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Ernest Rice WMA

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer A
Fall B
Winter B+

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Site Description and Habitats

The area contains 2000 acres of mature bottomland hardwood forest. There is also 500 acres of early successional fields, reforestation, and some farmland. Access is by a primary all weather gravel road. Roads are well maintained. Access may be limited by the level of the Mississippi and Obion Rivers, which can flood over the roads. Do not attempt to drive through flood waters.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Any and all passerines can be found, including Magnolia, Tennessee, Blackpoll (spring), Eastern Wood-pewee, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Wood Thrush.

Summer: Summer Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher, Prothonotary Warbler, and Mississippi Kites. A large rookery of mostly Great Egrets and some Great Blue Herons is in the southeast corner of the WMA in the woods and is fairly inaccessible. Warbling Vireo and Baltimore Oriole can be found in flooded areas and near the river, which is also tough to get to.

Winter: Horned Larks, Killdeer and Northern Harriers are common sites during this season.

Year-Round: Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Wild Turkey, and other resident woodland birds such as Barred Owl.

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer

Submit your data to eBird here

Other wildlife viewing opportunities
In the grassy fields white-tailed deer.

Detailed directions for birding Ernest Rice WMA
From Dyersburg, take Hwy 104 west approximately 10 miles to signs for Ernest Rice WMA. Two points of access can be reach on the south side of Hwy 104. Area signs are posted.

Ernest Rice WMA map

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Ernest Rice WMA access to east parking lot: 36.06089, -89.60340
Main road into the middle of the WMA: 36.060965, -89.630162

Fees and Hours
No fees are required to access this area. The areas are accessible during daylight hours year round. Check hunting guide as access is limited or not recommended during some hunts.

For tips for safely watching wildlife during hunting seasons and year round please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates.

There are no restroom facilities or designated birding observation areas.

TWRA Region I office
200 Lowell Thomas Drive, Jackson, TN 38301
800-372-3928; 731-423-5725

Info for other sites
Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife web site