Birmingham Audubon Society

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September 2014
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Birmingham Audubon
Birmingham Audubon Bulletin Board PDF Print Email

Job Announcement:

Program Director

Birmingham Audubon seeks qualified candidates for the position of Program Director for conservation, education/outreach and membership programs. Read job announcement and download application here.

Birmingham Audubon's Swift Night Out Event
Friday, September 12, 2014
Meeting Time:  5:15 p.m. at Fish Market Restaurant

chimney swiftsEach fall Birmingham Audubon participates in the annual Swift Night Out survey, sponsored by the Driftwood Wildlife Association. This year's Birmingham event will be held on Friday, September 12, 2014. We'll gather for dinner (Dutch treat) at the Fish Market Restaurant, located on Birmingham's Southside, at 612 22nd Street South. Plan to arrive there no later than 5:15 p.m. to allow enough time for dinner.

Following dinner we'll depart at 6:15 p.m. for the swift roost site viewing area, which is perched atop the Birmingham Parking Authority's Deck #7 at 509 17th Street North. The chimney where the swifts roost at night is situated at 17th Street North and the 4th North Alley, southwest of the parking deck.

The top level of the parking deck offers spectacular views of the swifts' vortex as they circle above the chimney prior to diving in headlong! Be sure to bring your favorite folding chair, a pair of binoculars, and a camera, if you wish. An unobstructed view of the Magic City skyline at sunset is an added bonus!

In the event of rain, the event will be held Saturday, September 13, 2014 – the following day – with the same times and meeting places. View a YouTube video of last year's Swift's Night Out Event filmed by Bob Farley.

Trip leader: Greg Harber, 251-2133 (home), or 807-8055 (cell, day of event only)
Please be aware that there is a $2.00 fee to exit the parking deck.

Travel to the Galapagos Islands with Birmingham Audubon
May 30 - June 8, 2015 

tortoiseBirmingham Audubon invites you to join their 10-day wildlife and educational expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Escorted by Birmingham Audubon member Greg Harber, the trip departs May 30, 2015. This expedition has been designed with the objective of seeing as many of the unique inhabitants of these enchanted islands as possible. Based on one of Ecoventura's 20-passenger motor-yachts, with excellent food, Galapagos park certified naturalists, and crew, we'll travel by night to maximize our enjoyment of these ruggedly beautiful booby

The projected costs of the trip are as follows: $5650 per person on the Dolphin Deck, $5250 per person on the Booby Deck and $4750 per person on the Iguana Deck. Cabins will be assigned on a first registered, first served basis. Prices subject to change.

Please call Dick Mills at World Discovery Safaris at 205-972-8733 or e-mail Dick with any questions and/or to receive a detailed itinerary and registration form.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:10 )
Upcoming Field Trips PDF Print Email

Birmingham Audubon Field Trips 2014-2015

Birders copyAll Birmingham Audubon field trips are free and open to the public. Field Trips are held on Saturdays. The Beginner Bird Walks are held another day; please note day.



9-1          Russell Bailey Memorial Labor Day Trip to Lake Purdy
9-6          Oak Mountain State Park - hawk watch
9-20        Cherokee Rock Village, Weiss Lake and Piedmont Airport

10-4        Tom Imhof Memorial trip to Birmingham Botanical Gardens
10-18      James D. Martin Wildlife Park, James D. Martin Heronry and Neely Henry Dam

11-1         Railroad Park, Avondale Park and East Lake
11-8         Prairie Seed Collecting and Habitat Restoration Field Trip 
11-11       Beginner Bird Walk –Veteran's Day

11-14/16  Foscue Creek Campground Campout
11-22       Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge


1-10       Guntersville, AL
1-17       Cahaba Treatment Plant
1-19       Beginner Bird Walk – Martin Luther King Day

2-7         Beeswax Creek and Lake Purdy
2-14       Great Back Yard Bird Count - Birmingham Zoo
2-21       Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson Wetumpka Astrobleme

MARCH 2015

3-7         Limestone Park and Ebenezer Swamp
3-21       Perry Lakes and environs
3-29       Beginner Bird Walk – Sunday

APRIL 2015
4-4         Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
4-11       Vulcan Trail

MAY 2015
5-1,2,3   Campout - Wehle Nature Center with a field trip May 2nd for the day trippers
5-23       Hamilton Indian MoundsHamilton, First Marion County Courthouse and Military Road, Marion Public Fishing Lake, and environs

JUNE 2015

6-13        Beginner Bird Walk – Saturday
6-20        Paint Rock-Larkin Fork, Walls of Jericho, Skyline Wildlife Management Area

July 2015

7-28        Kite Trip #1  Prattville, Autaugaville, AL

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 August 2014 20:53 )
Field Trip Reports 2014 PDF Print Email

Old Cahawba, March 1, 2014

Coleman Lake, February 1, 2014

Wheeler NWR, January 20, 2014

Guntersville Lake, January 18, 2014

(Index to all Field Trip Reports)

Old Cahawba 3-1-2014

Autaugaville and Prattville 7-26-14

Saturday, July 26th, Birmingham Audubon members and guests ventured south in search of Mississippi and swallow-tailed kites on both sides of the Alabama River west of Prattville. And we're happy to report that our quest was successful!

Our first sighting was a lone Mississippi kite circling above the US 82 bypass just south of the turn at AL Hwy 14 on the west side of town. This proved to be typical of the remainder of the morning - single birds flying just above treetop level in two other locations along Hwy 14 or the county roads that extend south from it to the river. We checked CR 29, 27, 50 and 41, and found species typical of that area and this time if year - in other words, hordes of Rough-winged Swallows, vultures and a smattering of egrets and herons flapping past. The rough-wings were especially noticeable along CR 21 in a field opposite the model airplane site. Hundreds were barely buzzing the ground as they fed.

The south end of CR 21, at the large expanse of pasture, yielded no kites of either species but we did observe an Osprey flying above the trees in the distance as it followed the course of the river heading upstream (west to east).

The home-style cooking at Chef Lee's in Autaugaville was on tap for lunch as our birding trip morphed into a rolling mini-economic development engine. When our group of 35+ people descended we pretty much filled the entire seating capacity. Those already seated there quickly finished and headed out the door. I'm pretty sure we depleted them of their fried catfish while topping off our internal tanks with refreshing sweet tea.

swallow-tailed kite GH 2014We departed from there to the south side of the river, to CR 40 (aka Jones Bluff Road) where we had such success finding kites last year. Here we hit pay dirt in the form of two tractors cutting hay in the field on the north side of the road, about 1 mile north of the railroad tracks. There were approximately 15 swallow-tailed and 30 Mississippi kites working the scene, snatching insects out of the air in advance of the tractors. The scene we witnessed here pretty much explained the dearth of birds on the north side of the river; they are found wherever the action is - find a farmer cutting his hay and you'll likely find kites feeding.

Following this we retraced our route east on CR 40 to the "ghost town" at Robinson's Switch - collection of old wooden buildings gathered on either side of the road, adjacent to the railroad tracks. It's a site that always begs for a photography stop and a quiet moment as one strolls beneath the drapery of Spanish moss. Virginia Creeper, coated in a fine layer of clay the color of the South, cloaks the wooden boards - giving silent testimony to the small community that once breathed here.

Cattle egretOur final birding destination was the gator farm near Grady, but not before our dinner at Red's Little Schoolhouse. Once again, Southern cooking ruled the place and was tasty as always. The hordes of egrets and herons returning to the rookery are a spectacular sight. Mostly they are Cattle Egrets, but we did observe Little Blue Herons, White Ibises and Great Egrets among the masses. As has happened in the past, a splashing in the water or thrashing on the ground below the nest trees signaled the demise of another wayward nestling that strayed too far and met its fate in the jaws of a gator - a National Geographic moment in the heart of Alabama.

Photo Credits: Greg Harber and Kathleen Dunlap

Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 August 2014 10:54 )
Read more: Field Trip Reports 2014