Cumberland Region (UCR) of Kentucky and Tennessee comprises 26
1), ten in the former state and sixteen in the latter.
This Region is diverse, with substantial parts of three major
physiographic provinces being present within its
Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim, and the Central Basin—as
well as parts of other physiographic elements, such as the
Cumberland Mountains and the Sequatchie Valley. The Region's
name derives from the major watercourse running through it—the
Cumberland River, which enters the Region in the northeast near
Somerset in Pulaski County, Kentucky, and exits more than a 240 km (150 mi) to the
southwest near Carthage in Smith County, Tennessee.
UCR is moderately large, encompassing
Population centers range from moderate-sized towns, such as
Glasgow and Somerset, Kentucky, and Cookeville and Crossville,
Tennessee, to many hamlets of 100 or fewer residents
dotting the mainly rural countryside of the Region.
BIRDS of the K/T BOUNDARY
Unlike the more famous
geological reference that comes to mind when one mentions the
K/T Boundary, this regional reference brings to mind the long
boundary shared between Kentucky and Tennessee, a substantial
part of which falls within the UCR.
By creating a birding region that straddles two states, I hope
to accomplish two tasks: first, to continue the long and fine
tradition in Tennessee and Kentucky, whereby birding regions
incorporate elements of two or more states (such as the area
around Memphis, which includes birding sites within three
states, and that around Chattanooga, which includes birding
sites within two states); and second, to provide the
unconventional perspective that occurs when a region absorbs
parts of several political units. Suddenly, that which had
been on the edge of a region, such as Dale Hollow Lake, which
lies in large part on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee,
becomes a central, rather than a peripheral, part of the region
when one views it from the perspective of a birding, rather than
a political, unit. The yawning chasm that arises in the
minds of many birders when confronted with state lines will, I
hope, close considerably, even disappear, once those birders
confront the ornithological kinship that binds all the counties
of a region into a single whole and they disregard many of the conventional (and
sadly ignorant) lessons of their birding, and even their general, education.