ChincoteagueVacationRentals

The Refuge: Nature, Wildlife, Birding, Trails, & a Light House to Climb!

Many are surprised that the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is not on Chincoteague Island, it’s actually on Assateague Island in Virginia and shares the  37 mile long island with the Assateague National Seashore  and a small Maryland State park. 

Sika Dear are actually miniature elk were brought to Assateague  by a Boy Scout troop  in the early 1920’s.   They had purchased the deer and  charged visitors to Ocean City MD to see them, but when the novelty wore off and feeding them was expensive, they  set them free on Assateague Island.

Besides sika deer and the Chincoteague ponies, the other wildlife you might enjoy when you visit are White Tail deer, Delmarva Fox squirrel, fox and raccoons. 

There’s an EagleCam watching for the Eagles eggs to hatch,  and assorted herons and  egrets, osprey, along with rails, red-winged blackbirds.    Piping plovers arrive in spring to nest and feed on a large area of protected  sandy beaches.

With it’s location along the Atlantic migratory  flyway,  both northern and southern species are attracted in addition to it’s resident birds.  There are feeding and nesting opportunities for many different shorebirds, waterfowl, waders, songbirds and even owls and raptors.

The wildlife you might enjoy are the Chincoteague Ponies, Sika  & White Tail deer, Delmarva Fox squirrel, and numerous other wildlife.  With it’s location along the Atlantic migratory  flyway,  both northern and southern species are attracted in addition to it’s resident birds.  There are feeding and nesting opportunities for many different shorebirds, waterfowl, waders, songbirds and even owls and raptors.

Chincoteague Refuge is different from  most other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges in that they welcome visitors in addition to protecting  it wildlife and birds throughout it’s 14,000 acres of beach,  dunes, maritime forest and marshes.  It was established in 2042 to provide a habitat for migratory birds, with special emphasis on the greater snow geese that visit each winter.

Open all year, the Assateague Island Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge attracts young and old, including serious birders hoping to add some species to their life list.  

Egtret-in-the-wildlife-refuge