Bird Watching Weekend • Bird Checklist
Bird watching in Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides an opportunity to view approximately 240 species of birds.
The spruce-fir forest of the highest ridges is similar to the boreal forest of Canada, and is the southernmost breeding range
The highest ridges in the Park, which contain spruce-fir forest land, are inhabited by Black-capped Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Blackburnian and Canada warblers, Veery, and Winter Wren. Chestnut-sided Warblers are common in blackberry thickets, the Dark-eyed Junco abundant in the trees, and Common Ravens soar overhead.
Northern Blue-headed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Black-throated Blue Warbler overlap with the southern Red-eyed Vireo, Northern Cardinal, Hooded Warbler and others and can be found in the northern hardwood and cove hardwood forests.
The southern hardwoods in the middle and lower elevations have the greatest number of birds, those typical of similar elevations and latitudes in the south. Some common species are the Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Screech-Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Song Sparrow, and American Goldfinch. In summer add the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Chipping Sparrow, and others. In winter, the Yellow-rumped Warbler and White-throated Sparrow become common.
Red-tailed hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, Killdeer, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, and others can be seen in open fields throughout the park. In the summer, you can see Eastern Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Yellow Warbler, and Orchard Oriole.
In the winter, Purple Finch, Evening Grosbeak, Swamp Sparrow, and others can be found in the park.