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Outing #3 Watching Sandhill Cranes & Bald Eagles at Hiwassee Refuge

One of Tennessee's grandest wildlife spectacles is the Sandhill Crane migration. They gather by the thousands each winter at the Hiwassee Refuge about one hour north of Chattanooga. We will depart the Starbucks on Hamilton Place Blvd shortly after 10am and carpool / caravan to the Hiwassee Refuge. We expect to see lots of cranes and will probably see Bald Eagles and lots of ducks.

We'll spend an hour at the platform at the refuge, then caravan 5 minutes to the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park to learn about the Trail of Tears. We'll wrap up at the observation platform at the park, which offers a different vantage of the cranes, as well as the opportunity to view Great Blue Herons on the nest.

Tennessee Wild will have a spotting scope so you can safely view these birds from the viewing platform. Your own binoculars are recommended, but not required.

Bring a bag lunch and consider a hot beverage in a thermos. Dress in layers and expect it to be cold, but delightfully enjoyable.

If you would like to travel to the platform independently, here is a link to the TWRA website featuring directions. We expect to be at the platform from 11am - 1pm.

Group size limited to 52. This is a third & final scheduled outing due to high demand.

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  • Stan W.

    Great, cold but great. I saw 4 bald eagles, my wife got to see 3 including one adult eagle.

    January 28, 2013

  • Michele J.

    This was a great outing!! Jeff you did an awesome job in letting us know what we were seeing which I thoroughly enjoyed!! I look forward to more TNWILD meetups!

    January 28, 2013

  • Sherry W.

    Fun group! Thanks Jeff for sharing everything.

    January 27, 2013

  • Richard H.

    Loved the outing. I grew up living not too far away and had never been near the area except by boat back in the 70's. Got to see lots and lots of Sandhill cranes and a few bald eagles and several other birds including nesting herons.

    January 26, 2013

  • Priscilla L.

    I realized that I'd be backtracking to head over to Starbucks from where I live, so I'll meet you all up there. Looking forward to it!

    January 25, 2013

    • Priscilla L.

      It was nice to meet you and hangout with everyone today! Really enjoyed it:)

      1 · January 26, 2013

  • Brenda H.

    wonderful. I would have never known about this place without the meetup. Jeff Hunter did an excellent job of "teaching us"; spotting birds; setting up the telescope for all to see. I give it 5 stars.

    January 26, 2013

  • Michelle H.

    Thanks Jeff for hosting this for us! It was a great day!

    January 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well shoot! I wrote on my calendar "11:00" and met at starbucks at 11:00 and missed you guys. Sorry. Do I get a black mark now as a no show? I showed... just not at the correct time. :-( sorry guys.

    January 26, 2013

  • Michelle H.

    running a bit late but will meet you at the platform in a few.

    January 26, 2013

  • Michelle

    My daughter woke up with a 103.9 temp this morning. I suspect flu so we are out and I am so sad.

    January 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry, I'm stuck in DC on business travel. IF there are no further flight delays, I won't be back to Knoxville until midnight. I'm really disappointed that I'm going to have to bail.

    January 25, 2013

  • Sherry W.

    Hey local Chattanooga folks - any input on the Towneplace Suites near the Starbucks where we're meeting Saturday morning? I'm looking for something reasonable/spacious - husband, 20 year daughter, and me. Or do you have another suggestion for us? We like the layout of Embassy Suites or Hyatt Place rooms, but I don't see either of those nearby. Thanks!

    January 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      (Jeff you said the wrong thing... not sure they want mice) ...

      1 · January 24, 2013

    • Sherry W.

      I packed cheese and a trap just in case ;)

      1 · January 25, 2013

  • Michele J.

    Is that the Starbucks off Gunbarrel Rd. or a different one?

    January 25, 2013

  • Sherry W.

    How much walking is involved? I have a broken leg, and I'm in a boot. I can walk, but not far. Thanks!

    January 20, 2013

    • Sherry W.

      Amparo - Thank you so much for your offer! My husband has agreed to come with me, but I look forward to meeting you!

      1 · January 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Woohoo!! I'm looking forward to meeting you too.

      1 · January 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I meet the group at the refuge instead of Starbucks? I'll be coming from Oak Ridge, so that would be backtracking for me!

    January 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great! Thanks so much. This will be my first outing with the group. how will I know you guys? Also, is your ETA around 11;00 am?

      January 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Excellent! I'll call if I can't find you under the gazebo. I'm so excited!

      1 · January 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Call me female - but I don't know how to key in "Longitude and Latitude" directions for my GPS. Where is the Hiwassee Refuge?

    January 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you! See you there.

      1 · January 14, 2013

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