Forests, mountains, meadows, swamps, and beaches dot the landscape, creating a vast variety of avian habitats. From the majestic bald eagle to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, to the crowd-pleasing painted bunting, over 400 species of birds grace the skies above Alabama.
Feathery friends welcome you to many sites. The number and variety of birds you can see at each location will vary by season and weather conditions, making each birding trip a new adventure. So grab your binocular, camera, and field guides, and “Wing It” to Alabama. It’s for the birds!
Alabama Birding Trails
Four regions currently offer a professionally developed birding trail system which includes directional signage, interpretive panels, kiosks, walking trails, observation towers, visitor guides, and maps.
North Alabama Birding Trail
Follow the Kingfisher to 50 sites across North Alabama selected for their bird watching characteristics. The diversity of habitats is as plentiful as the species of birds and other watchable wildlife found on and around the Tennessee River, grasslands, valleys, and forest.
Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail
The name highlights the region of Alabama named for its rich black soil which grew not only superior cotton, but a memorable legacy. The terrain formed by the meanderings of the Black Warrior, Tombigbee, and Alabama rivers is home to numerous species of flora, birds, and other wildlife. Explore the biologically diverse state parks and other natural habitats.
Alabama Coastal Birding Trail
The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail is among the most popular birding trail destinations in the United States. The trail consists of 50 birding stops organized into the following six loops that spans across Mobile and Baldwin counties:
- Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Loop
- Fort 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
Stops highlight a variety of coastal habitats that are noted for a high diversity of bird species. Signs featuring a Reddish Egret mark the location of every stop.
Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail
Alabama’s newest birding trail, Piedmont Plateau, which spans nine counties in east-central Alabama officially opened November 2011. The nine counties that make up the trail are Autauga, Chambers, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Randolph, and Tallapoosa. Three years in development, the Piedmont Plateau trail features 34 approved sites covering an area of 3.5 million acres.
Although described as a plateau, the relatively flat nature of Alabama’s Piedmont Physiographic Region is only obvious in its southern region. The northern part contains many of the highest peaks in the state, including Mt. Cheaha, the state’s highest point at 2,407 feet, and numerous northeast-trending steep-sided ridges.
New Trail Developments
With the addition of the following four new trails, a total of eight diverse geographic regions will afford eco-tourists a unified and comprehensive, state-wide birding trail system:
- West Alabama Birding Trail (9 counties in northwest central Alabama)
- Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail (10 counties in northeast central Alabama)
- Pineywoods Birding Trail (5 counties in southwest Alabama)
- Wiregrass Birding Trail (10 counties in southeastern Alabama)
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.