Backyard Birds of Tennessee: A Comprehensive Guide.

Backyard birds found in tennessee include the northern cardinal, blue jay, american goldfinch, and carolina chickadee. Tennessee’s diverse habitats provide a haven for many species of birds – from the vibrant northern cardinal to the majestic red-tailed hawk.

With roughly 400 different species of birds that can be found in the state at some point throughout the year, tennessee is truly a bird lover’s paradise. However, for those looking to attract and observe birds in their own backyards, there are certain birds that are more common than others.

In this article, we will explore the various backyard birds in tennessee, their physical characteristics, and interesting facts about each species.

Common Backyard Bird Species In Tennessee

Backyard bird watching is a relaxing and rewarding activity, and tennessee has some amazing species to watch. Let’s take a closer look at the most common backyard birds in tennessee, including the blue jay, black-capped chickadee, carolina wren, northern cardinal, and house finch.

Blue Jay

Physical description:

  • Blue jays have a distinctive blue-colored crest on their heads and blue wings with white and black markings.
  • They have a sturdy, medium-sized body and a long tail.

Behavior and habitat:

  • Blue jays are intelligent birds with a loud voice known for their harsh, scolding calls.
  • These birds are non-migratory and can be found in tennessee’s woodlands, forests, and suburban gardens.

Food and feeding habits:

  • Blue jays are omnivores and feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, insects, and sometimes even small animals.
  • They cache food for later by burying it in the ground.

Interesting facts and behaviors:

  • Blue jays are highly intelligent and can mimic the calls of other birds and even humans.
  • They are also known to be “bully” birds to other species.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Physical description:

  • Black-capped chickadees are small birds with black caps and bibs, gray backs, and white bellies.
  • They have a short bill and a fluffy appearance.

Behavior and habitat:

  • Chickadees are friendly birds and have a familiar “chickadee-dee-dee” call.
  • They prefer to live in wooded areas, parks, or suburban gardens.

Food and feeding habits:

  • Black-capped chickadees are active birds and feed on insects, spiders, seeds, and fruits.
  • They are known to store seeds in bark crevices or under lichen for later consumption.

Interesting facts and behaviors:

  • Chickadees have a unique ability to lower their body temperature during cold winter nights to conserve energy.
  • When foraging, they often hang upside down on branches to gather insects and seeds.

Carolina Wren

Physical description:

  • Carolina wrens have a rust-colored body, a white eyebrow stripe, and a long, curved bill.
  • They have a relatively large head and a stubby tail.

Behavior and habitat:

  • Carolina wrens are active birds and have a loud “tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle” song.
  • They are usually found in wooded areas, parks, or suburban gardens.

Food and feeding habits:

  • Carolina wrens are insectivores and feed on spiders, beetles, caterpillars, and other insects.
  • They occasionally eat fruits and seeds.

Interesting facts and behaviors:

  • Carolina wrens are year-round residents in tennessee and are known to pair for life.
  • They often build their nests in unusual places, such as mailboxes, boots, and flowerpots.

Northern Cardinal

Physical description:

  • Northern cardinals have a prominent crest on their heads, fiery red feathers, and a black mask around the eyes.
  • They have a short, thick bill and a long tail.

Behavior and habitat:

  • Cardinals are famous for their beautiful songs and loud, metallic “chip” calls.
  • They are often found in woodland edges, gardens, and suburban yards.

Food and feeding habits:

  • Northern cardinals are omnivores and feed on seeds, fruits, and insects.
  • They are known to visit bird feeders and prefer platforms or tray feeders.

Interesting facts and behaviors:

  • Cardinals are monogamous and are often seen as mating pairs.
  • Male cardinals are responsible for feeding their mates and bringing them food.

House Finch

Physical description:

  • House finches have brown streaked feathers, a red forehead, and throat, and a white belly.
  • They have a short, conical bill and a slightly curved tail.

Behavior and habitat:

  • House finches are social birds and have a sweet, melodious song.
  • They can be found in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, farmlands, and suburban areas.

Food and feeding habits:

  • House finches are granivores and feed on seeds, fruits, and occasional insects.
  • They love eating sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and millets.

Interesting facts and behaviors:

  • House finches are a non-native species introduced to the eastern u.s. In the 1940s.
  • They are sometimes mistaken for purple finches, but their colors are less vivid and their bills are more pointed.

Now that we’ve covered the most common backyard birds of tennessee, it’s time to grab your binoculars and head outside to enjoy the beauty of nature!

How To Attract And Feed Backyard Birds In Tennessee

Attracting And Feeding Backyard Birds In Tennessee

If you’re looking to create a magical backyard full of colorful birds in tennessee, there are a few things you need to know. Here are some helpful tips on how to attract and feed backyard birds in tennessee.

Choosing Feeders And Food

The correct type of food and feeder can make all the difference in attracting birds to your backyard. Consider the size and shape of the feeding station, as well as the food you provide. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Look for feeders with different compartments or stations to attract a variety of birds, such as tube or platform feeders.
  • Choose feeder designs that are easy to clean.
  • Provide different types of food such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and suet. It’s best to use high-quality birdseed blends.
  • Place the feeders near or on trees or bushes as many birds like to hop from shrub to feeder.

Providing Water Sources

Birds require more than just food to thrive; they also need access to clean water. Consider including a birdbath or pond in your backyard habitat. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Choose a birdbath or pond design that is easy for birds to access and clean.
  • Keep the water fresh and clean, changing it regularly.
  • Consider adding a dripper or fountain feature to attract hummingbirds.

Creating A Bird-Friendly Backyard Habitat

Birds need a safe and welcoming environment to make your backyard their home. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Provide different levels and types of vegetation, such as trees, bushes, and flowers, to create a diverse habitat.
  • Allow natural areas within your landscape, where birds can forage and nest.
  • Avoid using pesticides and insecticides to protect the birds and their habitat.

Tips To Attract Specific Bird Species

Different bird species require specific habitats, food, and shelter options. Here are some tips to help attract specific birds:

  • Bluebirds prefer open areas surrounded by trees or shrubs. Provide them with mealworms, fruit, and a nesting box.
  • Hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers and feeders filled with nectar. Adding a dripper or fountain to the birdbath will help attract them.
  • Finches prefer thistle seed or nyjer seed in feeders that have perches.

Creating a backyard habitat that is safe, welcoming, and provides food, water, and shelter is the key to attracting a variety of beautiful bird species to your tennessee backyard.

Best Places To Observe Backyard Birds In Tennessee

If you are a bird lover, there are plenty of places to observe backyard birds in tennessee. Here are the top spots to explore:

Tennessee State Parks

Tennessee state parks are an excellent place to go bird watching. They provide a natural habitat for many species of birds and offer a beautiful setting to enjoy the outdoors. Here are some of the best tennessee state parks for bird watching:

  • Radnor lake state park: This park is located in nashville and is home to over 200 species of birds. You can spot woodpeckers, owls, and even bald eagles here.
  • Chickasaw state park: Located in henderson, tennessee, this state park has over 300 species of birds. You can see great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and ospreys here.
  • Hiwassee/ocoee scenic river state park: This park is situated in delano, tennessee, and is known for its large population of waterfowl. You can see ducks, geese, and swans here, as well as herons and egrets.

Wildlife Refuges And Nature Centers

Wildlife refuges and nature centers are dedicated to protecting and preserving natural habitats for birds and other animals. Here are some of the best wildlife refuges and nature centers in tennessee:

  • Reelfoot national wildlife refuge: Located in tiptonville, tennessee, this refuge is known for its bald eagle population. You can also see sandhill cranes, ducks, and geese here.
  • Seven islands state birding park: Situated in kodak, tennessee, this park is home to over 190 species of birds. You can see warblers, vireos, and flycatchers here.
  • Warner parks nature center: Located in nashville, tennessee, this nature center provides educational programs and bird watching tours. You can see woodpeckers, wrens, and thrushes here.

Recommended Birdwatching Sites In Tennessee

If you are looking for the best birdwatching sites in tennessee, here are some that should be on your list:

  • Great smoky mountains national park: This park is home to over 240 species of birds, including the northern saw-whet owl and the golden-winged warbler.
  • Percy priest lake: Located in nashville, tennessee, this lake is home to many waterfowl species, including the american coot and the common merganser.
  • Shelby bottoms greenway: This greenway is located in nashville and is a great spot to see songbirds and woodpeckers.

These are just a few of the best places to observe backyard birds in tennessee. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a beginner, there is something for everyone in the volunteer state.

Frequently Asked Questions On Backyard Birds Of Tennessee

What Types Of Birds Can Be Found In Tennessee Backyards?

Backyard bird sightings in tennessee may include the northern cardinal, american goldfinch, eastern bluebird, carolina wren, and more.

What Type Of Food Do Backyard Birds In Tennessee Eat?

Tennessee backyard birds feed on a variety of food, with some preferring black oil sunflower seeds, while others enjoy mealworms or suet.

How Can I Attract Birds To My Backyard In Tennessee?

To attract birds to your tennessee backyard, consider offering food, water, and shelter through birdfeeders, birdbaths, and dense foliage.

What Should I Do If I Find A Sick Or Injured Backyard Bird In Tennessee?

If you encounter an injured or sick bird in your backyard, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center or licensed wildlife rehabilitator for guidance.

When Is The Best Time Of Day To Observe Backyard Birds In Tennessee?

Mornings and evenings tend to be the best times to observe backyard birds in tennessee, as they are often more active during these cooler, low-light periods.

What Are Some Non-Native Birds That Can Be Found In Tennessee Backyards?

Some non-native backyard birds commonly found in tennessee include european starlings, house sparrows, and mourning doves.


As you can see, tennessee is home to a variety of backyard birds that are sure to captivate and mesmerize you. From the charming bluebirds to the fiery orioles, each bird offers its unique appeal and personality. By providing them with the ideal environment and food, you can attract these feathered friends to your backyard and enjoy their lively presence every day.

Maintaining a bird-friendly habitat not only enriches your life but also helps to preserve the vital ecosystem. Besides, it provides you with an excellent opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate its beauty. Therefore, take a step towards creating a bird-friendly backyard and admire the melodious symphony of these delightful creatures.

Remember, every bird counts, and every effort matters in building a greener and sustainable tomorrow. So, gear up and start your journey towards bird-watching and conservation today!

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