Birds are warm-blooded (body temperature is internally regulated and constant, regardless of the external temperature), egg-laying, feathered vertebrates with forelimbs modified to form wings.
Bird watching has become a popular pastime for many people in the state. Not only do birds offer tremendous recreational, economic, and psychological benefit, they are often great indicators of environmental health. Decreasing populations and threats to certain species may indicate an ecosystem in peril. To ignore the warning signs may eventually be detrimental to our own species. To ensure that Alabama birdlife remains healthy, a diversity of healthy ecosystems in the state must be maintained and protected. The primary purpose of this list is to educate the reader about the birds that breed, overwinter, and migrate through our beautiful state. It is hoped that an increasing awareness of Alabama"s birdlife will stimulate a greater appreciation and protection of Alabama's natural resources so that future generations will have an opportunity to enjoy and benefit from them.
This list is composed of 420 species that comprise the official Alabama Ornithological Society (AOS) state list. A total of 178 species are known breeders including 158 species that regularly breed in the state. Additionally, 174 species regularly winter, and 80 species migrate through Alabama. This list also contains 38 accidental, three extinct, two extripated (no longer occuring in Alabama, but may occur in other states), and four exotic (non-native) species.
- Blackbirds, Finches and Allies - Grackles, Blackbirds, Orioles, Meadowlarks, Finch, Grosbeak, Sparrow, Bobolink, Cowbird, Redpoll, Siskin, Crossbill
- Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches and Creepers - Chickadee, Titmouse, Nuthatches, Creeper
- Cranes, Rails and Allies - Coot, Rails, Moorhen, Limpkin, Gallinule, Cranes, Sora
- Crows, Jays, Larks and Swallows - Crows, Swallows, Raven, Lark, Blue Jay, Purple Martin
- Cuckoos - Cuckoos, Ani
- Emberizids, Tanagers, Cardinals and Allies - Sparrows, Grosbeaks, Junco, Dickcissel, Towhees, Buntings, Tanagers, Cardinal
- Flycatchers, Shrikes and Vireos - Flycatchers, Vireos, Kingbirds, Phoebe, Wood-Pewee, Shrike,
- Goatsuckers - Nighthawks, Whip-poor-will
- Grebes - Grebes
- Grouse, Turkeys and Quail - Bobwhite, Grouse, Turkey
- Herons - Bittern, Vulture, Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Spoonbill, Stork
- Kingfisher - Kingfisher
- Loons - Loons
- Ospreys, Hawks and falcons - Kestrel, Eagles, Hawks, Caracara, Merlin, Kite, Goshawk, Harrier, Osprey, Falcons, Kites
- Owls - Owls
- Parrots - Parakeet
- Pigeons - Pigeons, Doves
- Shearwaters and Petrels - Shearwaters, Storm-Petrels
- Shorebirds - Avocet, Plovers, Oystercatcher, Woodcock, Sandpipers, Shimmer, Terns, Kittiwake, Stilt, Gulls, Noddy, Snipe, Dunlin, Yellowlegs, Godwits, Killdeer, Curlew, Dowitchers, Jaegers, Red Knot, Phalaropes, Turnstone, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Willet
- Starlings, Pipits, Waxwings, and Longspurs - Starling, Pipits, Waxwing, Longspur
- Swans, Geese and Ducks - Ducks, Wigeon, Scoter, Teals, Geese, Brant, Bufflehead, Swan, Mergansers
- Swifts - Hummingbirds, Swift
- Thrushes, Mockingbirds and Thrashers - Bluebird, Robin, Thrushes, Mockingbird, Thrashers
- Tropicbirds - Pelicans, Cormorants, Booby, Gannet, Tropicbirds, Anhinga, Frigatebird
- Wood-Warblers - Warblers, Redstarts
- Woodpeckers - Flicker, Sapsucker, Woodpeckers
- Wrens, Kinglets and gnatcatchers - Wrens, Gnatcatcher, Kinglets
Additional Birding Resources
Alabama Birding Trails-Several regions within the State of Alabama currently offer a professionally developed birding trail system which includes directional signage, interpretive panels, kiosks, walking trails, observation towers, visitor guides and maps.