Coastal Alabama is a prime locale for birders of all ages and expertise. You don’t have to be an ornithologist to enjoy relaxing on the deck of your vacation rental and watching a Blue Heron patrol his home territory on the waterfront, as osprey, pelicans, and sea gulls wander through. Those interesting bird sightings and behaviors are common place here on the island, and here are a few places you’re just about guaranteed to spot some of our feathered friends.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Located in Gulf Shores, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 360 different species of birds. In the spring and fall, spectators will find migratory birds traveling between their breeding and wintering grounds. Winter brings sightings of the Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, American Kestrels, and more.
Year round, some of the most commonly seen birds include the following:
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Eastern Meadowlark
- Rufous-sided Towhee
- Northern Cardinal
- European Starling
- Northern Mockingbird
- Great Blue Heron
For a seasonal guide to birding here, get the offfical Bon Secour Nationl Wildlife Refuge bird checklist.
The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail
The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail makes it easy to explore and enjoy our feathered residents and visitors. Winding through more than 50 birding sites in Baldwin and Mobile counties, it is enhanced by directional and interpretive signage. Loops are close enough that you can easily drive from one to another.
- Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Loop,
- Morgan Loop,
- South Baldwin County Loop,
- Eastern Shore, Mobile Bay Causeway and Blakeley Island Loop,
- East Mobile River – Tensaw Delta Loop,
- Dauphin Island – Bayou La Batre Loop
Along the loops, birders can find Osprey, Royal Terns, Northern Gannets, Great Egrets, Loggerhead Shrikes, Belted Kingfishers, and plenty more. Between each, birders will find plenty of places to eat, sightsee and soak in the local flavor of the Eastern Shore and Mobile County.
For more information and details check out AlabamaCoastalBirdingtrail.com.