Archive | Bird Blog

RSS feed for this section

A Tribute to Maureen Shaffer

Maureen enjoying the Christmas Bird Count in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Maureen enjoying the Christmas Bird Count in Gulf Shores, Alabama by Anne Miller, President of Alabama Ornithological Society Note from the Alabama Birding Trails Program: Maureen offered so much to the program, from visiting sites and attending meetin …

learn more

A Wake-up Call for Alabama’s Birders


By Anne G. Miller, President, Alabama Ornithological Society This is a wake-up call for Alabama’s birders. Most of us know how important it is for us to contribute our bird sightings to eBird, but too few of us are doing it. Sponsored by the Cornell La …

learn more

Ruffner Report – 1 November 2015 – Black-throated Blue Warbler

White-throated Sparrow, photo by Paul H. Franklin

by R. Scot Duncan After spending about 10 hours prepping for teaching this week, I headed out to Ruffner late this afternoon, despite the gloomy weather to get some fresh (but damp) air. A thin drizzle was falling, just enough to necessitate keeping yo …

learn more

8 Birding Trail Sites Perfect for Fall

Dauphin Island Sanctuary - 1

Fall migration is getting into full swing. There are many locations throughout Alabama that are genuine hotspots to watch as our feathered friends head south for winter. With 270 sites along all 8 of Alabama Birding Trails, what locations should you pi …

learn more

Birds aren’t the only colorful thing you’ll see along Alabama’s Birding Trails.

Holy Ground Battlefield Park

The fall foliage can be amazing! The Alabama Birding Trails highlight the best public locations for watching birds year-round. Find sites by location or by season. Discover “secret” locations from experienced birders. Learn what birds are being reporte …

learn more

18th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

Click for larger image

OFF THE PORCH with Judy and Don Self Click for larger image  As we write, the 115th Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is about to get under way. Between the 14th of December and 5th of January, tens of thousands of volunteers will take to the field to …

learn more

Autumn Birding in the Black Belt

Great egret - 1

Off The Porch with Judy and Don Self Autumn Birding at Silver Creek Park, Clarke County and Claiborne Dam Site West Park, Monroe County, Alabama (Sites 8 and 9 respectively on the Piney Woods Birding Trail) These two Corps of Engineers parks are locate …

learn more

The Annual Hummer Invasion

by  Judy and Don Self No, not the 4-wheeled kind, the winged, 1/10th ounce, southbound kind. Fall migration of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is in full swing. It began back in late July, but peaks here at Almosta Farm in mid-September. But those of yo …

learn more

Aldridge Botanical Gardens


by Paul H. Franklin Aldridge Gardens is a 30-acre former private home, lake, gardens, and grounds, conveyed to the city of Hoover in 1997 and converted to use as a botanical garden. It features an abundance of Snowflake hydrangeas – a selected variatio …

learn more

Sanders Ferry Road

Starting as a semi-suburban two-lane road, Sanders Ferry Rd suddenly changes into open croplands on the south side and semi-open pinewoods on the north. There is excellent birding potential here, and you can reach more farm and field habitat and a sod farm by retracing Sanders Ferry, then turning right on Black Warrior Road. This loop can produce everything from Buff-breasted Sandpipers to Bachman’s Sparrows, with meadowlarks, Dickcissels, and Mississippi Kites thrown in for good measure.

learn more

Cypress Lake/Foster Fields

Foster Loop Road is almost impossible to summarize briefly. The loop passes through an almost endless series of habitat types, and thus produces opportunities for an equally varied list of birds. Look for birds of old fields, agricultural lands, roadside scrub, dense pines, cypress swamps, and mixed all-age woodlands. High points: soaring Mississippi Kites, along with Wood Storks in the swamp in summer, Cliff Swallow colonies under I-20/59.

learn more

Hale County Catfish Ponds

Hale County is the center of Alabama’s catfish farming industry. These shallow man-made ponds present excellent habitat for swallows; Barn, Cliff, Rough-winged, and Purple Martins breed here, while Tree and Bank swallows are migrants. This is a good area for finding waders, including Wood Storks in summer and fall. You will see Red-winged Blackbirds, Belted Kingfishers, and a variety of shorebirds here.

learn more

Birding Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, Dallas County, Alabama


Old Cahawba Archaeological Park near Orville was chosen as the site for the Black Belt Birding Trail Advisory Group’s May meeting and, as a bonus, we conducted a 2-hour bird walk prior to the meeting. Although the Clear Creek Nature Trail is located just west of the Visitor’s Center, we chose to bird the Capitol Reserve. This section of the park is located immediately around the site of the capitol on the southeast side of the park adjacent to the Alabama River. It is level and provides easy access to a nice variety of habitats including mixed bottomland forest with a dense understory, cypress slough, and lawn dotted with mature hardwoods, many festooned with Spanish moss.

learn more

Sipsey River Bottoms and Shirley’s Bridges

Shirley’s Bridges span the Sipsey River’s bottomlands in northern Tuscaloosa County. The birding here is spectacular from spring through fall, when the birds are abundant and easily observed from the road’s apron around the bridges. You will hardly believe that so many Prothonotary Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, Louisiana Waterthrushes, and American Redstarts exist. Also look for Anhingas and Mississippi Kites, both of which breed in the vicinity. This area provides a great birding experience – one of the best in the state.

learn more

Birding Old Lock 1 Park & Bashi Creek

by Judy and Don Self Campbells Landing – Bashi Creek Public Use Area With spring migration winding down and the breeding season in full swing, May is a great time to bird southwest Alabama’s floodplain forests. Two of our favorites are Old Lock 1 Park …

learn more