Roebuck Spring supports one of the five remaining populations of the endangered Watercress Darter, a fish found only in Jefferson County. You’ll find the spring and its run (stream) at near the Hawkins Recreation Center, a facility operated by the City of Birmingham. Because the darters are small and live within dense vegetation, they are not easily seen. However, you can observe other aquatic animals at the spring such as wading birds, migrating ducks and beavers. The site is a special study area for scientists from University of Alabama Tuscaloosa and Birmingham-Southern College.
Hawkins Park Recreation Center
8920 Roebuck Boulevard, Birmingham AL
• What To Do •
The spring is a great place to see wildlife. There’s no nature trail, but there is easy access to the spring pool and its run (stream). You’ll find the spring pool on the other side of the tennis courts, and the run is next to the parking area. You can observe wildlife and aquatic plants at the pool and along the run. Watch for beavers, muskrats, mink, hawks, herons, and ducks. Due to the danger of being struck by golf balls, avoid walking along the spring run where it flows through the golf course.
• Seasonal Highlights •
You are guaranteed to see wildlife anytime of the year at Roebuck Spring. During the cooler seasons, look for ducks in the spring pool. Winter is probably the best time to look for beavers and muskrats, because the vegetation has died back. On cold mornings, watch for mist rising from the relatively warm spring waters. In summer, the vegetation surrounding the spring and its run flourishes with the heat, sunlight, and abundant water. Look for colorful breeding birds, including buntings, goldfinches, and orioles. During the fall and spring, the site is used by migrating birds for resting and refueling.