Winter on the Gulf Coast brings visitors from all over the
country. No, I don’t mean snowbirds, the guests from the North and Canada who
spend a good chunk of the season "in warmer climates down South.” I’m talking
about our true feathered friends who leave their nests and escape the harsh
weather to find food and survive.
Bird migration is prevalent in all seasons, particularly in
the fall and spring. This usually is when bird watchers get excited and start
documenting different species that pass through their area. According to birdnature.com, many birds
breeding east of the Allegheny Mountains travel southwest through South Alabama and Northwest Florida,
cross the Gulf of Mexico and settle in Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. They
begin their journey back home in the spring, and watchers are eager to spot
A popular stopover site for sparrows and warblers is Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve in
Atmore, Ala. Visitors to the reserve usually can experience the birds beginning
in late March and lasting through about May and sometimes early June. Campers who stay
at Magnolia Branch often see a variety of species at the park, which has
feeders set out so the birds can get the nutrients they need.
Speaking of feeders, backyards are notorious for bird
sightings, as many people erect bird feeders and baths and sit back to watch
which ones stop by for food. This is a good, free way to observe a variety of
birds, right from your own home.
So whether you are looking for a spot in the woods to see different
wildlife and pick out species or you just like the joy of seeing spring arrive,
bird watching is a hobby many enjoy. Checking out new places to find birds also
could help educate you as to which ones fly through a particular area during
different times of the year.