Bird Watching in the Blue Ridge
Image by, D L Ennis, an immature Cedar Waxwing not long out of the nest.
Bird watching is a fascinating pastime and hobby as well as an entertaining and educational way to spend time with your children. Too many young people are completely out of touch with nature these days, and this needs to change if our wild lands and wildlife are to be preserved for future generations.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains we have an incredible array of birds; some are year round residents, like the Chickadee and the Carolina Wren while others are seasonal residents like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Wood Thrush.
There is a wonderful loop trail in the Blue Ridge Highlands that affords an opportunity to see many of our wild birds as well as wildlife and historical sites.
Most of the sites on this loop are in and around Carroll County in the Blue Ridge Highlands. Loop sites span from the New River along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Major J.E.B. Stuart’s Birthplace, and end at two wildlife management areas near the City of Galax. The drive between each site is scenic and can provide extensive wildlife watching opportunities from the road (be careful, drivers!). White-tailed deer are abundant throughout this area, as are woodchuck and eastern chipmunk. Some of these sites, such as Major J.E.B. Stuart’s Birthplace and the Shot Tower Historical State Park, offer a rich historical experience as well. Other sites, such as Devil’s Den Nature Preserve, relay their ancient histories through their fascinating geological characteristics.
Click here for an enlarged, print-quality map (PDF)
NOTE: This file is very large and may take several minutes to download, depending on your connection.
For an interesting site on Bird Watching, I recommend A DC Birding Blog.
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