Eight Alabama counties will join on Friday, April 26, to launch a gateway site for the West Alabama Birding Trail at an event in Lake Lurleen State Park, 13226 Lake Lurleen Road in Coker. This trail, one of eight trails covering the state, provides access for bird-watchers.
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development is providing project management and oversight for a statewide birding trails project funded by the Alabama Tourism Department.
The official trail launch begins at 9:30 a.m. April 26 at Pavilion One at Lake Lurleen State Park. Visitors may bring a picnic lunch, lawn chairs and bicycles.
At the event, staff members of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System will offer programs on birds and bird-watching. Becky Collier, the extension’s coordinator of the 4-H Program, will present a Raptor Trek, which will include a bald eagle, a falcon and an owl. In addition, expert birders will guide a bird walk suited for adults and children. Denise Shirley and Tera Glenn of the Cooperative Extension will offer a hands-on sun safety program, and Andy Baril will talk on “Birds in Natural Ecosystems.”
The Alabama Birding Trail website, www.alabamabirdingtrails.com, offers information about Alabama’s birding trails. Bibb, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties make up the West Alabama Birding Trail. Partners in the West Alabama Birding Trail include the Birmingham Audubon Society; the Alabama Cooperative Extension System; the Cahaba Wildlife Refuge; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Moundville Archaeological Park; the U.S. Forest Service; the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Parks and Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries Division; and the UA Center for Economic Development.
The birding trails project is funded by the Alabama Tourism Department and managed by the UA Center for Economic Development. Other agencies offering technical support include the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Birmingham Audubon Society, The Alabama Ornithological Society and local leaders within each region.