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Field Trip: Oak Mountain State Park

Scarlet Tanager. Photo: Greg Harber.

April 1 , 7:00 am 12:00 pm

Pre-registration is required by 12 p.m. CDT on Friday, March 31st.

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

Oak Mountain State Park, the state’s largest park, has 10,000 acres of richly wooded ridges, valleys, lakes and streams. Birders will enjoy a wide range of birding opportunities using some of the park’s hiking trails.

We will see Eastern bluebirds, herons, pine warblers, white-breasted and brown-headed nuthatches, and red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks. Although early spring migrants are a possibility, kinglets, chickadees and titmice should be present in the woodlands. The more open areas contain Eastern phoebes. Purple martins are usually seen in the gourd nests at the boat dock.

Canada Geese congregate on the banks of the park’s lakes, and belted kingfishers, bald eagles, and ospreys often fish in the lake. The thick second-growth tangle on the west side of the dam may yield goldfinches, wrens, and wintering sparrows.

We will check the area around the lower fishing lake for early migrants, such as yellow-throated warblers and Northern parulas. Every woodpecker native to the state, with the exception of the rare red-cockaded woodpecker, is seen here. We will also look for waterfowl on the lake—wood ducks, pied-billed grebes, American coots, and double-crested cormorants. Late winter birds will include hermit thrushes, a few fox sparrows, and occasionally white-crowned sparrows and red-breasted nuthatches. The areas around the fishing lakes are known as one of the most productive birding spots in central Alabama. See the Alabama Birding Trail page here for more detailed information on the park.

The details: Meetup is at 7 a.m. at the parking lot just before the main entrance gates. There is an open area with a building that has bathrooms. We will convene here before entering the park on John Findlay Drive. See directions to these coordinates 33.317480, -86.781330Note: Admission to the park is $5 for adults under 62, $2 for seniors and for children ages 4 to 11. For more information, visit the park website here.

As always, remember to bring your binoculars, plenty of water and snacks, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate 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.

Registration: To register, click on the button above. If you’re new to our online system and don’t yet have a username and password, simply click the “X” on the pop up and fill out the basic form. If you do have a login, please use it as this helps us tremendously on our end! You should receive an automated email upon registering.

Accessibility: The trails are not accessible, but the trails we will use are of moderate grade with some uneven terrain. We will also be driving to various spots.

(Questions about accessibility? Email us for more information about how we can meet your needs.)

The food: Bring a picnic lunch if you would like to eat lunch with the group after birding.

The birds: Early spring migrants, some over-wintering birds, resident songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors. See the eBird list here.

Trip leaders: Paul Franklin (205-542-7647), Marj Young (205-515-8394), and Matt Hunter (205-460-9546) will lead this trip. Please contact on the day of the trip only. Feel free to email us if you have questions.

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. This same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable and inclusive 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 everyone to participate in our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events welcome, inclusive, and accessible to all.