Diverse populations of birds such as wood warblers, vireos, and thrushes spend part of their lives in the tropics but depend upon the unfragmented forests of the New River Gorge area for breeding. The region is a vital link in the north-south migratory flyway. Each year, thousands of hawks fly across the region during the fall migratory season. The National Park Service and West Virginia Department of Natural Resources have initiated a multi-year program to restore peregrine falcons to New River Gorge. Look for these majestic birds soaring and diving near the cliffs.
Every year many species of birds migrate to, and through, New River Gorge National River in search of food and nesting sites. As part of a globally significant forest, New River Gorge offers the food, water, shelter, and space these neo-tropical migrants require for survival. The increasing challenges of habitat loss on their wintering grounds in the tropics, combined with the loss of summer feeding and nesting sites in this country, are causing serious declines in many of our most colorful and elusive species-the wood-warblers. These species depend on the habitat protected within New River Gorge National River.