Whether you’re a birding beginner or a pro, this fun and rewarding hobby can lead you to exciting new adventures all over the United States and beyond. There’s no shortage of bird watching spots to explore throughout the Southern region of the US, but some locations are definitely better than others. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best birding hotspots in the Southern United States
Everglades National Park, Florida
The Everglades, one of the greatest natural treasures of the United States and a World Heritage Site, is home to a vast expanse of wilderness totaling 1.5 million acres - making it the third largest national park in the country.
For bird enthusiasts and adventurers alike, Anhinga Trail is a great place to start exploring the Everglades. The 0.8-mile path through its stunning surroundings provides prime bird spotting territory - from soaring Purple Gallinules to diving Anhingas. Just be sure to watch out for those delinquent vultures in the parking lot, who’ve gained a bit of notoriety as they look for unsuspecting prey! Exploring with an open eye and ready camera will lead you on quite an adventure through this amazing natural wonder.
The Alabama Coast
When bird spotters hear the wind stirring in Alabama, it's time to pack their binoculars and take a trip down south! For bird enthusiasts who follow the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, spring and fall mean more than just a magnificent sunrise as thousands of migratory birds make their seasonal pitstop along the Gulf of Mexico.
The air is filled with a dazzling display of warblers, sandpipers, plovers, and more - the sky transformed into a kaleidoscope of color! Everything about birding here screams adventure: you never know what feathered friends await you at Fort Morgan or Dauphin Island. If bird watching isn't already an essential part of your life, just wait until you witness such incredible sights - you'll be enchanted every time!
Georgia’s Colonial Coast
Exploring the birding opportunities on the Georgia coast is an absolute must for nature lovers of all levels. From clapper rails and marsh wrens that call the salt marshes home year-round, to impressive concentrations of birds on protected beaches and tidal mudflats, you'll find something for every bird enthusiast.
Imagine swooping in on harriers and ibises, accompanied by clouds of roseate spoonbills! And a stroll along the shallows will bring up skimmers, oystercatchers with their fiery bills, gulls, terns, and other shorebirds in winter or during migration-- what a treat! With bridges and causeways connecting these barrier islands as well as bird ringing stations dotted across the area, it would be hard to find anywhere else in the US that can measure up to this coastal paradise.
Gulf Coast Region, Louisiana
Check out the birding opportunities in Louisiana, and you won't be disappointed! From its cypress swamps to its gum and tupelo bayous, from flooded rice fields to freshwater marshes and salt marshes, from mud flats to sandy beaches—this birding trail really has it all. There's no fluff to be found here; 115 birdwatching sites over 12 distinct loops are scattered along the birding trail, and each offers a unique opportunity to observe a diverse array of avian species.
Where else can you get the chance to marvel at brown pelicans that have bounced back from their population crash of decades past? Waders like snowy egrets, little blue herons, and tricolored herons also flock to these environments. And birdwatchers looking for something more elusive may get their best looks ever at buffy least bitterns, marsh rails, or rusty red king rails here.
Great Plains, Oklahoma
The Great Plains Trail in Oklahoma is jam-packed with birding delights! Explore its 13 individual loops, and embark on a journey of birdy surprises. From the beauty of Black Mesa country to the thickets of Wichita Mountains, seekers of feathered friends will be spoiled for choice.
A birdy extravaganza awaits during spring and fall when Franklin's Gulls take over the skies en route to or from the northern prairies. Roll up your bird-spotting sleeves during winter, for Harris' Sparrows just can't help but put on a show. Long story short – anything that chirps, tweets, and squawks, you will find it here!