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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel offers travelers and birding enthusiasts the opportunity to observe birds and waterfowl from its four manmade islands. The Bridge-Tunnel's habitat of concrete, steel, asphalt and rocks located in open water, makes an inviting rest stop for birds during their spring and fall migrations.

Birds and waterfowl commonly seen on or near the Bridge-Tunnel's manmade islands:

  • Northern Gannet
  • American White Pelican
  • Brant
  • King Eider
  • Harlequin duck
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Little Gull
  • Black-tailed Gull

For images of more unusual sightings along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, click here.

CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE-TUNNEL BIRDING PROGRAM
Regulations for Increased Security and Continued Access
Effective July 1, 2005

 

I.  INDIVIDUAL BIRDERS OR GROUPS

  • Individual birders or groups of not more than 15 must be accompanied by security staff at all times.

  • Visit must be arranged in advance with CBBT Administration for a fixed date/time.

  • Prior to the visit, a manifest of all group members and leaders must be sent to the CBBT, including names, identification data, addresses, etc.

  • Photo identification cards (driver's license, etc.) issued by state/federal government will be checked for all adults against the manifest if need be.

  • Vehicles, belongings, and persons may be checked at any time during the visit, not just check-in.

  • Individual birders and groups will pay in advance a fixed hourly fee of $50 to cover costs associated with booking and with police escort who will remain with them for the entire time they are on the island.

  • All individuals are required to understand and obey all rules and regulations associated with birding the three northern islands.

  • Groups understand that the number of visits by larger groups per day may be limited by staff resources.

  • No cars are allowed beyond the gates.

Application for Birdwatching Permit  (Individuals or Groups Only)
(printable/fillable form - requires adobe acrobat reader)

II.  RESEARCHERS & SCIENTISTS

  • Researchers and scientists who visit will be required to possess and present a CBBT-issued identification card issued annually for a fee of $50.  This may involve a background check and references; a database of applicants/cardholders will be maintained by the CBBT.

  • Check-in and check-out procedures may involve a check of vehicle, persons, and belongings; and photo identification cards issued by state/federal government as well as by the CBBT will be required; check-in and check out will require that all people sign a ledger with personal information.

  • A system of placards, passes or stickers to identify birders' vehicles may be used.

  • Individuals will not be required to have police escort but agree to be checked by security staff at any time during the visit.

  • Access past the security gates on the three northern islands will be possible only on foot, through the pedestrian gates.  Individuals will be escorted in by security personnel who will return at an agreed upon time to escort the individuals out.

Application for Birdwatching Permit  (Researchers & Scientists Only)
(printable/fillable form - requires adobe acrobat reader)

III.  The Bridge-Tunnel reserves the right to change any of these procedures at any time.  The Bridge-Tunnel will conduct a formal review of the procedures by January 1, 2006 with the birding committee.

 

 
 


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