Highlights: Longleaf pine ecosystem; Bachman’s Sparrow; Red-cockaded Woodpecker Habitat, Interpretive stations for kids.
Length: ¾ mile loop
This short loop highlights longleaf pine ecosystem restoration at SBAS. Note the lack of hardwoods on the inside of the trail and the dense native grasses—a classic pine savanna. This native habitat is good for Bachman’s, Chipping, Song, and Swamp Sparrows. Pine Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red-headed Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, and Eastern Wood-Pewee are common in the pine boughs, as are Yellow-rumped and Palm Warbler in winter. As you complete the trail, a young longleaf pine stand on the outside of the loop provides habitat for Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Towhee, and Indigo Bunting. Northern Bobwhite can often be heard calling in summer.
Five large pines within the Nuthatch Trail loop are painted with two, white rings. These trees have been fitted with artificial cavity inserts to attract Red-cockaded Woodpecker. As of early 2021, Red-cockaded Woodpecker has yet to be reported on SBAS, but it’s only a matter of time until they nest here. Perhaps you will be the first one to spot this Endangered Species!