Written by Bryan Watts
June 14, 2008
Exposed rock surfaces are relatively rare habitats within the southern Appalachians and virtually nothing is known about the status of bird populations that depend on them for nesting.
During the 2008 breeding season, CCB biologists conducted surveys of the New River Gorge and the Gauley River by helicopter for cliff-nesting birds. This effort extends a much larger survey conducted in 2005 when the spine of the mountain range in Virginia, West Virginia, and portions of Kentucky was surveyed. The entire effort mapped, characterized, and surveyed 242 cliff surfaces. Cliffs supported 11 bird species including common ravens and peregrine falcons.
This set of surveys by CCB resulted in the first digital atlas of cliffs and cliff-nesting birds for the region.