Tennessee Ornithological Society
Founded in Nashville in October 1915, the Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS) is an independent, nonprofit, educational, scientific organization dedicated to the study and conservation of birds. The original objectives of the TOS still hold today: (1) to promote the science of ornithology in Tennessee; (2) to publish the results of its investigations; (3) to stand for the passage and enforcement of wise and judicious laws for bird protection; and (4) to promote bird study and protection by any other means that may be deemed advisable. The society’s official journal, The Migrant, first published in 1930, provides an important repository of sight records and articles to facilitate the tracking of changes in Tennessee bird populations. The Tennessee Warbler is the statewide TOS newsletter. In 1933 the TOS received widespread attention through its campaign to select a state bird (the Mockingbird), which took place through an open election. Current activities include state meetings and field trips as well as major cooperative projects such as the Christmas Bird Counts, the Tennessee Breeding Bird Atlas Project, Teaming with Wildlife, and Partners in Flight. Over a dozen local chapters from Bristol to Memphis publish their own newsletters and carry out activities appropriate to their area of the state. By the mid-1990s electronic mail and the World Wide Web facilitated communication among the TOS chapter and members.