Fall is for the Birds
As the weather begins to cool and the days shorten, make the most of them by looking up and attending to the beautiful birds of Scenic City. Chattanooga is full of bird-watching destinations for the amateur and veteran alike, whether you know the seemingly infinite nuances of flight pattern and song or just want to find a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the weather.
Moving to Chattanooga from St. Louis, Chattanooga residents Tim and Barb Baldwin say that some of their favorite spots to birdwatch in and around the city are Chester Frost Park, Harrison Bay, Booker T. Washington State Park, and the Enterprise South Nature Park, and if you want to climb to higher elevations there are excellent viewing points at Cloudland Canyon, Raccoon Mountain, Point Park, and Craven’s House.
When asked about some of their favorite birds to look for during the Summer and Fall seasons, Tim said that the Spring and Fall migrations provide great opportunities to see neo-tropical warblers, and that “the Soddy Mountain Hawk Watch is a great place to see migrating hawks and eagles.” The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge also has a viewing platform where the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers meet, and from there you can hear the chatter of 14,000 cranes that winter there from mid-October through February.
See It All
Twenty minutes outside of Chattanooga, the Chickamauga Battlefield National Park is 9,000 acres of protected land where you can hike, see the monuments of this historic Civil War site, and watch the plethora of avian species that call it home. Tim recommends eBird as “a wonderful app which provides up-to-the-moment updates on what birds have been seen throughout the Chattanooga area and beyond. It provides very specific information about both the locations and numbers of species identified in each location,” so make sure you download the app before you hit the trails or even just take the time to look around downtown at all the species that call Chattanooga home, or, like you, might just be passing through.
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