back Bay NWR? This recent article on Go Hike Virginia offers descriptions...
05/06/2021
Virginia Beach: Hiking Coastal Trails at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Looking for a little synopsis of the trails at Back Bay NWR? This recent article on Go Hike Virginia offers descriptions and photos of the shorter trails at the wildlife refuge.

NOTE: The Blue Goose Wildlife Tram is currently running on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays by reservation. Call False Cape State Park at (757)426-7128 to make your reservation.

Plan to soak up all the scenic bay and ocean views across all four coastal trails at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2021 City Nature Challenge BioBlitz! Congratulations to our very own 2014 ...
05/04/2021
City Nature Challenge 2021: Hampton Roads

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2021 City Nature Challenge BioBlitz! Congratulations to our very own 2014 Volunteer of the Year Liza Eckardt for logging the most observations and most species in our Hampton Roads region!

Our region logged an impressive 1,229 observations of 540 species. Great job everyone!

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-hampton-roads

We can't wait for you to join us for City Nature Challenge 2021! The Hampton Roads location will include all areas within the 7 cities: Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Be a part of documenting Hampton Road's incredible biodiversity by creating obs...

Today is the last day of the 2021 City Nature Challenge! Log all the observations you can today to help Hampton Roads in...
05/03/2021
City Nature Challenge 2021: Hampton Roads

Today is the last day of the 2021 City Nature Challenge! Log all the observations you can today to help Hampton Roads in this friendly international competition!

Check out all the observations from the event on Hampton Roads iNaturalist City Nature Challenge page.

We can't wait for you to join us for City Nature Challenge 2021! The Hampton Roads location will include all areas within the 7 cities: Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Be a part of documenting Hampton Road's incredible biodiversity by creating obs...

We are on Day 2 of the City Nature Challenge, a region-wide BioBlitz. Check out the observations logged thus far  and ad...
05/01/2021
City Nature Challenge 2021: Hampton Roads

We are on Day 2 of the City Nature Challenge, a region-wide BioBlitz. Check out the observations logged thus far and add yours to help our region's total!

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-hampton-roads

We can't wait for you to join us for City Nature Challenge 2021! The Hampton Roads location will include all areas within the 7 cities: Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Be a part of documenting Hampton Road's incredible biodiversity by creating obs...

The 2021 City Nature Challenge starts tomorrow! Help the Seven Cities log observations in iNaturalist.org in this friend...
04/29/2021

The 2021 City Nature Challenge starts tomorrow! Help the Seven Cities log observations in iNaturalist.org in this friendly international competition.

There are a bunch of locations in the Hampton Roads area where you can find wildlife to observe. Find a location close to you or explore a new spot. All observations added to iNaturalist in the Hampton Roads area from April 30th - May 3rd will count towards our region's total!

https://cnchamptonroads.weebly.com/

The 2021 City Nature Challenge starts tomorrow! Help the Seven Cities log observations in iNaturalist.org in this friendly international competition.

There are a bunch of locations in the Hampton Roads area where you can find wildlife to observe. Find a location close to you or explore a new spot. All observations added to iNaturalist in the Hampton Roads area from April 30th - May 3rd will count towards our region's total!

https://cnchamptonroads.weebly.com/

Address

4005 Sandpiper Rd
Virginia Beach, VA
23456

General information

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge contains over 9,250 acres, situated on and around a thin strip of coastline typical of barrier islands found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Habitats include beach, dunes, woodland, farm fields, and freshwater marsh. The majority of Refuge marshlands are on islands contained within the waters of Back Bay. Approximately 10,000 snow geese and a large variety of ducks visit Back Bay NWR during the peak of fall migration, usually in December. The Refuge also provides habitat for a wide assortment of other wildlife, including threatened and endangered species such as loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers and peregrine falcons. Back Bay NWR provides scenic trails, a Visitor Contact Station, and, with advance scheduling, group educational opportunities. The Refuge is located just south of Sandbridge Beach in Virginia Beach, at the southern end of Sandpiper Road. Outdoor facilities are open daily dawn to dusk. PLEASE NOTE: To avoid conflicts with wildlife, and for visitor safety, pets are not allowed on the Refuge at any time. The Visitor Contact Station hours are 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. weekdays, 9:00 AM - 4:00 P.M. weekends. The Visitor Contact Station is closed Sundays, November through March as well as federal holidays with the exception of Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. Our Administrative Office and mailing address is: 1324 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. COMMENTING POLICY We encourage civil and constructive conversation. We never discriminate against any views, but we reserve the right to delete any of the following: --- personal attacks or otherwise violent or hateful comments --- selling or advertising --- promoting illegal activity --- off-topic posts --- personal information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, or mailing addresses If you violate these policies repeatedly, we will remove you from this page.

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Comments

2 Rough Greensnakes in a tree. Narration by me.
My mother loved Back Bay; a place of her youth; she talked of it until the end of her life!
With cold winds howling and virtually no people around, this was the view from one of the lookouts near the visitors center this morning.
Is there a schedule for the winter tram tours online? It appears that the one on there is from last year. Thanks for your help.
A Great Blue Heron catches a moccasin snake. What an amazing thing to watch and capture. This occurred on the main trail and not far from the parking lot.
Spotted this otter along the main gravel trail not far from the visitor's center! The Great Blue Heron was very interested in having some of the fish that the otter was feasting on!
Had a wonderful day trip to Back Bay NWR yesterday! Birds were quiet but the snakes did not disappoint!
This moccasin had an injured or sick eye.
Are there any tram tours going on at Back Bay?
Another beautiful morning at the nature reserve!
This has been one of my favorite places to visit in the last few months.
Sunrise at Back bay national refuge. Beautiful