Great Louisiana BirdFest
Schedule of Events
7:00 am-12:00 pm: Bogue Chitto River Reserve Habitats
As we planned this year's BirdFest, we met with the local Northshore Bird Club and discussed with many of the members the best places to schedule birding trips. The immediate response was that, if we wanted to go to a site that will likely result in sightings of a large number of species, we should go to the Bogue Chitto State Park. This new State Park has been established in a location that offers a broad variety of bird habitat. The 1,786-acre site includes small steams, cypress tupelo swamps, a hardwood forest, upland forests and a rolling landscape. This diverse area of natural habitats is on one of the most dynamic and scenic river systems in Louisiana which includes a broad expanse of beach bordering the Bogue Chitto River, providing clear views of the river and the wooded banks across the river. The site contains 11 lakes. There are more than 7 miles of nature trails.
Although most of the birding sites we visit during The Great Louisiana BirdFest are on private property, we want to offer you this opportunity to visit one of our area's prime birding site. Local birders who "know the territory" will be your guides. These birders have spent a lot of time walking the roads and the many miles of trails of this park. They will lead you to the best areas to spot the many species of birds that are found here. Without their experience you could spend a great deal of time here and miss some of the best locations.
Wintering Birds: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, White-throated Sparrow.
Resident and Breeding Birds: Great Blue and Green Herons; Great and Cattle Egrets; Wood Duck, Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Bobwhite, Killdeer, Barred Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers; Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, Acadian and Great-crested Flycatcher; White-eyed Vireo, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, Northern Parula, Pine-, Prothonotary- and Hooded Warblers; Summer Tanager, Eastern Towhee, Orchard Oriole, and more.
Possible Migrants: Mississippi Kite, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Wood Pewee, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireos; Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, and more.
5:00 pm-7:30 pm: BirdFest Social
This year we will enjoy a camp cabin on Lake Pontchartrain with a beautiful view of the lake at sunset.
In addition to the excellent birding, this is our opportunity to relax, visit with fellow birders, sip a little wine or beer, and, because this is South Louisiana where we discuss what to have for lunch while eating breakfast and what to eat for dinner while eating lunch this event naturally centers on good food.
As we have done for the past several years, our volunteers will dig into their personal family recipes and cook up their favorites to tantalize your taste buds. We don't know the exact menu yet, but we are sure to have a great sampling of Louisiana's very own delicacies such as our special Creole gumbo and jambalaya, maybe an etouffee. The meal will truly be a special treat for all to enjoy! And, you can bird from the dock while eating if you like!
Birds that have been seen in April include:
-Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
-Bonaparte's Gull; Ring-billed Gull
-Common Tern, Forster's Tern
-Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove
-Red-bellied woodpecker, Yellow-bellied woodpecker
-Corvids: Blue Jay, American Crow
-Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse
-Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird
-Eastern Towhee, White-throated Sparrow