The Marion County Indian Mounds stand as they have for centuries on a bluff overlooking the Buttahatchee River. The Mounds were built during the era of the Mississipian culture and stand 8 to 12 feet in height. They are not easily seen from the road. There is a part paved/part dirt path leading from Old Indian Mound Road. It is a pleasant half mile of good birding. Bounded to the east and north by extensive fields of low-growing row-crops, this is a good spot to see Savannah, Song, and sometimes Vesper Sparrows in winter.
Watch for Northern Harriers from October through April. If the fields are wet, shorebirds may be found around areas of accumulated water or mud in migration or winter. Scan the sky for soaring Red-tailed, Broad-winged or Red-shouldered Hawks. The west side of the road is bordered by a wet thicket harboring woodland songbirds. Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, White-eyed Vireos and Gray Catbirds are common. You also will find Summer Tanagers, Red-eyed Vireos, Eastern Wood Pewees, and Common Yellowthroats. The path takes a sharp bend to the right (east) to reach the mounds, and the birds become more suburban as one approaches the site.
The open woods around the Mounds are primarily mature oaks and hickories. Apart from the abundant Eastern Bluebirds, the majority birds are the typical Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal and other birds to be expected in open woods.
Directions: From I-22 (US 78) in Marion County, take exit 16 (Hamilton – fuel, food, and lodging available) and merge onto US 43 N. Remain on US 43 N for 1.8 miles, then turn right (east) onto Old Indian Mound Road. The parking lot for the mound site is .2 mile ahead on the left.
GPS: 34.0966477 -87.9860463