Alabama Coasting 2019 - Page 15

Above: Several types of migrating birds. Spring birding season starts in early March and usually ends around the third week of April. Fall migration, which be- gins as early as July, is in some respects the opposite experience as birds spend time storing up energy for the long flight south. While the spring and fall migra- tion seasons are the biggest draw, there are a wide variety of permanent species on the Island as well as a good number of winter visitors. In 2016, the National Audubon Society recognized Dauphin Island as a Globally Significant Important Bird Area – offi- cially putting it on the “birding map.” In addition to its location, the natural hab- itat of abundant trees, shrubs and flow- ers make the island an essential resource. Working to assure this habitat is protect- ed is the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuar- ies, an informal collaboration between conservation-minded agencies and or- ganizations. Their mission, in addition to their dedication to the preservation of critical bird habitat, is to promote birding and other forms of ecotourism activities. Over the years and in partner- ship with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other federal, state and nonprofit organizations, they have raised more than $1.3 million to protect and ex- pand the bird habitat. Above Left: Hummimgbird. Above Right: Laughing Gull . Below: Reddish Egret Dancing in the wind. ALABAMA COASTING’S DAUPHIN ISLAND LIFE 2019 15