June 4 – 7, 2015
The Canaan Valley Birding Festival welcomes all levels of birders and nature lovers. The 2015 festival’s theme is An Avian Celebration. Canaan Valley, because of its diverse high elevation boreal habitat, is fortunate to be the breeding ground for many Neotropical birds. Hardwood and Spruce forests, grasslands and wetlands welcome a wide variety of species; last year 136 species/forms were found. Leaves protect the birds during nesting, so learning songs and calls helps to locate and identify the birds. Leaders will provide instruction on birding by ear as well as eye. Species likely to be seen include Bobolinks, Scarlet tanagers, Baltimore and Orchard orioles, Vesper, Swamp, Clay-colored and Henslow Sparrows, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow, Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warblers among many others. See our 2014 bird list below.
A variety of walks is scheduled; most leave very early, when the birds are most active. For the most in-depth experience, do an all-day walk (box lunch provided). Try a morning walk, eat lunch at the lodge and join an afternoon walk highlighting birds and nature including our early summer butterflies. We carpool to birding sites, some are very close, and others may be up to an hour from the lodge. If you want to do some area sightseeing, do a morning walk, eat lunch and be on your own for the afternoon to see some of our awesome places including riding the chair lift to the top of the mountain (we will be glad to share information).
This year, our presenters will celebrate many aspects of the birding experience. Bill Beatty and Jan Runyan will share information about our Allegheny Front Migration Observatory, one of the longest running fall migrating bird banding station in this country. Rich Bailey, our DNR ornithologist, will share trends found from the recently completed WV Breeding Bird Atlas, and Wil Hershberger will help us explore just how special birdsong truly is. Chan Robbins, one of the birding pioneers, will share his thoughts and experiences.
Remember to bring a good jacket (our days can be cool and our nights cooler) and shoes that can get wet. We hope you will find our festival’s knowledgeable leaders and beautiful scenic area to be a joyful experience.
*Schedule subject to change without notice. Please call with questions or for further details (304) 800-622-4121 ext. 2788.
Note to attendees: Please bring binoculars, appropriate hiking footwear/gear for various conditions including wet areas/streams, jacket/rain coat, sweatshirt, sunscreen, water bottle and snacks. Be prepared for various weather conditions, climate and temperatures change frequently in the valley.