• Gaines' Mill battlefield -- Watt House area

    Richmond

    National Battlefield Park Virginia

Birds

Great Blue Heron

A great blue heron surveying the wetlands at Crewes Channel

(NPS Photo)

Birds are often the most visible wildlife found at Richmond National Battlefield Park. Many bird species rely on the park's combination of field, forest, and wetland for food and shelter. For example, bluebirds prefer open fields with scattered trees for nesting, while red-headed woodpeckers prefer forested areas with many dead trees, where they can search for insects.

Such habitats can be found at many of the park's units, including Cold Harbor, where past management has created an open forest setting, including a number of standing dead trees. Red-tailed hawks and other raptors require open space for hunting small ground-dwelling mammals, and mature forested areas for nesting and reproduction. This combination of habitats can be found at several of the park's units, such as Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill, where open fields representing the historic landscape lie adjacent to forest. The park's open wetlands support many water birds as well. Great egrets and great blue herons can be seen perched on standing dead trees or hunting for fish in the wider sections of Crewes' Channel at Malvern Hill and Boatswain Creek at Gaines' Mill.

Richmond National Battlefield Park's management efforts aim to preserve the variety and quality of habitats thereby maintaining the diversity of bird populations and the ecosystem they are a part of.

Did You Know?

Civil War era photograph of Thadeus Lowe's balloon Intrepid being inflated on the battlefield.

The battle of Gaines' Mill outside of Richmond, Virginia, was the first Civil War battle where both sides got help from above--in the form of observation balloons.