Birder’s Paradise

birder's paradise in the new river gorge

ACE is a Birders Paradise

I look out the office window and I see that the Robins are finally here – signifying that spring is just around the corner and that it’s time to clean my binoculars. There are about two dozen ducks (Mallards and Wood Ducks) on the lake today and a Blue Heron shows up every morning – he actually caught a fish today.

ACE Adventure Resort truly is an amazing place, not only to play, but also to explore! The forest that cloaks these mountains (Southern Appalachian Mountains and Plateaus) is one of the most biologically diverse in North America. More than 1,200 species of plants and animals thrive in the New River Gorge National River

and vicinity. There are several species that have evolved that are endemic (found nowhere else) to this region. Several factors contribute to this diversity: natural plant selection, the north-south orientation of the gorge through the Allegheny Plateau, and the wide variety of plant and animal communities due to the diversity of elevation, moisture, exposure, temperature and soil types.

Fayette County is also the site where three physiographic areas (Ohio Hills, Northern Cumberland Plateau and the Mid Atlantic Ridge & Valley) meet. For birders, it is a unique place where you can find one of the most diverse variety of birds throughout the year than just about anyplace on the East Coast. The gorge serves as one of the finest migratory routes that bring in the typically northern and southern transient species. Check out this bird list.

The variety of microhabitats in the gorge is another key factor. And ACE is the only place I know of in this vicinity that offers miles and miles of secluded, private trails that leads from the river to the rim of the gorge and beyond to the valleys and side gorges, giving you easy access to these key areas of prime birding habitat. My goal this year is to find the Wilson’s Warbler.

Any of you birders out there going to cross some species off your life list this summer? What birds do you see returning outside your window this time of year?

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