Birding walk planned as part of May 2nd soft opening of new Rocky Fork State Park in Unicoi county

Here is an article from Johnson City Press about the May 2nd soft opening of newest Tennessee State Park.


On Saturday, May 2, the general public will finally be let loose to explore the state’s newest park. That will be the day of the First Annual Hikers’ Jamboree, where people of all ages are welcome to take part in a sun-up-to-sun-down day of events, including bird and history walks, moss and wildflower hikes, music and educational programs from educators and conservationists.

Spring 5 county bird count planned May 9th

The annual Spring 5 county bird count organized by the Elizabethton Bird Club will be Saturday May 9th (International Migratory Bird Day). Details will be finalized at the May 5th regular meeting and specific times, groups and locations will be available on the calendar on May 6th.

Note about the Calendar of Regional Events

The events listed in the calendar are collected from either the individual club website or information provided by the club to

Always check with the particular club for the most recent changes. Event dates were collected in March 2015.

Information about other birding related events is welcome, just let us know about the event.

International Migratory Bird Day

Several clubs will have activities related to International Migratory Bird Day which is really more than a day but is officially the second Saturday in May. The Buchanan County Bird Club IMBD event will be May 2nd. More dates will be added as they are available.

Click on the orange banner to see the basic info and check out the link for a much more detailed, professionally produced presentation.


International Bird day web site.



USDA Creates More Bird Habitat Opportunities on Irrigated Farmland

Tennessee FSA Newsletter

Tennessee Farm
Service Agency

579 Federal Building
Nashville, TN 37203

State Committee:
Eddie Anderson, Chair
Robert Collier
Patti Hutchinson
William Lyons
Jack Whittenburg

State Executive Director:
Gene Davidson

Division Chiefs:
Frank Rodgers
Farm Loan Programs

Patty Taylor
Farm Programs

Nancy Ligon
Acting Administrative Officer

Please contact your local FSA Office for questions specific to your operation or county.

USDA Creates More Bird Habitat Opportunities on Irrigated Farmland

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announces more bird habitats to be established in irrigated farmland regions through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Declines in upland bird populations, such as the northern bobwhite, pheasant, and prairie chicken, led to the creation of new Conservation Reserve Program features to help restore habitats for these species in these agricultural areas. Since the program’s creation in 2004, more than 240,000 acres of marginal cropland has been converted to native grasslands, spurring an increase in upland bird populations.

In recent years, however, applications for this type of habitat creation have slowed. To encourage more participation, USDA’s new policy focuses on farmland with center-pivot irrigation systems where there are circular areas of cropland with patches of land beyond the reach of irrigation. Until now, these patches – known as pivot corners – were only eligible for habitat creation when connected by a linear strip of grassland also enrolled in the program. The new policy allows producers interested in habitat creation to use disconnected pivot corners to help increase the population of upland birds.

Other species that can benefit from today’s change include the mourning dove, wild turkey, several sparrows, meadowlark and bobolinks.

The Conservation Reserve Program is a voluntary program. FSA contracts with agricultural landowners so that environmentally sensitive land is not farmed but instead used for conservation. Participants establish long-term plant species that control soil erosion, sequester carbon, improve water quality, and strengthen declining wildlife populations. In return, participants receive annual rental payments between 10 and 15 years.

Interested landowners can enroll pivot corners in the Conservation Reserve Program at any time. Participants and land must meet certain eligibility requirements. Other restrictions may apply. For additional details, contact your local Farm Service Agency office at or visit the website at

Site Disclaimer

At the bottom of every page is a Disclaimer:

This site has been developed by and is currently independently funded by a local birder. The information provided is not currently authorized to be the official announcements of any club or person unless otherwise noted.

We are willing to provide club authorized communication and will add pages for local bird clubs if requested.

Welcome to mountainempirebirds

Welcome to the mountainempirebirds website. Our purpose is to provide one place for regional birders In Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and the mountain counties of Western North Carolina to find information about local meetings, field trips and other activities conducted by the clubs in our region. We also provide one click access to the most recent eBird checklists for 22 area counties and some regular Hotspots.

If you know of an event you would like added to the calendar please let us know. We hope to provide one concise place to check for most birding activities in our region. But always check with your club for additions.

We plan to include directions to some of our areas favored birding locations for folks new to our area or new to birding.