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A Must-Visit for Civil Rights and War Buffs

Alabama lies steeped in a history of race relations. For a history fix, visit Fort Morgan, the Rosa Parks Museum and Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. The state is also home to a string of lovely Gulf Coast beaches.

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Pelican Island

Pelican Island

When the small Pelican Island merged with Dauphin Island, small pools were formed and vegetation took hold. These pools are good fishing grounds for wading birds. The great egret is beautiful and graceful as it stalks fish, frogs and other small creatures to eat. 960 1280

Bob Farley/f8FPhoto; Bob Farley  

Isle Dauphine

Isle Dauphine

Isle Dauphine Club is a wonderful example of midcentury modern architecture, and it is an iconic feature of the island. Nestled into the pines and dune scrub and located on a calm inlet bordered by grasses, it is a good access point to the beach for a birdy walk and wade-about. 960 1280

Bob Farley/f8FPhoto; Bob Farley  

Swallow-Tailed Kite

Swallow-Tailed Kite

It is thrilling to see a swallow-tailed kite, a gorgeous black and white bird of prey with a wingspan of four-feet, soaring over the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Pictured here, a swallow-tailed kite and the smaller Mississippi kite fly side by side. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

The male summer tanager is a solid bright red while the female is greenish yellow. Usually heard before seen, these birds are easy to spot eye level and above in the maritime forests of the island.  960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Male Indigo Bunting

Male Indigo Bunting

The startling blue of the male indigo bunting sets it apart from bluebirds and blue grosbeaks. Residents of Dauphin Island will spread millet seed out in their driveways for mixed gatherings of buntings and grosbeaks.  960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Hooded warblers are commonly seen during spring migration. Bright yellow with a distinct black hood, these little birds move about dense shrubs in the forest undergrowth foraging for insects. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Cape May Warbler

Cape May Warbler

During migration, the Cape May warbler will spend time perched in the bottlebrush trees on the island, going from one to the next, picking insects and sipping nectar. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

The yellow-billed cuckoo is a strikingly beautiful bird with a long tail, and even though cuckoos are large birds, they are hard to spot unless they move or call. The “kuk-kuk-kuks, kow-kow-kows, and the koo-koo-koos” will prompt a stop-and-search for this elusive bird. Big grasshoppers, beetles, cicadas, and caterpillars, even the hairy ones, are on the menu. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

The photographer’s favorite bird, the marbled godwit breeds up north in prairies and scattered wetlands but spends the winter on coastlines, and Patsy loves when they show up on the east end of Dauphin Island. A large sandpiper, the marbled godwit has a long upturned bill made for probing deep into the sand and mud for marine worms and crustaceans. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

American Oyster Catcher

American Oyster Catcher

American oyster catchers are fun to watch as they walk around the beach, jabbing, hammering and cutting bivalves out of the shells with their orange beaks. Handsome birds, these four each seem to be dancing to a different drummer. 960 1280

Bob Farley  

Ash-Throated Flycatcher

Ash-Throated Flycatcher

Considered a western species, an ash-throated flycatcher will occasionally show up on the island, in the dune scrub between the forest and the beach or in the dunes on the west end of the island. Flycatchers will perch on the dune fences, woody shrubs, or stout grasses, fly out to grab a treat from nearby foliage, then go right back to its perch. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Nelson's Sparrow

Nelson's Sparrow

Around the airport, birders can observe Nelson’s sparrows popping up out of the salt marsh as they change locations while foraging in the mudflats. These secretive little birds will sometimes perch on the cordgrass just long enough for a quick snap of the camera. 960 1280

Patsy Russo  

Bucket of blood in Birmingham, AL
Bucket of blood in Birmingham, AL

Bucket of blood in Birmingham, AL

This bucket holds the key ingredient for a blood sausage that Andrew will make with chef Donald Link, whose restaurant Cochon was named Best New Restaurant in 2007 by the James Beard Foundation. 960 1280

  

Dungeness crab at Red Pearl Restaurant in AL

Dungeness crab at Red Pearl Restaurant in AL

Salt-encrusted Dungeness crab fresh from the deep fryer at Red Pearl Restaurant, located in the Super Oriental Market, just outside of Birmingham, AL. 960 1280

  

Farm-raised sea urchin in Alabama

Farm-raised sea urchin in Alabama

The only farm-raised urchin currently available in the United States hails from Birmingham, AL, and Andrew has to have a taste. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern with bullfrog in Birmingham, AL

Andrew Zimmern with bullfrog in Birmingham, AL

Andrew with a bullfrog before it hits the plate at the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL. 960 1280

  

Food from Shindigs Food Truck in Birmingham, AL

Food from Shindigs Food Truck in Birmingham, AL

Customers at Shindigs, a local food truck that serves up dishes with an international flare, like pork belly or fried catfish on steamed Asian buns. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern eats pulled pork sandwich in Alabama

Andrew Zimmern eats pulled pork sandwich in Alabama

This is how they do a pulled pork sandwich in Birmingham, AL! 960 1280

  

Pig-skin noodles at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL

Pig-skin noodles at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL

The Asian-inspired pig skin noodle bowl at Hot and Hot Fish Club, layered with blue crab, frog legs, snapper throat and freshly wilted tatsoi. 960 1280

  

Bobwhite quail at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL

Bobwhite quail at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL

Chef Chris Hastings' rustic preparation of bobwhite quail with heirloom sweet potatoes and forcemeat-filled ravioli, dressed in a blood sauce at Hot and Hot Fish Club. 960 1280

  

Filming Bizarre Foods America at The Fish Market in Birmingham, AL

Filming Bizarre Foods America at The Fish Market in Birmingham, AL

Our cameraman gets a quick steam bath without missing the action in the kitchen at The Fish Market in Birmingham, AL. 960 1280

  

Fried calamari at The Fish Market in Birmingham, AL

Fried calamari at The Fish Market in Birmingham, AL

George Sarris of The Fish Market serves fried calamari to his special Thursday night dinner guests, before hitting them with less familiar fare like Greek-style goat soup called "vrasti yida." 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern and Miss Myra at Miss Myra's in Birmingham, AL

Andrew Zimmern and Miss Myra at Miss Myra's in Birmingham, AL

Andrew gives his compliments to Myra Harper Grissom, who's been serving up stellar barbecue at Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q since 1985. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern and Donald Link at Bodnar Farm in AL

Andrew Zimmern and Donald Link at Bodnar Farm in AL

Andrew and chef Donald Link set up shop in the barn at the Bodnar Farm to prepare fresh blood sausage. 960 1280

  

Ribs, sausage and pork on the grill at Bodnar Farm

Ribs, sausage and pork on the grill at Bodnar Farm

Ribs, sausages and pork shoulder sizzle on the grill at the Bodnar Farm. 960 1280

  

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