Now in its 12th year, this festival boasts trips and leaders that will make the most of the varied habitat in and around the New River Gorge National River. Did I mention warblers are this festival's calling card? Each year so far, at least 30 warbler species have been logged in during the week-long event. According to the festival website:
This area is the heart of the upland hardwood forests that Cornell Lab of Ornithology has 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.
There's a certain friendly, back-porch feel about this festival that makes it unique. Good people, tasty food, stunning places to explore. And, shhh--gather closer now--there's a reason I'm telling you months in advance: New River Birding & Nature Festival boasts the best guide-to-guest ratio on the festival circuit. That means the many trips offered WILL begin to fill up. Soon. A couple trips have already filled.
So, get off your easy chair and get registered! Come for a day or two or three, or for the entire week. There are packages available which include lodging at some of the finer lodges, inns, cabins and motels near the festival site. I'm telling you, these West Virginia folks know about hospitality. You can register online now, dream about warblers all winter, and then be New River-bound next April. How's that for a plan?
Guiding participants in a wide range of habitats will be some of the industry's very best: Bill Thompson, III, Julie Zickefoose, Jim McCormac, Mark Garland, Connie Toops, Bill Hilton, Jr., Scott Shalaway, Jim Rapp, Katie Fallon, Ben Lizdas, Ernesto Carman, Jr., Michael O'Brien, and ABA’s own Noah Strycker. The Warbler Guide authors Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle will be there, too!
Eagle Optics is honored to be attending again in 2014. Look for Ben in the charming and scenic Optics Gazebo, situated on the festival grounds: the perfect place to stop and try the latest in binoculars, spotting scopes, and tripods. As always, we are happy to bring along specific products at your request; please contact us here at Eagle Optics at least two weeks before this, or any festival where we have a vendor presence.
At day's end, when the trip buses have returned, enjoy an evening meal and entertaining keynote presentation with your newfound friends. Compare notes and life lists. Then go off under an endlessly starry sky to get rested and ready for another day of discovery in--yes, heavenly--West Virginia.
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.