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Black Belt Field Trip: Greensboro and environs

Swallow-tailed kites take to the late summer skies above the Black Belt. Photo: Suzanne Langley.

July 24, 2021 , 7:00 am 6:00 pm

Pre-registration is required by 12 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 23rd, and space is limited.

Registration is now closed. Check out our upcoming events here.

Participants must complete the mandatory online waiver. Please do not request registration for others when submitting your request.

The second of two great summer trips exploring Alabama’s Black Belt—in advance of our inaugural Black Belt Birding Festival—takes us to a broad stretch of coastal plain between the Black Warrior and Alabama Rivers. Participants on both trips regularly report Mississippi and swallow-tailed kiteswood storks, and scissor-tailed flycatchers, as well as numerous other southern summer specialities—each one a bird worth traveling for.

This trip in particular focuses on the “catfish country” of Hale and Perry Counties, an extensive system of agricultural ponds that draw in wading birds and a sporadic population of post-breeding wood storks.

The details: Meetup is once again at the McDonald’s on US 31 in Hoover, located at 1731 Montgomery Highway (US 31) across from the Galleria. Plan to depart at 7 a.m., at which time we’ll caravan west on I-59/20 to Exit #97, then head south on AL Hwy 5 to Centreville/Brent. We’ll make a brief rest stop around 8 a.m. at the Wendy’s in Brent before continuing on to Red Bamberg Road, and the many catfish ponds south of Greensboro. A late afternoon stop at the Marion Fish Hatchery will also provide plenty of opportunities to see egrets and herons (including little blues) returning to their roosts, backlit by a western summer sun.

 All of our Black Belt trips can be long and hot. Be sure to bring the usual supplies: binoculars, rehydrating drinks, snacks, a full tank of gas, sunscreen, insect repellant, rain gear, and appropriate summer attire. In the case of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled. You may contact the trip leader the morning of the event if the weather is questionable.

Accessibility: We will mostly be doing roadside birding with a little walking involved.

The food: Lunch will be at either Faunsdale Bar & Grill or Greensboro’s The Stable, depending on the size of our group.

The birds: Mississippi and swallow-tailed kites, painted buntings, wood storks, Eastern meadowlarks, loggerhead shrikes, Eastern bluebirds, cattle egrets, great egrets, great blue herons, little blue herons, and white ibis are all possible birds to see on this trip.

Trip leaders: Greg Harber (205-807-8055), Anne Miller (205-902-1389), and Paul Franklin (205-542-7647) will lead this trip. Please contact on the day of the trip only. Feel free to email us if you have questions or want to let us know you’ll be meeting up from a different part of the state and need other directions.

Questions? Email the Programs Assistant.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Through more than seventy-five years of conservation work in one of our nation’s most ecologically rich states, Alabama Audubon has seen firsthand how diversity strengthens natural communities. We believe that the same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all Alabamians to learn about and enjoy wild birds, their habitats, and the natural world. One of the best ways to support that belief is by valuing and actively seeking to strengthen diversity among our staff, our board, and our membership. To that end, Alabama Audubon welcomes the whole of our community to our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events open and accessible to all.