FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Many prey species are native to the Mountain State, but these raptors don’t always stay in West Virginia all year long. Sometimes, these birds have to go somewhere else to find their food.
Cassie Moore, the Director of Operations at the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center near Fairmont, explained that that the eating habits of animals like bald eagles, hawks, and owls all have different shelf lives because of what they can find.
“Migration is largely dependent on their food supply,” Moore detailed.
The changing weather patterns can definitely play a part in what these birds of prey put in their mouths.
“If you have warmer years, then what’s going to happen is that their food supply is going to be increased, which means that they won’t have to migrate as far south or migrate at all,” Moore explained.
Due to changing climate here in West Virginia, summer-like conditions are lingering into Spring and Fall, and the number of cold spells and winter-like conditions is shrinking over time.
The shorter winters and colder years could cause the birds of prey’s buffet containing creatures like insects, amphibians, reptiles, rodents – to be in short supply, especially as time goes on.