This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Dauphin Island Birders: An examination of specialization, place attachment, satisfaction, and amenity migration




Williams, Brent

Type of Degree



Forestry and Wildlife Sciences


Dauphin Island is a small barrier island off the coast of Alabama. The island sets in a major migratory flyway and annually hundreds of species descend upon the island during the spring and fall migrations. This has caused the island to become a popular destination among birdwatching locals and tourists. Through survey we examined the relationship between three constructs: specialization, place attachment, and satisfaction. The results of our analysis indicated that specialization, a measure of activity involvement, could be used as an adequate predictor of place attachment, but not satisfaction. Furthermore, we saw that place attachment could be an appropriate predictor of satisfaction. We also administered semi-structured to examine trends in the motivations that birdwatcher and non-birdwatchers had to move to the island. Those that identified that they were birdwatchers prior to moving to the island indicated that birdwatching was the primary motive for moving to the island. Trends among the other islanders indicated that lifestyle, rural idealization, and return migration were important concepts.