Share with us your favorite smells, sounds or sights of Spring. Read more


N.C. Arboretum

Donated photo

The facility will also offer classes on appreciating bonsai, survival for birds during climate change, and how to be a good plant parent, plus many more. Read more


Sights, Smells, and Sounds in Our Spring Forests

Bruce Ingram photo

In the Southern Appalachians, spring sends our senses into an ethereal otherworld as so many sights, sounds, and smells unique to the season greet us. Here are some of the sensory delights that folks in our region treasure the most. Read more


Come early to watch bird banding and release. Read more


Birding in the Great Smoky Mountains

Mike Blevins photo

I was a real hotshot (in my own mind!) when I started birdwatching over 30 years ago. I took vacations to look at birds; pointed out species ad nauseam to friends and family; and became laser focused on my life list count. Read more


When most people think of shorebirds they think of, well, shores and sleek fast flying wind birds that migrate in flocks and forage in groups. The mostly solitary, chunky, forest dwelling woodcock doesn’t seem to fit. Read more



By Lacey Raper

A variety of activities are scheduled for April in the national park. Read more


It’s estimated that only 30,000 wild turkeys, Meleagris gallopavo, were left in North America by the early 1900s. European settlers regarded wild turkeys as a walking feast and they were hunted wherever they were encountered. Read more


Rankin Bottoms

Photo special to Smoky Mountain Livin

About an hour’s drive from Waynesville, North Carolina, and you’ll be up to your ankles in mud, swatting mosquitoes and listening to cicadas hum from the willows and cottonwood trees of Rankin Bottoms Wildlife Management Area. Read more


Indigo bunting

Holly Kays photo

It was only 8 a.m. when I parked my car in a dewy meadow near Franklin, North Carolina, but the bird banding crew I was meeting had already been at work for hours. Read more


Louisiana waterthrush

Don Hendershot

The Louisiana waterthrush is one of — if not the — first wood warblers to return to nesting grounds in the Southern Appalachians. If you hear his song streamside, it’s worth your effort to seek the little songster out and watch him. Read more



Holly Kays

As the days get warmer and longer, I find myself thinking about childhood and the periscope I once campaigned so diligently for my father to build me. Read more



Seven Islands State Birding Park photo

With spring underway, it’s time to talk about the birds and the bees—and Seven Islands State Birding Park, Tennessee’s newest state park and its first dedicated to birding. Read more



Warren Beilenberg photo

For birders of all stripes, the Christmas Bird Count is as much a part of the holiday season as unwrapping presents on December 25. The diverse landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park make the season even more special for birders. Read more



U.S. Geological Survey/Photo by Dennis Demcheck

Owls have had plenty of time to get under our skin; fossil records date back 60 million years and Paleolithic era drawings of owls on cave walls in France represent some of the earliest recognizable avian drawings in the world. Read more


Sandhill Cranes

iStock/stuckreed Photo

The dead of winter may not seem like the best time to attend an outdoor performance. However, for those willing to brave the January chill, the stars of the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge promise one spectacular show. Read more


Like a hawk

Manjith Kainickara photo

Each September, the skies over Southern Appalachia set the stage for one of nature’s most beautiful and spectacular dances—the migration of the raptors. Read more


Dyed Easter eggs are no match for the painted eggs on exhibit at the new C.E. Blevins Avian Learning Center at Chattanooga’s Reflection Riding Arboretum. Thirty bird nests hold eggs so realistic you’d never guess these replicas were made from clay. Read more

As the night skies fill with neotropical migrants on their way north to nesting grounds in the upper reaches of North America, birders have a fleeting chance to see and hear these special songbirds. Read more


Golden winged warbler

­Mark Peck photo

The National Audubon Society recently released a study examining the potential effect of climate change on bird species in the continental United States and Canada, and the prognosis doesn’t look good. Read more


It’s June, spring migration has passed us by and some jaded birders are putting away their binoculars and field guides, getting out their fly rods and golf clubs, content to wait until September. Read more


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    Wolfgang Wander/Creative Commons

    Downy woodpecker.