The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: knoxville birding area

Thompson GB Heron 2A great blue heron is seen above a nest in the Tennessee River Valley. Herons moved northward to the valley from tiny remaining Florida rookeries after the birds were annihilated in the early 20th century for hat decorations. Betty Thompson

After their kind almost vanished, great blue herons took a minute to take to the Tennessee Valley. Now they are here in a big way. 

“Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, and crashes through barriers painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh, well, there it is,” said Jeff Goldblum’s Malcolm in ‘Jurassic Park.’ “Life finds a way.”

In the early 20th century, after it became illegal to hunt for feathers, as referenced in this previous Hellbender Press story, herons began to recover.

But it took a while. The curious thing with great blue herons, which perhaps attests to the tenacity of nature itself, is that for years they really had little presence in the Tennessee Valley, even after the principal dams and reservoirs were completed. There were plenty of shallow waters for fish eaters.

Published in News

Children by Pond 300dpi

Bats, birds and all winged creatures are the guests of honor at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville this weekend.

The center plans a celebration of science and our flighty friends from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The educational event is open to all ages and will feature bird-banding demonstrations/projects; food trucks; guided walks; expert speakers; arts and crafts; and a chance to meet a number of raptors and animals native to East Tennessee. Citizen science demonstrations will show how anyone can contribute to the study and conservation of our natural world. 

You can get tickets online for the Hummingbird Festival and Celebration of Wings.

The 2021 Ijams Hummingbird Festival: Celebration of Wings is sponsored by Ergon Terminaling Inc.The Trust Company of TennesseeWBIR-TV Channel 10HomeTrust BankStanley's Greenhouse, and Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

Published in Event Archive