A Birder's Guide to Alabama

Overview

This first birdfinding guide to Alabama will be an indispensable reference for the many birdwatchers and natural history enthusiasts living in or visiting the state.

According to the National Audubon Society, more than 54 million Americans name birdwatching as a favored activity, making it one of the country's most popular hobbies. In locating sites productive for the viewing of a diversity of bird species and numbers, birdwatchers rely on location guides such as this one, ...

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Overview

This first birdfinding guide to Alabama will be an indispensable reference for the many birdwatchers and natural history enthusiasts living in or visiting the state.

According to the National Audubon Society, more than 54 million Americans name birdwatching as a favored activity, making it one of the country's most popular hobbies. In locating sites productive for the viewing of a diversity of bird species and numbers, birdwatchers rely on location guides such as this one, written by local experts who know firsthand the terrain, seasonal profile, and makeup of bird species in their areas.

Alabama plays host to a great number and variety of birds. The combination of its diverse natural habitats-from the Gulf coastline to Appalachian piedmont to the Tennessee River Valley-and its location in the eastern migratory flyway make it a wonderful place to observe birds in all seasons. Nearly 400 species have been positively identified in state records-almost half the total species recognized by the American Birding Association for the entire continental U.S.

With the publication of A Birder's Guide to Alabama, that amazing diversity has been made more accessible for the casual birder as well as the avid "life-lister." A first of its kind for Alabama, this guide covers the best birding spots throughout the state, dividing them into four distinct geographic sections. Each section is covered by expert birders from that region and includes a general description of the area, access, the "hot spots" for viewing, the species expected to be seen and when, and details on the closest accommodations. The guide includes over 50 maps, as well as line drawings and photographs of different bird species. Spiral-bound for convenience in the field, it also offers helpful bar charts describing the frequency and distribution for all the bird species recognized for Alabama.

This book will appeal to both novices and experienced birders, hikers, outdoorspeople, eco-tourists, and anyone interested in Alabama's rich biodiversity. Whether one hopes to witness the breathtaking "fall-out" of exhausted spring migrants on Dauphin Island following a coastal storm front or to gaze in awe from behind a blind at the massing of winter waterfowl at Joe Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, the user of A Birder's Guide to Alabama will find it a constantly referred-to source of information and a handy, practical field companion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This] is the ultimate tool for knowing when and where to find birds in Alabama. Every resident and visiting birder will want to have this valuable resource."
—Robert A. Duncan, author of The Birds of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okloosa Counties, Florida
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817310523
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,297,398
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John F. Porter Jr. is past president of the Alabama Ornithological Society and editor of the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail Guide.

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Read an Excerpt




Foreword


THOMAS A. IMHOF


* * *


Fifty years ago when I first came to Alabama, birds were just about everywhere. Back then it was not so much a matter of finding the birds but identifying them. There were very few field guides and the local birder often had to go to the library or borrow from a friend in order to learn the field marks of a foreign rarity. The few waterfowl refuges in existence had ducks and geese in them in season, the mudflats had sandpipers, the woods in migration season had lots of little birds, and most backyards had plenty of birds, as they still do. Such feeders as then existed were well patronized, and birding was wonderful.

    Every once in a while you would have to let a bird go as unidentified and you wondered whether you had seen a plumage variation, or a color phase such as a partial albino, or a truly different species. At that time you could not only find lots of warblers and vireos but flycatchers, tanagers, orioles, thrushes, and others as well. However, we had no House Finches here, no Cattle Egrets, our only cowbird was not known to breed south of Birmingham, Cliff Swallows bred only in the Tennessee Valley, and Barn Swallows bred there and also at Fort Morgan. We had no European gulls anywhere, no tree ducks (now called whistling), no Ringed Turtle Doves (Streptopelia risoria), and no hummingbirds in the cold weather. But Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles bred in the state and possibly other species such as Raven and Ruffed Grouse. You almost never encountered a fellow birder in the field, and societies thatemphasized birding and conservation were just starting.

   So you see, there has been plenty of change in these fifty years, for not only have birds increased or decreased dramatically, but birders have increased dras-

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Chapter One


GULF COAST

GREG D. JACKSON


* * *


The gulf coast region is the smallest birding region in Alabama, but packs a good punch. This area (Map 2), comprising Mobile and Baldwin Counties, has a species roster just short of the entire state list, and many birds are found here exclusively. If you have time to visit only one region in Alabama, this should be it. Terrain in this area is flat or rolling. The Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers empty into Mobile Bay, carrying flow from much of Alabama and parts of eastern Mississippi and western Georgia; waters exit into the Gulf of Mexico between Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. Although most of the drainage of this region is into the Bay, some flow from west Mobile and east Baldwin Counties reaches the Gulf by alternate routes. The bays and the Gulf are generally shallow. Mobile, situated at the northwest corner of Mobile Bay, is the second largest population center in Alabama, exceeded only by Birmingham. Pines predominate in the upland zones of the region, interspersed with live oaks and other hardwoods. Hardwoods and cypresses dominate the bottomlands of the Mobile Delta and along other waterways. Extensive marshes are found at the head of Mobile Bay and along Mississippi Sound in southern Mobile County. Farmlands, with large open fields, are common in the southern portions of both counties. The area immediately along the coast has mixed areas of pines, oaks, marshes, scrub, and dunes. Gulf beaches, with their beautiful white sands, are a prime vacation attraction.

    Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan, the two best areas for birds in this region, are located on the Gulf. Both are isolated from the surrounding mainland, concentrating migrants in relatively small areas. These are the top spots to visit for the chance of a spring "fallout," a concentration of trans-Gulf migrants that can be phenomenal. Major fallouts are rare and are not witnessed every year. When they occur, you may see more brightly colored transients in a few hours than during the rest of the season. The opportunity to observe rivers of low-flying warblers, or hundreds of Scarlet Tanagers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in a few trees, is one of the great experiences in birding. Lesser precipitations, still impressive, are more frequent.

    A classic fallout occurs when a strong cold front, with attendant rain and north winds, traverses the coast and goes into the Gulf during the day. Most trans-Gulf passerine migrants depart from Mexico just after nightfall, and if unimpeded will cross the North American coast the following day. If skies are fair with winds from the south, most of these birds will continue inland as far as Birmingham before stopping. Thus, when several days of sunny weather are experienced, birding for transients often is poor on the coast. The migrants halt on the outer coast when caught over the Gulf in rain and opposing winds, and many perish in the water. Those that survive this buffeting are exhausted and stop at the first land they reach. Some of these migrants not only exhaust their reserve body fat, but metabolize some of their muscle mass as well. If they can continue their flight that evening, many will do so. In the spring, the largest numbers of birds usually are present in the afternoon.

    Birding in March produces good numbers of departing waterfowl and arriving passerines which breed in the South. April is generally regarded as the best spring month for birds, with shorebirds and northern passerines appearing in good numbers by the end of the month. Picking a time to bird in April is problematic; the earlier you go, the more chance you have of encountering a frontal system and perhaps a fallout, but waiting until later offers a better variety of northern transients and shorebirds. The third week of April probably offers the best compromise. May can produce large numbers of shorebirds, and if a cold front passes in the first half of the month, many northern-breeding passerines may also be seen. Spring birding activity centers on Dauphin Island (Map 2, A) and Fort Morgan (Map 2, C). Gulf Shores (Map 2, D), Mobile Causeway and Blakeley Island (Map 2, E), Bayou La Batre, (Map 2, B) and the East Mobile Delta (Map 2, F) also can be interesting.

    Summer is the dullest season for many birders, but the coast provides some interesting temptations to brave the heat. Breeding is in full swing in early summer, and inland areas such as the Mobile Delta are alive with song. Waterbirds also are found in abundance, and summer can be a great time to study terns on the outer coast. Large waders are plentiful, and shorebird passage occurs even in June and July. Many southern passerines also migrate as early as July. When birding in the warmer months, pay attention to sun and heat protection, as the high humidity combined with elevated temperatures can be dangerous. Summer also provides an opportunity to become familiar with some of our biting insects!

    Fall migration is a prolonged affair. If you consider the whole species list, it begins in June and continues to January. Late fall is excellent for most waterfowl. Raptors are most abundant in late September and October; and shorebirds peak on the coast in August and September. With passerines, most of the southern breeders and flycatchers pass through in late August and September, while most northern species are abundant in October. As in the spring, the best birding is generally after a cold front, but in the fall it is preferable to be out early in the morning. The day after a front may be fantastic for raptors on the outer coast. The last week in September through the first half of October is probably the best general time for a visit. Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island are usually the top spots, although Blakeley Island can be great if the water levels are good. Winter species generally have arrived by the end of November, although some birds are more likely to be seen in late December and early January. By the end of January, numbers of waterfowl begin to decline as they exit north. Late winter may reveal a few early returning migrants, notably Purple Martin. Most birders concentrate on Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island at this season, although Mobile Causeway and Fort Morgan can also be productive.

   Pelagic birding is always an adventure, with great possibilities and unknowns. Our knowledge of deepwater species in the northern Gulf is increasing, but we still have much to learn. Shearwaters, storm-petrels, boobies, Magnificent Frigatebird, phalaropes, and pelagic terns have been seen on offshore trips, some appearing to be regular at the proper season. The section on pelagic birding provides more detail on this topic.


DAUPHIN ISLAND

    Dauphin Island probably is the best single spot for birding in Alabama, and is a top focal point for migration in the Southeast. Approximately 350 species have been reported on the island, nearly ninety percent of the state list. Although birding on Dauphin Island is best during migration, it can be exciting at almost any time of the year. The island is part of Mobile County and is three and a half miles south of the mainland. Together with Fort Morgan three miles to the southeast, it guards the mouth of Mobile Bay. Flanking the eastern end of the island are Little Dauphin Island to the north and Sand Island to the south, accessible only by boat. As Dauphin Island is only about fourteen and a half miles long, its compactness and size make it easy to access the important birding sites. The larger eastern end is heavily wooded with pines and live oaks, and it is here that most of the permanent human residents live. The narrow, treeless, western part of the island (which stretches for seven and a half miles) consists mostly of marsh and dune, although habitat is vanishing rapidly through construction of vacation homes.

    ACCESS: You may reach the island by road on AL 193 (about 25 miles south from Exit 17 on I-10) or by ferry from Fort Morgan. Weather permitting, the ferry runs year round (except some holidays). The first ferry leaves Dauphin Island at 8:00 a.m., with departures scheduled every one and a half hours for the forty-five-minute trip to Fort Morgan. Posted schedules are located at the intersection of AL 193 and Bienville Boulevard near the water tower, at the ferry landing 1.7 miles east of this intersection, and at Fort Morgan. You may call the ticket booth at Fort Morgan (334/540-7787) or the office in Pensacola (850/ 434-7345) for the latest information.

    ACCOMMODATIONS: Accommodations on Dauphin Island have been limited since Hurricane Frederic destroyed the large motels in 1979. Two comfortable, locally owned, motels are available; the Gulf Breeze Motel (334/861-7344) has single and double rooms as well as efficiencies and the Harbor Lights Inn (334/861-5534) has efficiencies. Both are located across the road from the Seafood Galley, a locally well-known seafood restaurant with hours convenient to birders. Fort Gaines Campground (334/861-2742), situated across from the ferry landing, is the only designated area for camping. Short-term rentals of beach homes (three-day minimum) can be obtained by calling Surfside Real Estate (334/ 861-2332). Several other real estate companies offer beach home rentals for longer stays (one-week minimum) at attractive rates. For information on these, call the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce (334/861-5524). A Shoney's Inn is located in Bayou La Batre (1-800/222-2222) (eighteen miles). You can find other lodging along I-10 in Mobile (thirty miles), and in Gulf Shores (twenty-two miles east of Fort Morgan)

    SITE GUIDE: All of the covered sites are easily accessible from Bienville Boulevard, which is the primary east-west thoroughfare on the island. We will examine sites from east to west, starting at the eastern tip of the island. The Airport, East End, West End, Sea Pointe, and the causeway are reliable year round and are the best bets in both summer and winter. In migration, you should also cover the Sanctuary, the Shell Mounds, the Goat Tree, and a few residential areas. (Mileages are measured from the intersection of AL 193 (Le Moyne Drive) and Bienville Boulevard at the water tower and are given in parentheses.)


EAST END

Begin at Pelican Point (2.4) near Fort Gaines (Map 3, A). A parking area is at the eastern terminus of Bienville Boulevard south of the fort. From here you can scan the mouth of Mobile Bay to the southeast and look beyond to Fort Morgan. Pelican Point usually is best early and late in the day for passing waterbirds. Check the rocks and beach west of the road end for shorebirds; light is best in the early morning. This spot is good for shorebirds and gulls, with records of several unusual species. It is the most reliable spot in the state for Marbled Godwit, especially in October, and Red Knot is found here regularly; Long-billed Curlew is seen occasionally. This is a good place to look for Franklin's Gull in the fall. The field and fence near the parking lot can produce Western Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, especially in the fall, and other western strays such as Groove-billed Ani and Vermilion Flycatcher have been seen. This can be a good spot for Bobolink, mostly in the spring. Fort Gaines may be entered (small fee) from the north side. Although interesting, it usually is not productive for birds. One winter, however, a Rock Wren decided to call the fort home. The rocks along the channel north of the fort may yield Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, and a variety of gulls. Local rarities such as Lesser Black-backed, Glaucous, and Great Black-backed Gulls and Black-legged Kittiwake have been recorded here in recent years.

    The grounds of the adjacent Dauphin Island Sea Lab may yield Gray Kingbird. The Sea Lab's Estuarium presents four exhibits of key coastal Alabama habitats. Housing three large aquariums (featuring Mobile Delta, Mobile Bay, and the northern Gulf), the 10,000-square-foot facility also has a barrier island exhibit. Twenty smaller tanks provide microcosms of the main areas, and hands-on exhibits can be tried. Annual tide charts are available in the display area of the administration building. A good vantage point for gulls is the rocks by the ferry slip at the north edge of this property.

    Continue west on Bienville to the Ferry Landing (Map 3, B) (1.7) opposite Fort Gaines Campground and scan for loons, grebes, cormorants, mergansers, and gulls. Restrooms are available at the landing. The campground has been a good spot for Gray Kingbird from late April to September; none have been present since Hurricane Danny in 1997, although hopefully they will return. Go west and turn right (north) on Albright Drive (1.5). Proceed on Albright to a T-intersection at the Drury Pass Channel and the "Sea Pointe" sign. Turn left and continue 0.3 miles to the loop at the end of the road. Sea Pointe (Map 3, C) is a residential area at the tip of a small peninsula. From the road, you can scan Dauphin Bay and Little Dauphin Island to the west and northwest, respectively. Little Dauphin Island usually is reliable for Osprey in the spring and fall. Loons, grebes, mergansers, and other waterbirds may be seen in the surrounding waters. Sandbars and oyster beds can be good for shorebirds, including American Oystercatcher, gulls, terns, and other waterbirds.


DAUPHIN ISLAND BIRD SANCTUARY

    The 164-acre Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary (Map 3, D) is a heavily wooded enclave extending south from Bienville Boulevard to Pelican Bay. Most of the area is pine forest mixed with scattered groves of live oak. Several deciduous swamps are in the southern part of the refuge just north of the dunes, as well as a half-mile strip of beach and dunes along the Gulf. Gaillard Lake is a small freshwater area in the west central portion of the tract. Birding in the sanctuary is best in migration and is optimal from about one hour after sunrise to midmorning, and again in late afternoon until an hour before sunset. No facilities are available on the property. Insect repellent often is helpful, especially after rains and in the fall when the deer flies are hungry. If you decide to walk in the swamps, keep an eye out for western cottonmouths; rattlesnakes are also found in the sanctuary (something to think about when deciding to chase through the palmettos after a bird)

    The main entrance to the sanctuary is on the south side of Bienville Boulevard (1.4) and is marked with a sign. Sanctuary hours are from dawn to dusk. From Albright Drive go west 0.4 miles to Audubon Street, make a U-turn, and return east 0.2 miles to the sanctuary entrance. Follow the shell road a short way to the parking lot, where you will find trails leading to various points in the forest. A large sign at the parking lot displays a map of the trails, and brochures are usually available. Take the trail leading to the left (east). Bear left (north) at the first intersection and continue winding through the woods until you reach the main trail. Turn left (east) again and proceed until you reach a grove of live oaks with a central open area and trails leading north and south. The distance from the parking lot to this spot is about one half mile.

    Here, as on the rest of the island, live oaks are the preferred feeding spots for many migrants. Go about 100 feet left (north) of the main trail and enter the banding area. This consists of an oval trail with several lanes cut through the brushy oak woods. Careful perusal of this locale may be very productive. This section of the sanctuary is one of the better spots on the island if you have a good migration day, and many unusual species have been found. Even Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher has been banded here, and the loop trail often is good for Empidonax flycatchers. Thrushes are seen frequently on the trails, and most migrant woodland species are noted here regularly. This is a prime location for Swainson's Warbler in April, although it is difficult to observe.

    Another good walk is to the swamp south of the banding area. Check the trees and bushes along the way for migrants. At the swamp, an observation platform aids birding. Popcorn trees, an introduced species, have covered the entire swamp in recent years and the Friends of Dauphin Island Audubon Sanctuary are in the process of trying to eradicate them. Here you may find Purple Gallinule in the spring (when water is present), Red-headed Woodpecker (warmer months), and both waterthrushes (in migration if the area is wet). The pine woods in this area and throughout the sanctuary are good for Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, and Pine Warbler year round. If you are lucky while walking through the sanctuary, you might run upon a flock of birds harassing a resident Great Horned Owl.

    Return to the trailhead near the parking lot and take the boardwalk on the trail to the west. This path passes the west shore of Gaillard Lake. The lake usually has wintering Pied-billed Grebe and may have a few other waterfowl in the colder months. Anhinga sometimes can be found at the south end of the lake, particularly in the fall, and you may discover a few herons and egrets along the shore. Alligators are spotted frequently. Head to the southwest corner of the lake and proceed on the trail over the dunes to the Gulf beach. The dunes have many scattered pines and this area has been excellent for Gray Kingbird prior to 1997, most reliably from mid-May through August. A trail along the south shore of the lake goes to the swamp south of the banding area, and if time permits, can be used as a circular route.


CADILLAC SQUARE AND THE GOAT TREE

    Return to Bienville Boulevard from the sanctuary parking lot, turn right (east) and proceed until you can make a U-turn and return west 0.8 miles to Cadillac Square, a public park on your left (Map 3, E) (0.6). The oaks in the park may produce a few migrants, and this is a pleasant picnic spot with public restrooms. The capital of the Louisiana Territory was located here early in the eighteenth century. Head west again on Bienville Boulevard and turn right on Grant Street (0.6). Go one block to Cadillac Avenue and park off the road. A large tree at the northwest corner of the intersection is called the "Goat Tree" (Map 3, F), and woods in this area may be productive for passerines in migration and winter.

(Continues...)

Faces of Freedom Summer


By BOBS M. TUSA
Photography by HERBERT RANDALL

THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA PRESS

Copyright © 2001 The University of Alabama Press. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Dedication  

v

List of Illustrations  

xiii

List of Maps  

xiv

Foreword  

xvi

Acknowledgments  

xix

Introduction  

xxi

A Special Note on Hummingbirds in Alabama  

xxiv

CHAPTER 1—GULF COAST
Introduction  

1

Dauphin Island  

5

East End  

6

Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary  

8

Cadillac Square and the Goat Tree  

10

Shell Mounds  

10

Airport  

11

Isle Dauphine Country Club  

12

West End  

13

Dauphin Island Causeway  

16

Bayou La Batre  

17

Fort Morgan Peninsula  

21

Fort Morgan State Historical Park  

23

Beachhomes and St. Andrew's Bay  

27

The Pines  

27

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge  

29

LittleLagoon  

29

Gulf Shores Area  

31

Perdido Pass  

31

Gulf State Park  

33

Little Lagoon Pass  

34

Farmlands  

34

Magnolia Springs Landfill  

37

Mobile Causeway and Blakeley Island  

38

Mobile Causeway  

40

Battleship Park  

41

Blakeley Island  

41

East Mobile Delta  

45

Fort Mimms  

47

Baldwin County Road BC 96  

48

Interstate 65 to Cliff's Landing  

48

Hurricane to Cloverleaf Landing  

48

Historic Blakeley State Park to Spanish Fort  

49

Pelagic Birding  

50

CHAPTER 2—SOUTH CENTRAL ALABAMA
Introduction  

53

Chapman  

55

Sherling Lake Park  

57

Clarke County, Jackson, and Vicinity  

59

McCorquodale Swamp  

59

Leroy Steam Plant Swamp  

61

Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge  

63

Water Treatment Ponds  

65

Fred T. Stimpson Wildlife Sanctuary  

65

Miller's Ferry  

66

Roland Cooper State Park  

68

Conecuh National Forest and Solon Dixon Forestry
Education Center  

68

Conecuh National Forest  

69

Open Pond, Conecuh Trail, and Blue Spring  

71

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Colonies  

72

Leon Brooks Hines Public Fishing Lake  

72

Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center  

73

Cypress/Tupelo Pond  

73

Dixon Family Cemetery  

75

Blue Spring  

75

Blue Creek Trail  

76

Blue Pond Road  

76

Sinkhole  

76

Cave Road and the Cave  

77

River Trail  

78

Troy State University Arboretum  

79

Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge  

80

Office Area  

82

Uplands And Goose Pen Area  

83

Observation Tower  

84

Houston Unit  

84

Sewage Ponds  

86

Lake Point Marina and Lake  

86

Kennedy Unit  

87

Bradley Unit  

87

Dothan Area  

88

Troy State University, Dothan Nature Trail  

90

Green's Pond  

93

Log Lane  

93

Airport Area  

93

Landmark Park  

94

"Buzzard Roost," Geneva County  

95

Clay County, Georgia  

95

Calhoun Road  

96

Montgomery Area  

97

Jackson Island  

99

Fort Toulouse National Historic Park  

100

Huntingdon College  

101

Hope Hull (Twin Lakes)  

102

Big Circle  

103

Eastern Montgomery County and Western Macon County  

106

Auburn Area  

106

Auburn University Area  

106

University Fisheries Ponds  

106

Auburn University Campus  

108

Lee County Public Lake  

109

Chewacla State Park  

109

Tuskegee National Forest  

109

Tsinia Wildlife Viewing Area  

109

Tuskegee City Lake  

110

Bartram's Trail  

112

Southern Edge of Tuskegee National Forest  

112

Horseshoe Bend National Military Monument  

113

West Point Lake and Dam  

113

CHAPTER 3—NORTN CENTRAL ALABAMA
Introduction  

115

Sumter and Greene Counties  

117

Lake Livingston University  

119

Gainesville Dam Site and Day Use Area  

119

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and Greene County Swamp  

122

Tuscaloosa County  

125

US 82 West Extension—Northport  

125

Airport/Industrial Park Swamp  

126

Lake Lurleen State Park  

127

Sipsey River Swamp (Shirley's Bridges)  

128

University of Alabama Campus Area  

129

Stone Tower  

129

Riverside Park  

130

Arboretum  

130

Highway 69 South Loop—Moundville, Oakmulgee
Division of Talladega National Forest, and Payne Lake  

130

Moundville Archaeological Park  

131

Oakmulgee Division, Talladega National Forest-West  

132

Payne Lake  

132

Sanders Ferry Road and Fosters Loop Road  

133

Sanders Ferry Road  

133

Fosters Loop Road  

134

Holt Lock and Dam and Deerlick Creek Park  

135

Holt Lock and Dam  

136

Deerlick Creek Park  

137

Perry County and Adjacent Areas  

139

Eoline Swamp  

142

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Colonies  

142

Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area  

143

Hargrove Shoals—The Cahaba Lily  

145

Marion Fish Hatchery  

145

Perry Lake  

147

Dobine Creek and Vicinity  

148

Lakeland Farm  

149

Southern Hale County  

153

Metropolitan Birmingham  

155

Oak Mountain State Park  

155

Lake Purdy  

162

Harpersville Sod Farm  

164

Bayview Lake  

166

Porter Lake  

167

Birmingham Botanical Gardens  

170

Birmingham Zoo  

174

East Lake  

174

Ruffner Mountain  

175

Bankhead National Forest  

176

Clear Creek Recreation Area  

178

Borden Creek Bridge  

180

Sipsey River Recreation Area  

181

Kinlock Falls and Thompson Creek Bridge  

182

Brushy Creek Recreation Area  

183

Natural Bridge Recreation Area  

184

Talladega National Forest—Talladega Division  

184

Cheaha State Park—Talladega Scenic Drive Loop  

188

Shoal Creek—Choccolocco Corridor Loop  

193

Jim Martin Wildlife Park  

198

CHAPTER 4—TENNESSEE VALLEY REGION INCLUDING DEKALB COUNTY
Introduction  

203

Shoals Area of Northwest Alabama  

205

Eastern Colbert County  

207

Wheeler Dam  

207

Mouth of Town Creek  

209

Leighton and Vicinity  

210

Old First Quarters, Tennessee Valley Authority
Reservation  

212

Wilson Dam  

213

Sheffield Riverfront  

215

Western Colbert County  

216

Margerum  

216

Riverton Rose Trail  

218

Colbert County Rose Trail Park  

219

Riverton  

220

Natchez Trace Parkway  

222

Colbert Ferry Park  

222

Lauderdale Rest Area  

224

Rock Spring Nature Trail  

225

Waterloo Area  

225

Brush Creek Park  

225

Waterloo  

227

Lauderdale Wildlife Management Area  

228

Florence Area  

228

Walker Pond  

228

Key Cave  

229

MacFarland Park  

229

Veteran's Park  

231

Joe Wheeler State Park Resort  

231

Decatur Area  

232

Decatur to Mallard—Fox Creek Wildlife Management
Area  

234

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge—South  

238

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge—North  

242

Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area  

246

Huntsville Area  

249

Monte Sano State Park  

251

Monte Sano Nature Preserve  

252

Huntsville Spring Branch/Old Airport  

253

Aldridge Creek Greenway  

254

Green Mountain Nature Trail  

255

Marshall County  

255

Guntersville  

258

Guntersville Pump Station  

258

South Big Spring Creek  

260

Sunset Drive  

260

Brown's Creek—West Shore  

262

Guntersville Dam—South Bank  

262

Lake Guntersville and Buck's Pocket State Parks  

264

Lake Guntersville State Park  

264

Town Creek—Monsanto Plant—Mountain Lakes
Resort  

267

Buck's Pocket State Park  

267

North River Country  

269

Buck Island—Guntersville Dam—North Bank  

269

Grant—Cathedral Caverns  

272

Pine Island-Preston Springs  

273

DeKalb County  

275

De Soto State Park  

277

Lodge and Surrounding Area  

277

Wade Gap Road  

280

Little River Canyon  

283

Selected Species of Interest  

285

Distribution and Frequency of Occurrence Charts  

308

Additional Species  

341

Index  

343

Field Checklist of Alabama Birds  

362

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Pelagic Boat Trip  

xxviii

Black Skimmer  

4

Seaside Sparrow habitat and nest (insert)  

16

Osprey and nest  

29

Snowy Plover and eggs  

32

Eastern Screech-Owl  

52

American Anhinga  

60

Sharp-shinned Hawk with Ruby-throated Hummingbird  

85

Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge  

86

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a nest  

92

Short-billed Dowitchers  

105

Tsinia Wildlife Viewing Area, Tuskegee National Forest  

110

Ruby-throated Hummingbird and cardinal flower  

114

Wild Turkeys  

126

Swallows at Lakeland Farm  

153

Northern Shrike  

164

Sipsey Recreation Area, Bankhead National Forest  

181

Whip-poor-will  

190

Warbling Vireo on a nest  

202

Black-legged Kittiwake  

215

Common Nighthawk  

237

American Coots and Red-necked Grebe  

261

Bonaparte's Gull  

263

Ruffed Grouse  

284

Swainson's Warbler  

299

Warbling Vireo nest habitat  

301

Snowy Egret  

309

LIST OF MAPS
Map 1 Major Birding Regions in Alabama  

xxii

Map 2 Gulf Coast Region  

2

Map 3 Dauphin Island  

7

Map 4 Bayou La Batre  

18

Map 5 Fort Morgan  

22

Map 6 Fort Morgan Peninsula  

28

Map 7 Gulf Shores  

30

Map 8 Mobile Causeway  

39

Map 9 Blakeley Island  

42

Map 10 East Mobile Delta  

46

Map 11 South Central Alabama Region  

54

Map 12 Clarke County, Jackson, and Vicinity  

58

Map 13 Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge  

62

Map 14 Conecuh National Forest  

70

Map 15 Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center  

74

Map 16 Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge  

81

Map 17 Dothan Area  

89

Map 18 Montgomery Area  

98

Map 19 Auburn Area  

107

Map 20 Tuskegee National Forest  

111

Map 21 North Central Alabama Region  

116

Map 22 Sumter and Greene Counties  

118

Map 23 Tuscaloosa County  

124

Map 24 Oakmulgee Ranger District-North  

140

Map 25 Hargrove Shoals  

144

Map 26 Marion Fish Hatchery  

146

Map 27 Lakeland Farm  

150

Map 28 Metropolitan Birmingham  

156

Map 29 Oak Mountain State Park  

158

Map 30 Birmingham Botanical Gardens  

171

Map 31 Bankhead National Forest  

179

Map 32 Talladega National Forest—Cheaha Loop  

189

Map 33 Talladega National Forest—Shoal Creek Loop  

195

Map 34 Jim Martin Wildlife Park  

199

Map 35 Tennessee Valley Region  

204

Map 36 Shoals Area  

206

Map 37 Eastern Colbert County  

208

Map 38 Western Colbert County  

217

Map 39 Waterloo Area  

223

Map 40 Florence Area  

230

Map 41 Decatur Area  

233

Map 42 Decatur to Mallard—Fox Creek Wildlife
Management Area  

235

Map 43 Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge—South  

239

Map 44 Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge—North  

243

Map 45 Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area  

247

Map 46 Huntsville Area  

250

Map 47 Marshall County  

256

Map 48 Guntersville Area  

259

Map 49 Lake Guntersville and Buck's Pocket State Parks  

265

Map 50 North River Country  

270

Map 51 De Soto State Park and Little River Canyon
National Preserve  

276

Map 52 De Soto State Park  

278

Map 53 Little River Canyon National Preserve 282


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