Flock to the River Valley, North Alabama Birding Trail
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Northwest Loop
Central Loop
Northeast Loop
Sites Along the Trail
North Alabama Birding Trail
For millions of years, the Tennessee River has cut its way through the Cumberland Plateau, carving the Tennessee Valley, one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in the south. Dense woodlands and rich waters originally attracted prehistoric peoples and started the long history of the area as a commercial and cultural crossroads. Civil War battles, engineering breakthroughs, and trading links throughout the Mississippi Basin have all contributed to a cultural richness which is complemented by a natural diversity of birds and other wildlife. Numerous eastern woodland birds and waterfowl occur in abundance, joined by uncommon visitors such as nesting Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, vagrant gulls, sea ducks, grebes, loons, shorebirds, and late fall vagrants en route to the Gulf Coast.

Whether interested in a quiet morning walk or weeks of exploration, North Alabama is sure to please. Landscapes in the region range from tupelo swamps to blazing fields of wildflowers, and towering forests of oak and hickory to vast sheets of open water replete with loafing waterfowl. As the habitats vary through the valley, so do the seasons. Spring is heralded by the return of neotropical songbirds that stop in while on their journey northward. Summer is filled with breeding woodland species such as flashy Pileated and Red-headed woodpeckers, boisterous Great-crested Flycatchers and Carolina Wrens, and skulking Kentucky and Swainson’s warblers. In the fall, migrant waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, and a variety of raptors return to spend the winter in the valley, or at least pass through on their way farther south. Once winter's chill is in the air, large roosts of Bald Eagles form and stragglers from farther north can be found with the abundant waterfowl and gulls.