If you are staying in Fort Morgan rentals this summer, you have easy access to a host of incredible attractions, especially the natural sights of the gorgeous Gulf Coast of Alabama. Fort Morgan beach houses and condos are also located near Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, which is a natural gem on the western end of the peninsula.
Established in 1980 to protect the threatened species that call the Gulf Coast home, the refuge is still an oasis for thousands of native species of plants and animals. Birders in particular will love walking the trails that weave through the maritime forests, dunes and wetlands in this park. Because Fort Morgan is a stopping point for migratory birds on their way north and south in the spring and fall, the species you'll see in the park vary from season to season. Here are a few you are sure to see if you book Fort Morgan vacation packages and head to Bon Secour this summer:
Belted Kingfisher: This fluffy-headed bird is stocky and top-heavy, and flies energetically along the coasts of Alabama preying on fish and crayfish with a strong, straight bill. The belted kingfisher is a powdery blue-gray all over but a few distinctions set males and females apart. Males have a blue band across the chest, while females have the same marking in a chestnut color.
Great Crested Flycatcher: This pretty yellow and cinnamon bird spends its summers mating in the warm Gulf region. Look for its fluffy, dusty brown head and bright lemon belly as it flies through the forests.
Brown-headed Nuthatch: The pine forests of Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge make a perfect home for this tiny bird, which is characterized by a dull brown crown, whitish underparts and a black nape and wings. Its rump is a blue-gray. You may spot this Gulf resident climbing headfirst down trees.
White-eyed Vireo: You're more likely to hear this bird than see it, despite its bright yellow sides and spectacles, white wingbars and eyes, and olive upperparts. It's known for its "explosive" chirping song, according to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and tends to hide out in shrubby parts of the park.
Bobolink: The fascinating coloring of this songbird sets it apart from the rest. The Bobolink is the only bird in America that is black underneath with a white back. This medium-sized male also has a yellow patch on the back of his head, while females have straw-colored underparts with black streaks on the sides, back and undertail.
Brown-headed Cowbird: This blackbird has a distinct brown head atop its glossy black body, and its bill is shorter and thicker than that of other blackbirds. Females are plain brown, with the lightest coloring on the head and underparts and dark streaks on the belly. These birds are known for their interesting family dynamics - they produce dozens of eggs each summer, laying in the nests of other birds and leaving them there to be raised by that nest's mother bird.