jz 1.1.jpg
Birder Chatter

Comments and Reviews

"I can't wait to come back!" - First Time Visitor, 2016

"I always hate to leave the festival. It's really a magical experience for me every time. I became a birder here and each time I come I get more experience and knowledge to help me improve for the next time. The area is absolutely beautiful. I really liked seeing the kids who have benefited from us in some small way - I like the idea that we give a little something to the area. I don't come to get specific birds - the joy is in going out and looking and finding. The absolute best part of the festival is the people: Geoff, Keith, Rachel, Dave and Lynn, all the wonderful guides, and almost all the people who come. I am always amazed at the friends I have made. I am a different person at New River. Birding has enriched my life." - Kelly B. 2016

"Everything was awe inspiring!" - Mary Donnellan, 2016

"BEST hosts! Best guides - great presenters - great beer - good food - beautiful birds - FUN!" - Repeat Visitor, 2016

"The people, both the other guests and all the staff, the knowledge of all the staff and speakers, the venue, the organization, the food, the programming organization and variety, the accommodations. I loved it all, but the staff/guest ratio was superb! There was not a thing I did not like." - First Time Visitor, 2016

"The people, organizers, leaders, and participants are all terrific. It's like being part of a family. The venues are all beautiful, even in the cold rain." - Repeat Visitor, 2016

"This is a very special festival; the geography, the flora and fauna, the guides, the hosts, and the accommodations make for a wonderful experience." - Repeat Visitor, 2016

"I had a wonderful time and was able to relax, laugh, learn, and connect with great people. NRBNF feels like a family reunion (the good kind, mostly)." - Repeat Visitor, 2016

"Came the first time for the birds, came the next 2 times for the friendships we made at NRBNF and knowing we would have quality time and quality looks at some really special birds in beautiful and unique habitats. We already have it on our calendar for 2017." - Helen & Gary, SC, 2016


"NRBNF is a wonderful event. The week just flies by for me. Everyday there is something new to see and learn. The guides are so knowledgeable and so willing to share what they know. The team that puts the event together does an excellent job. It is very well organized. Since so many of us come back every year or every other year, we get to renew old acquaintances like a class reunion, and we are able to make more new friends as well. ... I would be ready to start the whole week over again on Monday. It was that much fun." - Mary Ellen Heisey, PA, 2016

"We appreciate all the work and coordination that went into putting on a top notch event. we may not come every year, but we do look forward to coming again. Not only good birding, but good camaraderie and we learned alot."
- Chuck & Barbara Vellios, KY, 2016

"This was our sixth straight year at NRBNF and we don't intend to stop coming. The guides are some of the best in the country. I continue to become a better birder from all that I learn from the guides every year."
- Tom Heisey, PA, 2016

"The mountains of West Virginia are a wonderful, magical place, full of wonderful birds. The NRBNF takes full advantage of this with fantastic trip leaders who know where and how to go find them!"
- Repeat Visitor, 2016

"Excellent, knowledgeable guides. Very patient. Excellent presentations of various nature as well as birding topics. Would highly recommend this event to any birder, experienced or not."
- Repeat Visitor, 2016

"The guides were top notch--professional, fun, knowledgeable, patient, and personable."
- Repeat Visitor, 2016


"This festival - which I discovered in 2013 and have attended for four years - is a (the?) major highlight of my year. I don't think I can live without it now that I've found it. Seriously - SO much fun." - Repeat Visitor, 2016

"If you have never attended a birding festival - this should be your first. If you have attended other birding festivals - you need to try this one; its the best and friendliest."
- Repeat Visitor, 2016

"I had SUCH a good time! I will be back!"
- Marcy Logan, 2016

"For someone who had not been on a bird trip before, I think this is a great place to start. The guides and other attendees picked up on my being a rookie
right away and were most helpful. I learned a tremendous amount and am looking forward to another trip to practice those warbler skills! Let's hope the neck holds out!" - First Time Visitor, 2016

"We have attended several birding festivals in previous years, and we have taken three Road Scholar trips specifically for birding. This festival was the most fun overall that we have attended. It truly did feel like a family reunion--without the obnoxious relatives!"
- First Time Visitor, 2016

"As a first time visitor, the festival far exceeded my expectations. Met a lot of wonderful people, both organizers and fellow birders. I will definitely come again."
- First Time Visitor, 2016



Comments and Reviews, 2015

"Welcomes new birders, challenges repeat participants to hear and observe large numbers of neotropical migrators and offers the long-time birder an opportunity to discuss habitats, migratory patterns and bird behavior with renowned experts." - Repeat Visitor, 2015


"Bird watching is gaining popularity in West Virginia due to the state's ecological diversity. Watch as a hummingbird is banded and released during the annual festival," New River Birding and Nature Festival, produced by Marta Ree Tankersley for WVSU Newsline/WV PBS
Click here to watch on youtube


New River Birding & Nature Festival on Click here to see what we're talking about today.


"...if you want to start spring off with a bang, make this scene. The festival has no peer when it comes to beauty of the scenery, biological diversity, and quality of the guides and speakers. ... There are NO bad field trips, and whether you attend for part of the week, or the entire week, you'll end up with an impressive species list." - Jim McCormac
Click here to go to Jim's blog


"This is a great festival. One of our very favorites. ... Wherever you go, it drips with birds." -Julie Zickefoose
Click here to go to Julie's blog.


"There are plenty-plenty reasons why I love this annual spring birding bacchanalia: it's run by good buddies of mine, the birding is truly incredible, Swainson's and cerulean warblers, the landscape is breathtaking, it's a small and intimate gathering of the tribe, they let me play music, there are hottubs in the cabins, and it's only a three-hour drive from the Bill of the Birds man cave." -Bill Thompson, III
Click here to go to Bill's blog.


"I’m telling you, these West Virginia folks know about hospitality. You can register online now, dream about warblers all winter, and then be New River-bound next April. How’s that for a plan?" - Nina Cheney, Eagle Optics
Click here to go to Nina's blog.


"I can’t think of a better place to be in early spring!" - Mark Garland
Click here to go to Mark's blog.



"Crossing this [New River Gorge] bridge marked the beginning of what turned out to be one of the most challenging, unique and fun-filled nature vacations I've ever experienced." -Vickie Henderson
Click here to go to Vickie's blog.


"I've never been to a birding festival before, but I think the bar has now been set pretty high for any future bird outings that I might go to. They really take care of you at the New River Festival. For one thing, having your meals provided for you is a huge convenience that I didn't appreciate until I came home and realized that I had to go back to fixing my own meals." - Heather, 2011
Click here to go to Heather's blog.



"Total birds seen by the whole group for the week was 148 different species. Ferd and I saw 60 different kinds alone." - Gail
Click here to go to Gail's blog.


"Struck by wonderful hospitality, enthusiastic participants high school through adult, and a dazzling assortment of spring Neotropical migrant birds, we've been back every spring since that first year [2002] to lecture, lead field trips, and band birds..." - Dr. Bill Hilton Jr.
Click here to go to Bill's website.


"... images... of perfect roadside wildflowers, of rivers rushing across bared toes, of ghost towns nestled in the mountains, weathered barns along the way, of impossible to photograph birds, memories of twisty country roads, lush hillsides and scenic saw mills, the laughter of an impossible-to-imagine mix of friends..." - Laura
Click here to go to Laura's blog.



"It's hard sometimes to really convey the wonderment of this place [Muddlety]. It's not only birdy, it's also full of butterflies and very cool flora, and if you're lucky you might get a bear." - Susan
Click here to go to Susan's blog.


"The birding was fabulous- twenty-eight lifers for me!" - Lynne
Click here to go to Lynne's blog.


"It’s fun meeting up with several people we met here last year who also decided to return. And no wonder we are all back here, as it is one of the premier birding events in the country." - Ferd
Click here to go to Ferd's blog.


"If you have never been to this part of the world and you love looking at birds and all things nature... you must check out the New River Birding and Nature Festival." - Dawn
Click here to go to Dawn's blog.