Swainson's warbler, photo by USFWS / Wikimedia

West Virginia Bird Watching

Birding West Virginia

Known as the Mountaineer State, much of West Virginia’s terrain is rugged, cut with stream and river valleys. The Appalachian Mountains extend throughout the state: the Appalachian Plateau lies to the west and the Ridge and Valley region to the east. The highest mountains in the state are within the Allegheny Mountain section. The Potomac River runs across the northeastern border of West Virginia, and the Ohio River is the western border of the state. Marshes can be found along this river, as well as throughout West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. More than three-fourths of West Virginia is forested. White oak, yellow birch, and red maple trees dominate, but pine and spruce are native in higher elevations. Sycamore, chestnut, and locust trees are also common species within the state. The rivers and woodlands provide excellent habitat for many of West Virginia’s 364 bird species.