New River Bird & Nature Festival

The New River Birding & Nature Festival is the main funding source for the nonprofit Fayette County Education Fund, that provides programs for environmental education and youth leadership training in Fayette County. The fund is great for local youth. This means that the bird watchers are contributing towards a good cause.

Rachel Davis, Marketing Director and Coordinator, said, “The group I am with today, we started at Burnwood and we ended at Babcock, we have been birding at the places in between. It has been a brilliant, beautiful day for birding today.”

This is one of the longest running eco-tourism events in West Virginia. People from around the continent come visit to enjoy the environment and its nature it provides. They can see neotropical migrant birds in their natural breeding habitat. Warblers are known to breed in these mountains.

Mark Garland, Festival Guide, said, “Most of what we are doing are looking for birds, but we were just looking at some butterflies and paying attention to wildflowers and toad eggs. Just everything about nature. This part of West Virginia is just very rich of natural history. People have come from all over.”

Chip Berry, Visitor from Ohio, said, “It’s really high here it’s over 2000 feet. It is a different area for the birds. Plus, I am a newbie at this. I have not done any festivals before. There are a lot of people here that know a lot about birds.”

There is even an app called BirdGenie where you can record a bird that is singing and it tells you what kind of bird it is, plus it does a lot more too. I was able to speak to the developer of the application.

Scott Whittle, App Developer, said, “So this is the 3D feature of our Warbler guide app, and it lets you actually see the bird from any angle. If you are seeing the bird from below, you can actually turn it, so you see it the way you are seeing it in the field.”

-Frank Notarbartolo

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