By Mountaineer Audubon

July 21, 2017


Fall 2017  Bird Walks and Programs (Coming Soon)

December 16:  Christmas Bird Count   For more details contact 

SPRING 2017 BIRD WALKS and Programs  


All walks are free and will be on Saturdays except as noted.  They will only be canceled for extremely inclement weather.  Bring binoculars and dress appropriately for the weather.  Included are a few events sponsored by other area organizations.  For more information, contact David Daniels at    or (304) 276-7127.

March 14:  Program:  at The Village at Heritage Point in Morgantown (Open to the public)  

Presenter: Dr. Christopher M. Lituma of WVU

Dr. Christopher M. Lituma is from Fairless Hills, PA. He is an Assistant Professor at West Virginia University in the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, Wildlife and Fisheries Resources program. As the ornithologist, he will continue to focus on applied conservation research issues related to bird populations. Some research projects he is working toward are; experimentally evaluating ways to improve surveys for Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) populations in Virginia and West Virginia, evaluating the impacts of re-introduced elk (Cervus elaphus) on bird populations on reclaimed minelands in West Virginia, determining the frequency and prevalence of Lyme borreliosis in migratory songbirds in the Appalachians, and evaluating the impacts of fracking chemicals on riparian and marsh birds.

Dr. Lituma’s talk will focus on his past research and will act as an introduction to himself and some of his new research projects at WVU and opportunities in West Virginia.


Mar. 18—Waterfowl Trip, Cheat Lake.  8:00 am at Ruby & Ketchy’s Restaurant on Route 857 east of Cheat Lake.  7:00 am if you’d like breakfast first.  Leader: Derek Courtney.   The day start cold and overcast.  The birds were not plentiful, but a nice variety.

Apr. 8—Tygart Lake/Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area.  8:00 am at southern boat ramp parking lot at Tygart Lake Marina.  For those coming from Morgantown, meet at 7:00 am at Mountaineer Mall near the water tower.  Leader: Joe Hildreth.

Mountaineer Audubon field trip

Date: April 8, 2017

Locations: Tygart Lake and Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area

Leader: Joe Hildreth

Number of species: 46

Canada Goose

Wood Duck



Blue-winged Teal

Pied-billed Grebe

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk


Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe

American Crow

Common Raven

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Field Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

American Goldfinch




Apr. 8—Woodcock Walk, West Virginia Botanical Garden, Tyrone Road.  7:30 pm.  LeJay Graffious will lead a search for American Woodcocks displaying over the old reservoir from sunset to dusk.  Come join us to witness this amazing spectacle.  Dress warmly and bring a flashlight.  All ages.  Sponsored by the West Virginia Botanical Garden.  Please pre-register online at  For questions related to the WVBG, please call (304) 322-2093.

WV Botanic Gardens
Apr 08, 2017
6:53 PM
60 minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Woodcock walk at the West Virginia Botanic Garden and Tibbs Run Reserve

2 Canada Goose
1 Gadwall
2 Turkey Vulture
3 American Woodcock
1 Pileated Woodpecker
3 Eastern Phoebe
2 American Crow
2 Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern)
1 Song Sparrow
1 Eastern Towhee
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Common Grackle

Number of Taxa: 13



Apr. 15—Fairfax Pond-Rehe Wildlife Management Area, Reedsville area, Preston County.  8:00 am where Decker’s Creek Trail crosses Route 92 just south of Reedsville.  Leader: David Daniels.

Apr. 22—Prickett’s Fort State Park, Fairmont.  8:00 am at rail trail parking lot next to fort.  Leader: Sue Olcott.  Sponsored by WV DNR and the park.


Apr. 25 (Tuesday)—Core Arboretum, Morgantown.  7:30 am at arboretum parking lot on Monongahela Boulevard.  Leader: Larry Schwab.  Sponsored by the arboretum.

Outing Report:

Core Arboretum bird walk Apri 25, 2017 with co-leaders Zack Fowler and
Larry Schwab.  More than 40 WVU students and birders

Highlights included four vireos, a pair of Barred Owls, and a Bald Eagle in
adult plumage fly past at the Monongahela
River close to the shore, not once but twice.  Also a Swainson’s Thrush,
labeled as rare by eBird in Arboretum

The Virginia Bluebell extravaganza is past its peak but there are plenty of
phlox in bloom

Core Arboretum, Monongalia, West Virginia, US
Apr 25, 2017 7:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments:     two leaders of Audubon trip; nearly 40 guests (one leader
each for 20 guests)
44 species

Canada Goose  22     six goslings
Mallard  5
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Bald Eagle  1     one flyover – a second bird was seen over the Monongahela
River; could have been 2 birds
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Mourning Dove  6
Barred Owl  2     in known roosting area; male seen; second bird female 50
yards away not seen but communicating with soft hooting
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Eastern Phoebe  2
White-eyed Vireo  1
Yellow-throated Vireo  1
Blue-headed Vireo  1
Warbling Vireo  1
Red-eyed Vireo  2
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  6
Tufted Titmouse  8
House Wren  1
Carolina Wren  9
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Eastern Bluebird  1
Swainson’s Thrush  1     Seen foraging at 20 feet on ground under conifers
by two experienced birders; this bird nests at higher elevation nearby and
appears to be northbound migrant of misplaced local bird
Wood Thrush  1
American Robin  16
Brown Thrasher  1
European Starling  2
Nashville Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Northern Parula  2
Yellow-throated Warbler  2
Field Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  7
Song Sparrow  3
Eastern Towhee  12
Northern Cardinal  15
Brown-headed Cowbird  8
American Goldfinch  13
House Sparrow  2

April 28: Mountaineer Audubon- Annual Spring Banquet         Speaker: Katie Fallon

This program will be based on Katie’s new book, Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird. The book chronicles the life and times of one of our most underappreciated and overlooked birds: the noble turkey vulture. The program will discuss this bird’s life history as well as the role vultures play in healthy ecosystems. In addition to her role with Mountaineer Audubon, Fallon is one of the co-founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia. She is the author, previously, of Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird, and is the author of a book for children, Look, See the Bird!, which will be published this June. She has taught writing at Virginia Tech, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and WVU. She is pictured here with her friend “Boris,” a non-releasable turkey vulture.

Reservation Form 


Apr. 29—Prickett’s Fort State Park, Fairmont.  8:00 am at rail trail parking lot next to fort.  Leader: Sue Olcott.  Sponsored by WV DNR and the park.

Outing Report:

Ten or so people braved the expected rain for the second public bird walk at Pricketts Fort State Park on Saturday, April 29.  But the rain stopped after about 10 minutes or so, and we even got a peak of the sun once or twice – bird activity was quite respectable.  Highlights were 10 foot views of a Yellow-throated warbler foraging in the lower branches of a Norway spruce, and extended and clear views of a male Cape May Warbler who was even observed chasing an interloping bird away from his Norway spruces.  Odd was no tufted titmice seen or heard, and no killdeer.  A total of 55 species were seen or heard.  High 60s and 70s, cloudy to mostly cloudy with some rain/drizzle, calm, 8:00am11:00am.

Canada geese – very vocal, one brood seen
Wood duck – several pairs
Mallard – common
Red-breasted merganser – 3 individuals with female plumage
Great blue heron – caught and ate 2 fish – one quite large
Green heron – 1 – looked for but didn’t see nesting activity at previous years’ nest site between the old RR trestle and rail trail bridge over Prickett’s Creek
Turkey vulture
Red-shouldered hawk – 1
Red-tailed hawk – 1 in immature plumage
Solitary sandpiper – at least 2
Spotted sandpiper – at least 3
Rock pigeon
Mourning dove
Chimney swift – 1
Belted kingfisher – 1 female – also successful in finding a fish
Downy woodpecker
Hairy woodpecker
Northern flicker
Pileated woodpecker
Eastern phoebe
Eastern kingbird – 1 – FOY
White-eyed vireo
Warbling vireo – at least 3 singing, and good views near the rail trail bridge
Blue jay
American crow
Northern raven – the 3 young in the nest on the old RR trestle were exercising their wings – near fledging
Northern rough-winged swallow – many
Tree swallow – a pair has apparently claimed the nest box on the viewing platform
Carolina chickadee – one of the last birds seen – odd
White-breasted nuthatch
Carolina wren
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Eastern bluebird
Wood thrush
American robin – many – one nest located under the kiosk near the entrance to the visitor’s center – female feeding several young
Northern mockingbird
Brown thrasher – 1 male constantly singing near the rail trail parking lot
European starling
Northern parula
Yellow warbler – many singing
Cape May warbler – 1 male at spruces near visitor’s center
Yellow-rumped warbler – 1 female
Yellow-throated warbler – many singing
Eastern towhee
Chipping sparrow
White-throated sparrow – 1 singing, at least 8 individuals with a mix of tan and white striped heads – foraging along edge of rail trail below parking lot
Northern cardinal
Indigo bunting – 1 heard singing along with the brown thrasher – 1 coarse and 1 musical double-phrasers
Red-winged blackbird
Common grackle
Brown-headed cowbird
Orchard oriole – 1 male
Baltimore oriole – several singing
American goldfinch
House sparrow

And a few possibles –
Osprey – I swear I saw one dive into the water just beyond the old RR trestle, but didn’t see it come up – possibly one of the adult ravens diving down to the nest on the trestle and lighting made the plumage look white ventrally??
Blue-winged warbler – possibly heard near the rail trail bridge
Magnolia warbler – possibly heard in the Norway spruces – could not locate

May 2 (Tuesday)—Core Arboretum, Morgantown.  7:30 am at arboretum parking lot on Monongahela Boulevard.  Leader: LeJay Graffious.  Sponsored by the arboretum.


Core Arboretum, Monongalia, West Virginia, US
May 2, 2017 7:30 AM – 9:25 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
Comments:     Mountaineer Audubon bird walk led by LeJay Graffious. 5 birders and 15 WV University biology students.
25 species

Canada Goose  2
Wood Duck  2
Mallard (Northern)  2
Double-crested Cormorant  6     Distant very-high flying flock probably near Morgantown Lock and Dam.
Mourning Dove (Mainland)  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard singing only.
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1     Heard singing only. Maybe 2 birds.
Red-eyed Vireo (Red-eyed)  3     Heard singing only.
American Crow  3     1 heard only.
Carolina Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  1     Heard singing only.
Carolina Wren (Northern)  5     Heard singing only.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (caerulea)  1
American Robin (migratorius Group)  5     2 heard singing only.
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  1
Yellow-throated Warbler (albilora)  1     Heard singing only.
Song Sparrow (melodia/atlantica)  1     Heard singing only.
Eastern Towhee (Red-eyed)  1
Scarlet Tanager  1
Indigo Bunting  2     Both singing–1 heard only.
Common Grackle (Bronzed)  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
Baltimore Oriole  1     Heard singing only.

May 6—Prickett’s Fort State Park, Fairmont.  8:00 am at rail trail parking lot next to fort.  Leader: Sue Olcott.  Sponsored by WV DNR and the park.

Report from Sue:

Three hardy souls joined me for the last public bird walk at Prickett’s Fort State Park this spring.  The weather was cold (high 30s-low 40s) with a light rain, and the wind picked up some during the walk, bit we saw a surprising number of species.  Highlights were good looks at two singing Cape May warblers that continue in the Norway spruces near the visitor center, that were joined by a brilliant Bay-breasted warbler that we glimpsed a couple of times.  Two soilitary sandpipers were spotted on the lower parking lot – their typical mud-flat habitat has been submerged by high water in Prickett’s Creek – three other solitaries clung to driftwood or tiny patches of mud in the creek.  Full list below.

Canada goose
Wood duck
Turkey vulture
Solitary sandpiper – 5
Rock pigeon
Mourning dove
Ruby-throated hummingbird – surprised to see it flying in the cold and wet conditions
Northern flicker
Eastern phoebe
Eastern kingbird
Warbling vireo
Red-eyed vireo
Blue jay
American crow
Common raven – the three young have not fledged yet from the nest on the railroad trestle
Tree swallow
Northern rough-winged swallow
Barn swallow – FOY
Carolina chickadee
Carolina wren
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
American robin
Gray catbird – FOY
Northern mockingbird
Brown thrasher
European starling
Northern parula
Yellow warbler
Cape May warbler – 2 males singing
Yellow-rumped warbler
Yellow-throated warbler
Bay-breasted warbler – 1 male
Cerulean warbler – 1 heard – FOY
Scarlet tanager – 2 or so – FOY
Eastern towhee
Chipping sparrow
Song sparrow
Northern cardinal
Indigo bunting
Red-winged blackbird
Common grackle
Brown-headed cowbird
Baltimore oriole
American goldfinch
House sparrow

May 9 (Tuesday)—Core Arboretum, Morgantown.  7:30 am at arboretum parking lot on Monongahela Boulevard.  Leader: LeJay Graffious.  Sponsored by the arboretum.

LeJay’s Report:

Core Arboretum
May 09, 2017
7:45 AM
1.50 miles
120 minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Mountaineer Audubon Arb Bird Walk

5 Canada Goose
9 Mallard
1 Turkey Vulture
3 Mourning Dove
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Eastern Kingbird
X Red-eyed Vireo
5 Red-eyed Vireo (Red-eyed)
3 Blue Jay
1 American Crow
3 Carolina Chickadee
3 Tufted Titmouse
3 White-breasted Nuthatch
6 Carolina Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6 Wood Thrush
4 American Robin
1 Yellow-throated Warbler
2 Song Sparrow
3 Eastern Towhee
4 Scarlet Tanager
6 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Indigo Bunting
1 Common Grackle
3 Brown-headed Cowbird
3 Baltimore Oriole
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinch
5 House Sparrow

May 13—Cooper’s Rock State Forest, Morgantown Migratory Bird Day.  7:30 am at Raven Rock Trail parking lot.  Leaders: David Daniels and Terry Bronson.  Sponsored by the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.

The walk split into two groups.

Here’s Terry’s report:

Location: Cooper’s Rock SF–maintenance area south logging road, Monongalia County, West Virginia, US ( Map )
Date and Effort
Sat May 13, 2017 7:35 AM
Protocol: Traveling
Party Size:12
Duration:1 hour(s), 55 minute(s)
Distance:1.0 mile(s)
Observers:Terry Bronson
Comments:Morgantown Migratory Bird Day bird walk led by T. Bronson.
24 species total

Mourning Dove (1)
Red-headed Woodpecker (1)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1)
Hairy Woodpecker (1)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Yellow-throated Vireo (1)
Red-eyed Vireo (2)
American Crow (1)
Tufted Titmouse (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Wood Thrush (1)
American Robin (3)
Gray Catbird (1)
Brown Thrasher (1)
Ovenbird (3)
Common Yellowthroat (2)
Hooded Warbler (4)
American Redstart (1)
Cerulean Warbler (2)
Chipping Sparrow (3)
Field Sparrow (2)
Eastern Towhee (1)
Scarlet Tanager (3)
Baltimore Oriole (4)

David’s report:

11 participants. The weather really limited the bird activity.

Red-eyed Vireo (2)
American Crow (1)
Tufted Titmouse (1)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Ovenbird (2)
Black-and-white Warbler (1)
Hooded Warbler (1 plus another heard-only)
American Redstart (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1)
Eastern Towhee (2)
Scarlet Tanager (1)
Indigo Bunting (1)
Brown-headed Cowbird (2)


Eastern Phoebe
Black-throated Blue Warbler

May 20—West Virginia Botanic Garden (CHANGE from Dorsey’s Knob Park), Morgantown.  8:00 am at the upper parking area.  Leader: John Boback.

May 27—Cranesville Swamp, Preston County.  Meet at 8:00 am at the parking lot just south of the Bruceton Mills exit off I-68.  We will car pool from there to Cranesville Swamp where we will meet a group from the Potomac Valley Audubon Society at 8:45.  Co-sponsored by Mountaineer Audubon and the Potomac Valley Audubon Society.  Leaders: David Daniels and LeJay Graffious.

Afternoon birding at Coopers Rock State Forest with Mountaineer Audubon and Potomac Valley Audubon.   Leader: LeJay Graffious

Date Range May 27, 2017 – Jun 2, 2017
Locations Cranesville Swamp (WV) : US-WV-Terra Alta-2-498 Afton Rd – 39.5350x-79.5354
Number of Species 34
Number of Individuals 93
Number of Checklists 2
Species Name High Count
Green Heron 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 2
Common Raven 2
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 1
Carolina Wren 3
Veery 1
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 1
Ovenbird 3
Northern Waterthrush 3
Common Yellowthroat 6
American Redstart 2
Magnolia Warbler 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 8
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Canada Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 3
Swamp Sparrow 4
Eastern Towhee 8
Bobolink 2
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Eastern Meadowlark 1
American Goldfinch 1

Date Range May 27, 2017 – 1:oo to 3:00  PM
Locations Cooper’s Rock St. Forest–Lower Virgin Hemlock Trail :
Cooper’s Rock State Forest, Day Use Parking Lot
Cooper’s Rock St. Forest–Roadside Trail North :
Number of Species 36
Number of Individuals 121
Number of Checklists 3
Species Name 4
Turkey Vulture 1
Chimney Swift 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Acadian Flycatcher 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 9
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 1
Tufted Titmouse 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Veery 1
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 1
Cedar Waxwing 5
Ovenbird 3
Black-and-white Warbler 3
Tennessee Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Hooded Warbler 4
American Redstart 5
Cerulean Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler 4
Black-throated Green Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 2
Field Sparrow 1
Eastern Towhee 6
Scarlet Tanager 3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Baltimore Oriole 1



Jun. 10—Spring Bird Walk, West Virginia Botanical Garden, Tyrone Road.  7:30 am.  Join local birder LeJay Graffious on an early morning bird walk.  We will be birding by eye and ear to search in the bushes and boughs for our feathered friends.  Bring binoculars if you have them.  All ages.  Sponsored by the West Virginia Botanical Garden.  Please pre-register online at  For questions related to the WVBG, please call (304) 322-2093.


WV Botanic Gardens
Jun 10, 2017
7:30 AM
1.50 miles
120 minutes
All birds reported? Yes

2 Mallard
1 Green Heron
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Mourning Dove
2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
1 Eastern Phoebe
4 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Blue Jay
1 American Crow
1 Barn Swallow
0 Carolina Chickadee
0 Carolina x Black-capped Chickadee (hybrid)
1 Carolina/Black-capped Chickadee
6 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Carolina Wren
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Eastern Bluebird
1 Hermit Thrush
3 Wood Thrush
5 American Robin
1 American Robin (migratorius Group)
1 Gray Catbird
8 Cedar Waxwing
4 Ovenbird
2 Black-and-white Warbler
2 Hooded Warbler
6 Chipping Sparrow
5 Field Sparrow
3 Song Sparrow
1 Eastern Towhee
3 Scarlet Tanager
10 Northern Cardinal
5 Common Grackle
5 Brown-headed Cowbird
4 Baltimore Oriole
13 American Goldfinch

Number of Taxa: 47

June 29-  Birds and Beer  5:30-   Bird walk  6:30- Beer (Beverage of Choice)

Lakehouse for Birds & Beer. We will walk at Ridge Way Farm at 5:30 and Lakehouse at 6:30   The farm is less than a mile from Lakehouse
At the farm we will probably see sparrows, orioles, bluebirds,  kingbirds, hawks, waxwings, vireos and maybe parula warbler. 
If you can not make the walk,  join us to socialize at the Lakehouse.     A screech owl from ACCA will be present for selfies.



We were pleased that the Dominion Post ran and article about winter birds.   To read the complete article, click on Winter Bird Watch.

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