What You’ll See at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island AL

Audubon Bird Sanctuary Dauphin Island AL
As one of the most biologically diverse states in the union, Alabama is home to a cornucopia of interesting species and creatures. In fact, of the 445 officially documented species that call Alabama home, 95% of them have been spotted on Dauphin Island. So, it’s no surprise that the
Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island AL would be a popular attraction for visitors to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Come explore that island and see how many of the incredible creatures native to Alabama that you can spot! Here’s some of what you’ll see at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island AL.

Rich biodiversity is just one of the many things you’ll enjoy here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast! To make sure you get the most out of your vacation to the Gulf, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of great ideas for while you’re here. At Sunset Properties, we want you to have the vacation of a lifetime, right here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

Discover the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island AL

When you head out to Dauphin Island, you’ll find that things are a little different from the coast. This incredible island consists of 137 acres of maritime forest, dunes, marshes, plus a lake, swamp, and a beach. In addition to all this, there is also a three-mile trail system throughout the sanctuary. There are plenty of great ways to see the birds, explore, and relax. A big part of what makes the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island AL such an important biological wonder is the fact that it is the first landfall for many neo-tropical migrant birds. They fly from the Gulf over Central and South America every spring. It is here that they first land from their long and arduous trip, and it is here that they find food and rest both in the springtime and in the fall. As a result, the National Audubon Society deems the sanctuary as “Globally Important” for the migrations of multiple species.

Take a Trail While You’re There

Lake Loop Trail (handicapped access) | 0.6 miles

The trail brings you through the maritime forest on a slightly elevated boardwalk, perfect for casual hikers to see turtles, alligator, and wading birds.

Campground Trail | 0.4 miles

Beginning at the campgrounds, take a hike from there to the beach where you’ll eventually run into the historic Fort Gaines.

Dune Edge Trail | 0.3 miles

Follow the beach meadow behind the main dune where an assortment of beach plants make an interesting habitat. The trail goes from the Swamp Overlook and passes the southern end of Gaillard Lake.

Swamp Overlook Trail | 0.8 miles

From the Banding Area to the overlook at the swamp, this trail takes you through the swamp where wintering woodland species may be.

Upper Woodland Trail | 1.7 miles

Starting at the northwest corner of the Lake Loop Trail, the Upper Woodland Trail goes along the firebreak on a wide path. It then takes hikers south through a pine forest and rejoins the southernmost firebreak, rejoining the Lake Loop Trail, as well.

Explore it All on Your Next Gulf Shores Vacation

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island AL is just one of many great things to do while you’re on the Gulf Coast. At Sunset Properties, we can help you make the most of your time here! Be sure to download our free Vacation Guide for great vacation ideas. Speaking of great ideas, browse our beautiful condos and beach houses for your vacation to the Gulf! They’re the perfect solution for your family vacation, romantic getaway, or long weekend. So, contact us today to book your Gulf Coast getaway!

What You Need to Know About the Sand Island Lighthouse

Sand Island Lighthouse

One of the more iconic attractions on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the Sand Island Lighthouse will illuminate the history of the area in a picture-worthy way you won’t forget. The historic lighthouse stands roughly three miles from the mouth of Mobile Bay and has since its first keeper in 1839. Through a series of events like erosion and war, the structure has been rebuilt a few times. The rich history the lighthouse represents tells a story you’re going to love to learn. Here’s what you should know about the Sand Island Lighthouse.

Are you looking for the most incredible experiences on Alabama’s Gulf Coast? The Sand Island Lighthouse is definitely one of them! For the rest, though, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide! Here at Sunset Properties, we’re the experts on the area. So, have an unforgettable vacation using our guide. You’re going to love it!

Sand Island Lighthouse History

If you’ve been to Ft. Morgan, then you’ve seen the Sand Island Lighthouse. It sits about three miles offshore to the west between Ft. Morgan and Dauphin Island. Currently, the lighthouse is owned and protected by the city of Dauphin Island. However, once upon a time this was a federally owned lighthouse with all of the bells and whistles. The Sand Island Lighthouse was originally commissioned in 1837 and was completed in 1839. Because of varying factors, from inadequacy to erosion to the Civil War, the lighthouse has seen a handful of manifestations over the years.

Not long after the first lighthouse was completed, the extreme erosion of Sand Island severely affected its longevity. The island lost between 50 and 100 feet of beach a year. The once-grand, two-story keeper’s quarters decreased over the years because of the extreme erosion. In addition to the island disappearing, itself, several keepers went missing in storms throughout the years. The current lighthouse was originally lit in 1873, but the final keepers went missing as they tried to head to the main land to pick up their replacement. It is believed that a storm caused their boat to capsize with no one aware of their calamity. After these keepers disappeared, the lighthouse was automated and a little over a decade later the light house was decommissioned. In 1971, the Fort Morgan Museum archived the second-order Fresnel lens as a part of the area’s history.

Modern Efforts to Maintain the Lighthouse

Recently, the City of Dauphin Island began a massive rescue operation to save the deteriorating island on which the lighthouse sits. The rip rap, a series of boulders that act as a breakwater, was moved and rearranged to make everything more stable. The Island was then wrapped with stainless steel cables to help keep things in place. Work was also done on the lighthouse, itself, replacing missing bricks and mortar. Also, 1.4 million cubic yards of sand dredge were added to the island. So, our beautiful light house is sitting on white sand again!

You can visit the lighthouse via marina cruises from the Dauphin Island Marina, on which you’ll see some of the many great things Dauphin Island has to offer, too!

So Much to See on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

You’re going to love a vacation here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast! From historic lighthouses to sugar-white sandy beaches, the whole family is going to love spending time here. So, as you plan your next trip to the Gulf, browse our beautiful vacation rentals and beach houses for the best places to stay! Here at Sunset Properties, our rentals are both idyllic and ideal for your next beach adventure! Contact us today to book your next stay. And, if you need more ideas for great things to do in the area, check out our free Vacation Guide, as well!