Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MED03: Heritage Community Park and Natural Area
Elevation: 2011 ft This 169-acre tract of land, bordered by rural communities, offers visiting naturalists access to a variety of habitats, including open meadows, streambeds, cattail and sedge marshes, and extensive floodplain. Over 120 species of birds have been documented at this site. Breeding residents include whip-poor-will, willow flycatcher, yellow-breasted chat, and pileated woodpecker. Spring migration can bring about a large diversity of neotropical songbirds as well as other migrants, such as common snipe. Fall migration, however, probably produces the best birding opportunities. Look for olive-sided flycatcher, blackpoll, palm and bay-breasted warblers, as well as migrant raptors. Loggerhead shrike has been known to reside here in the winter. Other wildlife abounds such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey. Other mammals of interest include long-tailed and least weasels, short-tail shrew, river otter, woodchuck, muskrat, bog lemming, red fox, and bobcat. Four species of bats–eastern pipistrelle, big brown, little brown, and red–have also been seen at this site. Herp lovers might find black racer, queen, black rat, and eastern garter snakes. Frog and toad species include American toad, pickerel, green, and upland chorus frogs, spring peeper, and gray treefrog. Northern dusky salamanders can be found buried beneath rocks and logs along Tom's Creek. Butterfly enthusiasts can enjoy at least four species of swallowtails, five species of whites and sulphurs, and 13 species of skippers, including Peck's, tawny-edged, and Hobomok skippers.
From the Virginia Tech Museum of Natural History, return to SR 412, turn left, and travel west for 0.8 miles to Old Glade Road. Turn right onto Old Glade Road and continue for 0.2 miles to Glade Drive. Turn left on Glade Drive and follow it for 1.4 miles to Heritage Community Park and Natural Area on the right.