Tennessee Ornithological Society Mission

The  mission of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS) is to study and conserve birds that occur in Tennessee. We are an independent, nonprofit, educational and scientific organization whose members encourage the study of bird life, the recording of bird data from the field, and the sharing of our passion among others.

For over a century, the Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS) has shared its knowledge and enthusiasm with all who desire to discover more about birds.

As a member, you will become part of a community of bird enthusiasts and citizen scientists who

  • Enjoy learning how to identify birds in the field or sharing their expertise with others

  • Go on field outings to watch birds

  • Improve their birding (bird watching) skills

  • Discover the best places for birding

  • Collect important data about birds

  • Support bird conservation and education efforts in Tennessee, nationally, and even internationally

  • Learn more about birds at home and around the world at local chapter meetings

Why Birds?

Have you ever gazed in wonder at a soaring hawk and imagined what life on the wing must be? What would we do without our feathered friends for company outdoors?

In a lifetime, a bird is the most likely wild creature a person will encounter frequently and close at hand.  There are deep-seated reasons why birds have for millennia been considered powerful symbols of freedom, renewal, luck, and beauty among cultures around the globe.

How much poorer would we be without the beauty of the bluebird, the haunting song of the meadowlark, or the evocative pair-bonding dance of the Sandhill Crane?

Eastern Bluebird by David Hawkins

Birds are critical

Birds  are critical components of natural ecosystems, and by managing for a diversity of birds, we will also protect many other species and the habitats on which they rely.

Summer Tanager: Photo by Ken Oeser

Sensitive Indicators

Because of their high metabolic rate, their relatively high position in the food chain, and their distribution across a wide variety of habitats, birds are sensitive indicators of environmental conditions.

Photo by Cyndi Routledge

Citizen Science

Birds are relatively easy and cost effective to monitor, and they provide an excellent means by which to track larger changes in natural systems. This is the concept upon which the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science platform, eBird is built! Indeed, our rapidly expanding capacity to monitor migration, reproduction, and survivorship in birds provides us with the ability to proactively address root causes of population declines and increases.

Photo by Cyndi Routledge
Why Care About Birds

Why Care About Birds?

How do birds, bird habitat, and bird conservation align with human goals and interests?

5 simple reasons
why you should care about birds:

  • bird habitat supports clean water,
  • birds and their habitat support your health,
  • birds are good for the economy,
  • birds benefit your beverage choices and
  • bird habitat boosts property values.