Birdwatching in Chattanooga, TN

Reader, meet tweeter. | Photo by Skyler Ewing via Pexels.

Whether you’re a “wake up to the sound of birds” type, or a “please be quiet I’m trying to sleep” type, we’re all getting a new soundtrack to our Tennessee mornings.

Here’s the pitch: Imagine getting out of bed in the morning, sitting out on the patio, or going for a hike. Instead of just a bunch of noise, you hear the songs of Eastern Bluebirds and Blackpoll Warblers. You could even learn their colors, habits, and favorite foods. The upshot: You should really get into birdwatching.

You could wing it, or…

A little bit of preparation goes a long way — i.e., you don’t need to drop your tax return on binos (although it couldn’t hurt to look).

What might help:

  • A field guide. Instead of trying to name them all on your own, bring a physical guide like “Birds of Tennessee Field Guide,”  or an app like Merlin. If you bring your favorite local newsletter, too, we wouldn’t hate it. 
  • Bird food. A backyard or window feeder brings the birds to you. Try The Happy Birdwatcher Co. with thoughtfully blended birdseed that attracts the birds you want to see in your own backyard.
  • Your new best birdie. Local experts + hobbyists will love to show you the ropes. Link up with Chattanooga Audubon Society or Chattanooga Birding Club so you don’t fly solo.

Did you know that today is also the National Endangered Species Day? Southeast Tennessee is home to ~12 birds that are currently considered endangered species. To celebrate the day, people from all around the country are participating in nature walks to identify local wildlife + connect with nature.

Ready to meet our local feathered friends for yourself? Check out this map for birding trails in the area — each location lists the types of birds you’re likely to see during your trip.