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Louisianna

Eastern Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis ©Don Baccus

Birders visiting Louisiana are often astounded by the contrasts in birding opportunities afforded by the hilly pine woods in the northern half of the state and the open coastal prairies, forested wetlands, and marshlands in the southern half of the state. Over 450 species of birds have been recorded in Louisiana. Birders with average birding skills can expect to locate 50-70 species over most weekends and their numbers will surely exceed 100 species along the coast during spring and fall migrations. The public can access all manner of habitats on game management areas operated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, parks and recreation areas operated by the Louisiana Office of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, and national forests and national wildlife refuges and recreation areas operated by the US Department of Agriculture and US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as non-governmental agencies including The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and the Audubon Society. Furthermore, municipalities and parish (county) governments operate parks and recreation areas that are often excellent sites to bird especially during migration periods.

The Louisiana Ornithological Society (LOS) sponsors quarterly meetings with those in fall and spring always scheduled for the last full weekends in October and April in Cameron, Louisiana - check out the webpage losbird.org for specific dates. [There is a winter meeting in January that moves around the state]. Located in Cameron Parish in the extreme southwestern corner of the state, Cameron is the ideal location for such events. Migrants including passerines and shorebirds either stage in the area's wetlands and wooded oak chenier ridges preparing to fly south across the Gulf of Mexico for the winter or stop in the area to rest and feed upon return from points south during their northward migrations during the spring. Visitors can find loons, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, wading birds, vultures, waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, gulls, terns, doves, nightjars, woodpeckers, flycatchers, vireos, crows, swallows, wrens, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, sparrows, grosbeaks and buntings, blackbirds and orioles, and finches in the Cameron area during these migration periods. And, regardless of the time of year, visitors to wetlands associated with reservoirs, the Red River, the Atchafalaya River, the Mississippi River and the coastal fringe south of I-10 are often astounded by the large numbers of magnificent wading birds that frequent these locations.

Local birding clubs, some affiliated with the Audubon Society, others not, are found in most metropolitan areas and offer members and visitors monthly weekend birding trips. State and US Government facilities often offer nature programs on weekends.

Top Sites

Caddo Lake

Information

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Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acres (10,300 ha) lake and wetland located on the Texas border, in western Caddo Parish. The lake is named after the Southeastern culture of Native Americans called Caddoans or Caddo, who lived in the area until their expulsion in the 19th century. It is an internationally protected wetland under the RAMSAR treaty and features the largest Cypress forest in the world.

Lake Martin - Cypress Island Preserve

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Lake Martin is a natural wooded wetland. Lake Martin - Cypress Island is open to anyone…

Peveto Woods Sanctuary

Information

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The Baton Rouge Audubon Society Peveto Woods Sanctuary currently encompasses approximately 40 acres and is located along the Louisiana coast in Cameron Parish. This site was the first chenier sanctuary for migratory birds established in Louisiana…

Sherburne Wildlife Complex

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The Sherburne Wildlife Complex in the center of the Atchafalaya Basin half way between Baton Rouge and Lafayette is surely one of the best places for birding off the coast in Louisiana with full public access although people MUST have a Wild Louisiana Stamp or a valid hunting or fishing license to access the state's properties in this system. [Dr. Remsen recently published a wonderful article on this area in Birder's World]. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has just published a seasonal checklist for one unit of the SWC - the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge. The checklist is good for the entire 45,000 acre tract that includes state and federal ownership.

South Farm Wildlife Area

Information

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Iberville Parish - South Farm Wildlife Area (within the Sherburne Wildlife Area)

Sureway Woods

Information

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This wooded site reffered to as Sureway Woods is adjacent to Sureway Supermarket off of Hwy. LA 1 between Port and Nacarri Lanes…

Contributor

Jay Huner

Fellow, Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism, University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Lafayette, Louisiana

jhuner@louisiana.edu

http://ccet.louisiana.edu/

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 452

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

Useful Reading

Louisiana Breeding Bird Atlas

David A Wiedenfeld and M Mark Swan 80 pages, col illus, maps. Louisiana Sea Grant College 2000

ISBN: 145755

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

State Bird

Eastern Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

Organisations

Audubon Society in Louisiana

Website

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!…

Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program

Website

On September 13, 1990, the EPA and the State of Louisiana entered a cooperative agreement under the National Estuary Program to form the Barataria - Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP). The program's charter was to develop a coalition of government, private, and commercial interests…

Baton Rouge Audubon Society

Website

The Baton Rouge Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting the unique biological treasures of Louisiana, with special concern for birds, wildlife and their habitats. Our chapter contributes to our community by offering opportunities to learn about and appreciate our natural environment…

Crescent Bird Club

Website

The Crescent Bird Club has more than 200 members. The Club holds free field trips for members throughout the year, except in summer, to such places as the Jean Lafitte National Park and Dauphin Island, AL. The Club also holds annual dinners at which excellent lectures and slide shows are presented.

Louisiana Audubon Council

Website

The Louisiana Audubon Council (LAC) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization comprised of Audubon Chapters and National Audubon Society members (who are not affiliated with an Audubon Chapter)…

Louisiana Bird Records Committee

Website

How do you decide which bird records are worth reporting? How should they be documented, and when, where, and to whom should they be sent?

Louisiana Ornithological Society

Website

The Louisiana Ornithological Society (LOS) was organized in 1947 to gather and disseminate accurate information concerning the bird life of the western hemisphere and of Louisiana; to promote interest in and appreciation of the value of birds, both aesthetic and economic, which will ensure wiser conservation of our bird life; to promote opportunity for acquaintance and fellowship among those interested in nature; and to issue, at such times as possible or practicable, publications as a means of furthering these ends.

Nature Conservancy in Lousiana

Website

Not the ususal NC site this, but none the worse for that, still a first class presentation and full of very useful info on preserves etc.

Northshore Bird Club

Website

We are a small group of passionate birders, living in Slidell, Louisiana (across Lake Pontchartrain and a little to the east of New Orleans) and throughout the Northshore. It all began in early 1994 when Peggy Siegert was approached by several other enthusiasts, following one of her canoe-trip group- learning experiences, and they all shared one of those we ought to form a club conversations. Since then, it has grown in size to about 60 members, including singles and couples, retired and working (or at least claiming to be) people, seniors and teenagers and interested people of every kind -- everyone from recognized experts to beginners just realizing the wonders of their own backyards. All the while, the Club has continued its close-knit family atmosphere, something you notice, right away, if you attend one of our meetings.

Orleans Audubon Society

Website

The Orleans Audubon Society is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of wildlife and wild places of the southeastern U.S. and to fostering an understanding and appreciation of nature…

Shreveport Society for Nature Study

Website

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…

Sierra Club

Website

You can't live here and not feel outraged by what some people have to live with, says Barbara Vincent, whose passion is working on environmental justice issues…

Sierra Club - Delta Chapter

Website

The Delta Chapter is the Sierra Club organization for the State of Louisiana. We advance the cause of protecting Louisiana's environment in a variety of ways, including lobbying the state legislature in Baton Rouge, sponsoring a Mercury Public Education Campaign; and working to keep the Atchafalaya Basin, America's greatest river swamp, wet and wild…

Festivals

Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration

http://www.btnep.org/subsites/grandisle/grandislehome.aspx

This Annual Celebration Event, initiated in 1998, was created in part to support the purchase and management of the Grand Isle Sanctuary to protect some of the last remaining undeveloped chenier habitats (live oak ridges)…

Great Louisiana BirdFest - April 11-13, 2008

http://www.northlakenature.org

An Event of the Northlake Nature Center - The Great Louisiana BirdFest is an annual event of the Northlake Nature Center. It is held each year in the spring when many species are migrating north through Louisiana from Mexico and South America. (See http://losbird.org/checklist.htm for a birding checklist.) Our location in southern Louisiana makes this an excellent time of year for birding. The weather is typically warm but not yet hot and the trees are usually leafing out, but still thin enough for improved visibility. BirdFest trips will visit varied habitat including swamps, wetlands, pine savanna, and hardwoods of southeast Louisiana. Among the many excellent birding locations scheduled for this year's BirdFest is Pine Island, a rookery located in a private preserve…

Observatories

Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

Observatory

Historically, the GCBO was founded as a partnership to accomplish conservation through avian research and the protection of coastal habitat utilized as stopover by migratory songbirds. In 1992, to obtain funding for land acquisitions along the Chenier Plain of Texas, Houston Audubon Society (HAS) approached Phillips Petroleum Company for support. Phillips responded enthusiastically with a $60,000 challenge grant. About the same time, The Nature Conservancies of Texas and Louisiana (TNC); were also working to protect the important habitat of the Chenier region. Amoco Production Company had pledged $200,000 and land valued at over $700,000 in support of that effort. In 1993, the conservation organizations (HAS and TNC) merged the two complementary initiatives, forming the framework for what is now the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory - a long-range effort to protect birds and improve and protect their habitat along the entire Gulf Coast.

Reserves

Acadiana Park Nature Station

Website

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Located in a wooded section of Acadiana Park, a 110 acre facility in the northeastern corner of Lafayette, Louisiana (south-central Louisiana); the Nature Station and its accompanying 3+mile trail system is owned and operated by the Division of Arts & Culture, in the Department of Community Development, Lafayette Consolidated Government.

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

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Although established in 1988 and in existence only 6 years as a national wildlife refuge, Cameron Prairie NWR is a rapidly growing attraction for local residents and visitors alike. In fact, the Gulf Coast Bird Club has already adopted Cameron Prairie NWR as one of its favorite birding sites and committed itself to compiling the refuge bird list…

Cypress Island Preserve

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The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana's goal is to restore natural bottomland hardwood forest, in order to support a large rookery of birds. The Conservancy also wants to minimize disturbance to the rookery while accommodating human visitation…

Great Louisiana Coastal Birding Trails

Website

Welcome to America's Wetland Birding Trail! With landscapes ranging from coastal wetlands to rolling hills and prairies, Louisiana is a nature lover's paradise. Whether you are an avid birder or a casual nature enthusiast, visitors can explore Louisiana's wild spaces through the numerous State Parks, State Historic Sites, State Preservation Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, Wildlife Management Areas, and other natural spots throughout the state.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

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The Barataria Preserve is one of six sites comprising Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The Barataria Preserve interprets the culture of people, past and present, who settled the delta and the unique ecosystem which sustained them. It preserves a representative example of the delta's environment, containing natural levee forests, bayous, swamps, and marshes. Though wild, and teeming with wildlife, this is not a pristine wilderness. Evidence of prehistoric human settlement, colonial farming, plantation agriculture, logging, commercial trapping, fishing, hunting, and oil and gas exploration overlay much of this former wilderness.

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Information

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Although established in 1937 to provide wintering habitat for waterfowl, Lacassine NWR supports many communities of land and water wildlife. Located at the edge of Grand Lake and 15 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the refuge covers 32,625 acres, nearly half of which is Lacassine Pool. This huge fresh-water impoundment was built for waterfowl after the refuge was established and was later subdivided for better control of water levels…

Northlake Nature Center

Website

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Located on 400 acres of ancient pines and hardwood forest, bounded on the west by Bayou Castine, crossed by a marsh and active beaver pond - teeming with native animal and plant life - the Northlake Nature Center is St. Tammany's Secret Garden. The subtle splendor of Louisiana's wetlands is complemented by graceful structures, aged and new. A recent archaeological survey revealed the Center site as home to ancient peoples more than 500 years ago…

Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary

Information

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Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Information

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Sabine NWR is considered one of southwest Louisiana's most popular attractions. Most of the 200,000 people who visit the refuge each year walk the 1.5-mile Wetland Walkway, where they can get close-up views of the birds and other marsh animals. The walkway has an observation tower, offering panoramic views of miles of the level marsh terrain…

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

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.

2012 [November] - Dan Lane & Eric Hynes

Report

…Then there was the Nelson’s Sparrow in that little marsh patch at East Jetty, the views of Swamp Sparrow that were firsts for some among us, the graceful Sandhill Cranes, the boldly-patterned Red-headed Woodpecker, the squeaky-toy Brown-headed Nuthatches, the incredible blackbird flocks that rolled over the rice fields and enfolded that power station, and the opportunity to converse with our rice combine operator….

2013 [November] - Dan Lane & Jesse Fagan

Report

…The bird of the trip was indeed the Yellow Rail, nearly a unanimous group vote, but other favorites included the large flock of southbound Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, our cooperative Barred Owl in the Kisatchie, as well as nice looks at Red-cockaded Woodpecker, a federally endangered bird that we located in an oak tree! A couple of people liked the vagrant Brown Boobies, a new bird for Dan in Louisiana….

2013 [October] - Dan Lane & Lena Senko

Report

Roseate Spoonbills were head-turners as they cruised over us, aglow in bright pink garb, and two unexpected, captive-raised Whooping Cranes had us cheering. Shorebirds did not disappoint either -- we picked out Franklin’s Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Gull-billed Terns, several plover species, and many others along the beaches in Cameron Parish…

Guides & Tour Operators

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Seabirds & Whales of Louisiana

Tour Operator

The Louisiana Ornithological Society (LOS) no longer offers pelagic trips. This is a good site but only as reference to offshore birding.

Places to Stay

Woodridge B&B

Accommodation

Nestled between 100 year old live oak trees, the Woodridge began its history as a private school. Recently converted to a lovely bed & breakfast with amenities found in the best hotels and friendliness and comfort only found in a comfy Southern family home. Innkeepers Debbi and Tim Fotsch are sure to fill your visit with memories that will stay with you for a lifetime…

Forums & Mailing Lists

LABIRD-L

Mailing List

To post to list: listserv@listserv.LSU.edu

List contact: listserv@listserv.lsu.edu

To subscribe to list: listserv@listserv.lsu.edu

subscribe LABIRD-L Your Name

Discussion of birds in Louisiana

Blogs

Into the Air

Website

Into the Air is a publication of Backyard Chirper, an online retailer offering one of the largest selections of bird feeder and bird house products on the web. Whether you’re looking for a hopper feeder, a hummingbird feeder or a birdbath, we have the bird feeder products and accessories you need…

Other Links

Backyard Chirper

Website

Backyard Chirper is an online retailer offering one of the largest selections of bird feeder and bird house products on the web. Whether you’re looking for a hopper feeder, a hummingbird feeder or a birdbath, we have the bird feeder products and accessories you need…

Birding Trail of Louisiana

Website

This page is under construction - we will be adding information periodically. Please come back to visit often. If you have information to submitted, please send to Kay Radlauer….

Birds of Southeastern Louisiana

Website

An annotated list.

Checklist

Checklist

Covington Wild Bird Center

Website

The Wild Bird Center is a specialty retail shop that offers a complete line of products to help you enjoy wild birds, have a thriving lawn and garden, and foster a healthy backyard habitat…

Louisiana Breeding Bird Survey Data

Website

This data set consists of vector data for breeding bird habitat locations throughout the State of Louisiana. The data contains information about the presence or absence of species and its breeding status…

Visit Louisiana Coast

Website

Located on the majestic Mississippi Flyway, the Louisiana Coast is home to some of the most awe-inspiring birds in the country. Over 400 different species of birds visit Louisiana each year making it one of the nation’s top destinations for bird enthusiasts. With birding trails across the Louisiana coastline, there are plenty of opportunities to view the abundant wildlife throughout the Louisiana coastal region. Experience why the productive natural environment of the Great Gulf Coast offers ready access to some of the best birding in the country…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Brian K Miller

Gallery

Wildlife photographs including birds from the excellent master of the art from Louisianna