Types Of Birds In Wv

Last Updated on April 12, 2023 by

West Virginia is home to a variety of birds, from the majestic Bald Eagle to small and friendly chickadees. These birds make their homes in the mountains, valleys, rivers, and forests throughout the state.

Whether you are an avid birdwatcher or just curious about what types of feathered creatures call West Virginia home, this article will provide an overview of some common species found here.

In addition to providing important environmental services such as pest control and pollination, each bird has its own unique behavior and appearance that makes it special.

From brightly-colored cardinals to shy woodpeckers, there’s something for everyone when exploring WV’s avian diversity! Read on to learn more about which birds live in West Virginia.

Bald Eagle

The bald eagle is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. With its proud and noble head, strong wingspan, and striking eyes – this bird of prey instantly commands attention from all who witness it in the wilds of West Virginia.

It’s no wonder why this species has been chosen as a symbol for the United States for centuries; true power is expressed through its presence!

Seeing a bald eagle take flight is nothing short of majestic. Its powerful wings can create gusts that billow below as it soars higher into the sky. It gracefully moves with masterful control and agility, surveying its surroundings with sharp focus from above.

This graceful creature truly embodies freedom as it glides across the open air of WV.

Inevitably, American Robin will be the next topic discussed in full detail here shortly.

American Robin

Physical Characteristics: They have a reddish-orange breast, grayish-brown upperparts and a light brown belly. They have a black head, wings and tail.

Nesting Habits: They like to build their nests in sheltered places, such as shrubs and trees. They can also build their nests on the ground.

Diet: They mainly eat insects and fruits, but they can also eat other small animals like worms and snails.

Physical Characteristics

When it comes to American robins, you may recognize them by their distinct physical features. They have a reddish-orange breast and gray upperparts with white underparts – making for quite the colorful sight!

The adult birds feature an orange bill and black heads with white crescents above each eye. When flying, they display long tail feathers that provide balance in the air.

And at around 10 inches long and weighing up to 2 ounces, these birds are pretty small compared to some of their relatives in West Virginia.

All together, these traits make the American Robin one of the most beautiful sights among our feathered friends!

Nesting Habits

Now that we’ve discussed their physical features, let’s take a look at the American Robin’s nesting habits.

They tend to build nests in shrubs or trees, usually near houses and other buildings.

These nests are made from mud and grasses and lined with feathers for extra comfort when they lay eggs.

The female robin will incubate the eggs for 12-14 days until hatching occurs.

Both parents help feed the young birds through two months of growth before they fledge into adulthood.

It’s amazing how much effort these small birds put into raising their young!


Now that we’ve looked at their nesting habits, let’s shift gears and talk about the American Robin’s diet.

They mostly feed on insects like worms, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, and ants when they’re hunting for food in the ground.

When flying around looking for meals, robins will often snatch up fruits or berries to snack on as well.

These little birds also enjoy eating mealworms and other birdseed found in backyard feeders!

It’s no wonder why so many people love having them around – it looks like these feathered friends have plenty of options when it comes to snacking!

Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is a small songbird native to West Virginia. Its diminutive size and distinctive call make it easy to spot in the wild, and its friendly demeanor makes it an appealing backyard bird for many WV residents. The chickadee’s diet consists mainly of insects, but they will also feed on seeds, fruits, nuts and suet. They often form pairs during breeding season and can be observed year-round if provided with supplementary food sources.

Carolina Chickadees typically nest inside tree cavities or man-made nesting boxes near their preferred habitat. In addition to their cheerful chirping songs, these birds produce a variety of calls that are used as warnings when predators approach or as signals between mates. While they may not be the brightest or most beautiful birds around, these little fellows offer lots of entertainment value with their antics!

With such entertaining behavior and attractive plumage, it’s no wonder why so many people enjoy having them around.

Moving on from this delightful species, let us now examine another popular resident of West Virginia: the Northern Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a common bird found in the state of West Virginia. It has a bright red body and black face mask, with its distinctive crest and pointed bill making it easily recognizable.

Cardinals are usually seen alone or in pairs throughout their range, although small flocks will sometimes form during winter months. This species prefers open woodlands and thickets for nesting, but can also be observed near parks, gardens, and other urban areas. During breeding season they feed mainly on seeds and insects like grasshoppers and caterpillars.

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Cardinals are monogamous birds that frequently return to the same nest year after year as well as using the same mate each time. They have loud songs that sound similar to whistles or chips which males sing from high perches while females often sing lower notes within thicker vegetation.

These beautiful songbirds make an excellent addition to any backyard wildlife sanctuary! Transitions into new habitats can be difficult however; cardinals tend to do best when they are able to find familiar food sources such as sunflower seed or suet cakes placed near bushes where they may hide if disturbed by predators. With these helpful accommodations cardinals will thrive in West Virginia’s diverse habitats giving us plenty of opportunities to observe them up close.

Moving onto another iconic bird species now, let’s take a look at the Red-tailed Hawk…

Red-Tailed Hawk

Stepping away from the previous topic of Northern Cardinals, let’s move onto the Red-tailed Hawk. This majestic bird is a sight to behold! Idiomatically speaking, it’s like being struck by lightning when you catch even a glimpse of one out in its natural habitat.

Here’s what makes this raptor so special:

  • Its wingspan can reach up to 5 feet long

  • It has an impressive ability to soar and glide on updrafts for extended periods of time

  • The distinctive red tail feathers are easily recognizable against the sky

  • A particularly unique characteristic is its call – high pitched kee-aah sounds that echo through open fields or woodlands.

From far reaching vistas to deep dark forests, the Red-Tailed Hawk remains ever vigilant.

As we make our way towards our next bird species, the Downy Woodpecker, let us take a moment to appreciate these beautiful creatures as they soar gracefully above us.

Downy Woodpecker

They’re found in a variety of habitats, so let’s talk a bit about where they make their homes. And, they’ve got a diverse diet, so let’s discuss what they like to eat.


When it comes to the Downy Woodpecker, they can be found in a variety of habitats. Whether it’s woodlands or parks, they’re not picky when it comes to finding a home.

They even sometimes make their homes in urban areas with plenty of trees and other sources of food such as insects. With its adaptability to different environments, the Downy Woodpecker is an important part of West Virginia’s bird population.

It’s no wonder why these birds are so popular among backyard bird watchers across the state!


When it comes to the diet of a Downy Woodpecker, they feed mainly on insects and larvae. They also enjoy eating berries when they can find them, as well as nuts, fruits, sap from trees, and suet. With its long bill and tongue, it has no trouble getting at all these tasty treats!

The vibrant colors of this bird makes it easy to spot in any habitat which is why so many people love watching them forage for food. All of these features make the Downy Woodpecker an incredible sight to behold.

Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird is a beautiful species of bird found in West Virginia. It has bright blue feathers on its back and wings, with an orange-red chest that stands out against the dark green foliage of trees. The male Eastern Bluebirds have darker blue heads than the females, making them easy to identify when they are flying around together.

They often make their homes in open woodlands or meadows, where they can find plenty of insects and seeds to feed on. Eastern Bluebirds prefer nesting boxes to natural cavities for their nests, so if you want to attract these birds to your backyard it would be wise to install one or two nest boxes nearby.

Additionally, leaving some native plants in your yard will give the birds additional places for shelter as well as food sources. With these few simple steps, soon you could be hearing their cheerful chirps every morning!

As we look at another type of bird commonly seen in West Virginia—the great horned owl—we see even more fascinating characteristics and behaviors.

Great Horned Owl

The Eastern Bluebird is a small, delicate creature that flits from branch to branch. Its vibrant blue feathers and sweet call are like a breath of fresh air in the West Virginia landscape. But if one looks closely into the thicket, they will find another bird with an entirely different demeanor—the Great Horned Owl.

This magnificent predator has been likened to a warrior princess; its powerful wings slicing through the night sky as it searches for its next meal below. This fierce hunter can be identified by its mottled plumage and large ear tufts which give off an almost regal appearance when viewed up close. It also boasts incredible strength, allowing them to take down prey much larger than themselves such as rabbits, squirrels, and even skunks!

Here’s what makes this owl so unique:

  • Their oversized eyes enable them to see clearly during both day and night
  • They possess exceptional hearing capabilities allowing them to detect their prey more easily
  • Their sharp talons are perfect tools for grasping onto anything they set their sights on
  • The distinctive hoot of the great horned owl serves as a reminder of nature’s power and beauty at any time of day or night
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The impressive hunting skills of this majestic raptor have earned it many names over the centuries – ‘winged tiger’ and ‘tiger of the sky’ among them. As we move towards our next avian inhabitant – the pileated woodpecker – let us remember that these creatures serve as reminders that there is still wildness left in our world.

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the most recognizable birds in West Virginia. Its bright red crest and loud call make it impossible to miss. It has a wide range that includes many parts of both North America and Eurasia, so its presence in WV should come as no surprise.

Sight Sound Feelings
Bright Red Crest Loud Call Wonderment & Awe
Strong Beak Drumming Sounds Respect & Admiration
Habitat Creation Joy & Appreciation

These majestic creatures are essential to maintaining healthy forests across the state, as they create cavities for other species to nest or hibernate in. Furthermore, their strong beaks help them feed on wood-boring insects, which helps control unwanted populations while also providing food for themselves. As an apex predator they occupy an important role within ecosystems and can provide hours of entertainment from afar! Whether you’re out birdwatching or just enjoying nature from home, seeing a pileated woodpecker never fails to bring about feelings of wonderment and awe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Average Lifespan Of The Birds In West Virginia?

What an interesting question! It almost seems as if we’re asking how long West Virginia’s birds have been around. After all, they can’t live forever.

But the truth is that many of these feathered creatures enjoy surprisingly long lifespans – much longer than most people would expect. Some species even manage to outlive us humans by a good margin!

So it’s no surprise that when it comes to average lifespan of birds in West Virginia, there are some pretty impressive numbers floating around.

What Types Of Food Do The Birds In West Virginia Eat?

The types of food eaten by birds in West Virginia can vary greatly, depending on the species.

Many smaller songbirds will dine mainly on seeds and insects, while larger birds such as hawks may feed primarily on small mammals or other birds.

Ducks and geese are typically found eating aquatic vegetation, fish, worms, or crustaceans.

Other popular snacks for many avian visitors include suet cakes or birdseed mixes provided by local homeowners or stores.

How Can I Identify The Different Species Of Birds In West Virginia?

Identifying the different species of birds in West Virginia can be a challenging task. There are many resources available to help with this, such as bird identification field guides and online tools like Merlin Bird ID.

Field guides provide detailed descriptions and illustrations of each bird species so you can compare them side-by-side with what you’ve seen in your area.

Online tools like Merlin Bird ID make it even easier by asking questions about the size, color, location and other aspects of the bird that you saw, then providing possible matches for further research or confirmation.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Observe The Birds In West Virginia?

Time traveling to West Virginia in the springtime can be a magical experience, as it is the ideal time of year to observe birds.

Whether you are an experienced birdwatcher or just starting out, this season offers great opportunities for spotting various species of avian life.

Migratory birds make their way through during the warm months, while resident species stay put all year round.

Warblers flit about in deciduous forests, flycatchers search along rivers and streams, and raptors soar high above open fields; there’s something to explore wherever your curiosity leads you!

Are There Any Endangered Species Of Birds In West Virginia?

Yes, there are endangered species of birds in West Virginia.

The American bald eagle is one of the most well-known endangered species within the state and can be found nesting along large rivers or lakes.

Other threatened bird species include the cerulean warbler, northern saw-whet owl, wood thrush, eastern towhee, and red knot.

While it’s important to remember that these species remain fragile due to their limited numbers, conservation efforts have been implemented in order to protect them.


The birds in West Virginia are truly a sight to behold. The variety of species is astounding, ranging from the tiniest hummingbird to majestic bald eagles swooping through the sky. It’s like watching a kaleidoscope in motion!

No matter what time of year you visit, there will always be something new and exciting to observe. From springtime blooms bringing out an array of colorful songbirds, to autumn migration periods when thousands of species flock together on their journey southward – it’s enough to take your breath away!

Finally, I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for any endangered species that may inhabit the area. We all have a responsibility to protect these magnificent creatures and ensure they are around for generations to come. With proper conservation efforts and education we can continue enjoying them just as our ancestors did before us.

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