GHENT, WV (WVNS) — There are many animal species in West Virginia, with a wide range of birds that can be found in the Mountain State.
West Virginia is home to more than 170 breeding species of birds and the changing variety of those who migrate to the state seasonally. The state is important to millions of birds that call the forests, valleys, and mountains home, with species large and small ranging from Bald Eagles to Pine Warblers.
Northern Saw-whet Owls, Blue-headed Vireos, WV’s state bird the Northern Cardinal, Wood Thrushes, and Cerulean Warblers are a few of the species in WV, with the last two, Wood Thrushes and Cerulean Warblers, having steep population declines.
While some of the many bird species such as the American Robin can be found almost anywhere and during most of the year, other species can only be seen in certain locations at specific times. For those who want to bird watch, you can visit anywhere from parks, to wildlife management areas, and even your own backyards.
There are a few ways that you can bring birds to your yards from bird houses, to food varieties including hummingbird feeders, suet feeders, black oil sunflower and nyjer and other types of bird seed, especially if they are placed near trees and bushes. However be sure to place bird feeders far from any windows, as birds cannot see glass and can get concussions or killed from flying into windows.
The WV Division of Natural Resources also helps and partners with other organizations to help preservation for habitats and species such as the Wood Thrush, Cerulean Warbler, and Loggerhead Shrikes, one of WV’s rarest birds. Once common, the Loggerhead Shrike has approximately 15-20 pairs remaining in the state, now only found in pastures in Greenbrier Valley.
More information about the birds of West Virginia and how to keep a bird friendly property can be found on the WV’s DNR website.