Alabama’s Black Belt Region is a national treasure—particularly for those who love birds—with some of the most diverse forests and aquatic systems in the nation. From the woodland birds of the Talladega National Forest, to the wading birds that frequent the catfish ponds of Hale County, to the prairie-dwellers that have found new homes on rural farms—there is no shortage of birds and bird habitats to explore. And that’s not to mention the Black Belt’s significance in our nation’s ongoing journey to equality for Black citizens, with its inclusion of iconic cities in the Civil Rights Movement like Selma, Montgomery, and Tuskegee.
Despite the numerous contributions that the citizens of the Black Belt have gifted to our country at large, many of the counties in this region are considered to be some of the poorest in the nation. Join Meg Ford, Alabama Audubon’s Black Belt Coordinator, for an overview of their Black Belt Birding Initiative, which works to bring the economic and environmental benefits of bird-based ecotourism to one of the country’s most economically challenged rural areas.