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Located three miles south of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, Dauphin Island, Alabama, is a place like no other. And, every April, it is home to the best birds and wildlife that the Gulf of Mexico has to offer!

Marbled godwit photo by Shutterstock.

During spring migration, bad weather can make the journey across the Gulf of Mexico a difficult one for migrating birds. Many will not survive. Those that do are likely to land on the first piece of terra firma they reach—often in large numbers—in order to eat, drink, rest, and gain strength for the continuing trip north. However, what is bad for the birds can be good for the birder, and as a barrier island at the entrance to Alabama’s Mobile Bay, Dauphin Island is among the best places on the Gulf Coast to experience one of these “fallouts.” With its variety of accessible bird habitats such as the renowned Shell Mounds and the 160-acre Audubon Sanctuary, Dauphin Island is generally considered to be an outstanding spring migration hotspot even without full-on “fallout.” We will explore the island thoroughly, and we also plan to take the ferry over to the Fort Morgan peninsula for additional birding opportunities along the shores of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo by Wendy Clark.

In addition to pelicans, cormorants, gulls, terns, waders, shorebirds, and other birds expected on a barrier island, we should find several raptors and many migrant passerines, including 20+ warbler species, 4–5 vireo species, orioles, cuckoos, thrushes (gray-cheeked, Swainson’s, hermit, wood, and veery), tanagers (scarlet and summer), buntings (indigo and painted), grosbeaks (blue and rose-breasted), and various flycatchers.

Our Reader Rendezvous team is joining forces again with our friends at Ventures Birding for this exciting tour that’s sure to thrill every spring migration lover’s heart! You may have birded the Gulf of Mexico before, but if you’ve never birded Dauphin Island, you won’t want to miss this unique experience.

We hope you’ll join us in April 2022 for a fun week of brilliant birds, fabulous friends, fine food, and loads of laughter as we experience Dauphin Island as only Reader Rendezvousers can!

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