Saturday, December 15, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST
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Seven Islands State Birding Park - Bluebird Barn
2809 Kelly Lane
Familiarize yourself with the meeting location
Prior to event.
Kodak, TN 37764

Driving Directions

Event Contact

Dana Murphy
865-436-7318 Ext. 349 

Membership Contact

Peyton Proffitt  
865-436-7318 Ext. 222 

Social Media Contact

Sarah Kirkland 

865-436-7318 Ext. 254


Grab your binoculars and join us in the great outdoors as we spend the morning and early afternoon with guide keith Watson (Pictured below) in search of birds along several miles of natural trails and rolling hills.


As a group, we'll trek through a rich mosaic of habitats looking and listening for a wide variety of wintering avian species. Nestled on 416 acres in a bend of the French Broad River, Seven Islands State Birding Park is a birder's wonderland. According to eBirdthe world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, SISBP is a designated hot spot for bird watching. Visitors to this location are treated to a rich variety of habitats including forested hills, an intermittent stream and marsh, several wooded islands and many fields being restored to native grasses.

PC Keith Watson Over 76 species have been observed here in December and one of our main targets for the day will be to see how many sparrow species (Passerellidae) we can observe and identify! Twelve (12) species have been observed here, including Fox, White-crowned, White-throated, Savannah, Swamp, and Vesper Sparrows, all which breed elsewhere and spend winter here.

In the winter of 2017-2018, a rarely seen Harris’s Sparrow (pictured above, left) was seen regularly in the same sections for several months! We should also see our resident species such as Chipping, Song and Field Sparrows, as well as Dark-eyed Junco and Eastern Towhee. It’s also possible to find Lincoln’s and Clay-colored Sparrows! 

Credit TN State Parks

Other highlights may include the potential for spotting deer and other wildlife in their natural habitat, late autumn foliage.

If you want to arrive early, you can listen for owls from the parking area.


Break bread with us!

Additional opportunity to join: When our birding excusion ends at 1 p.m., the group can convoy from Seven Islands to Aubrey's Restaurant - Strawberry Plains, where we can order a delicious entree (**Donated by our friends at Aubrey's), reflect on the day's sightings and discuss how recording your data in Cornell’s eBird website provides neccassary information to improve bird conservation efforts by agencies that use your data. ** Must be present to receive gift card. Does not include gratuity or alcohol, not redeemable for cash. *Employees not eligible to receive gift card.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to aubrey's Restaurants for contributing to this experience. 



Activity Rating: Moderate. Expect to walk on uneven surfaces for the majority of the adventure.

Mileage: 3 - 5 miles maximum. We will be taking breaks along the way.

What to bring: In addition to plenty of water, an appropriate amount of food for your comfort, sturdy trail shoes and your favorite field guide, binoculars and something to take notes with, we also recommend you dress in layers, bring along a backpack, all-weather gear and sunscreen. A personal first-aid kit and hiking sticks may be helpful as well.

 Click the following links and get started today!

Seven Islands State Birding Park map

Getting started with eBird mobile

Merlin Bird ID


Birds of the Great Smoky Mountains checklist

Know Before You Go: Great Smoky Mountains Association events travel rain or shine. Follow Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service policies for weather conditions. Keep in mind that many of our events are often several hours from telephone or emergency service. Cancellations due to road closures and inclement weather can often happen at the last minute. GSMA will notify you via email of any known issues that may affect the scheduled event. Familiarize yourself with the meeting location prior to event. GPS navigation may not be reliable.


What tree is that?


Biological diversity is the hallmark of the Smokies, and this diversity is nowhere more evident than in the parks's staggering variety of trees. Trees of the Smokies is a delightful, pocket-sized field identification guide to the trees of the Great Smoky Mountains by Steve Kemp. Features 80 color photographs of the most common species,plus more than 100 line drawings. Photos and descriptions are on the same page.



Do 2019 Right. Purchase your Great Smoky Mountains Association calendar today. 

Enjoy the beauty of the Smokies year-round with Great Smoky Mountains National Park Calendar 2019. This striking wall calendar features the photography of Joye Arden-Durham, Don McGowan and George Humphries.


Your enjoyment of these programs supports the Smokies. Participation fees are essential for GSMA to secure the services of some of the most knowledgeable guides whose purpose is to help strengthen your knowledge and appreciation of the Smokies.

Register Now!       


Bigfoot's been doing it for years!