Birding Groups

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From the Atlantic Ocean on Virginia’s eastern border, to the towering Mount Rogers at its southwest corner, you can find some 400 species of birds.

Whether you are new to birding or a seasoned watcher, a group can help you learn to spot and identify a variety of birds. So grab your binoculars, field guide, and a camera and get ready to record nature in action.


  • Hawk Migration Association Expand Collapse

    The Hawk Migration Society of North America maintains a hawk watch every autumn at Harvey’s Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway for several months. The hawk migration is an amazing sight with thousands of hawks flying overhead on a clear fall day.

    The Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) was founded in 1974 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission “to advance the scientific knowledge and promote conservation of raptor populations through study, enjoyment, and appreciation of raptor migration.”

  • Roanoke Outdoor & Social Club Expand Collapse

    With more than 380 members this club seeks to bring together people from the Roanoke and New River Valleys who are interested in outdoor activities. Members have a wide variety of interests and experience levels and provide a mix of activities (hiking, backpacking, biking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, caving, etc.).

    The Roanoke Outdoor & Social Group uses the web service to connect members.

  • Roanoke Valley Bird Club Expand Collapse

    Welcome to the Roanoke Valley Bird Club! The club meets at 7 pm every second Monday of the month September through May. Guests are always welcomed! Meetings take place at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs Building, 3640 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, Virginia 24018 in the Cave Spring area, south Roanoke county.

    Speakers present on a wide range of bird-related topics, with photographs, video presentations and occasional live bird exhibits. The bird club also leads regular field trips to areas of interest with great birding! Meetings and field trips are free and you do not have to be a member to attend these events. Guests are always welcomed. Meetings also cover field sightings of birds in the Roanoke area. After the meeting we gather for refreshments.

    Club members receive a monthly newsletter, our source of information about upcoming programs and field trips as well as the latest in birding facts and news.  Members may also attend overnight field trips sponsored by the Virginia Society of Ornithology.

    For more information see


    Library Birding Backpacks  – a project of the Roanoke Valley Bird Club

    Did you know you can now check out birding backpacks at your local Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Salem and Botetourt County library just like a book? Birding backpacks are a great way to get started in birding.  Ask at the reference desk!

    These backpacks put high-quality adult binoculars, guides and information into your hands including ideas for birding with children. This could be the start of a great lifelong hobby. Every Library Birding Backpack includes:

    • Adult binoculars.
    • Birding field guides
    • Great information to get you started in birding
    • Tips for birding with children
    • Directions to birding hot spots in the Roanoke Valley and Botetourt
    • Information about popular birding apps



    Birds are found everywhere. Start right around your own backyard and neighborhood. To see a wider variety of birds, try looking along creeks, in wetlands, fields and along the edges of and in woods. Remember birds are most active early morning and late afternoon. Check out these birding hotspots in our region for varied habitats.

    Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Salem

    Carvins Cove Natural Reserve: 9644 Reservoir Road, Roanoke, VA 24019. contains more than 12,000 acres of mixed forest, a 630 acre reservoir, picnic area, and 60 miles of trails that are good for viewing spring and fall migrants as well as birds that live here year-round. The boat landing is a good area to look for waterfowl and hawks. There is a small fee for a vehicle pass.

    Bent Mountain Center: 10148 Tinsley Lane, Bent Mountain, VA 24059 A trail behind the Center leads to a large swampy area with a boardwalk that gets you out into the wetlands. This area is good for willow flycatchers as well as yellow warblers, common yellowthroats, catbirds, and more.

    Greenways in Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem: The Greenway network includes over 400 miles of paved and natural surface trails. The Roanoke River, Tinker Creek and Wolf Creek Greenways are especially good for spotting a wide variety of birds.

    Mill Mountain Park: 2198 Mill Mountain Spur, Roanoke, VA 24014 Walk the trails around the top of Mill Mountain, including the Wildflower Garden. Go early in the morning or early evening when there are fewer people and more bird activity.

    Roanoke Mountain Day-Use Picnic Area: Located on Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 120.4 onto Mill Mountain Spur Road The road around the former campground is good for observing a variety of birds. Owls and woodpeckers have been seen and heard here.

    South County Library Trail: 6303 Merriman Road, Roanoke, VA 24018 Use the steps behind the library down to the trail that includes a 900-foot-long boardwalk through a natural wetland. This is an excellent area for birding. Take a connecting trail to Starkey Park for additional variety of habitat.

    Botetourt County

    Botetourt Center at Greenfield: Located off of Route 220 North, about 4 miles north of Exit 150B on I-81. Take a left at the entrance to Greenfield Education and Training Center. Park in the second lot on the right. Then walk the cinder surfaced Cherry Blossom Trail along the pond towards the dam at the far end. This pond is excellent for ducks and other waterfowl in season, and there are usually a wide variety of birds in the vegetation on either side of the trail.

    Harvey’s Knob Overlook: Located at milepost 95.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway This is a good place to observe thousands of hawks and eagles migrating in the fall. During that time there often are expert birders present conducting a bird census who are happy to share their knowledge. Bring a chair and a snack and stay for a while.

  • Virginia Bluebird Society Expand Collapse

    The Virginia Bluebird Society (VBS) was founded in 1996 to promote bluebirds and other native cavity nesters. VBS is affiliated with The North American Bluebird Society (NABS) and is a chapter of the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO).

    The goals of the VBS are:

    • Promote bluebird conservation projects among our members and other groups
    • Establish and support a statewide network of bluebird trails
    • Create a consistent protocol for monitoring and record keeping of nest box trails
    • Be a resource for research and data collection of native cavity nesters in the State of Virginia
    • Develop educational programs and materials to promote bluebird awareness

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