Bird Watching


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

Acadian Flycatcher
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Kestrel
American Redstart
American Robin
Baltimore Oriole
Bay-breasted Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blue Jay
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-winged Warbler
Broad Wing Hawk
Brown Thrasher
Brown-headed Cowbird
Canada Goose
Cap May Warbler
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Cedar Waxwing
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chimney Swift
Chipping Sparrow
Common Flycatcher
Common Nighthawk
Corn Grackle
Corn Yellowthroat
Dark-eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Wood Pewee
European Starling
Field Sparrow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Gray Catbird
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Green Back Heron
Hairy Woodpecker
Hooded Warbler
House Finch

House Sparrow
House Wren
Indigo Bunting
Magnolia Warbler
Mourning Dove
Northern Bobwhite
Northern Cardinal
Northern Flicker
Northern Mockingbird
Palm Warbler
Pileated Woodpecker
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Purple Martin
Red Tailed Hawk
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-eyed Vireo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Redwing Blackbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous-sided Towhee
Scarlet Tanager
Sharp Shin Hawk
Solitary Vireo
Song Sparrow
Swainson’s Thrush
Summer Tanager
Tennessee Warbler
Tufted Titmouse
Turkey Vulture
Virginia Rail
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-eyed Vireo
White-throated Sparrow
Wild Turkey
Wood Thrush
Worm-eating Warbler
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Vireo
Yellow-throated Warbler