• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

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  • River Detours and Closures at the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge

    The WV Department of Highways and the Federal Highways Administration is replacing the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge on Route 41 in the town of Prince. Construction will require temporary full river traffic closures and long term river detours. More »

Bald Eagles

bald eagle soaring over nest with chicks
Brooks Island Eagles - April 2011
David Hypes
 

Only a few years ago seeing a bald eagle in New River Gorge was a rare sight. In recent years however, the thrilling experience of seeing a bald eagle soaring over the New River has become a much more common occurrence.

 
bald eagle perched in a sycamore tree

Bald Eagle at Brooks Island, April 2011

David Hypes

Although eagles had been seen for several years in the gorge, the first confirmed breeding pair of eagles in the park established a nest in the winter of 2009 to 2010. The nest was sighted in a large American sycamore tree on the downstream end of Brooks Island, in the southern part of New River Gorge National River. This pair of eagles laid two eggs in February 2010. For the next 34 to 35 days, the eagles were observed on a daily basis taking turns sitting on the eggs and soaring from the nest in search of food. Two eaglets hatched in March and were seen first taking flight in early June.

In the winter of 2011 the adult eagles returned to breed again and three chicks were hatched in early March. The pair returned in 2012 and had three more chicks. They returned again in 2013, but unfortunately the eggs did not hatch.

 
bald eagle perched in tree

To learn more about bald eagles at New River Gorge, check out our Bald Eagle Brochure.

 
bald eagle on nest

To view an outstanding collection of photos of the bald eagles at New River Gorge taken by David Hypes, check out the bald eagles photo gallery.

 

Did You Know?

smallmouth bass

The New River is a very popular warm water fishery. The West Virginia state record for length of Smallmouth Bass - 25.5 inches and 7.5 lbs - was caught in the New River in 1976.