Terrific Birding Locations in Auburn and Opelika, Alabama
The Alabama Birding Trails offer the public 270 locations along a chain of eight geographic regions known as the following: North Alabama, West Alabama, Appalachian Highlands, Piedmont Plateau, Black Belt Nature and Heritage, Pineywoods, Wiregrass, and Alabama Coastal Birding Trails. The trails highlight the best opportunities to see birds on public lands in the state of Alabama.
The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail in East Central Alabama has 34 sites, from Alabama’s highest mountain to the shores of Lake Martin, the state’s first Treasured Alabama Lake. The bird habitat found here is as varied as the scenery. From a paved walking trail in the middle of a city park to an adventurous float down a scenic river, you’ll find an activity that fits your interest.
Chewacla State Park’s 696 scenic acres offer a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playgrounds, hiking trails, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills, and shelters, and newly renovated cabins. The woods in the park are good for a variety of woodland songbirds, so be on the alert for such birds as Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrushes, and American Goldfinches. The presence of the lake and streams within the park adds significantly to the number and variety of species one may encounter here year-round.
You can also check out Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique Nature Park – The 73-acre Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique Nature Park were created from a nutrient-rich intentional wetland owned by the city of Opelika, with an additional 7 acres of land including an old home-site. The park has become home to a significant population of birds, including a large population of wood ducks.
Auburn University’s Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, was recently added to the regional Piedmont Valley Birding Trail. The 120-acre preserve, located just north of Auburn, features five miles of well-marked trails which traverse seven natural bird habitats including pine, oak/hickory, bottomland hardwood and mixed pine/hardwood.
Approximately 80 different bird species can be found on the property throughout the year, including the Belted Kingfisher, Mississippi Kite, and Indigo Bunting. The preserve habitat hosts migratory birds in the spring such as warblers, vireos, tanagers, and orioles. Fall and wintering birds such as nuthatches, kinglets, and woodpeckers are frequently observed.
Visitors to the Kreher Preserve are also able to observe various species of raptors including hawks, owls, and vultures. Nesting Bald Eagles are present on nearby properties and are frequently observed flying into and over the preserve.
The Alabama Birding Trails is a partnership of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and the Birmingham Audubon Society. It highlights many of the birds found in Alabama and encourages economic development through a tourism-based model.