Canaan Valley Birding Festival


Each June, locals and visitors with a love for nature can join Canaan Valley for their annual Birding Festival, where more than 100 species and forms of birds can be seen.

Due to its diverse, high-elevation boreal habitat, Canaan Valley is the breeding ground for many Neotropical birds. The areas Hardwood and Spruce forests, grasslands, and wetlands welcome a wide variety of species such as, Bobolinks, Scarlet tanagers, Baltimore and Orchard orioles, Chestnut-sides and Black-throated Green Warblers, and plenty more!

You don’t have to be educated on birds to participate! The beautiful scenery is an ideal setting for any outdoor adventurist, whether you partake in the festival or you just want to enjoy the nature surrounding you.

The festival includes daily (all day or half-day) walking tours for bird watching listening with educated tour leaders who will provide helpful instructions to call birds, as well as evening keynote speakers to enjoy. Since leaves protect the birds during their time of nesting, learning songs and calls can help to locate and identify the birds. In a year previous, a recorded 125 bird species/forms were found.

Walking tours often start on Thursday and continue through Sunday. Tours in the past have included: Early Festival Nature and Bird Walk, Seneca Rocks and the South Branch of the Potomac, Stop, Look and Listen, Bird Butterflies and Wildflowers, Sparrows of West Virginia, Blackwater for Beginners, Birding the Dry Fork, and more!

Previous walk leaders and keynote speakers have included individuals such as, Rich Bailey, Katie Fallon, Bill Beatty, Jackie Burns, Herb Myers, Martha Hopper and others. For a complete list of years passed leaders and speakers, click here. It’s important to be courteous to birds and other wildlife you spot during the festival. Please keep in mind the birding ethics and help keep our state parks and nature trails clean.

The Canaan Valley Birding Festival is a fun-filled weekend of outdoor adventure the whole family can partake in!

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