Blue Heron Rookery

In every late winter and early spring, the rookery provides an essential breeding and nesting habitat for about 40 great blue herons and a few pairs of great egrets. The herons in particular go through elaborate courtship behaviors, building their nests and raising their young in a location that bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy.

  • The rookery is located just west of the 14th Street Bridge.
  • It is best viewed from the north side of the river from the James River Park System’s Pipeline Walk.
  • The pipeline runs along the river behind Vistas on the James and the Riverside on the James condominiums, and is easy to access from either the Canal Walk off 14th Street behind Vistas on the James, near the Floodwall, or from the east end of Brown’s Island.  You can also view the Rookery from the lookout behind the floodwall at 12th and Byrd streets.
  • You will find good parking between the old Reynolds Building and the old Power Station building near The Locks and Vistas on the James, as well as in the parking garage at Riverside on the James.


Along the Riverfront Canal Walk, a public park open from dawn to dusk


For guided walks through the rookery, call Audubon’s Important Bird Area Program at (804) 788-7660.
For more information, call the James River Park System office at (804) 646-8911.

Launch official website