The New River Corridor Important Bird
Area includes a relatively narrow floodplain and adjacent slopes along the lower portions of the South Fork and North Fork of the New River in northwestern North Carolina. It is
thought to be the oldest river system in North America and one of the oldest in the world. Much of the area along the
river is highly modified by humans and has been converted to
agricultural fields in the past. Residential housing is quite common. A narrow fringe of shrubs and trees between the river and farmland or housing remains, however, and this is the area of primary significance for birds.

Ornithological Summary

The site is the best area in North Carolina for breeding Warbling Vireos and Baltimore Orioles. It supports nearly the entire state population of breeding Warbling Vireos. The riparian zone supports a significant number of Willow Flycatchers and Least Flycatchers. The state's first breeding record for Tree Swallow was wound along the river. Orchard Oriole and Yellow-throated Vireo are found on the sites as well as Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler and Yellow Warbler.

Conservation Issues

Agriculture and conversion, recreational development, residential and commercial development.

The clearing of vegetation down to the stream bank for pasture, Christmas tree plantations, and croplands are significant concerns. Residential and commercial development on and in close proximity to the stream bank threaten habitat. The site has become very popular among recreationists, which has led to concern for streamside habitats.


Portions of the site are protected and managed by the State of North Carolina as part of New River State Park and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission game lands. The South Fork of the New River has been designated a National Wild and Scenic River and a State Wild and Scenic River.


Riparian, agricultural, mixed forest, and river.

Land Use

Conservation, recreation and tourism, agriculture, and residential development.

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