"Hear me, hear
me, hear me!” From somewhere in the distance, a bird is calling, making itself
another says rather sharply. Glancing up, you see something fly by and land on
a branch. There are a variety of birds that come through South Alabama at any
given time of year. Spring migration season ended a few months ago, with some
sparrows and warblers stopping over on their way home.
Branch Wildlife Reserve, a few different kinds of fowl can be spotted if you
are in the right areas. It is the perfect place to bird watch, Park Coordinator
Tracy Sells said. Those with binoculars might even can see birds hiding high in
"With so many
wooded areas and the lake, Magnolia Branch is home to a variety of species (of
birds) year-round,” Sells said.
bluebird is a regular at the park. Its song sometimes sounds like a newborn
puppy … a little shrill and repetitious, a low-pitched tu-a-wee sound in search
of a mate or some attention.
bunting also vacations at Magnolia Branch. These birds look like, well, a
painting, sporting all the colors of the rainbow. Painted bunting are migratory
songbirds that breed
from eastern North Carolina south to northern Florida, including in South
Alabama. They tend to arrive in late April and are gone by the end of October.
bunting that makes an appearance is the indigo bunting. A brilliant blue color,
these birds migrate mostly at night and make their habitats in open woodland
areas and marshes. They are closely related to the lazuli bunting, which also
can be seen at Magnolia Branch.
Branch’s General Manager Billy Smith said he has spotted a couple of Eastern
whip-poor-wills, cardinals and an egret-type bird at the park recently.
get close enough to take a good picture,” Smith said. "It glowed a brilliant
white in the sunlight though.” He also said a few hawks and eagles have been
seen flying around.
come out and enjoy the park, Sells said. There is a $5 entrance fee, and for Tribal
members, entrance is free with tribal ID. Other activities at Magnolia Branch
include canoeing, tubing, kayaking, hiking, camping, horse riding … just to
name a few. Visit magnoliabranch.com for more details and pricing.
But for those with a special spot in their hearts for nature and
wildlife, "Birding is exceptional this time of year at Magnolia Branch,” Sells