Seven Islands State Birding Park


From the novice to the professional, birders and researchers find Seven Islands an ideal location for avian observation. The park is located along the migratory path of many bird species and during the breeding season birds can be found nesting at the refuge. Popular sightings include purple martins and tree swallows. Easily heard singing well into the summer are common yellowthroat, yellow‐breasted chat, summer tanager, blue grosbeak and indigo bunting. In winter, hundreds of sparrows can be found, especially field, savannah, song, swamp, white‐throated and white‐crowned. Be sure to peek into some of the barns located on the property, for a glimpse of a somewhat elusive, nocturnal barn owl. Guests can easily spend several hours strolling through the park’s varied habitats enjoying the scenery and song of these feathered jewels. Mornings are usually the best time for birding but late afternoons, before dusk can also be rewarding.

Seven Islands is noted as a research and demonstration area. Bird banding surveys began in late 2004, when the University of Tennessee and the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society established a Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) station. The MAPS program utilizes monitored mist netting and banding at a network of stations staffed by professional biologists and trained volunteers. During the first field season, 387 birds were banded, representing 30 species. Monitoring bird populations during breeding season helps to determine future conservation practices.

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