Learn how to become a bird-watcher, join field trips and support our avian friends in Birmingham

Birmingham Audubon
Birmingham Audubon
Birders “flock” together. Photo from Birmingham Audubon Facebook page

Have you ever wanted to take up bird-watching, but just didn’t know how to begin?

We’ve got the ultimate “how-to” become a birder guide for you.

Learn birding from the best – Birmingham Audubon’s Greg Harber & Paul Franklin

Birmingham is blessed with two of the best birding instructors in the state and the Southeast, Greg Harber and Paul Franklin. Both gentlemen are teaching  introductory level birding classes for people of all ages.

Here are the details:

Introduction to Birds and Birding

Birmingham Audubon
Photo of Birmingham Audubon’s Greg Harber. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Audubon.

Greg Harber will be teaching every Wednesday night, everything you need to know to become a birder. He will be holding seven (7) class meetings  in September and October at the Birmingham Audubon office in Avondale on Wednesday nights (9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31). Classes last 2 hours each night from6:30–8:30 p.m.

Alabama’s Birds of Prey

Paul Franklin helps birders navigate the sometimes confusing world of raptor identification. Expect to experience a portion of the dynamic fall hawk migration, as the birds move toward their wintering grounds. Weekly class field trips provide students with opportunities to test their new skills in the field. Six class meetings will be held at the Birmingham Audubon office, Monday nights (10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19), 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Explore Alabama Birding Trails

Birmingham Alabama
Painted Bunting – photo by Ken Hare

Alabama is blessed with 8 birding trails at 280 locations throughout the “Yellowhammer State.”

Called the Alabama Birding Trails, discover the state’s 430 species of birds along this vast network of sites that touch nearly every corner and community in the state. Visit alabamabirdingtrails.com for all the locations.

Join Field Trips

Photo by Greg Harber

Birding can forge lifetime friendships. Groups such as Birmingham Audubon, Alabama Ornithological Society and the North Alabama Birdwatchers Society offer field trips and meetings year round.

Bookmark the following links to learn about a birding field trip in your community.

Alabama Birding Trails Calendar
Birmingham Audubon
Mobile Bay Audubon Society
North Alabama Birdwatching Society
Alabama Ornithological Society (Don’t miss their October 12-14 Fall Meeting)

Spend October at the John Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest

Audubon
Photo of Greg Harber teaching birding at Caldwell Park to a young student. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

This October, Alabama is home to one of the largest birding festivals in the nation – the John Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest. Beginning October 3rd, the three day festival is “birding heaven.”

Here is the schedule, and don’t miss the registration deadline which is September 21.

Support our birds

Sandhill cranes with a juvenile whooping crane in the center - photo by George Lee
Sandhill cranes with a juvenile whooping crane in the center – photo by George Lee

Many of these birding groups are membership organizations.  Support them by joining. Start with Birmingham Audubon, AOS or the International Crane Foundation.

In fact, today, September 13, 4:00-9:00pm, Birmingham Audubon will be holding a fundraiser at Farm Burger on Birmingham’s Southside.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.