Norris Songbird Trail State Wildlife Observation Area is located below Norris Dam on the Clinch River and provides a variety of habitats (including riverine, old fields, bottomland hardwoods and grassy areas) for many songbirds and other wildlife. A 2.3-mile loop trail provides users several opportunities to view a variety of birds.
A special feature is the high concentration of eastern bluebirds breeding in the area. Osprey and bald eagles can occasionally be seen along the river. During the spring and summer, look for nesting eastern kingbirds, eastern peewees, great-crested flycatchers, white-eyed and yellowthroated vireos, gray catbirds, brown thrashers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, yellowthroated warblers, and orchard orioles along the trails.
The trail is also a good place to observe spring and fall migrants. During the winter, watch for yellow-bellied sapsuckers, winter wrens, hermit thrushes, kinglets, yellowrumped warblers, and white-throated sparrows. Woodpeckers, Carolina wrens, cedar waxwings, northern cardinals, and song sparrows are present year-round. Eastern screech-owls, barred owls, and great horned owls are also permanent residents in this area.
On a hot day this is the place to be. The cool waters (averages 49⁰F) in the Clinch River keep the air noticeably cooler along this trail at the base of Norris Dam. The trail is paved with bottom ash from Bull Run Fossil Plant – an inert, neutral material left after coal is burned. In the early hours of the day or evening, you can also observe red fox and white-tailed deer.
For more information visit TVA Trails webpage.