The Montgomery Zoo is one of the major tourist attractions in the capitol city, encompassing a well-maintained 40 acres. Passage through the park is accomplished via a system of broad, paved, level, handicap-accessible walkways. The zoo is notable for having been one of the last sites to house a viable population of Ringed Turtle-Doves, and in the late 1990s, the zoo was colonized in a major way by the newly arrived Eurasian Collared-Dove. To this day, the Montgomery Zoo is home to an extremely robust population of Collared-Doves.
Major points to hit while visiting the zoo:
The wet trench that fronts the east and south sides of the park – it is frequently visited by waders, Common Yellowthroats, and wintering wetland sparrows and wrens.
Crystal Lake, which sits along the northern boundary of the park, always has waders around the margins. Also look for American Pipits (winter) and a few shorebirds (migration and winter), as well as an occasionally decent selection of ducks and geese in the colder months.
The dense, planted mid-story around the north, west, and south border of the zoo. This, and the low canopy can be filled with Eastern Bluebirds, Brown Thrashers, Carolina Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Song sparrows, and Hermit Thrushes (fall to spring).
Over the years, the saplings planted when the zoo was new have grown to provide a thin mixed hardwood and pine canopy with an open understory. Walking through the park in summer or winter, you’ll likely find a typical mix of birds for southeastern suburbs, but in spring or fall walk, you can see a good selection of migrant songbirds. While walking the paths through the zoo, pay attention to the borders and small trees, as migrants may be present anywhere on the property. And note the water features: the combination of clean water and regular feedings tends to attract native birds. Any water feature may have “visitors” in the form of ducks, geese, waders, or shorebirds, in the appropriate season.
The Montgomery Zoo is a moderate-sized property and will require nearly a half day to properly cover, as the better birding areas are spread out over the entire acreage.
GPS: N 32.418986 W -86.274955
2301 Coliseum Pkwy
Montgomery, AL 36110
From I-65 in north Montgomery, take exit 173 to Northern Boulevard and follow approximately 4 miles. Turn right onto Coliseum Parkway, and turn right into the Zoo entrance in .2 miles.
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