A list of the “Top 5 Places to Spot a Bald Eagle” on the James River and Richmond isn’t on the list? Seriously, spotting a bald eagle between Pony Pasture and Belle Isle is pretty easy to do. I’ve seen an osprey and an eagle circling the sky screeching at each other. Richmond is the only […]
A list of the “Top 5 Places to Spot a Bald Eagle” on the James River and Richmond isn’t on the list? Seriously, spotting a bald eagle between Pony Pasture and Belle Isle is pretty easy to do. I’ve seen an osprey and an eagle circling the sky screeching at each other.
Richmond is the only U.S. capital in the Lower 48 with bald eagles nesting within the city limits. Juneau, Alaska, is the only other U.S. capital with that distinction.
One of the best places to see a bald eagle in Richmond is along scenic Riverside Drive, just west of the Boulevard Bridge. An island just east of the Atlantic Coast Line Bridge has a tall pine tree with a nest. (More on bald eagles on JRNH)
Now, the statewide list (I tease because I love them) from the James River Association:
Top 5 Places to Spot a Bald Eagle
Next time you go out on the James River, try to keep your head in the clouds and your eyes open to spot a Bald eagle. The best way to spot them is to understand where they hang out and what they look like. Mature eagles, both male and female, have a distinctive white head with a brown body with a very large wingspan. They nest in tall trees, usually near bodies of water. The James River now has 165 breeding pairs that were documented in March 2011 by the Center for Conservation Biology and The College of William and Mary. Below are some of the best places to see one of these majestic birds.
- The James River Wildlife Refuge is a favorite spot for many eagles. It is not open to the public, but you can take your boat out on the James from Hopewell to Westover and you are sure to spot one.
- The stretch of the James River near Jamestown and the mouth of the Chickahominy River is a great place to see an eagle. If you don’t have your own boat, take a ride on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry.
- The Balcony Falls area of the James River offers a beautiful backdrop for spotting a bald eagle. The large boulders offer them a great place from which to hunt. If you are planning on taking your kayak, be careful as there is a Class III rapid through this stretch.
- There are several nesting pairs along the Nansemond River in Suffolk. This river offers an alternative to those in the Hampton Roads areas that find the tidal James a little intimidating for their canoes or kayaks.
- The shores of Lake Moomaw are home to several pairs of eagles. This is a great open area for those in the upper part of the James River watershed to spot an eagle.