Audubon Bird Sanctuary

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island is considered a top thing to do for vacations, family trips and excursions. Hundreds of bird species have been spotted at the sanctuary, and Dauphin Island has been named as one of the Top 4 Birding Destinations in North America.

Dr. Wilson Gaillard, a top conversationalist and bird expert, first saw the need to conserve an area on Dauphin Island for migrating birds and butterflies and also protect the local ecosystem.

The Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board agreed. They entered into an agreement with the National Audubon Society and selected perhaps one of the most beautiful pieces of land on the island for the sanctuary, with the widest range of habitats possible, covering an area of 164 acres.

The sanctuary was established in 1961, and today it’s a very popular family-friendly activity. Although the entire island functions as a bird sanctuary, this dedicated area has extra protections and was recognized as being “globally important” for bird migrations by the National Audubon Society.

Audubon Bird Sanctuary

An Important Home for Hundreds of Bird Species

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is the home for hundreds of species of migrating and permanent birds each year. Out of 445 known species in Alabama, 95% of them have been spotted on island at one point or another.

It is designed to be welcoming for the birds and conducive to their needs, while also being open for tourists to observe the birds in their natural setting and enjoy nearby activities without interfering.

The island serves as the first landfall for a variety of neo-tropical birds that are often exhausted after a long migration flight across the Gulf of Mexico from Central and South America. It is also the last stop prior to their return flight home in the fall each year.

The fall migration starts as early as July and continues well into the fall months. During this time, a variety of neo-tropical species feed on the island and gather their energy for the long flight.

A variety of fascinating waterfowl, shore bird and seabird species fly into the island during the winter season, while many other species are permanent island residents.

Iconic and rare birds can be observed all year round. The types of species that you might see will depend on the time of year that you go. The sanctuary offers guides with specific information on the types that can be spotted.

Habitats include maritime forest, dunes, a lake, swamp, and Gulf beaches, perfect for an assortment of day excursions. Several native plant species can be seen along the trails including southern magnolia, live oak, slash pines, yaupon, wax myrtle and more.

Six different trails are available at the sanctuary, including handicapped access on some of the trails. They range in length from 0.3 miles up to 1.7 miles, with the entire trail system being 4.3 miles including the walk to Fort Gaines.

dauphin island bird sanctuary

A Sanctuary of Global Importance

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary has been labeled among the ten globally most important sites for viewing birds. With a variety of fascinating bird species on display along with the other local wildlife in a safe protected setting, it is ideal for families, friends or groups of people who enjoy nature.

Nearby there are also several other things to do for a full day trip or excursion. The famous Historic Fort Gaines as well as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium are within walking distance.

Chances are that you will need to spend more than just a day to full experience everything that the sanctuary and the nearby activities have to offer!

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is located at 211 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL and is open 24 hours.For information about birding on Dauphin Island or for questions about lodging, please call us now at (251)-861-3311.

ACP Real Estate

900 Bienville Blvd.
P.O. Box 1177
Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528

(251) 861-3311

Sign Up for our Email