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Male red cardinal bird sitting on a branch.



Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountain area are known for some serious beauty in all that their natural landscape has to offer. With rolling hills, rural forests, fertile valleys, tree-covered ridges, and many rivers and lakes that make up much of the state, it’s easy to see why so many adore the great state of Tennessee. And one essential detail not to be overlooked in the Volunteer State is the beautiful wildlife viewing offered day in and day out — particularly the beautiful birds that make TN home. Read on to learn more about five of Tennessee’s prettiest birds.

Great Blue Heron

The largest and most familiar heron in Tennessee, this year-round resident can often be mistaken as a crane. Mainly found along bodies of water, the Great Blue Heron primarily eats fish. Its distinctive long “S” shaped neck and long yellowish bill make them unique. Resident tip: have you seen our own resident blue heron at Legends at White Oak? They will often visit our beautiful stocked fishing ponds.

Northern Cardinal

Known for its insanely bright, vibrant red hue, the male Northern Cardinal is classified as a pretty songbird. Female cardinals are smaller and a completely different color! If you see one, consider yourself lucky, as they have come to be known as a good luck charm. 

Blue Jay

Get your cameras out for this one — a slow flyer and one that loves to mingle amongst humans! The Blue Jay is known for its beautiful blue color and clever voice, which can sometimes be mistaken for a hawk. Their reputation has been known to be a bit of an aggressor, but that’s not totally true. However, they are protective of their young fledgling and will do what it takes to keep them safe.

Scarlet Tanager

The male Scarlet Tanager is one of the most beautiful bright scarlet-red-colored birds in Tennessee. The female is an entirely different color, with an overall greenish-yellow coat and dark wings. They are known for their preference to sit amongst the forest trees and sing robin-like phrases.

Purple Finch

A visitor to Tennessee only in the winter months, if you catch sight of the Purple Finch, it is a rare treat! You’ll often find them on the ground looking for seeds, insects, and berries.

Catch a glimpse of our state’s beautiful birds on April 8, National Bird Day, and participate in our bird drawing contest! Draw a picture of your favorite bird, and you could win a $25 gift card. Send your entry to

Looking for more fun around town? Check out the Legends at White Oak blog.