“Wings of Wonder” soar at West Virginia State Parks in 2013

Birds of prey can be seen this spring and summer at West Virginia state parks, and not just in the sky and trees. Park visitors and guests will be introduced to eagles and other raptors throughout the summer program series, “Wings of Wonder – Birds of Prey” from May through September.

The presentation of live birds by Three Rivers Avian Center (TRAC) is an up-close look at live hawks, owls and eagles. The program includes information about habitats, diet and behavior of each bird presented, the most common causes of injury to each species, and the laws protecting these special birds.

Three Rivers Avian Center will present “Wings of Wonder” at several West Virginia state parks in 2013. The educational program lasts about one hour. The presenters welcome questions and interaction. There is no charge to attend and the programs are open to the public.

“Wings of Wonder” at West Virginia State Parks dates

5/3 – Tygart Lake – 7 p.m.
6/8 – Pipestem Resort – 8 p.m.
6/15 – Beech Fork – 7 p.m.
6/20 – Holly River – 3 p.m.
6/22 – Watoga – 3 p.m.
6/23 – Blackwater Falls – 10 a.m.
6/28 – Twin Falls Resort – 7 p.m.
6/29 – Babcock – 7 p.m.
8/10 – North Bend – 7 p.m.
8/11 – Tomlinson Run – 1 p.m.
8/17 – Cacapon Resort – 7 p.m.
8/24 – Blennerhassett Island – 1:30 p.m.
9/14– Kanawha State Forest – 1p.m.

TRAC also will sponsor a “Migration Celebration” at Little Beaver State Park on May 11, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is an all-day, family event with games, birding walks, arts and crafts, and entertainment. There is no charge to attend.

Other raptor watching opportunities in West Virginia state parks

Bald and golden eagles are becoming more widespread in West Virginia. Sightings at Tygart Lake, Hawks Nest, and Cacapon state parks are reported frequently. In the Pipestem area, where Pipestem and Bluestone state parks are located, birders conduct annual surveys.

Spring eagle surveys this year support past survey findings that eagles are indeed wintering and breeding in the Pipestem area; observers have recorded sightings of immature through four-year old birds.

“To see a bald or golden eagle in flight is a treat,” said Jim Phillips, naturalist at Pipestem Resort State Park. Phillips conducts eagle watches in the spring months. Eagle watches are generally scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and depart from the park nature center. Call 304-466-1800 x344 or visit www.pipestemresort.com, “Things to Do,” Weekly Activities.

“Raptors are extremely interesting creatures,” said Renee Fincham, naturalist at Cacapon Resort State Park. “We believe visitors enjoy learning more about the outdoors. For me, there is great joy in bird watching and the opportunity to see birds of prey.” Fincham conducts bird-watching activities as part of the interpretative programming service at Cacapon.

Release produced by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.