Among the many advantages of The Pelican State are the enviable subtropical climate, lush forests/waterways and, although a surprise to many, its position along a major North American migratory flyway. Louisiana’s spot along this corridor makes the Sportsman’s Paradise a mecca for a wide array of our fine, feathered friends and those that travel far and wide to observe them in their natural habitats. For the hardcore birders among us, this article on birding from Louisiana Travel has brochures available for download that detail three major trails across the state.
Learn about The Mississippi River Birding Trail (boasting 30 sites in 13 parishes); the Red River Birding Trail (with its whopping 82 sites in 18 parishes); and finally the Zachary Taylor Parkway Birding Trail (with 27 sites in 10 parishes). The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is also available should you want even more information for the most novice of bird enthusiasts to the most seasoned ornithologists.
If you’re not a seasoned birder, as most of us aren’t, have no fear – Louisiana Travel also has something for us novices, too. In the article, there are 5 regions listed with locations within each to be explored. Below is a list of a few of the lesser-known sites that we can’t wait to get started birding in while enjoying Louisiana’s scenic countryside.
Said to be a critical stopover point for greater than 200 species of migratory songbirds and shorebirds, as well as being wintering grounds for waterfowl and wading boards, this seven-mile trail system is a must visit. Their visitor center also offers regular interactive programs.
If you’re a fan of wood ducks, wild turkeys and warbler species, this bottomland is for you. Rivaling any inland Louisiana location for birding, this spot also features a very cool and informative display on ivory billed woodpeckers in their visitor center. Birders would love this wildlife refuse just about any time of the year.
This unusually hilly landscape features a waterfall that doubles as a nesting spot for bald eagles and is also home to several warblers and flycatchers.
Tracing through Louisiana’s six-district national forest, Kisatchie’s primary birding sites are those of the red-cockaded woodpecker, along with dozens of breeding, wintering and resident species such as the broad-winged hawk, eastern towhee, flycatcher and waterthrush.
Nestled within the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, this birders site is home to ducks, geese and several other species of waterfowl that migrate there by the thousands during the winter months. There are also several year-round regulars, including the roseate spoonbill, white-faced ibis, American avocet, black-necked stilt, green heron, killdeer, great blue heron, gallinule, neotropic cormorant, tricolored heron and snowy egret. The site is home to boardwalks and also a gravel trail, which makes birding sites easily accessible.
What better way to enjoy the sights and sounds of various winged friends than at this hardwood forest in St. Francisville, Louisiana. At this location, you’ll find various woodpeckers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, wood storks and herons as they find respite among steep slopes, bluffs and creek bottoms.
New Orleans’ very own City Park is one of the oldest urban parks in the United States. It is also home to over 1,300 acres of fields, hedges and live oaks that are home to migrant flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, wood-warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, buntings and orioles during the fall and spring months. This makes more an urban birders paradise. Check it out next time you’re visiting the Big Easy!
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