Birding and Banding Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Tygart Lake State Park

Media Contact: Samantha Smith, 304-957-9364, Samant[email protected]

State Parks Contact: Jim Browning, Park Superintendent, Tygart Lake State Park, [email protected], 304-265-6144

GRAFTON, W.Va. — Novice and avid bird watchers can enjoy two days of birding activities at Tygart Lake State Park on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 and take part in bird banding practices that focus on fall migration.

Banding, which involves attaching small numbered metal or plastic tags to a bird’s leg to help track its movement, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 8 a.m. to noon, and from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. On Saturday afternoon, a heron birding excursion is planned at nearby Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area.

The birding activities are planned and led by Joey Herron, a master bird bander. Attendees can learn how to identify many of the birds in the area, by sight and sound. Some birds will be traveling through the area, while others are moving in to stay for the winter.

“Each day brings more migratory species through the Tygart Valley area and an opportunity to see birds that may only pass through West Virginia on their way to wintering destinations,” Herron said.

In October 2016, participants in bird banding weekend identified nearly 50 species and banded more than a dozen birds, including a Swainson’s Thrush. Day-only visitors are welcome to participate, and individuals looking for a last-Saturday-in-September getaway can stay overnight to gain a greater appreciation of the birds of Tygart Lake. There is no charge to participate in bird banding activities. Call Tygart Lake Lodge at 304-265-6144 about lodging and meal specials. To learn more about Tygart Lake State Park, visit www.wvstateparks.com.

Herron, a Lewis County native with more than 45 years of birding experience, also conducts saw-whet owl bandings at Valley Falls State Park. To register for these sessions, scheduled for Oct. 10-11 and Nov. 7-8, or to learn more about birds of the Tygart Valley area, email [email protected].

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