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Parks and Recreation

Bird Information, Research, and Data

Bird Information Research and Data (B.I.R.D.) is a year-round program for bird conservation, habitat protection, and education made possible by dedicated staff, volunteers, and partners- including Metro Parks, Warner Park Nature Center, and Friends of Warner Parks.

Bird Picture

What does banding tell us about migration? Much of the knowledge comes in bits, eventually forming a mosaic of where birds of a given species travel. Banding proves that birds often return to precisely the same place to nest each year, and more recently it has shown that some exhibit the same fidelity to their wintering sites in the tropics.

- Scott Weidensaul, Living On The Wind

a hawk in flight with wings spread wide

Education and Programs

A variety of bird programs are offered year round for all ages and interest levels. From owl prowls at night, early morning bird counts with the Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society, migration hikes, and summer breeding bird hikes, to programs on specific species like bluebirds, hummingbirds, vultures and woodcocks. While some programs offered are for all ages and families, others are designed for preschoolers, homeschoolers, school field trips, high school students and adults.

Check out the Nature Center for specific programs and events, festivals and bird banding sessions. Bird programs are available to groups on a limited basis. Contact the nature center at 615-862-8555 or wpnc@nashville.gov.

A great way to learn more about birds is to visit the Nature Center campus and explore the pond, gardens, bird feeding stations and take a hike on the Hungry Hawk Trail. Go into the Leaning Center and pick up a bird checklist, find the bird exhibit , and talk to a naturalist. Another good way to learn more is to volunteer to help with bird programs and projects. You can pick up at volunteer application at the front desk!

Free Bird Hikes and Programs Scheduled for Winter 2018

Although snow covers the forest floor and a chill is in the air, bird research projects continue! In fact, cold temperatures and snow can bring many sparrows and woodpeckers to nature center feeders. In order to inventory bird species that call Warner Park home, as well as to track trends in populations and habitat reflection, bird banding research will take place in January and February. See the research schedule here.

Bird programs this winter:

bright blue bird sitting on a wood nest box

Research and Projects

A variety of bird research projects take place in the Warner Parks each year. The Tennessee Ornithological Society has been organizing official spring, fall and winter bird counts in the area and collecting and publishing this data even before the Park was established in 1927. The Eastern Bluebird Nesting Box Trail was started by Amelia Laskey, a nationally-known ornithologist, in 1936 and is one of the oldest, continuously-run projects in the United States. The Warner Park Bird Banding Station was established at the Nature Center in 1982 with support from Master Banders and local ornithologists Dr. Katherine Goodpasture, Michael Bierly, Dr. Ann Tarbell, and Dr. Charles Farrell. Some projects are year-round while others focus on breeding birds, wintering species, neotropical migrants and migration or a specific bird like hummingbirds or a specific topic such as feathers.

Learn more about Bird Research and Projects in the Warner Parks

Upcoming Bird Banding Sessions

Visitors are cordially invited to stop by the bird banding table on the Nature Center Campus and see birds up-close and observe bird research in action.

Licensed banders manage the bird banding station and use mist nets and traps to carefully catch, band, and release each bird. Bird banding sessions are scheduled by project.

Depending on the number of birds and the number of trained volunteers assisting that session, we are happy to answer questions about the birds and banding and discuss data collected and bird banding tools. We have some amazing bird banding stories to tell! Of course the safety of the bird is the most important part of banding, and if we are too busy with the birds and unable to talk, you are still welcome to observe quietly and enjoy watching the process.

Sessions will be cancelled for rain, inclement weather or unforeseen emergencies. If you stop by and we are not there, please enjoy the Park and try another day.

2018 Winter Bird Banding Sessions

Protect the birds in Warner Parks through the BIRD program

warbler bird

Thoreau said that the bluebird carries the sky on this back. You can help the bluebirds, hummingbirds, and warblers to continue to soar by donating to the BIRD program through Friends of Warner Parks. Give a CHIRP to provide funds for bird banding, research, and educational programs. Don't forget to check out the numerous bird-related programs offered at the Nature Center throughout the year.

Important Bird Area

bright red bird with black wings and tail feathers held in a hand

  • Important Bird Area (IBA) is a global effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and biodiversity and is directed by BirdLife International and coordinated in the Americas by National Audubon Society.
  • IBA's are key sites for conservation- small enough to be conserved in the entirety and often already part of a protected- area network. In Tennessee, this program is coordinated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
  • Learn more about the Warner Park Important Bird Area

Bird Recaptures and Stories

small green bird with red throat at a bird feeder

Much can be learned about birds through banding - bird populations, longevity, migration patterns, wintering species, breeding species, changes over time and more. There are many examples of recaptures of resident birds as well as migrating birds that winter and that breed in the Warner Parks.

Learn more about Warner Park Bird Recaptures and Stories

Check out an AMAZING 2016 Bluebird Recapture

Bird Information Research and Data Team

7 women in matching shirts standing in front of a sign

Bird education and research programs and projects are possible because of dedicated volunteers and staff. A team of over 30 volunteers, interns, and staff invest several thousand hours on over 10 projects and many programs that reach over 3000 visitors each year.