Welcome to Vicksburg!

2009 August 29
by David J. Ringer

VICKSBURG, MISS. — Here’s a look at my new surroundings:

audubon-building

The Audubon office is in a historic building in downtown Vicksburg.

nature-store-1

We have a nature store out front. Come by and see us sometime!

nature-store-2

A pair of larger-than-life cranes stand watch over the store. They are friendly. I think.

fort-hill-view

Vicksburg is built on loess hills that rise sharply above the Mississippi Embayment. Fort Hill, the highest point in town, has a spectacular view west across a former channel of the Mississippi River and off across Louisiana.

chimney-swift-chaetura-pelagica

Because of its elevation, Fort Hill is good place to observe aerialists like Chimney Swifts, swallows, and Mississippi Kites. I hear it’s good for migrating raptors in the fall, too.

mockingbird-on-cannon

Vicksburg, of course, is famous as a Civil War battle site, and there are still cannons all over town. This mockingbird in scruffy, late-summer plumage somehow struck me as a straggler from the war….

military-park

Vicksburg National Military Park seems good for forest birds. I had a nice look at a male Hooded Warbler there this morning and heard Acadian Flycatchers and Eastern Wood Pewees. Gnatcatchers and Eastern Kingbirds are moving south in little waves.

mississippi-river-2

And here’s the mighty Mississippi itself. The river has changed course since Vicksburg was built and now only flows past the southern end of town. These are the I-20 bridges (old and new) that connect Mississippi and Louisiana.

Related posts:

  1. Two Roseate Spoonbills on Vicksburg CBC!
  2. Vicksburg CBC: Exciting waterbirds abound
  3. Big river birds make for great CBC
4 Responses
  1. September 1, 2009

    Wow! I bet being near the river will be good–and not just for birds but other wildlife as well. It looks beautiful, so I’ll be keenly interested in your impressions once you’ve settled in and gotten a feel for the place.

    • David J. Ringer permalink*
      September 1, 2009

      Thanks. I’m holding out for a Louisiana black bear!

  2. Beatrice permalink
    September 1, 2009

    Thank you for the pictures, which do so much to aid the imagination. Or replace it.

    Anyway, it looks like a nice little place and soon there will be friends flocking to you, both avian and human, that will make it even nicer.

    I first read about that Mississippi changing course thing in Twain’s Life on the Mississippi and had a hard time believing him. I reluctantly concede, however. But what an inconvenience for bridge-builders!

    • David J. Ringer permalink*
      September 1, 2009

      Just make sure you’re in the flock. :)

      Yes, the river was once a dynamic system that wandered across its floodplain, creating a continuously changing mosaic of habitats and ecological systems.

      But people don’t like their port cities to be left high and dry or their corn fields to be flooded — and understandably so.

      The challenge today is to work with the river in a way that addresses human needs but doesn’t break the system. Breaking the system hurts biodiversity and comes back to bite us too.

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