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Warner Parks
Percy Warner Park
Edwin Warner Park

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Directions/Bird Finding

Friends of Warner Parks

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Nature Center

Warner Parks

Bluebird Nest Box Program

Breeding Bird SurveyNeotropical Fall CountNeotropical Spring Count
Warner Parks

Photo by Sandy Bivens

This aerial view mainly of  Edwin Warner Park shows the large mature forested areas associated with the park.

Location: Southwest part of Nashville, bordered by Highway 100, Old Hickory Boulevard, Chickering Road, Belle Meade Boulevard, Page Road, and Vaughn Road, Davidson County, Tennessee.
Physiographic Province:  PIF 14 (Interior Low Plateaus [Central Basin]); BCR 27 (Southeastern Coastal Plain)
Tennessee IBA Site Map - Warner Parks.bmp (80006 bytes)
Geographical Coordinates: 

    Percy Warner Park--Lat. 360406N  Long. 0865251W
    Edwin Warner Park--Lat. 360314N  Long. 0865413W
Elevation Range: 580' - 920'
Size: 2,684 acres
USGS 7.5’ quad: Bellevue and Oak Hill

Description: Begun in 1927, the Warner Parks contains wooded hills and hollows, wet weather springs and streams, regularly mowed and irregularly mowed fields around its edges, and is bordered by the Little Harpeth River. The western mesophytic forest is an association of beech-maple and oak-hickory, secondary growth area, shrubby thickets, and fields that provide diverse habitats for migrating, nesting, and wintering birds. The Park contains two golf courses, picnic areas, ball fields, a steeplechase course and equestrian complex, two cross country courses, a maintenance complex, park headquarters, 25 miles of roads, 10 miles of bridle paths, 6 miles of paved trails, 12 miles of hiking trails, a nature center, and a field station. The Warner Park Nature Center is an educational facility, located within the park.

IBA Criteria: 
3, 4f, 5

Kentucky Warbler

Photo by Deborah Beazley

Kentucky Warbler is a common breeder along the woodland edge.

Ornithological Importance:  The Warner Parks is sizeable and intact for a site in close proximity to a large urban area, Nashville, and supports the full complement of migrant species and most breeding neotropical species in this area. Recent developments in the community of Bellevue, the city of Brentwood, and the land adjoining the park have reduced the bird habitat in these areas and increases the importance of the nearby intact park habitat. Records 1977-2005 establish the presence in small numbers in winter, spring migration, and fall migration of Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Loggerhead Shrike (year-round, steeplechase area only now), all Tennessee In Need of Management species.
    Note 1. The mostly wooded site of ridges and valleys of mature woods, and fields and meadows, is surrounded by residential development creating habitat that is limited for the area. Even though the Park is heavily used, it is large enough to draw the complement of migrant species and neotropical breeding species. Residing in the Central Basin that has an average elevation of 550 feet, the Park contains ridges that are over 900 feet (remnants of the Western Highland Rim) that makes it more attractive to some species, e.g. Scarlet Tanager. The one-day spring and fall counts give a "snapshot" of species make-up and population levels. Spring counts in the period 2000-2005, averaged 75 species of which 38 species (50.7%) were neotropical. There were 1,824 neotropical individuals counted for an average of 304 individuals per count. Warblers totaled 413 birds for an average of 69 birds per count. Fall counts in the period 2000-2005, averaged 51 species of which 21 species (41.2%) were neotropical. There were 552 neotropical individuals counted for an average of 92 individuals per count. Warblers totaled 228 birds for an average of 38 birds per count. For a summary of neotropicals in spring and fall counts see, Neotropical Spring Count Totals 2000-2005 and Neotropical Fall Count Totals 2000-2005.
    Note 2. The Eastern Bluebird is the most studied bird species in the Warner Parks. Amelia R. Laskey began the bluebird research project in the Warner Parks in 1936 and collected data for forty years until her death in 1976. The bluebird trail she started is one of the oldest, continually monitored bluebird nesting box programs in the country. Nesting boxes are located in both parks, mostly along the regularly mowed perimeters and are monitored weekly April - August. Data  is collected on each box, and nesting females and nestlings are banded. In the period 2002-2004, there were on average annually 54 nesting boxes, 68 clutches, 227 eggs laid, 174 eggs hatched, and a 50.1% success rate. See Warner Parks Eastern Bluebird Nesting Box Program 2002-2005, for a summary of results.
    Note 3.
Warner Park's Bird Banding Program began in 1982. As of 2005, approximately 12,000 birds have been banded at the Warner Park Banding Station. In the period, 2000-2004, around 50 species and 1,000 individuals were banded annually. Some longevity records are: Year-round species--Downy Woodpecker (4 years), Carolina Chickadee (9 years, captured 30 times); Winter species--Dark-eyed Junco (5 years); and Neotropical breeding species--Ruby-throated Hummingbird (3 years), Louisiana Waterthrush (3 years), and Orchard Oriole (4 years). The Warner Park Banding Station has been partnering with the Hummer Bird Study Group to study hummingbirds since 2001.  
    Note 4.
In 1985, Dr. Paul Hamel with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Natural Heritage Program, assisted the Nature Center staff to design a breeding bird survey for the Park that was modeled after the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Twenty-five permanent points were established each 0.5 mile apart and covering the entire park. Each year during the first week of June (peak breeding season), starting at 6:00 a.m., each one of these points is visited by a two-person team. One person drives and is the timekeeper while the other counts for three minutes and records each birds seen and heard. In the period 2001-2005, on average 44 species and 305 individuals were recorded annually. Of the 61 species detected during this period, 25 species (41%) were neotropical. There were 397 neotropical individuals out of 1,525 total individuals for the period 2001-2005 or 26% neotropicals.There were 13 species of neotropical species noted 4 out of 5 years. See Warner Parks Breeding Bird Survey 1985 & 2001-2005, for a summary of results.
    Note 5. The Warner Parks established the first MAPS station in Tennessee in 1991. Six permanent net sites are located near the Nature Center Campus. The breeding season, May-August, is divided into ten, ten day periods. Mist nets are operated in a standardized manner for one day each period. Birds are banded and released and specific breeding data is collected. In 1991, 154 birds were captured, the American Goldfinch the most common bird recorded. In 2001, 131 birds were captured and 25 of these were previously banded. The American Goldfinch was again the most common species recorded.
    Note 6. Project Feeder Watch, a winter bird study by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, is operated November-April. Observers periodically count and record the highest numbers of each species visiting the feeders at the feeding station near the library.

Site Criteria



Avg. No Season

Max. No. Season

Years of Data



Habitat: Natural (See Note 1 above.)





3, 6, 7a


Landbirds: Migrating/Breeding (See Note 1 above.)





3, 6, 7a


Monitoring: Eastern Bluebird Nest Box Program (See Note 2 above.)


100 young

200 young




Monitoring: Bird Banding Program (See Note 3 above.)







Monitoring: Breeding Bird Survey (See Note 4 above.)B





Monitoring: MAPS station (See Note 5 above.)







Monitoring: Project Feeder Watch (See Note 6 above.)W



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 (Sandy Bivens),
7 = Other (a-Warner Park staff b-Kathy Shaw)

Ownership:  Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation, Nashville, Tennessee.
   Contact:  Bob Parrish, Superintendent, 50 Vaughn Road, Nashville, TN 37221, 615-370-8050 (park headquarters), 615-862-8418 (Metro Parks main office), bob.parrish@nashville.gov

Conservation Concerns:  Serious concerns are introduced plants and animals. Potential concerns are water pollution, air pollution, predation, dogs off leash, development of surrounding area and light pollution.

Management Program:  Park planning documents--1) Warner Park Master Plan, William J. Johnson and Associates, Inc., Hodson and Douglas, Tara C. Armistead, Landscape Architect. 2) The Warner Park Preservation Plan, Recommendations for the Long Term Restoration and Maintenance of the Percy Warner and Edwin Warner Parks, September 1986, Nashville, TN, William J. Johnson, Inc. with Tara C. Armistead, Landscape Architects. 3) Warner Park Nature Center Master Plan, William Johnson, A.S.L.A., Tara Armistead, A.S.L.A., Hodgson and Douglas, November 1993. 4) Nashville and Davidson County, Metro Parks and Greenways Master Plan 2002, Wallace Roberts and Todd, LLC, Hawkins Partners, Inc.
    Friends of Warner Parks is an active volunteer support group dedicated to the preservation, protection, and stewardship of the Warner Parks. Friends works in all aspects of park programs and contributes substantially financially to programs and acquisitions of additional lands. In 2005, an additional 121 acres is pending.

Submitted by:  Sandy Bivens, Director, Warner Park Nature Center, 7311 Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221, 615-352-6299, sandy.bivens@nashville.gov

Additional Contributors:

Approved as an IBA site: December 2005--Yes 7  No 0

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