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West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV!
West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV! West Virginia Gun Hunting and Fishing. Great Outdoor vacation guide for WV!
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Wildlife Viewing
Wildlife Diversity Program   Kid Zone   Exotic/Invasive Species   Landscaping For Wildlife


Birding In West Virginia
West Virginia, with its temperate climate, diverse vegetation and dramatic topography, plays host to numerous species of birds throughout the year. In fact, there are 300 plus species of birds that inhabit the state during some portion of the year. More than 75 of these species are known to breed in the state, with the remainder being migrants that pass through or species that spend the winter here.

Watch eagles soar over the Potomac River, listen to the songs of warblers courting in dense evergreen forests atop the Allegheny Plateau, see woodpeckers scour the bark of oak trees for insects, wade through a high elevation fen to glimpse a bittern, or watch waterfowl resting on a migration stopover along the Ohio River. These and many other natural wonders await even the casual bird watcher in West Virginia.

Late spring through early fall is when avian diversity is highest in the Mountain State. From April to July you can rise early and hear the songs of the various species that breed here. Fall and spring are good times to see birds migrating over major waterways and along mountain ridges. Even winter affords the bird watcher access to over 50 species that brave West Virginia’s rugged weather.

The Wildlife Diversity Program conducts bird research and monitoring across the state on a variety of species. For more information on bird research and monitoring efforts, check out WV Partners in Flight and Volunteering with Bird Counts.


Bird Watching Areas

Monongahela National Forest Area
Area Location Featured Species
Dolly Sods Recreation Area Off Route 28, west of Petersburg Grant/Tucker Counties Migrating raptors, high-elevation warblers, thrushes, fall banding station
Smokehole Recreation Area Off Route 28, 7 miles south of Petersburg Bald eagles, kingfishers, sandpipers, osprey, field birds
Cranberry Glades Botanical Area Routes 150 & 55, west of Marlinton, Pocahontas County Flycatchers, northern warblers (check at visitors center)
Gaudineer Knob Recreation Area Route 250 near Cheat Bridge, Randolph County high elevation warblers, thrushes, vireos, grosbeaks
Mower Tract U.S. Forest Service Road 92 south from Route 250, near Cheat Bridge Sparrows, field birds, raptors (harriers), northern warblers,
Odey Bog Back Mountain Road, near Durbin, Pocahontas County High elevation warblers, flycatchers
Fernow Experimental Forest Off Route 219, Parsons, Tucker County Wood warblers, thrushes, early successional species including mourning and golden-winged warblers
Big Run Bog Off Route 219, 5 miles north of Parsons Waterfowl, flycatchers, northern species
Canaan Valley State Park Route 32 south of Davis, Tucker County Flycatchers, Nashville warblers, field birds, raptors (check with naturalist at Nature Center for specifics)
Blackwater Falls State Park Route 32, Davis Northern warblers, thrushes, vireos, woodcock
Mill Creek Municipal Ponds Back Road, off Route. 219, Mill Creek, Randolph County Waterfowl, wading birds


Northern West Virginia
Area Location Featured Species
Northern Panhandle
Ogleby Park Route 88, just outside Wheeling good representation of wintering waterfowl and land birds
Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area Route 8, north of Weirton ring-necked pheasants, sparrows, field species, winter raptors
North/Central
WV University Arboretum WVU Campus, Morgantown spring and fall warblers, winter waterfowl
Tygart Lake S.P./Pleasant Creek WMA Route 119 near Grafton, Taylor County night herons, wading birds, other waterfowl, woodland spp.
Valley Falls State Park Route 310 north of Grafton mature woodland species
Cranesville Swamp, TNC Preserve Cranesville (near Oakland, MD), Preston County flycatchers, northern breeders, wetland associates


Eastern Panhandle
Area Location Featured Species
Altona Piedmont Marsh, TNC Preserve Route 51 near Charles Town, Jefferson County Many interesting marsh species
Shannondale Springs WMA Route 9 southeast of Charles Town Spring warblers, winter waterfowl
Shenandoah River Route 9, Route 340, Eastern Jefferson County Fall through Spring waterfowl and associated species
Sleepy Creek WMA South of Route 9, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties Spring and fall migrations, winter waterfowl, osprey, woodland birds--tanagers, cuckoos, etc.
Short Mountain WMA Off Route 29, Hampshire County wetland species, late spring breeders


Central West Virginia/Ohio River
Area Location Featured Species
Central Counties
Jackson´s Mill 4-H State Camp Off Route 19, north of Weston, Lewis County, exit 105 or 99 off I-79 warblers, woodpeckers, owls, thrushes, orioles, tanagers
bobolinks, sparrows, meadowlarks, raptors, waterfowl
Stonecoal Lake WMA Off Route 33, west of Buckhannon, in Upshur/Lewis Counties ducks, wading birds, gulls, sparrows, meadowlarks, blackbirds, killdeer, bluebirds
Stonewall Jackson Lake S.P./WMA Off I-79, south of Weston, Lewis County Waterfowl, osprey, field and scrub species
North Bend State Park Off US 50 near Harrisville, Richie County Cerulean and other lowland warblers
Cedar Creek State Park Route 33, Glenville, Gilmer County Cerulean and other lowland warblers
Calhoun County Park Route 5 & 16, Grantsville, Calhoun County Cerulean and other lowland warblers
Stumptown WMA Route 33, Stumptown, Gilmer County Cerulean and other lowland warblers
Wallback WMA Off I-79, Roane and Clay Counties Wood Warblers, sparrows, grassland species
Ohio River Corridor
Byrd Locks (Gallipolis Locks & Dam) Route 2, Gallipolis Ferry, Mason County Bank swallows, waterfowl, pipits, sparrows other field spp.
Greenbottom WMA Route 2, Greenbottom, Cabell County shorebirds, waterfowl, flycatchers, tree swallows, prothonotary warblers, blue grosbeaks, harriers
Clifton F. McClintic WMA Route 2, near Point Pleasant, Mason County waterfowl, rails, bitterns, prothonotary warblers; winter:
palm warblers, savannah and swamp sparrows
Mountwood Park East of Parkersburg Wood warblers, other forest species


Southern West Virginia
Area Location Featured Species
Near Charleston
Coonskin Park (outside the city of Charleston) Off Route 114, near Charleston airport bufflehead, osprey flycatchers, swallows, woodpeckers, kinglets, vireos, 30 warbler spp., tanagers, thrushes, orioles
Kanawha State Forest Off Route 119, 4 miles south of Charleston "warbler waves," red-shouldered hawks, thrushes, Acadian flycatchers, redstarts, cerulean and hooded warblers
Kanawha Falls Area Route 60 near Glen Ferris, Fayette County seasonal waterfowl (mergansers, buffleheads, goldeneye, mallards), several species of swallows
New River Gorge Area (visitor center located near New River Bridge)
Bluestone Lake/WMA Route 20 near Hinton, Summers County turkeys, sandpipers, herons, waterfowl, osprey (winter)
Sandstone Falls New River Gorge, north of Hinton waterfowl, vireos, tanagers; kinglets, purple finches, red-breasted nuthatches during migrations
Pipestem State Park Off Route 20, Pipestem, Summers County wood warblers, thrushes, buntings, vireos, ravens, hawks; winter: nuthatches, kinglets (map available at visitor ctr.)
Southern Coal Region
Glenwood Park Route 20, south of Princeton, Mercer County Migrating gulls, terns, sandpipers, spring warblers
Camp Creek State Park Off I-77, Camp Creek, Mercer County woodland birds: warblers, thrushes, tanagers
East River Mountain Hawk Watch Area Off Route 460, WV/VA, line, Mercer County migrating raptors
R.D. Bailey Lake, Reservation Route 32, Justice, Mingo and Wyoming Counties Most field, woodland and waterfowl species




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