Flock to the River Valley, North Alabama Birding Trail
Sites along the Trail Bird Sightings Special Events Press Room Tourist Information
Northwest Loop
Central Loop

16 - Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center


17 - Decatur Hospitality Nature Park - Kiosk Site


18 - BP-Amoco Environmental Trail
(Trail Closed Through Summer 2016)



20 - Wheeler NWR - White Springs Dike


21 - Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area


22 - Round Island Recreation Area


23 - Wheeler NWR - Arrowhead Landing


24 - Wheeler NWR - Beaverdam Peninsula Tower


25 - Wheeler NWR - Beaverdam Swamp Boardwalk


26 - Wheeler NWR - Blackwell Swamp


27 - Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station


28 - Madison County Public Lake


29 - Monte Sano State Park


30 - Hays Nature Preserve


31 - Wheeler NWR - Cave Springs


32 - Hurricane Creek Park - Kiosk Site


33 - Wheeler NWR - Dancy Bottoms Nature Trail

Northeast Loop
Sites Along the Trail
Central Loop
Located in the heart of Alabama’s Tennessee River Valley, the Central portion of the North Alabama Birding Trail provides incredible birding for longtime residents or short-term visitors. With the presence of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge running between Decatur and Huntsville, birds and other wildlife are guaranteed on any visit. The habitat diversity on Wheeler and this region should provide the visitor with an astounding diversity of bird species as well.

Wheeler NWR is well-known for its impressive concentrations and diversity of waterfowl each winter. The refuge has raised waterfowl-watching to an art form with its impressive interpretive facilities and improved wetlands. Add to this, flocks of wintering Sandhill Cranes, Tupelo Swamps ringing with the songs of Prothonotary Warblers, and Ospreys fishing right next to the road. You’ll soon extend your stay.

Spring is, perhaps, the best time to visit, for wintering birds are about to leave and the summer residents have just arrived. This is the time to carefully check sites like Dancy Bottoms and Monte Sano State Park for concentrations of wood warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and orioles as they head north to nest and raise their young. It is not unusual to record over 100 species of birds in a single morning at this time of year, including some of the state's most uncommon species.

A break from the water and the woods is available at the 3M Wildlife Area and the Winfred Thomas Agriculture Research Station where grassland and open country species including Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Northern Bobwhite dominate the landscape. With a little luck, visitors might even spy a few Scissor-tailed Flycatchers.