The Lord God Bird  LbNA # 34498 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateAug 26 2007
LocationKnoxville, TN
Planted ByMoon and Sun    
Found By 4pawtrax
Last Found Oct 18 2008
Hike Distance?

“The Ivory-bill is a dweller of the tree tops and sunshine . . . It lives in the Sun in surroundings as bright as its own plumage.”
-James T. Tanner 1936

How you can tell a Sycamore from other trees: The sycamore looks like its barks is "Syc" because the bark is peeling off the trunk.

You are now on a quest to find the Lord God Bird, also know as the Holy Grail Bird and more commonly as the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Go to the main Visitor Center at Ijams Nature Center. If you do not know how to get to Ijams, see the directions at the bottom of this page.

Enter the Visitor Center and find the quote that is given at the top of this page.
1. Press “i” and learn and listen so you can tell the difference between the Ivory-Billed and Pileated Woodpeckers’ plumage and call.

2. Pass the 77 inch snake and find Sonney. Feed him some larva. Yum! Look up on the wall above the “feeding station” and read “What happened to the Ivory-Bill?”.

3. How many square miles of mature forest must a pair of Ivory-Bills have to survive?

4. Read the rest of the display if you have time and then exit the center. Turn left and go along the building until you find the paved “Universal” trail.

4. As you travel 28 Universal blocks you will pass a wooden fence and bird feeder on the left. At the 28th block you will see the North Cove Trail on your left. Follow the North Cove Trail.

5. The N.C.T. winds around and down some hills. On the journey you will pass: A cottonwood that is yawning at its base (right), a bridge over a ravine, a rusty fence (left), and a log bench (right).

6. After the log bench you’ll wind down yet another hill. At its bottom you will find a bridge that crosses on to the River Trail. Take this bridge and follow the River Trail.

7. Go on a short bit. On your left pass a Sycamore with a “boa constrictor” winding up its trunk. This “Snake” is much longer that the one in the Visitors’ center.

8. Journey on a little more. On your left see the King of all Sycamores. Its three mighty trunks reach to the sky along with a few other skinny trees that it has enveloped. The trail curves right after the King and then left around a much smaller tree which almost stands in gavel of the path.

9. Soon after these curves you’ll find a trail leading off the main path almost due North (left). On the left side of this trail is a tall Sycamore on the right is a small tree with a branch that veers off the main trunk at only two feet above the ground. Pass between these trees and follow the trail.

10. Where the trail Y’s, use your compass to find the branch that bears at 45 degrees from North. Follow this leg around to a set of 13 steps.

11. Go down the steps. In front of you is a dock. To your right is a bench to your left is the beginning of a neglected trail. If no one is watching, turn to your left and follow the trail for a number of paces equal to the number a square miles of mature forest that a pair of Ivory-Bills needs to survive. Make them large steps. You will have to contend with an unruly bush on your way.

12. At the last pace turn to your left. You will see a Sycamore that stands on two legs. Look behind (inside) its left leg between a block and the earth. USE GLOVES to retrieve what ornithologists call the “Holy Grail”. Warning: possible spiders and poison ivy.

The real Ivory-bill was not a resident of Tennessee, at least not in recent history, but it did once dwell in the swamps of the Southern United States and if you are more blessed than a lottery winner, you might still see one in Arkansas or Florida.

Stamp up on the bench or the dock. Enjoy the river. Make sure the box is placed back so that it will not slide down and so no one can see it. If anyone is in the area, wait to get or replace the box. There are many other fine letterboxes at Ijams.

Directions to Ijams.
From Downtown Knoxville via Henley Street
Take the Henley street bridge south to Baptist Hospital. Turn left onto Blount Avenue. Bear right onto Sevier Avenue. Follow Sevier Avenue. After passing through two traffic lights turn left onto Island Home Avenue. Follow Island Home Avenue, which turns right by the entrance to Island Home Park. Follow green signs to Ijams.
From Interstate 40W
Take exit 388 (US-441 S) to Downtown (Henley St.)?Continue on Henley St. crossing bridge over the TN River?. Turn Left onto E. Blount Ave. at first light after crossing bridge ?Turn Right onto Sevier Avenue.? Go through 3 way stop and go down big hill (you are now on Hillwood Dr.)?. Turn Right on Island Home Ave at the bottom of hill. ?Ijams is approximately 1 mile on the Left
From Interstate 40E
Take Hall of Fame Dr. exit (389) and turn Left (South) onto Hall of Fame Dr.?Turn Left on Hill Ave. (8th stop light)?Turn Right onto 71S (James White Pkwy.)?Merge Left onto James White Pkwy.? Cross over the TN River and take the Sevier Ave./Hillwood Dr. exit?. Turn Left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Dr.) Turn Right onto Island Home Ave. (at bottom of hill) ?Ijams is approximately 1 mile on the Left.

Ijams Nature Center grounds are free to the public and are open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk.
The Visitor Center, including exhibit hall, gift shop and restrooms, is open, Monday: by appointment only for tour groups and school trips Tuesday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (March 1st through November 30th)