Watch the Winter Bird Migration in Chattanooga

December 30, 2017

Winters in Chattanooga are generally pretty enjoyable.  It does get chilly from time to time, but generally our winters stay mild and comfortable; a far cry from what other regions in the U.S. experience each winter!  There’s really nothing keeping us from the great outdoors during these winter months, and hiking is just as restorative and enjoyable now as it is during the spring.  In fact, one of the genuine pleasures during the winter months in Chattanooga is viewing wildlife, especially during the peak winter bird migration.  Most birds migrate through the area from November through February, with peak populations in January.  Come watch these incredible birds in Chattanooga this winter.  Book a room at our luxury Bed and Breakfast on Lookout Mountain.

Winter Bird Migration is Peaking in Chattanooga

The Hiwasee Refuge in Chattanooga is located on Chickamauga Lake, where the Tennessee River and Hiwasee River meet.  It is one of the best places to see the bird migration this winter. Though the refuge is closed at this time of year, their observation platform is open year-round during daylight hours.  Here are just a few birds you can expect to see migrating through the Chattanooga area this winter:

  • winter bird migration in Chattanooga, TennesseeThe Hiwasee Refuge is home to the largest migrating flock of Sandhill Cranes outside of Florida.
  • Waterfowl are common species at the reserve during the winter. Mallard, Gadwall, and Northern Shoveler are the most common, but Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, and Bonaparte’s Gull and Ring-billed Gull can also be seen.
  • There’s generally a large Great Blue Heron population at the Hiwasee Refuge each winter as well.
  • If you’re looking for Bald Eagles, then you’re in luck.  The Hiwasee Refuge ranks #5 in the state for eagle populations during the winter.  There are a couple of pairs that nest in the area as well.

Other great places to catch the incredible winter bird migration include:  Audubon Acres, Tennessee River Park and Chickamauga Dam, and the Tennessee River Gorge.

Coming up in January is the 26th annual Sandhill Crane Festival.  During this time, the Tennessee Aquarium is providing guided crane and eagle boat tours on the Hiwasee River.  The two hour tour offers passengers a chance to hear about the various migratory and resident birds. Come join us this winter, and see this beautiful bird migration up close and personal.  Book your stay at our Chattanooga Bed and Breakfast today.

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