Tennessee and the Smoky Mountain area are known for their natural beauty. Whether it be in the form of gorgeous mountain views, bubbling streams, lovely waterfalls, and colorfully beautiful birds! What type of bird could an enthusiast find in the region? Here are 10 of the most eye-catching species of beautiful Tennessee birds:
1. The Goldfinch
These friendly birds love being in areas with humans and love to utilize birdfeeders. They also love orchards, fields, and meadows where weeds are plentiful for food. American Goldfinches breed later than most birds, waiting until June or July. Milkweed, thistle, and other beautiful meadow plants are blooming during this time and the preferred nesting material of Goldfinches. When the birds pair up, their calls become nearly identical.
2. The Northern Cardinal
A pretty songbird, male cardinals are known for their vibrant red hue. They stand out against the green foliage of Tennessee and are slated to be a good luck charm. Male and female cardinals are extremely territorial birds, especially during mating seasons. Female cardinals are smaller and a completely different color! The females sport a distinctive reddish-orange mowhawk and have mostly brown feathers. Female cardinals are also unique in the fact they are one of the only female birds that sing.
3. The Indigo Bunting
These tiny beauties love forest edges. The wooded areas of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park will be a choice location for spotting them! The Indigo Bunting loves insects and berries, so look for bushes and trees that bear sweet little fruits. These bright blue beauties migrate at night and use the stars for guidance. Their internal clock allows them to continuously adjust their orientation angles as the stars move throughout the sky at night.
4. The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Upon first glance it may appear that these lovely birds may have been hurt and therefore are bleeding down the front. But no, that’s the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak’s way of securing a great mate! The males are the only ones with the distinctive red splotch. They love forest areas with lots of trees to build their nests and they generally stay in the treetops. Males and females take turns incubating the eggs in the nest.
5. The Blue Jay
These lovelies mingle with humans and like to be in areas such as parks and mixed woods that aren’t too densely packed. They fly slowly, so capturing a photo of one should be a pretty easy feat. The Blue Jay’s distinct call is unmistakable. Though, sometimes, their calls mimic a hawk’s.
6. The Pine Warbler
True to it’s name, the Pine Warbler is common in the pine forests of the east. They’re hard to spot, but have a beautiful musical trill. These birds are known to form flocks of 50 to 100 birds during the migratory seasons.
7. The American Redstart
They were just made for Halloween with their black and orange feathers! They also enjoy low bushes or trees, especially near a body of water. The bright patches of feathers tend to startle larger birds of prey, making it an excellent defense mechanism.
8. The Northern Parula
They nest where moss is grown, residing in cup nests. The high elevation boreal forests of the Smoky Mountains have plenty of these areas.
9. The Tufted Titmouse
You will find the Tufted Titmouse in shrubs, parks, and mixed woods. They are extremely cute when they puff up their feathers! The titmouse is friendly and curious, often seen on window ledges peeking into homes to see what’s going on! Their preferred nesting site is in the holes of trees. Often, holes left behind by woodpeckers become nesting sites for the Tufted Titmouse.
10. The Purple Finch
They have mainly been bullied from Tennessee by the House Finch, but catching sight of one is a rare treat! They are gorgeous and can be found looking for seeds, insects, and berries on the ground.
Birdwatchers can delight in a vast array of visual eye candy while in the Tennessee/Smoky Mountain area of the United States. Have your binoculars and cameras ready, and get ready for the beautiful birdsong of the Smokies!
Always remember it is illegal to bait any animals in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Do not try to feed a bird from your hand, especially for a photo opportunity.
If you’re ready to do a little bird watching now, be sure to check out our guide on the best places to birdwatch in the Smokies!