New River Birding & Nature Festival

Since 2002, the annual New River Birding & Nature Festival has taken place in and around the New River Gorge National River in the heart of the upland, hardwood forests that Cornell Lab of Ornithology, identified as a crucial stopover habitat for the continued survival of species such as Golden-winged, Blue-winged, and Swainson's Warbler, as well as the Scarlet Tanager. This bird and nature watching festival highlights more than 100 bird species on a variety of birding tours. A friendly birding vacation for everyone, the week long event features guided birding and nature excursions, world-class speakers, the finest collection of guides, tasty food, and a back-porch atmosphere unmatched by any other birding festival. Signature guided bird watching experiences include the opportunity to visit a wide range of habitats, world class instruction for those wanting to enhance their birding skills, and the best guide-to-guest ratio on the festival circuit. All skill levels are welcome. With options to suit many budgets, packages range from week-long with cabin accommodations to a single day without lodging. Each day offers a great field trip of your choice, three tasty meals, two knowledge and fun packed presentations, world-class experts you will call friends, and good times!

Hawk Gawk & Warbler Walk

Hawk Gawk & Warbler Walk, fall birding weekend October 7-9, 2016 with educator-naturalist Dr. Bill Hilton Jr, and Warbler Guide co-author Tom Stephenson! Our exclusive Hawk Gawk & Warbler Walk fall birding weekend is limited to 12 guests. This up-close, hands-on, small-group weekend of feathered fun, brilliant trip leaders and awesome people with similar interests offers a unique opportunity to work closely with Warbler Guide co-author Tom Stephenson and educator-naturalist Dr. Bill Hilton Jr. to enhance your skills in raptor and fall warbler identification while having fun. We begin Friday at 6pm with dinner and a raptor presentation (the Hawk Talk), with former Hawk Mountain staff member Dr. Bill Hilton Jr. Saturday is spent with Bill putting our raptor identification skills into practice with breathtaking sightings and scenery. Beginning with a 6am breakfast rendezvous, then we'll be on our way to the witness migrating raptors (the Hawk Gawk), at Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory - field trip transportation is provided. Along the way, we'll stop at a unique market where you may buy lunch to be enjoyed in the field later, then we're off to a 20 to 30 minute hike (eight-tenths of a mile; moderate difficulty) up the mountain to the Hanging Rock Tower. Saturday evening, regroup and relax at 6pm with dinner and a warbler presentation (the Warbler Talk), with one of the foremost warbler experts Tom Stephenson. Come together again Sunday at 8am at Wolf Creek Park, fall warblers are the main feature (Warbler Walk) with Tom Stephenson as we explore to the Wetlands Boardwalk and Nature Trails at Wolf Creek Park (an easy walk on mostly level ground). Then we wrap up our Hawk Gawk & Warbler Walk weekend with brunch with Bill and Tom. $399/individual, and $700/couple. A major portion of each registration is a tax deductible donation to the 501C3 Fayette County Education Fund to provide youth environmental education. *Lodging is not provided ... see website for full details*