West Virginia Birding Resources

West Virginia’s rugged, mountainous, and heavily forested terrain may have slowed our economic development some, but it has been a boon for our bird populations! The Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology has identified Southern West Virginia’s mixed mesophytic forests as crucial stopover and breeding habitat for a large variety of species


The Nifty Fifty

The Nifty Fifty is a mini-guide to the birds of West Virginia. It includes descriptions, images, video and songs of 50 of the most often observed birds of West Virginia. View the guide by clicking here or on the Nifty Fifty link on the left.

You will need the free Flash player to view the guide.

Some birds prefer to stay near the ground, while others are almost always seen high in a tree. Look for the following notations in the species descriptions to determine where the species is most likely to be seen. If a note is not present, the bird does not have a strong affinity for a particular region.

  • Look high.
  • Look mid-story.
  • Look low.


State Information

Birds of West Virginia Field Checklis


Birding Locations

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge


Northern Cardinal

West Virginia State Bird - Northern Cardinal


West Virginia Birding Events

New River Birding and Nature Festival
A week annually in April/May
New River Gorge National River in West Virginia

Phone: 304-574-4258
The New River Birding & Nature Festival is located in and around the New River Gorge National River. Administrated by the National Park Service, this area is the heart of the upland, hardwood forests that Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology has identified as a crucial stopover habitat for the continued survival of species such as Golden-winged,Blue-winged, and Swainson's warbler, as well as the Scarlet Tanager. The festival will include a wide array of educational and entertainment opportunities: Guarantee vans, birding by boat, Master Gardeners, world-class speakers and artists, to name a few.The New River Festival will highlight over 100 species of birds with the focus on Wood Warblers.


Other resources and locations

If you have suggestions for additional birding resources in West Virginia, from web sites to your favorite birding location, submit your information using the following form. You can cut and paste large amounts if text into the information field. Birding locations are the most desired, but any good resource on West Virginia birds is welcomed.

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