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State of Mississippi

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos ©Charles J Sharp Wikimedia Website

Birding Mississippi

Mississippi is a state located in the Deep South of the United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The state's name comes from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, and takes its name from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi (Great River). The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area. Its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. The state symbol is the magnolia.

Mississippi is bordered on the north by Tennessee, on the east by Alabama, on the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico, and on the west, across the Mississippi River, by Louisiana and Arkansas.

Major rivers in Mississippi, apart from its namesake, include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo, the Pascagoula, and the Tombigbee. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake and Grenada Lake.

The state of Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, only 806 feet (246 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level at the Gulf coast. The mean elevation in the state is 300 feet (91 m) above sea level.

Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The Coastal Plain is generally composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state. The northeast is a region of fertile black earth that extends into the Alabama Black Belt.

The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis, Biloxi and Pascagoula. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, which is partially sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island, East and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island and Cat Island.

The northwest remainder of the state is made up of a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, also known as the Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain is narrow in the south and widens north of Vicksburg. The region has rich soil, partly made up of silt which had been regularly deposited by the floodwaters of the Mississippi River.

Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate with long summers and short, mild winters. Temperatures average about 82 °F (about 28 °C) in July and about 48 °F (about 9 °C) in January. The temperature varies little statewide in the summer, but in winter the region near Mississippi Sound is significantly warmer than the inland portion of the state. Yearly precipitation generally increases from north to south, with the regions closer to the Gulf being the most humid. Small amounts of snow fall in northern and central Mississippi, although snow is not unheard of around the southern part of the state.

The late summer and fall is the seasonal period of risk for hurricanes moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico, especially in the southern part of the state. As in the rest of the Deep South, thunderstorms are common in Mississippi, especially in the southern part of the state. On average, Mississippi has around 27 tornadoes annually; the northern part of the state has more tornadoes earlier in the year and the southern part a higher frequency later in the year.

Mississippi is heavily forested, with over half of the state's area covered by wild trees; mostly pine, but also cottonwood, elm, hickory, oak, pecan, sweetgum and tupelo. Lumber is a prevalent industry in Mississippi.



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 424

As of June 2013


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Guide to Bird Finding East of the Mississippi

A Guide to Bird FOS Pettingill 689 pages, line illus. Oxford University Press 1997

ISBN: 0195020979

Buy this book from NHBS.com

A Guide to the Birds of the South-Eastern States

Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi John H Rappole 336 pages, 420 colour photos, 379 dist maps. Florida University Presses 2006

ISBN: 0813028612

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Mississippi

W. H. Turcotte, David L. Watts Hardcover - 432 pages (November 1999) University Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 1578061105

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guide to Birding Coastal Mississippi and Adjacent Counties

Judith A Toups et al 168 pages, figs, 19 maps. Stackpole Books 2004

ISBN: 0811729699

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

State Bird

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos


Audubon Mississippi


4316 Forest Park Drive, Jackson, MS 39211, United States - Phone: 601.259.7354 - Welcome to the new Audubon Mississippi website. As we develop this site further, we hope you find it to be a dynamic and vibrant source of information about Audubon’s science, education and policy work across Mississippi…

Audubon Society in Mississippi


Audubon's local chapters can bring you bird walks, advocacy campaigns, nature outings, educational programs and other events. And with more than 500 chapters around the country, there's likely to be one nearby…

EagleWatch Audubon


The mission of EagleWatch, Inc. now an ( Audubon Chapter ) is to foster environmental stewardship through conservation, research and education in the Upper Mississippi River region; to create a new generation of citizen-scientists participating in field ecological investigations; to appreciate the bald eagle as a symbol of our cultural heritage; and to celebrate eagles as a symbol of the success of Federal and State endangered species recovery efforts.

Jackson Audubon Society


The Jackson Audubon Society chapter was founded in 1971. The chapter hosts interesting birding field trips and monthly informational programs throughout the year. Everyone with an interest in birds is welcome. Beginners and persons just getting started in birdwatching are especially welcome…

Mississippi Coast Audubon Society


Since its charter in 1976, Mississippi Coast Audubon Society has played an active role in many areas – conservation and protection of natural resources, advancing student educational services, partnering with other organizations and agencies for habitat enhancement and wildlife preservation such as the Prothonotary Warbler Trail at Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Area. MCAS members also fill the volunteer ranks…

Nature Conservancy in Mississippi


Working with local partners, communities and people like you, The Nature Conservancy is helping to Preserve Natural Mississippi for People…

Okatibbee Creek Audubon Society

8125 Rosewood Ln 39305, Meridian, MS

Oktibbeha Audubon Society


Lists activities, officers etc.

Pine Woods Audubon Society


The Pine Woods Audubon Society meets monthly, from September through May, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kamper Park Education Center in Hattiesburg, MS. We welcome visitors. There are no charges associated with attending our meetings and no membership is required to attend meetings or other PWAS events. Come early and visit with other attendees or attend the open-to-all Board meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Shreveport Bird Study Group


The Bird Study Group is a northwest Louisiana organization of bird-watchers based in Shreveport. The Bird Study Group offers field trips, bird discussions, a bird sighting database, and other programs for people with an interest in birds…


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR


Satellite View

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 500 national wildlife refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was established in 1975 to safeguard the critically endangered Mississippi sandhill crane and its unique disappearing habitat…

Pascagoula River Audubon Center


Satellite View

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is a gateway to the Pascagoula River, its habitats and the diverse assemblage of organisms that inhabit, or visit the river basin throughout the year. Apart from providing visitors and students direct exposure and experience within such a rich environment, the center serves as a demonstration site for environmentally-friendly concepts and a portal to nature based programs applicable to any and all visitors…

Sam D Hamilton Noxubee NWR


Satellite View

Noxubee Refuge is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge located in northeast Mississippi. The refuge includes two large lakes, Loakfoma and Bluff, that attract shorebirds in migration, herons and egrets in the summer, and thousands of ducks in the winter. A colony of an estimated 30,000 cattle egrets and ibis, herons, and egrets nest on Bluff Lake. In addition, the refuge includes 35 clusters of red-cockaded woodpeckers, a bird listed on the endangered species list. The RCW clusters also attract nesting Bachman's sparrows, pine warblers, and brown-headed nuthatches…

Strawberry Plains Audubon Center


Satellite View

In our native grassland prairies, bottomland hardwood forests and native plant gardens, we have over 200 recorded species of birds over the year. The fall is the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds show, as thousands descend on our property to fuel up for their long journey south. We host a nature festival each September to celebrate them…

Forums & Mailing Lists


Mailing List

To post to list: missbird@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu

List contact: Martin Davis (sunset.backbone@olemiss.edu)

To subscribe to list: listserv@sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu

subscribe missbird forename surname

Mailing List – Discussion Group - Mississippi List -

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2016 [05 May] - Bruce Wedderburn - SE USA


...The return trip which was via Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma where we picked up a few more target birds, most of which were established in their summer breeding grounds...

Other Links

Coast Birds


Mississippi Checklist…

Eagle Watch


The mission of EagleWatch, Inc. is to foster environmental stewardship through conservation, research and education in the Upper Mississippi River region; to create a new generation of citizen-scientists participating in field ecological investigations; to appreciate the bald eagle as a symbol of our cultural heritage; and to celebrate eagles as a symbol of the success of Federal and State endangered species recovery efforts…

Mississippi Rare Bird Alert


Info on how to receive transcripts via email etc…