CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)– Wild and Wonderful West Virginia is a great state to live and visit if you enjoy watching birds as they come and go each spring. Its mountains, valleys and everything in between, provide different habitats for birds. Here are a few things about West Virginia’s birds to help you enjoy bird-watching.

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the state has more than 170 species of birds. Many birds are only part-time residents, but around 30 species of birds only spend their time in the Mountain State during the spring and summer.

The WVDNR provides a list of the spring species of birds. These obviously aren’t all the species in the state, or even close to it, but they are some of the more notable and recognizable birds.

Keep your eye out for the following West Virginia springtime birds:

  • Northern Cardinal
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Chickadees
  • Blue Jay
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Song Sparrow
  • American Robin
  • Mourning Dove
  • European Starling
  • American Gold Finch
  • Carolina Wren
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • House Finch
  • Grey Catbird
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Dawny Woodpecker
  • Common Grackle
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-eyes Vireo
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • American Crow
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Indigo Bunting
  • House Sparrow
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Cedar Waxwing

To provide a safe and inviting environment for birds in your own backyard, here are some tips from WVDNR.

To get started, plant native trees, plants, and shrubs to provide food, cover, and places for birds to nest. Keep cats inside and cover reflective surfaces during the breeding season and add bird-avoidance decals to windows you notice birds flying into. Next, provide food and water by setting up bird feeders and baths.

Here are a few additional things to remember things:

  • Clean feeders and baths regularly.
  • Fill feeders with black-oiled sunflower seed.
  • Fill hummingbird feeders with a simple syrup, one-part sugar three parts water.
  • Do not add food coloring or honey to hummingbird feeders.
  • Position bird feeders near the cover so birds can easily escape predators.
  • Stop feeding birds if feeders attract unwanted critters such as bears, skunks, or mice.

Setting up bird nest boxes is also a great way to attract birds to your yard. Not all birds will use them to make a nest though so a few things to remember are:

  • Clean out bird nest boxes at least once every other week, before and after the nesting season.
  • Provide large boxes for bigger birds and small boxes for smaller birds.
  • Make sure the nest box opening is the correct size to keep out unwanted starlings 
  • Make your own bird nest boxes. Many store-bought nest boxes are mostly decorative.

If you happen to enjoy watching our feathered friends out in the wild, the WVDNR has a checklist on its website to keep track of the ones you see.