Eight Great Fall Birding Trails

Eight Great Fall Birding Trails

Autumn migration season is here. Millions of birds are on the wing, covering thousands of miles across oceans and continents. Grab your favorite field guide and hit the road to see one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth.

By Kenn Kaufman
Published: September-October 2013

John James Audubon was profoundly influenced by his time in southern Louisiana in the early 1800s. Travel this remarkable trail and you will begin to understand why. Stunning natural habitats set the stage for 115 birding sites strung together in 12 distinct loops, where you will experience the region's birdlife and its rich Creole culture. Vast interior marshes teem with herons, egrets, ibises, and gallinules, proving that the name "America's wetland" is no idle boast. Along the coast, tidal flats and beaches host huge numbers of migratory sandpipers and plovers. Serious birders often visit the trail's isolated woodland patches near the coast, where odd stray birds from western North America some- times show up in fall. For more: louisianatravel.com/louisiana-birding-trails


Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding Trail

Woodland lanes lined with stately live oaks, glistening tidal flats thronged with sandpipers and terns, and broad, sweeping salt marshes where wading birds abound--these are just a few of the memorable landscapes waiting for visitors along the Georgia coast. Practically anywhere in this region can be good for birding, but to find the best of the best, binocular-clad travelers can focus on the 18 sites featured on this birding trail. Most of these loca- tions are also designated Important Bird Areas, underscoring how vital they are to all sorts of migrating birds that stream by. Birds like black skimmers, clapper rails, and American oystercatchers may be found in every season, and fall migration brings many more, including piping plovers and varied songbird flocks. For more: georgiawildlife.com/node/1356


New Jersey Birding & Wildlife Trails

Despite its small size, New Jersey's landscape is tremendously varied. These trails, created by New Jersey Audubon, focus on four distinct state regions. On the northwest section's Skylands Trails, see broad-winged hawks and flocks of colorful warblers moving along the ridges. The Meadowlands Trails beckon urban- ites from nearby Manhattan, providing an easily accessible route to view short-billed dowitchers, great blue herons, green-winged teal, and even bald eagles. Farther south, the Pine Barrens Trails string together 120 wildlife areas in and around the million-acre Pinelands National Preserve. The Delaware Bayshore Trails cul- minate at Cape May Point, the world-famous birding hotspot at which thousands of migrating raptors pass by. Throughout the fall, northwest winds bring parades of high-flying travelers, from warblers and sparrows to peregrine falcons. For more: njwildlifetrails.org

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Author Profile

Kenn Kaufman

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


Great work Ken. It is so hard

Great work Ken. It is so hard to suggest the right place to view wildlife.
San Francisco Bay Wildlife Tours.com offers customized forays into the great outdoors and finds a large variety of species on every trip. Like many of the quotes from the novel Humans Need Three Hands say, we need to work with nature, not against it; and getting out and learning about nature is the best way to appreciate it. Keep up the great work.



i agree with Dana Visalli

i agree with Dana Visalli about thinking where our fuel comes from before people drive or fly to these trails. And yet, seeing wildlife in natural habitat can a powerful educator and motivator for people to want to learn more and protect the birds and their habitats. What to do? interactive live websites, slide shows and videos, (with audeo) are other ways to bring more birds to our awareness that are more carbon-friendly and don't support the polluting fossil fuel giants who don't give a rat's behind about birds, trees, or anything else. Winged Migration (the movie) was amazing in this way.

Saw thousands of Sandhill

Saw thousands of Sandhill Cranes fly into nature preserve in Bellevue, Michigan last weekend. You could hear them coming before you saw them. It was spectacular.

The first commenter is

The first commenter is right--global warming will affect birds everywhere. Get on your bike or go for a walk with your field guide and check out the birds around you.

Remember before you drive too

Remember before you drive too far that approximately 10% of our fuel now comes from oil sands in Alberta--which destroys bird habitat, 10% comes from fracking, which injects 50,000 gallons of toxic chemicals into the ground per well, and 10% comes from the Niger Delta, which has been mutilated by the oil industry.

Great sugestions

Great sugestions

My wife and i had a wonderful

My wife and i had a wonderful trip to Wisconsin this past weekend. We were extremely fortunate to see 8 Whooping Cranes at Necedah!!

Very beautiful. I wish i go

Very beautiful. I wish i go to here. Do you want to go Vietnam to look the autumn. You can book cheap ticket of my company

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