Virginia offers birders a wide range of habitats and a large selection of birds, with about 390 regularly-occurring species. Each region has its special sites, distinct habitats, and particular birds. A Birder's Guide to Virginia is divided into six major regions: Eastern Shore, Coastal Plain, Northern, Central, Southern Piedmont, and Southern Mountains and Valleys.
Over 70 major sites are described, ranging from the suburban parks of Alexandria and Arlington—close to Washington D.C.—to the remote back roads and reservoirs of southwestern Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Special attention is given to the major birding and tourist destinations: the Virginia end of the Delmarva Peninsula and popular Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Shenandoah National Park.
In an effort involving many Virginia Society of Ornithology members, who chose the sites and prepared the birding instructions, David W. Johnston has compiled a fascinating new birder's guide to Virginia. Over 70 major sites, with more than 45 maps, are included in this book. Each site description includes access and birding directions, habitat, and information about seasonal bird distribution.
Some of the more interesting birds of the state covered in the book include local winter visitors or residents from the north (such as Great Cormorant, Eurasian Wigeon, Rough-legged Hawk, Purple Sandpiper, and Little Gull), uncommon but findable summer residents (such as Mississippi Kite, Black Rail, King Rail, Brown Pelican, and Swainson's Warbler), and common breeding songbirds with a southern character (such as Acadian Flycatcher, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Yellow-throated Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and Summer Tanager).
A Birder's Guide to Virginia has an annotated checklist for about 425 species, and sections on pelagic birding, hawk-watching, and special species to be found in Virginia. Finally, the book has lists of butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals with notes on the status of each.