Roland Cooper State Park is a lovely, wooded 236-acre lakeside park in rural Wilcox County, which gained its initial measure of fame as one of the state’s first Bald Eagle nesting sites in the Coastal Plain as the species began its comeback from the brink of extinction. To this day, Bald Eagles and Osprey are present much of the year. The Park is also home to everything from Wild Turkeys and Wood Ducks to Pileated Woodpeckers and Prothonotary Warblers. Add in Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Barred Owls to numerous other species associated with bottomland woods and lakes.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Park for birders is the entrance road. The open pine woods are home to Prairie Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chats, White-eyed Vireos, Common Yellowthroats, Summer Tanagers, Blue Grosbeaks, and Orchard Orioles in the warm months, and Field and a few Bachman’s Sparrows year-round. You’ll find American Goldfinches, Blue-headed Vireos, Chipping and other sparrows, Palm and Orange-crowned Warblers and both kinglets in the cool months.
The Park is bounded to the north by the Dannelly Reservoir, an impoundment of the Alabama River. The deep-water lake and the associated shallows attract a few waterfowl in winter and some waders year-round, though they are especially numerous in the late summer and fall. In the warm months, swallows are common, mostly Barn, Cliff, and Rough-winged, as well as Purple Martins. You’ll spot soaring hawks and vultures throughout the year. Look for Mississippi and a few Swallow-tailed Kites from late June through August.
The open woods near the cabins are notable for the mixed-species feeding flocks that congregate here in the winter and the woods throughout the Park are good places to search for migrant songbirds in spring and fall.
After a two-hour visit to Roland Cooper, take the scenic ferry ride across the River to visit Gee’s Bend, and then Chilatchee Park 15 minutes up the road. And don’t miss nearby Millers Ferry Campground.
Directions: From the intersection of AL-41 and AL-28 in Camden (Wilcox County–fuel, food, some lodging available) proceed northeast on AL-41 N for 1.7 miles. Turn left (NW) onto CR-43 and follow that road for 3.1 miles. Turn left on Deer Run Road to enter the state park.
GPS: N32.055281 W -87.245547
Roland Cooper State Park
285 Deer Run Dr.
Camden , AL 36726