WV DNR News Release

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Jim Justice, Governor
Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: May 22, 2018

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Media Contact: Samantha Smith 304-957-9364 [email protected]


Paulita Cousin, Naturalist, Blackwater Falls State Park, 304-259-5216, [email protected]

Bird Discovery Weekend at Blackwater Falls features Bill Beatty June 1-3

DAVIS, W.Va. — Blackwater Falls State Park is one of West Virginia’s best birdwatching regions and will host a new nature event for birding enthusiasts on June 1-3. The event, called Bird Discovery Weekend, will be led by birding expert Bill Beatty of Wellsburg, West Virginia. Beatty is a seasoned naturalist of 45 years and author of three books and numerous magazine articles. 

“We’ll learn more about raptors, wood warblers and birding as a hobby,” said Paulita Cousin, Blackwater Falls State Park naturalist. “The event is designed to give advanced and beginning birders a chance to see and listen to birds at a variety of scenic mountain habitats.”

The weekend fee is $60 per person and includes all activities, presentations and boxed lunches. There will be field trips on Saturday and Sunday, but they are limited to 30 people. Advance reservation is required by calling 304-259-5216. Accommodations at Blackwater Falls State Park are available at an additional cost.

Activities include a Friday afternoon birding workshop, and presentations about West Virginia warblers and raptors on Friday and Saturday evening. Pre-registration and a $10 fee, which includes refreshments, are required for anyone wishing to attend the evening presentations only.

Saturday's Field Trip will be to the Olsen Fire Tower/Fernow Experimental Forest and will depart the Blackwater Falls Lodge at 6:30 a.m. Participants can expect to see many species of warblers and to hear the beautiful songs of the Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush and Veery, as well as other birds.

Sunday’s field trip to the Canaan Valley area will leave at 5:45 a.m. Participants will experience the wetlands of Freeland Trail, the open meadows, wood edges and deciduous forests of Forest Service Road 80 and the Red Spruce woods, where the road ends on Dolly Sods. Many bird species will be heard and seen.

The weekend also includes free time for individual birding and photography. To learn more about the event and to register for activities and classes, contact Paulita Cousin at 304-259-5216 or [email protected].