Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Julian L. Dusi and Rosemary D. Dusi
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is located about 14 miles (22.5 k) north of Dadeville, Tallapoosa County, Alabama, on Alabama Highway 49 and the Tallapoosa River. Elevation in the park varies from about 540 feet (164.6 m) above sea level to over 600 feet (182.9 m) on the river hills. Vegetation is mostly mixed forest, with much beetle damage in the pine trees (Pinus sps). Many trees lie on the forest floor, partly from beetle damage and windfall from Hurricane Opal (October 1995). In the visitor's portion of the park, the "Battlefield Area", there are large open areas of well-mowed grasses with patches of mixed forest interspersed. There is a paved road through the visitors area leading to the various observation posts. There is also a Battlefield Hiking Trail and a Nature Hiking Trail. In the non-visitors area there is a network of several miles of service roads.
Our bird studies started in 1992, with ornithology class field trips from Auburn University, in the spring and summer. In 1994 to 1996, additional trips were added throughout the year. Below is a listing of species noted during these times followed by a field check list. Abbreviations and explanation of notes are noted on page 34.
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). Uncommon most of the year, but a small group (six nests) breeds in a wet-weather swamp on the road near the New Youka Town Site.
Green Heron (Butroides virescens). Occasional. One seen 16 May 1996 in the swamp . They breed throughout Alabama.
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea). Occasional. Two seen 16 May 1996 in the swamp. A colonial summer resident in Alabama. There are no colonies in the park.
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). Uncommonly seen throughout the year, flying by or in the swamp. They nest in tree cavities common in the park.
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). Common to uncommon. Seen most days of the year soaring overhead.
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). Occasionally seen soaring overhead during much of the year.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaidensis). Uncommon throughout the year. They are permanent residents in Alabama.
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus). Nests in the park. Common in spring and summer.
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus). Occasional. Seen once 22 April 1993.
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus). Occasional in winter. Migrates north in spring.
Wild Turkey (Mealeagris gallopavo). Most common spring and summer, in flocks or solitarily. Permanent residents.
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularla). Rare. Seen once 7 May . 1992. No suitable habitat is present. Migrants.
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). Uncommon permanent residents.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus). Common breeding birds spring and summer.
Eastern Screech Owl (Otus asio). Nocturnal. Reported to be uncommon throughout the year. Nests in tree cavities.
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Nocturnal. Uncommon throughout the year.
Barred Owl (Strix varia). Mostly nocturnal. Reported uncommon throughout the year.
Chuck-will's-widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis). Reported to be a spring and summer resident. Uncommon.
Chimney Swift (Chastura pelagica). Spring and summer residents. Uncommon.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). Uncommon in spring and summer.
Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle akyon). Uncommon permanent resident.
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). The Yellow-shafted Flicker is an uncommon permanent resident.
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). Common permanent resident.
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carofinus). Common to abundant permanent resident.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus vatius). Uncommon fall and winter resident.
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus). Occasional permanent resident.
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). Uncommon permanent resident.
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus). Uncommon spring and summer.
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus). Common spring and summer.
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). Uncommon to common throughout the year. Often nests on the park buildings.
Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens). Common spring and summer resident.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Abundant spring and summer residents. Nest under the Tallapoosa River Bridge.
Purple Martin (Progne subis). Uncommon spring and summer visitor. Nest near the park.
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata). Common permanent resident.
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Abundant permanent resident.
Carolina Chickadee (Parus carolinensis). Uncommon permanent resident.
Tufted Titmouse (Parus bicolor). Common permanent resident.
Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla). Uncommon permanent resident.
Carolina Wren (Thyrothorus ludovicianus). Common permanent resident.
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos). Uncommon permanent resident.
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum). Uncommon permanent resident.
American Robin (Turdus migratorius). Uncommon permanent resident. Migrant flocks in winter and spring are often abundant.
Wood Thrush (Hyloclichla mustelina). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus). Common winter and spring resident.
Eastern Bluebird (Slafia sialls). Uncommon throughout the year.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila carulea). Common in spring and summer.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula). Uncommon to common winter and early spring resident.
White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus). Uncommon resident in spring and summer.
Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus). Common to abundant spring and summer resident.
Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia). Common spring and summer resident.
Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla). Rare spring migrant.
Prothonotary Warbler (Prothonotaria citrea). Common spring and summer resident.
Northern Parula (Parula americana). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronota). Uncommon to common winter and spring resident.
Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica). Uncommon summer resident.
Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus). Common permanent resident.
Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum). Uncommon spring migrant.
Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens). Common resident spring and summer.
Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). Common spring visitor.
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra). Common spring and summer resident.
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Common permanent resident.
Blue Grosbeak (Guiraca caerulea). Uncommon spring and summer resident.
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). Uncommon spring and summer resident. Field Check-list of Birds.
Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus). Uncommon winter and early Horseshoe Bend National Military Park spring resident.
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis). Common spring and uncommon summer resident.
Eastern Towhee (Papilo erythrophthalmus). Uncommon permanent resident.
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). Uncommon winter and spring resident.
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina). Uncommon to common throughout the year.
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). Common fall, winter and spring resident.
There are many species of birds in Alabama that do not exist in the limited habitats present in Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. This is due to the lack of diverse habitat and food sources. Examples are:
Loons. Present in winter in large lakes and rivers and the Gulf of Mexico.
Grebes. Present in lakes and ponds.
Oceanic Birds. Shearwaters, storm-petrels, pelicans, boobies, gannets and frigate-birds are seldom found inland.
Marsh birds. Anhingas (Anhinga anhinga), egrets, most herons and bitterns, ibises, Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), cranes and rails are not present.
Most waterfowl. Some, like the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), teal, Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) and Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucuilatus) may migrate along the Tallapoosa River.
Most shorebirds. No mud flats, or sandy shorelines are present.
Many Nontropical Migrants. Some flycatchers, thrushes, vireos and warblers possibly pass through but do not stop.
Abbreviations and Explanation of Notes: R = Rare. Seen only once or twice. S = Spring 0 = Occasional. Not seen every field trip. Su= Summer U = Uncommon. Seen most times. F = Fall C = Common. Seen in proper habitat. W = Winter A = Abundant. Usually several seen. B = Breeding species. S Su F W ___ Great Blue Heron-B U U 0 0 ___ Green Heron 0 ___ Little Blue Heron 0 ___ Wood Duck-B U U 0 0 ___ Turkey Vulture C C U U ___ Black Vulture U U U U ___ Red-tailed Hawk U U U U ___ Red-shouldered Hawk-B C C U U ___ Broad-winged Hawk 0 ___ Northern Harrier 0 ___ Turkey-B C C U U ___ Spotted Sandpiper R ___ Mourning Dove-B U U U U ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo-B C C ___ Screech Owl-B U U U U ___ Great Horned Owl-B U U U U ___ Barred Owl-B U U U U ___ Chuck-will's-widow-B U U ___ Chimney Swift-B U U ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird-B U U ___ Belted Kingfisher-B 0 0 0 0 ___ Northern Flicker-B U U U U ___ Pileated Woodpeck-b C C C C ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker-B A A A A ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker U U ___ Hairy Woodpecker-B 0 0 0 0 ___ Downy Woodpecker-B U U U U ___ Eastern Kingbird-B C C ___ Great Crested FlyCatcher-B C C ___ Eastern Phoebe-B U C U U ___ Acadian Flycatcher-B U U ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee-B C C ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow U U ___ Barn Swallow-B A A ___ Purple Martin U U ___ Blue Jay-B C C C C ___ American Crow-B A A A A ___ Carolina Chickadee-B U U U U ___ Tufted Titmouse-B C C C C ___ Brown-headed Nuthatch-B U U U U ___ Carolina Wren-B C C C C ___ Northern Mockingbird-B U U U U ___ Brown Thrasher-B U U U U ___ American Robin-B A U U A ___ Wood Thrush-B U U ___ Hermit Thrush C U C ___ Eastern Bluebird-B U U U U ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher-B C C U ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet C U ___ White-eyed Vireo-B U U ___ Yellow-throated Vireo-B U U ___ Red-eyed Vireo-B C A ___ Black and White Warbler-B C C ___ Nashville Warbler R ___ Prothonotary Warbler-B C C ___ Northern Parula-B U U ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler U C ___ Yellow-throated Warbler-B U ___ Pine Warbler-B C C C C ___ Prairie Warbler-B U U ___ Palm Warbler U ___ Kentucky Warbler-B U U ___ Yellow-breasted Chat-B C C ___ Hooded Warbler-B U U ___ Red-winged Blackbird C ___ Orchard Oriole-B U U ___ Scarlet Tanager-B U U ___ Summer Tanager-B C C ___ Northern Cardinal-B C C C C ___ Blue Grosbeak-B U U ___ Indigo Bunting-B U U ___ Evening Grosbeak U ___ American Goldfinch C U ___ Eastern Towhee-B U U U U ___ Dark-eyed Junco U U ___ Chipping Sparrow-B C C U U ___ White-throated Sparrow C C CUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Julian L. Dusi and Rosemary D. Dusi, Department of Zoology and Wildlife Science, Auburn University, Auburn University, Alabama 36849-5414.
National Park Service Horsehoe Bend National Military Park 11288 Horseshoe Bend Road Daviston, Alabama 36256-9751This resource is based on the following source:
Dusi, Julian L. and Rosemary D. Dusi. 1997. Birds of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Daviston, Alabama. National Park Service. 9 pp.This resource should be cited as:
Dusi, Julian L. and Rosemary D. Dusi. 1997. Birds of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Daviston, Alabama. National Park Service. 9 pp. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govhorse.htm (Version 02DEC99)