Birding, also known as bird watching, is the observation of birds in their natural habitats. Birding can be done with the naked eye, through a pair of binoculars, even though the powerful lens of a camera. The town and historic sites in Fort Morgan, Alabama, have been designated as one of the “One Hundred Globally Important Bird Areas,” being the site of annual migration routes from everything from hummingbirds to bald eagles!
While the beautiful beaches of Fort Morgan offer many guests all that they could ask for, the wildlife in the area is one of the most impressive features. Birding is a seasonal venture, particularly spectacular in the spring and fall, however, migrations take place all year-round. The unique peninsula of Fort Morgan is the first landfall and last departure point for thousands of migrating birds!
Bird banding has become quite a venture in Fort Morgan, Alabama. Bird banding entails capturing large numbers of migrating birds and harmlessly placing a band around their leg as a way to track and monitor population levels as well as the condition of the birds. Bird banding allows researchers to gain crucial insight into the effects that variables such as temperature, storms, and other weather conditions have on these migrating animals.
Bird banding gathers a remarkable crew of trained and dedicated volunteers to capture and release these animals, and it is quite a sight to see! Bird banding in Fort Morgan is open to the public, inviting one and all to come check out this unique and impressive adventure. The bird banding takes place over the course of a little over one week’s time, both in April and in October.
Fort Morgan, Alabama, is also home to several sites on the Alabama Costal Birding Trail. Considered to be a birder’s paradise, the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail spans over two counties and was developed during the late 1990s as a way to offer bird enthusiasts a way to enjoy the incredible diversity that this area has to offer. Each loop that the trail offers features different ecological regions, and the one in Fort Morgan features five different sites for your recreational use!
The Fort Morgan birding loop starts AL 180, which runs until the end of the peninsula. The majority of the Fort Morgan birding trail is nestled in Fort Morgan Historic State Park. Serious birding enthusiasts can pick up a checklist at the museum in preparation for the wonderful wildlife activity they are about to witness!
If storms are in the area during the springtime migration, many guests get to witness awe-inspiring “fallouts” of migratory birds. The animals retreat to the peninsula to take refuge, in numbers and types greater than what are normally seen. Spring is one of the best times to view colorful neo-tropical birds – photographers flock to the area during this time to capture these spectacular animals on film.
The season of fall brings the neo-tropical birds back to Fort Morgan, and in addition, hundreds of migrating hawks! During this time you can view everything from red-tailed to sharp-shinned hawks. Winter brings many water birds and sparrows to the area, including chipping sparrows and white pelicans. Summer is considered to be the “slow” season of birding in this area, but can bring sandwich terns and rock pigeons to the area.
Birding in Fort Morgan is a popular activity that draws many tourists to the area. Since there are few hotels in the area, many visitors choose to stay in our lovely beach condos and houses right along the Fort Morgan beaches. Migration season is an excellent reason to enjoy a beach vacation to Fort Morgan, Alabama!