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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: April 2, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Sissie Summers, WV State Parks and Recreation Section 304-55-2764 Sissie.A.Summers@wv.gov

What's the word? Birding in West Virginia

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - With the advance of springtime and summer, birds are either migrating from West Virginia to summer breeding areas, or returning to West Virginia from winter havens. Many West Virginia birds migrate south to take advantage of warmer temperatures and habitats with more insects and seeds.

Spring migration is an invitation to get outside and observe and welcome back many species of birds. Birding programs and activities are scheduled at many West Virginia State Parks. These are open to the public, generally without cost, to encourage a lifelong hobby of watching and learning about songbirds, raptors, and the occasional shore bird finding its way to the Mountain State.

Birds to see in West Virginia from late April to early June include 35 species of warblers including:

  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Golden-winged Warbler
  • Mourning Warbler
  • Connecticut Warbler
  • Swainson's Warbler
  • Worm-eating Warbler
  • Kentucky Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Yellow-breasted Chat

Other birds to watch for are:

  • Summer Tanager
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Bachman's Sparrow
  • Philadelphia Vireo
  • Bobolink
  • Clay-colored Sparrow
  • Red-headed Woodpecker

Scheduled bird watching events at West Virginia State Parks include:

April 5, 2014 - Watoga State Park's Birding & Wildflower Walk

A birding and wildflower walk along the Jesse Cover Trail begins at 10:30 a.m. The starting point is the check-in station at Watoga State Park's Riverside Campground. This will be about a 5-mile hike. Wear appropriate boots and outerwear. www.watoga.com 304-799-4087

April 19, 26 and May 3, 2014 - Prickett's Fort State Park's Annual Spring Bird Walks

Three Saturday morning bird walks are scheduled at Prickett's Fort State Park. Staff of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will serve as leaders. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring binoculars if you have them. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Pricketts' Fort visitors center, 8 a.m. www.pickettsfortstatepark 304-363-3030

May 2-4, 2014 - Tygart Lake State Park's Bird Banding Weekend

Master bird bander Joey Herron will have mist nets in place Saturday and Sunday mornings and will conduct programs about bird watching, identification and songs. Banding and birding begins Saturday morning at 8 a.m.  An 11 a.m. Migration and Birds of West Virginia program is followed by a 1:15- 4 p.m. field trip to Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area for birding. Sunday includes banding and birding from 8 to 11:30 a.m. near Tygart Lodge. The activities are open to the public. Overnight lodge room rates are available. Tygart also has scheduled a fall birding weekend, including banding, Oct. 3-5, 2014. www.tygartlake.com 304-265-6144

May 10, 2014 - Watters Smith Memorial State Park's Spring Bird Walk

Learn basic birding skills and search the park landscape for migratory birds May 10 at Watters Smith Memorial State Park. The bird walk is led by Park Supt. Andrew Bennett. Bring binoculars and wear sturdy hiking shoes. The walk begins at 8 a.m. at the Activity Building. No registration or fees are required. www.watterssmithstatepark.com 304-745-3081

May 10, 2014 - Little Beaver State Park's Migration Celebration

Join Three Rivers Avian Center at Little Beaver State Park May 10 for the Migration Celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a free event organized at Little Beaver State Park by TRAC that includes hikes, nature programs, birds of prey presentation and other information. This is a family event geared to outdoor education and birding interests. www.tracwv.org 304-466-4683

To learn more about programs and activities at West Virginia's state parks and forests, visit www.wvstateparks.com.


Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Many migratory birds such as this Cerulean Warbler can be seen during guided bird walks in West Virginia state parks in the spring.
Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Many migratory birds such as this Cerulean Warbler can be seen during guided bird walks in West Virginia state parks in the spring.