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Beginner Bird Walk: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

January 18, 2016, 8:00 am3:00 pm

January 18, 2016
Meeting: 8:00 a.m. – Fieldstown Road in Gardendale
Located within the eastern part of the Mississippi Flyway, the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a place of rest for many birds in migration and for waterfowl throughout the winter. Blue-winged teal arrive in September and duck counts continue to increase throughout October and November. With 300 species of birds recorded at the refuge and most waterfowl numbers peaking in January, it is a great place to observe a variety of birds.

Snow geese at Wheeler by John Morgan.
Snow geese at Wheeler by John Morgan.

Canada geese, snow geese, gulls, ducks, pelicans, and Sandhill cranes will be the key species of birds highlighted on this trip. If we are lucky, we may spot one of the endangered Whooping cranes that have been returning to the refuge since 2006.

Two whooping cranes surrounded by thousands of sandhill cranes at Wheeler. By Greg Harber.
Two whooping cranes surrounded by thousands of sandhill cranes at Wheeler. By Greg Harber.

There were 12 Whooping cranes counted during the 2012-2013 winter, and 14 spotted last winter. We invite you to join us as we enjoy this seasonal display of birds from both the observation building, and a few restricted-access locations. Birmingham Audubon members and volunteers will have scopes available and knowledge of birds to share.
Remember to call ahead to RSVP to Josey Crider at Birmingham Audubon (205) 719-3678. Please leave your name, number of participants in your party, your phone number, email, age of children attending, and if you need binoculars. A confirmation email will be sent out to you a few days before the event with additional details.
We will meet in the parking lot behind Wells Fargo Bank at the Fieldstown Road Shopping Center in Gardendale, just off I-65 at exit #271. Turn right onto Fieldstown Road, take another right onto Odum Road with an immediate left into the shopping center. We will leave at 8:00 a.m. sharp, (please arrive early for pre-trip instructions) and caravan up I-65N toward Decatur to the Priceville exit (#334). We will reconvene at Hardee’s located at this exit at 9:30 a.m. before taking a short drive to the visitor’s center.


January 18, 2016
8:00 am–3:00 pm



Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd.
Decatur, AL 35603 United States
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(256) 353-7243
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