View birds of prey at Treetop Nature Trail

By EMILY D. COOK / Community Columnist

Treetop Nature Trail is a wonderful elevated boardwalk that is home to rehabilitated birds of prey that are unable to be released back into the wild due to a remaining disability.

Treetop Nature Trail, an elevated boardwalk located on Terrace Drive, is home to rehabilitated birds of prey that are unable to be released back into the wild due to a remaining disability. (Contributed)

Treetop Nature Trail, an elevated boardwalk located on Terrace Drive, is home to rehabilitated birds of prey that are unable to be released back into the wild due to a remaining disability. (Contributed)

The birds are cared for by the staff and volunteers of the Alabama Wildlife Center.

The Treetop Nature Trail is located on Terrace Drive just past the park office and can be accessed either by stairs connecting to Terrace Drive or via a few handicap parking spaces on the small hill.

Treetop Nature Trail is only about a quarter of a mile long with six cages that offer great views of birds including a barred owl, barn owls, and red-tail hawks, just to name a few.

Once you reach the end of the boardwalk, you can turn left and head back to Terrace Drive via the dirt trail, or you can turn right and head up the trail to the Alabama Wildlife Center and Oak Mountain Interpretive Center.

The birds along the Treetop Nature Trail have a story to tell.

Ollie, one of the black vultures came to the Wildlife Center in 1993 and has been with us ever since due to being blind in one eye.

Black vultures rely on their eyesight to be able to find their food.

Another resident of TTNT is Princess, a turkey vulture. She is here at OMSP because of her coloration.

Turkey vultures are normally a brownish-black in color, but Princess is white.

Out in the wild, she had a greater chance of being preyed upon because of not blending in, as well as her color makes her look a little different from the other turkey vultures and it was possible that they wouldn’t let her eat.

Not to be left out are the red-tailed hawks. You will find Madison, who is here because of an unknown problem that caused the feathers on her right wing not to re-grow after molting.

Please remember that you keep Alabama State Parks open by visiting them.

For more information on the Treetop Nature Trail, you can call the park office at (205) 620-2520 or the Alabama Wildlife Center at (205) 663-7930.