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Pine forests blanket these upland areas and ridgetops, much of which is now cultivated in pine plantations. Mixed hardwood and pine forests cover the steep hillsides, with many species of magnolia in the understory. These forests provide habitat for the northern bobwhite, common ground doves (southernmost sites only), brown-headed nuthatch, pine and hooded warblers, and indigo buntings.

Cutting through this rolling terrain is the Alabama River, and nearly all of the sites along the Central Loop lie along this beautiful and historic waterway. At these sites, you’ll find ample opportunities for exploring Alabama’s birds and other wildlife by boat, canoe, or kayak. River-bottom hardwood forests cover the narrow alluvial plains along the river. These plains hold many lakes and swamps that provide refuge for anhingas, swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls, and most of the regional wading birds. Wood storks, a federally endangered species, may stop along the river corridor during late summer and fall.

Bells Landing Park

Central Loop, Piney Woods | Monroe | Best Seasons:

Bells Landing Park’s 320 acres contain a variety of habitats, ranging from pine forest atop the uplands at the entrance to river bottom hardwoods along Tallatchee Creek. Continue west 0.4 miles to the parking area at the boat ramp and park.The road to …

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Claiborne Lake Dam Site East Park

Dock on Isaac Creek.

Claiborne Lake Dam Site East Park’s 500 acres contain a variety of habitats. The area near the entrance is loblolly pine plantation. Park at the Alabama River Museum and bird the edges of the pines. Summer Tanagers, Pine Warblers, Indigo Buntings, and …

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Claiborne Lake Dam Site West Park

Great Crested Flycatchers, White-eyed Vireos, Northern Parulas, Summer Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, and Orchard Orioles are common summer residents. Check the lawn area for Common Ground Doves, and watch for Swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites either foraging just above the tree tops or soaring at high altitude. Spring and fall witness the passage of numerous migrants including Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.

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Haines Island Park

Haines Island Park’s entrance is located in a pine dominated forest atop the Buhrstone Questa (an escarpment that rises more than 350 feet above the surrounding area and extends from Mississippi across western Alabama); park at the playground and picni …

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McDuffie Landing (Permit required for entry)

McDuffie Landing, a 116-acre tract of land owned by the US Corps of Engineers, is currently open only for hunting and bird watching. A written permit is required for entry. Permits are free of charge and are issued annually after September 1. They may …

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Monroe County Lake

The Monroe County Lake is a 94-acre manmade lake with an unpaved access road on its east and south sides. Upland loblolly pine forest surrounds the lake on three sides. A hardwood swamp extends north from the lake up its main tributary. Drive (walk) no …

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Silver Creek Park

Bobwhites, Eastern Towhees, and Northern Cardinals can be seen year-round, while White-eyed Vireos, Hooded Warblers, and Indigo Buntings are present in the spring and summer. Cerulean Warblers and Scarlet Tanagers may be found during migration, and Yellow-throated Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Northern Parulas are summer residents.

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