BIRD WATCHING ALONG THE AMERICA'S WETLAND BIRDING TRAIL
What is the America’s WETLAND BIRDING Trail?
America's WETLAND Birding Trail on Louisiana's Great Gulf Coast is the final leg of birding trails in states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, linking trails in Texas and Mississippi. Designed in twelve distinct loops, nature lovers will be able to view a huge variety of bird species. The America's WETLAND Birding Trail will help visitors explore some of Louisiana's most productive natural places along the coast and expose them to some of the best birding in the country through the numerous State Parks, State Historic Sites, State Preservation Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, Wildlife Management Areas, and other natural spots throughout the state. In addition to exceptional birds and other wildlife, America's WETLAND Birding Trail also exposes visitors to some of the state's unique history and culture
What time of year is best for birding?
Louisiana’s coast offers nature lovers spectacular bird watching year round. Spring brings thousands of migrating songbirds, shorebirds and more as they journey north journey across the Gulf of Mexico. In warmer months seabirds and wading birds are nesting in swamps, marshes, on beaches and barrier islands. Bottomland and upland forests are alive with nesting songbirds and kites. Fall brings thousands of southbound migrating birds on their way to their winter homes. During the winter, millions of ducks and geese along with birds of prey, sparrows, and others make Louisiana’s coast their home. Many resident birds can be seen all year, often in a city park or your own backyard. A detailed description of birding by the season follows. See below, When do you want to visit?
Why does coastal Louisiana attract so many birds?
The keys are a combination of geography and climate -- 1) the coast’s sub-tropical climate, 2) diverse wet habitats, and 3) location where the mouth of the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. Of the Gulf states, only Louisiana contains such a large active river delta, draining the heart of the continent. Of the Gulf states, only Louisiana has marshes so vast, they extend across the entire length of the coast. Only Louisiana has the Atchafalaya Basin, the nation’s largest river swamp. And don’t forget the unique and productive chenier plain and agricultural fields of the coastal southwest.
Where does the Birding Trail go?
The Best Spots Trail Boundaries
The America’s WETLAND Birding Trail will guide you to the best spots for birding along Louisiana’s coast. The trail has 115 sites organized into 12 loops. The trail’s western boundary is the Texas border, and its eastern boundary is the Mississippi border. Its northern boundary is roughly Interstate 10 from Texas east to Baton Rouge, and Interstate 12 from Baton Rouge east to Mississippi, except for Loop 11 north to St. Francisville. The trail’s southern boundary is the Gulf of Mexico.
The trail will introduce you to a variety of Louisiana’s coastal habitats including fresh, brackish, intermediate and saltwater marshes, cheniers, cypress-tupelo swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, upland hardwoods, Longleaf pines, agricultural fields, barrier islands, headland beaches, and urban habitats.
What birds can you see? at what time of the year?
What you will see when you look for birds along the America’s WETLAND BirdingTrail depends on the time of year, your location and the local weather. Birding by the Seasons will take you through the year, season by season, and tell you which birds you might see at different locations along the trail. It will also tell you how weather might determine what you might find.
Birding by the Seasons - Spring to summer:
- Ducks and Geese
- Bald Eagle, Other Birds of Prey, Shorebirds, Songbirds, & Sparrows
- Wintering Hummingbirds