Friends, fellow bird nerds and nature nuts,
We've made the decision to cancel the 2020 New River Birding & Nature Festival due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. This decision was not made lightly and is for the safety of all participants and all of our communities. It is our obligation to help the effort to flatten the curve. On March 15th the CDC announced that events with over 50 people should be canceled, which affirmed our decision. We take their recommendations seriously and while it is a difficult adjustment, we all must do our part to stay safe and keep one another safe during this time.

We’ll miss your companionship, laughter, and shared knowledge; to our new guests, we have to wait to meet you and we hope you will consider joining us in 2021. With this announcement, we offer options for your consideration.

We hope you will consider applying your payments as credit toward the 2021 Festival, April 26 - May 1, so that our Fayette County students can continue their education outside the classroom through the Leadership Fayette County (LFC) program and our other hands-on nature-based programs. As you may know, the proceeds from the non-profit Festival fundraising event help fund the LFC programs and our hands-on nature-based programming for all ages.

We can issue a refund if you wish us to do so, though we cannot refund fees taken by PayPal; individuals will receive detailed payment, PayPal fee, and refund information.

Please contact Rachel with instructions to:

  • apply your entire 2020 payment to the 2021 Festival (including the free t'shirt, for those who qualified).
  • request a refund.

As some of you may be aware, we raise funds for LFC above and beyond Festival attendance and hope you will consider continuing those incredible contributions, even though we will not be together this Festival this year. Information can be found on our website, Who We Support.

Those with registrations will soon hear from us individually as we reach out over the next few days. As always, please reach out to us with questions, comments or concerns. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing you all at the New River Birding & Nature Festival in 2021, if not sooner.

Be well,
Rachel, Geoff, Keith, Paul

Posted 3/17/2020


2021, April 26 - May 1

Since 2002, the annual New River Birding & Nature Festival takes place in and around the New River Gorge National River in the heart of the upland, hardwood forests that Cornell Lab of Ornithology identified as a crucial stopover habitat for the continued survival of species such as Golden-winged, Blue-winged, and Swainson's Warbler, as well as the Scarlet Tanager. Our bird and nature watching festival highlights more than 100 bird species on a variety of daily birding tours.

It's our favorite week of the year and we like to think of it as a five-star nature vacation where you nurture your mind and body by connecting with nature in the fresh spring air of the Appalachian Mountains.

You won't find rows of vendor tables with cool stuff from interesting places around the world here. You will find dinner tables with all kinds of folks from all sorts of places who enjoy exploring the phenomena of the physical world. A friendly bird and nature watching vacation for everyone, we offer a variety of daily guided birding and nature excursions, world-class speakers, the finest collection of guides, tasty food, and a back-porch atmosphere unmatched by any other birding festival. Signature guided bird watching experiences include opportunities to visit a wide range of habitats, world class instruction for those wanting to enhance their skills, and the best guide-to-guest ratio on the festival circuit. All skill levels are welcome. 

With options to suit many budgets, packages range from to a single day field trip and programming to a week-long with deluxe cabin accommodations package. Each day offers a great field trip of your choice, three tasty meals, two knowledge and fun packed presentations, world-class professionals you will call friends, and good times.

As a non-profit fundraising event, the Festival is the major funding source for the local 501C3 Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. Since the Festival's inception, participation supports the Fund's student environmental and leadership training programs. Learn more: Who We Support

Preregistration is Required

*Navigate our site following text of this color that darkens and shows an underline when you hover over it. It is clickable. Click or tap it to open pages and jump to information.*

Planning your five-star nature vacation begins here:

Birding & Nature Festival

Check out the Speaker & Trip Schedule and refer to Trip Descriptions to choose your daily destinations.

Review Lodging options and choose your favorite or try something new.

Go to Registration to personalize and reserve your package.

Just to build anticipation - Meet the professional Trip Leaders and read some Birder Chatter

Get to know what makes us tick - Learn more About Us and Who We Support

Then get ready - Check out Trip Planning and What To Pack


2021, April 26 - May 1
2022, May 2 - 7


Learn more about the Fayette County Education Fund, or click here to make a donation.


Check your email for your monthly Invoice or your initial Registration Confirmation, or click here to make a payment. Balances must be paid in full by April 1. See all the payment details at birding-wv.com/registration.


Be in the Know with Our Monthly Email Bulletin

We do not share our email list with anyone. Ever.

Click here to view our bulletin archive, for this Festival year.



* indicates required