Bird Watchers Flock to Gulf Shores-Orange Beach for Seasonal Migrations

Just as the soft sand and warm Gulf waters entice vacationers to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, migratory birds find the area equally attractive. Protected estuaries and marshes provide safe haven for flocks of sea and song birds as they travel the migratory pathways that link North and South America. Every spring and fall, huge flocks pause along the Alabama Gulf Coast to rest and refuel before beginning the second leg of their long journeys. Read more about seasonal migrations in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Seasonal Migrations: Bird-watching in Gulf Shores-Orange Beach

For many species, the Alabama coast is not a way station but a destination. In fact, many flocks seek winter refuge in the Gulf Shores-Orange Beach area. Birds from northern states and Canada arrive in early fall, and flocks from South and Central America arrive each spring. In the quiet waters and protected nature preserves that stretch between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, birds build their nests and raise their young, providing bird-watchers with a constantly changing, year-round avian tableau.

One of the most important stopping points for migratory birds, the Gulf Shores-Orange Beach area is a birder’s delight. When migrating flocks arrive, birders gather to watch thousands perform an aerial dance as they wheel and swoop over the calm waters of the inland waterway. Millions of birds bob on the water and fill the trees — their songs blending into a startling cacophony of sound. The impressive sight of enormous flocks taking off en masse is one of nature’s great wonders.

Gulf State Park

One of the top places to catch these seasonal migrations is Gulf State Park. With 4 miles of beaches, the park welcomes bird-watchers to spread out and take pictures of migrating birds. The changing show draws bird-watchers delighted to add to their bird lists, as well as nature enthusiasts fascinated by brown pelicans diving for fish and osprey perched on their aerial nests. Find more things to do at Gulf State Park.