The Nantahala Mountains Important Bird
Area extends from the Georgia?North Carolina line northward to the northern boundary of Macon County and west to the Valley River Mountain?Tusquitee Mountain area. Many peaks exceed 1,525 m (5,003 feet) in elevation.

Ornithological Summary

This is an excellent site for mid-high elevation birds and probably the most important nesting area for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in the Southern Appalachians. Cove forests, northern hardwood forests are extensive and support bird assemblages typical these habitats (Criteria 3). Other species that are common in the area include: Ruffed Grouse, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Ovenbird, and Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Conservation Issues

Logging, recreational and commercial development on private lands.

Much of the Nantahala National Forest in this Important Bird Area has been logged in the past. Additional surveys of landbirds during breeding season, migration periods, and winter are needed.


The Important Bird Area includes portions of Nantahala Game Lands, Nantahala National Forest, and
privately owned land.


Cove forest, mountain bald, northern hardwood forest

Land Use

Conservation, hunting, and fishing.

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