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Verb: The act of relaxing in a cozy cabin in the woods.

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Bird Nerds Descend On West Virginia (And I Love It)

They came.  They saw.  They birded.

And they were like a flock wreaking havoc.  Lucky us.

Hundreds of Birding and Nature enthusiasts swarmed over The New River Gorge in West Virginia last week (my home sweet home).   They were traversing the areas rural roads by the bus load, searching out rare and elusive species of Birds and plants to add to their “life lists”.  People crossed borders (legally) to join the mayhem, and some flew almost as far as the birds did to get here.

Bird is the word

With several groups arriving from as far away as California and Washington State on the West Coast, Canada to the north and Alabama to the south.  That’s almost (but not quite) as far as some of the birds for the fest traveled.

It all gets captured in the look on the face of bear hunters, when they come flying around the corner and see a bunch of people in the road looking thru binoculars into the tree tops.  That’s what this blog needs a picture of.  Once they got there 4 wheeler under control and asked a few questions like:

  • Are you lost?
  • Did your bus breakdown?
  • Just what exactly are you all looking at?

The Local Bear Hunters offer up advice on back roads and secret spots for hunting Mushrooms. It’s strange to see so many people out in these parts, but we like a lot of the same things.  That’s why it’s a festival, I guess.

“We simply love it when those bird people show up.  They spend lots of money!  And, y’know, they’re great people, too,” a local business owner told me.  “They had to start calling ahead because we are not ready for a flock of people all at once this time of year [Ha!  Flock.  Get it?]. They make our week.”

And that’s one of the big reasons we started this event.  We wanted to help fill up some otherwise slow time in our tourism calendar.  Plus it truly is world class birding and botany.  Plus, it’s as much fun as I have all year.  Plus, most of the folks that come feel the same way.

Next year will be the ninth year for the event and organizers are already at work to make it better than ever. We felt it needed to be a sustainable event, something that could outlive us.  We’re not there yet but it’s getting better and better each year.

But don’t take my word for it (actually, though, you should.  I’m an expert on my own opinions, usually).  Here’s the word on the New River Bird And Nature Fest from around the interwebs:

Did we miss anyone?  Please, add a link in the comments if so.  And, yeah, it sounds pretty cool, huh?  It was.

If you want to put it on your calendar for next year (and you should), here’s where you can find us on facebook.  Until then, see you in the woods.


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