The site is a cattail marsh with some large pockets of open water, bordered by stands of wet grasses, sedges, and bulrushes. Margins also contain willows and other moisture loving hardwoods and shrubs. According to Pastor Lindon, the pastor to the previous owners of the church where the marsh is located, the marsh was in somewhat its present day condition until about 30 years ago when it dried up. It then was used as pasture land with mowed grass for a couple of decades. About 1990, it filled up again with water. It is primarily spring fed, with some additional drainage from surrounding land, including some coming from under the railroad tracks.

Ornithological Summary

Standifer Gap Marsh represents the best known site in East Tennessee and one of the best in the entire state of Tennessee for regularly breeding Least Bittern and Virginia Rail, along with other regularly occurring marsh species including King Rail, Sora, Sedge Wren, and Marsh Wren. Blue-winged Teal, a rare nester in Tennessee, nested in 2004. American Bittern is found in the spring. Willow Flycatcher nested in 2004-2005. Bobolink is found in the spring. Red-winged Blackbird is the most abundant bird species at the marsh. In 2004, 50+ nests were found, and in 2005, 125 nests, probably 2/3 of them active.


Local church owns the land.

Stay abreast of Audubon

Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives.