Great Backyard Bird Count -- Middle and West Tennessee Cheat Sheets
The Great Backyard Bird Count happens this year on February 13-16, 2015 (as always, Friday through Monday of President's Day weekend). Since this event attracts a lot of people who are still learning to identify the common local birds, I've prepared a couple of "cheat sheets." These shows the most frequently reported GBBC species in Middle and West Tennessee. Here are the 49 most frequent species in Middle Tennessee (click to get the full-size image):
And here are the 56 most frequent species in West Tennessee:
As you can see, many species are in common between the two, but there are some differences since West TN generally has more open country and more wetlands. For these purposes, West TN begins at the Tennessee River corridor from Pickwick Lake to Kentucky Lake, including bottomlands on both sides of the river and the lower parts of the Cumberland in Stewart County and the Duck River Bottoms in Humphreys County. The images are collected from Wikimedia and are public domain (as are the cheat sheets themselves). If you are a novice birder, please do not use this as your only identification guide! Please use it as a supplement to one of the many good comprehensive field guides. My intent is to get you pointed in the right direction and help with some of the most common confusions, not to give you definitive identifications. The odds are good that you might find at least one additional species that is not shown on this page. Note also that these images are not to scale; the goal was getting them to fit on the page, not showing the true relative sizes of the different species.