Bring your binoculars! Avid birdwatchers and those who have joined past Bird Walks, sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society, are very familiar with that phrase. But binoculars are not a requirement for enjoying the sights and sounds of the many bird species found at the UT Arboretum during all seasons. Cardinals, Rufous-sided Towhees, Carolina Wrens, Song Sparrows, and Mockingbirds are year-round residents and can almost always be spotted along most trails. Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Whitebreasted Nuthatches, and several species of woodpeckers such as the Downy, Hairy, and Pileated, can be found on a walk along the Oak Hickory and Lost Chestnut Trails. The Holly Garden and Conifer Collections above the Heath Cove, are home to American Goldfinches, House Finches, Robins, and Eastern Bluebirds. Other common year-round birds include Blue Jays, American Crows, Grackles, and European Starlings.
In 2018, the UT Arboretum partnered with the Tennessee Bluebird Society to install at bluebird nest box trail along the Valley Road. A group of UT Arboretum Society volunteers, “the Bluebird Buddies”, monitors this trail and collects the data from these 13 nest boxes. This data is shared with the Cornell Institute. The purpose of this joint project is promoting bluebird and other native cavity-nesting bird conservation, community awareness of native bird needs and encouraging others to consider adding nest boxes on their own property. Nest box plans are available from the Tennessee Bluebird Society.
The number of observable bird species increases during the spring and fall migration seasons. From February through May and August through October, migrants stop to rest and eat insects or berries before moving on to their summer or winter homes. Species spotted include Swainson’s Thrush, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Solitary Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager and many wood warblers.
An eye to the sky may reward visitors with a circling Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, or Turkey Vulture.
For additional bird watching information and locations visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Tennessee Birding Trail.
Visit the Photo Gallery to view a slide show of UT Arboretum Wildlife
List of Birds Spotted at the UT Arboretum
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Broad Wing Hawk
Cap May Warbler
Eastern Wood Pewee
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Green Back Heron
Red Tailed Hawk
Sharp Shin Hawk