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News Releases

Birding Extravaganza comes to Snowshoe and Cass in May

- March 30, 2009

Three days of birding and outdoor fun is jam-packed into the Stars, Wings, and Wildflowers Weekend in Pocahontas County May 1 through the 3rd.  Witness spectacular spring migration as multihued birds use the route against the western front of the Alleghenies for winging their way back north after a winter spent in Central and South America.  Only during this time of the year can warblers including the Black and White, Parula, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Blue-winger, Golden-winged, Hooded, Worm-eating, and Pine be spotted as they stop, rest, and replenish before continuing.

Other colorful birds including the Scarlet Tanager, Rose Breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting will be abundant throughout the county.  The Tanager is usually found in large tracts of mature woods, very high in the treetops, while the Bunting is in fencerows or fields.  The Grosbeak is a woodland bird usually found at higher elevations.  Early mornings include bird walks along the ridges at Snowshoe Mountain and the meadowlands at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Saturday all aboard for the Whistles, Wings and Wildflowers as it leaves from the Cass depot to the old town of Spruce.  Nationally recognized naturalists including Rodney Bartgis, Director of WV Nature Conservancy, and LeJay Graffious of the Morgantown chapter of the National Audubon Society will be leading wildflowers and bird hikes from special potions on the train ride to elevations of more than 4700 feet.  This early train provides the opportunity to view the effects of mountain elevation on the rite of spring, as the county ascends from 2400 feet to over 4800 feet in elevation.  Most species of spring wildflowers have short bloom period only during a very limited time.
Noted freelance naturalist writer, broadcaster, and consultant Dr. Scott Shalaway will be the keynote speaker on Saturday morning and will also lead a discussion on Sunday morning at Snowshoe Mountain.

The Pocahontas Nature is hosting the event with the assistance of the Monongahela National Forest Rangers, the WV Division of Natural Resources and the Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau Living Classroom.  For more information on rates and lodging for the event, contact the Pocahontas County CVB at 800.336.7009.

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