Buffalo Mountian Natural Area Preserve
September 21, 2019
10:00am to 2:00pm
Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve
About This Event:
What: Raptor migration time means broad-winged hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, red-tailed hawks (among other potential migrants) might be moving over and past Floyd's own Buffalo Mountain. In addition, the opportunity to see bald eagles, peregrine falcons, merlins and American kestrels might arise this season.
Where: Widely recognized as one of Virginia’s greatest natural heritage treasures, Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve is like no other place in the state. A variety of unusual conditions combine to make the preserve home to 13 plant species, three invertebrate species, and six natural communities that are rare in Virginia. The preserve is located in the southern corner of Floyd County.
From Floyd, travel southwest on US Route 221 about 6 miles to Route 727. Turn left (south) on 727 and go about 6 miles to a low saddle in the ridge near the eastern slope of Buffalo Mountain. Turn right on the gravel access road. Go about 1 mile to the gravel parking area.
From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Route 799 north about 1½ miles to Route 604. Turn left and go about 1½ miles to Route 727. Turn left and go about 1 mile to a low saddle in the ridge near the eastern slope of Buffalo Mountain. Turn right on the gravel access road. Go about 1 mile to the gravel parking area.
When: Although different species of migrating birds-of-prey will likely be passing along this point throughout the fall, the largest concentrations will be broad-winged hawk flights that will occur in middle through late September. Each species has its own window during the fall migration, and therefore not all species are likely to be seen at the same times.
Program Itinerary: Blue Ridge Heritage volunteers invite interested members of the public to join us at the summit of Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve. Weather-permitting, at least one professional naturalist will be present from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to help with sighting and identifying migrating raptors on September 22.
Bring: Participants should bring binoculars, sun-screen, eye-drops, a lawn chair or cushion, water, lunch or a snack, and a bird ID field guide. Wear comfortable footwear suitable for traversing uneven terrain and bring a variety of clothing as weather conditions are subject to change during this time of year.