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Hays Nature Preserve

The Hays Nature Preserve  (Site #30, Central Loop) hosts several miles of paved trails that follow the Flint River and its associated oxbow lakes through low riparian habitat, old fields, and a golf course.  There are a total of 10 miles of trails that …

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Hurricane Creek Park

Hurricane Creek Park (Site #32, Central Loop) is known for its scenic deep canyon, which is heavily wooded with mature hardwoods. The park offers a number of trails, leading birders through a landscape crisscrossed by streams and waterfalls. As you wal …

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Joe Wheeler State Park

Joe Wheeler State Park (Site #3, Northwest Loop) is complete with extensive facilities, including a resort lodge, restaurant, and marina. The park provides access to the north side of Wheeler Lake and the associated backwaters, which are often good for …

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Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (Site# 9, Northwest Loop) has large open fields managed for warm-season native grasses interspersed with small patches of deciduous woodland and the seasonal sinkhole wetland. The refuge is gradually being conver …

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Leighton Ponds

North Alabama, Northwest Loop | Colbert | Best Seasons:

The Leighton ponds (Site #5, Northwest Loop) sites are a series of sinkholes and semi-flooded agricultural fields that are excellent for waders and shorebirds. Scan the muddier areas for resident Killdeer alongside migrants such as Semipalmated Plovers …

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Little River Canyon National Preserve Drive

As you drive along the rim of this incredibly scenic canyon, listen in the open fields for Yellow-breasted Chats and Prairie Warblers. Farther down in the canyon, Yellow-throated Warblers and Red-eyed Vireos can be heard calling from below while Rough-winged Swallows and Chimney Swifts frolic overhead.

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Madison County Public Lake

Madison County Public Lake (Site # 28, Central Loop) is best known for its fishing, but it also serves as an excellent introduction to northern Alabama’s birdlife. Scan the lake for wintering waterfowl or perhaps a family of resident Canada Geese and t …

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Mallard Fox Creek Wildlife Management Area

The 1,483-acre Mallard Fox Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (Site # 1, Northwest Loop) along the southern shore of Wheeler Lake provides access to a number of habitats, including grasslands, agricultural fields, wildlife openings, and hardwood fore …

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Monte Sano State Park

Monte Sano State Park  (Site #29, Northeast Loop) sits atop a remnant ridge of the Cumberland Plateau, giving a fantastic view of the surrounding valleys and plateaus that cover northeastern Alabama. These islands in the sky are covered in thick hardwo …

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Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area

Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area (Site #42, Northeast Loop) has numerous impoundments that are likely to turn up a great variety of species. Access roads leading into the area also make Mud Creek easy to bird. Check the ponds in fall and winter for d …

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Murphy Hill

Murphy Hill was supposed to be developed as a power plant. Fortunately for both birds and birders, these plans fell through and the area now hosts a huge variety of habitats ripe for exploration. As you walk through open areas, listen for Yellow-breast …

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Natchez Trace Parkway – Colbert Ferry

Colbert Ferry  (Site #12, Northwest Loop) provides access to a number of wooded habitats, including a beaver pond with lots of standing dead timber. Check this area for Red-headed and other woodpeckers. Closer to the shore, search the trees for White-b …

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Natchez Trace Parkway – Rock Springs Nature Trail

Rock Springs Nature Trail (Site #10, Northwest Loop) winds through an idyllic wooded area from Colbert Creek to Rock Springs (approximate 20-minute walk). The creek is intermittently dammed by beavers, creating an impressive wetland abounding with a va …

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North Sauty Creek WMA / Sauta Cave NWR

Hibernating Indiana bats/Credit: ADCNR, Keith Hudson

North Sauty Creek (Site #39, Northeast Loop) has an excellent display of waterfowl and wading birds that occupy the area. Park on the roadside and scan the creek for waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, especially during migration or in the winter. …

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Rockpile Recreation Area, Wilson Dam

The Rockpile Recreation Area (Site 7, Northeast Loop) sits at the base of Wilson Dam. This area provides basic camping and picnicking facilities in a wooded setting along the edge of Pickwick Reservoir. Woodlands in the park attract numerous songbirds, …

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