Visitor Center at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
The beautiful Visitor Center at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of two floors. The first floor contains the Eagle's Nest Book and Gift Shop, a collection of wildlife exhibits, an authentic eagles' nest, and two TV monitors for watching live video from the Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam. Also on the first floor are restrooms and a multipurpose room, as well as an information desk and a selection of brochures that will help everyone make the most of their visit to the Blackwater area.
The second floor contains a second set of TV monitors for the Osprey Cam and Eagle Cam, as well as bird exhibits and a bird-watchers' observatory where visitors can use spotting scopes to view the Osprey Cam platform, the Blackwater River, and the marsh. This observatory is called the "Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature Observatory" and was made possible by a grant from the Pathways to Nature conservation fund, which is a partnership between Wild Birds Unlimited stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Access to the second floor is via a staircase or a small wheelchair-friendly elevator.
Also on the second floor is our Birding and Natural History Library. With the assistance of the Friends of Blackwater, Blackwater NWR constructed the research library, which contains over 500 volumes of birding and wildlife books donated by long-time volunteer Dick Kleen. A partial list of the library books available can be found in our library inventory list (PDF, 193 KB).
Outside the back of the building is the beautiful Butterfly and Beneficial Insect Garden. Visitors can walk the garden and observe the plants, flowers, birds, and insects. Visitors should also be sure to look for adult and immature bald eagles soaring over the garden and the nearby marsh.
Visitor Center hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).