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Berkeley Springs Fall Birding Festival

Festival presenters, Wil Hershberger and Liam McGranaghan

Berkeley Springs Fall Birding Festival

The Second Annual Berkeley Springs Fall Birding Festival will be held in and around Berkeley Springs, the weekend of September 18-20.
Most of the festival's events are free and everyone is invited to attend.
The festival is timed to coincide with the annual fall bird migration, which should be in full swing at that time. It is the only fall birding festival being held in West Virginia, and only the second birding festival to be organized in the state (the other is the New River Birding and Nature festival, which was initiated in 2003 and is held in the spring).
The festival's first events will be a free welcoming reception and program at the Ice House the evening of Friday, September 18. The reception will begin at 7pm. At 7:30pm, Wil Hershberger, one of West Virginia's leading naturalists and birding experts, will give a presentation entitled "An Appreciation of Bird Song."
The next morning, at 8am Saturday, September 19, Hershberger and local naturalist Joe Gentile will lead a free mountain top bird walk at the Eidolon Nature Preserve near Great Cacapon.
At 10am Saturday, a free birding workshop will be held at Warm Springs Intermediate School. The workshop will be aimed at children but also open to beginning birders of all ages. It will be led by Cacapon State Park Naturalist Kelly Smith and Potomac Valley Audubon Society Youth Education Director Ellen Murphy and cover such topics as identification basics, birding manners, and using guidebooks and equipment.
At 7:30pm Saturday, noted Northern Virginia author and raptor expert Liam McGranaghan will give a talk at the Country Inn about the annual hawk migration. Desert and coffee will be served starting at 7pm. There will be a fee for this event (tickets will be $5 per person in advance or $7 at the door). Advance tickets may be purchased at the Nature Niche store in Berkeley Springs, telephone 304-258-0992.
The festival will wrap up the morning of Sunday, September 20, with an 8am free bird walk led by Hershberger at a mountainside meadowland property west of Berkeley Springs. The property includes a rich variety of habitats and offers good opportunities to see migrating raptors, blue jays and warblers.
The festival is being sponsored by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society. Local community sponsors include Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals, the Country Inn, Cowboy Cabin, the Fairfax Coffee House, Jane McCloud, the Morgan Arts Council Ice House, the Nature Niche, and Sleepy Creek Retreat.
For more information, contact Judy Webb at the Nature Niche store.
The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is a member of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the Combined Federal Campaign.

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