Wildlife Viewing in the James River Park

Centuries of neglect and pollution had a horrible negative impact on the abundance of wildlife in the Park. As recently as 1970, anglers were advised to avoid eating fish caught in the James River.

Several decades of habitat restoration and efforts to improve water quality have invited a resurgence of wildlife in the Park, and there are few spots where you won’t encounter creatures great and small. Animals like to hide, so be alert for sounds and tracks in the mud. Looking over the James, you may spot a majestic Bald Eagle scanning for fish. After an absence of many years, Atlantic Sturgeon have begun to return to their ancestral spawning grounds, traveling from the Chesapeake Bay to the rocky bottom of the upper James. Frogs and spotted salamanders may be found in the pools and ponds in and around the River. In early Spring, before the leaves become full, it’s possible to view great migrations of ducks, warblers, sparrows and more.

The wild creatures in the Park often don’t mind being seen, but prefer to be left alone. Observe quietly, and keep your distance.

common wildlife in the park

Watch the Live Osprey Cam

Richmond’s favorite osprey couple, Maggie & Walker returned again this year to their favorite perch in the James River. Every Spring osprey return to the area to lay eggs and hatch their young. They nest between the T-Pot and Manchester Bridges.

This year we worked with Wild Streaming to install an upgraded camera – to better view these magnificent birds. See the stream below.

Report an Issue Form

To report an emergency please call 911 immediately. Please use this form to report an issue in the Park such as maintenance or trail issues. Thank you.

Type of Issue(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.