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Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park

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Directions/Bird Finding

Sharp's Ridge Road
Photo by Charles P. Nicholson

Roadway just west of the parking area at the wooded shed.  This stretch of the ridge is often one of the most productive areas.

Location:  Knoxville, within an area between Broadway (east side) and I-275 (west side), Breda (north) and Watauga/Camaro/Farragut (south), Knox County, Tennessee.
Physiographic Province:  PIF 13 (Southern Ridge and Valley); BCR 28 (Appalachian Mountains)
Tennessee Site Map - Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park
Geographical Coordinates: 
Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park--Lat. 360012N  Long. 0835630W
Elevation Range:  1,050' - 1,379'
    1,230' Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park
Size:  74.27 acres (city owned) The whole ridge is 200+ acres, most of which is privately owned.
USGS 7.5’ quad:  Fountain City

Description:   "Discovered" by J. B. Owen and others in the mid-late 1950's, Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park is a 1.5 mile section of ridge on the north side of Knoxville. It is one of a number of parallel ridges running northeast to southwest in eastern Tennessee, but unlike most is accessible with a paved road along its crest. The site is a limestone ridge with a hardwood/pine forest in an urban setting. Undergrowth varies from dense privet to open understory with scattered wildflowers. The area has several paved and unpaved parking areas, and two covered picnic table/shelters.

IBA Criteria:  4f

Ornithological Importance:  This site is a "migrant trap" for neotropical migrants. 
    Note 1. Over the course of the spring, the number of migrant species present exceeds 50, including about 30 warblers, 5 vireos, 5 thrushes, as well as many other species among them hawks, flycatchers, sparrows, grosbeaks/buntings, tanagers, sparrows, and blackbirds/orioles. The total number of migrant songbirds present on any good day in the spring is in the hundreds, and the total for the spring season is easily in the thousands. For individual species, the most numerous in the spring is usually the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, and daily totals exceeding 100 are common in late April and early May.  Red-eyed Vireos daily numbers probably exceed 50 during the same time period. Daily numbers of other species are usually considerably lower.

Site Criteria



Avg. No Season

Max. No. Season

Years of Data



Land Birds:  Neotropical Migrants (See Note 1 above)




Late 1950's-2005


Season1   B = Breeding, W = Wintering, SM = Spring Migration, FM = Fall Migration
Source 2  1-Atlas Breeding Birds of Tennessee 2-Breeding Bird Surveys 3-Christmas Bird Counts
4-Point Counts 5-Refuge Counts 6-Personal observations 7-Other (Charles P. Nicholson, Knoxville Chapter TOS)

Ownership:  Knoxville Department of Parks and Recreation
   Contact:  Knoxville Department of Parks and Recreation, 400 Main Avenue, Room 303, Knoxville, TN 37918, 965-215-2090.

Conservation Concerns:  Concerns include air pollution, introduced plants/animals, commercial development, residential development, deforestation, predation from cats and dogs, and tower casualties. 

Management Program:  The city's management is limited to occasional mowing of roadsides and around the picnic tables, emptying trash cans, and police patrols. The Knoxville Chapter TOS conducts litter cleanups and is working to reduce invasive plant infestations.

Submitted by:  Dan & Laurie Mooney, birds@birnerds.com  and David Trently, dtrently@utk.edu

Additional Contributors:  Charles P. Nicholson, cpnichol@bellsouth.net and Knoxville Chapter TOS

Approved as an IBA site:  December 2005--Yes 6  No 1

This page was last updated on 02/19/06.