Check back later this week for additional information on birding across Alabama. 48 hours of birding in the Birmingham area, great festivals in spring, summer, fall and winter!
So much more. With over 400 species of birds found in Alabama, there’s something for everyone, and a lifer bird means lifer pie!
Landscapes in North Alabama range from tupelo swamps to fields of wildflowers, from expansive oak and hickory forests, to the open waters of Lake Guntersville and the Tennessee River.
As the habitats vary through the valley, so do the seasons. Spring brings neotropical songbirds, some spending the next 6 months here, while others only stop briefly before continuing their journey northward. Summer is filled with breeding woodland species such as Great-crested Flycatchers and Blue Grosbeaks, along with Kentucky Warblers and White-eyed Vireos. In late fall, migrant waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, the critically endangered Whooping Crane, and a variety of raptors return to spend the winter in the valley, or at least pass through on their way farther south.
Best known to most outsiders for the civil rights struggle, Birmingham is also known for a huge iron statue of the Roman god Vulcan, first class medical research, and, increasingly, great food. Missing any of these would be missing the heart of this southern icon. But, with over 250 birds on the county checklist, there are excellent birds at nearly every step.
The first time I took my wife to visit my family home in southwest Alabama, she said it felt like travelling back in time just driving down the road. Spring had brought the deep greens of the fields, the thick leaves of deciduous oaks and the evergreen needles of pines alive with color. Historic homes had their windows thrown open to let the soft breezes blow through. Flowers were everywhere, from natives to the ever-present daffodils scattered around old home places.
Dauphin Island – Bayou La Batre Loop
Dauphin Island is one of the most popular places on the Gulf Coast for birding during spring migration. As a classic migrant trap, it can be an overwhelming experience during a spring fallout when a cold front moving southward brings rain and northerly winds that cause birds to literally fall from the sky. Birding can be equally good in the fall but seems to linger longer. Motels are conveniently located for birding as are several excellent restaurants. The loop begins at the water tower on Dauphin Island at the southern end of AL 193, covers the forested eastern portion of the island, then the western portion. The loop then continues across the bridge and causeway to the mainland and ends west of Bayou La Batre.