Songbirds Aplenty

| May 2, 2015

bobolink

The New River Birding & Nature Festival is happening this week, a perfect time to spy migrant birds that have returned to their nesting grounds in the New River Gorge area from southern locales.  The organizers time the festival to occur before the leaves have fully come out on the trees and when the males have begun singing their courting songs.birding in the New River Gorge

Among the amazing birds to be spotted in the New River Gorge are bobolinks (above), a rare bird that can only be found in a few locations. Other songbirds abound, including warblers, vireos, thrashers, egrets, sandpipers, and more.

bird watching New River Gorge

 

 

 

 

 

The festival, in its 13th year, has on hand local guides as well as songbird experts who are more than happy to share their knowledge with avid birders to novices.

One of the essential skills for successful birding is being able to distinguish bird songs from each other—say, the call of a hooded warbler (below) from a common robin. Birders use their ears before their eyes to locate the songbirds, then quickly find the beautiful creatures perching on branches in powerful scopes.

hooded warblerAs we found out this week, the effort is truly worthwhile. Registration is closed for this festival, but there is always next year. For more information about the New River Birding Festival, go to birding-wv.com. Or look for a full-length article about the festival in the summer/fall issue of the New River Gorge Adventure Guide.

Bird photos from Wikipedia Commons. All other photos NRGAG.

 

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Category: Nature

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