Eagles & raptors in WV’s rugged national gem
It wasn’t long ago that majestic eagles were missing from the skies atop the Southern WV National Parks. Slowly, as the land has replenished itself after the industrial boom, the regal raptors have been returning.
The start was slow as they resettled, but the population has begun to rebound. The darlings of the birding world are the couple nesting in the New River (Brooks Island), in the first nest discovered in the parks. The nest has gone through multiple mating pairs since it was spotted, but each year brings a new chance to add adorable hatchlings to the area’s eagle clan.
The eagle growth was slow at first, but it has soared in recent years. Volunteer surveys help track the progress, and the last saw 3 times as many eagles as the year before. Both bald and golden eagles are making a strong comeback in this remote area of West Virginia, with help from organizations like the Three Rivers Avian Center, which treats and releases injured raptors.
The Bluestone area is the best place to spot a proud eagle. Its remote beauty and untouched wilderness are perfect for these elegant birds.
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More raptors in the National Parks
If you’re interested in catching a glimpse of more than just eagles, there’s a good bet you’ll spot a peregrine falcon on a Bridge Walk tour. The birds love to perch on the steel beams, and they
For an up-close-and-personal introduction to the National Parks’ birds of prey, visit the Three Rivers Avian Center. Meet their educational birds on their monthly open house days, or during their regular schedule of guest lectures in the community.
Just outside the parklands, Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory is one of the nation’s premier viewing areas, bringing you eye-level with the majestic birds as they migrate through the region.