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					 BIRD SURVEY OF THE
 ATCHAFALAYA BASIN,
     LOUISIANA

 WILLIAM R. FONTENOT and JAY V.
             HUNER

   ACADIANA NATURE PARK and
CRAWFISH RESEARCH CENTER, ULL,
        LAFAYETTE, LA
SUPPORT – ATCHAFALAYA BASIN PROGRAM,
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

ADMINISTRATED BY MS. SANDRA THOMPSON
OBJECTIVES

O. ASSESS THE COMPOSITION AND SEASONAL
   STATUS OF BASIN’S BIRD COMMUNITY

O. IDENTIFY THE BEST POTENTIAL, ACCESSIBLE
   BIRDING SITES IN THE BASIN

O. PROVIDE A FOUNDATION FOR ADDITIONAL
   BIRD SURVEYS
ATCHAFALAYA BASIN IS NORTH AMERICA’S LARGEST
REMAINING RIVER SWAMP. HABITATS INCLUDE:

•   RIVER SWAMP
•   MISCELLANEOUS OPEN WATER
•   BATTURE
•   FRESHWATER MARSH
•   BOTTOMLAND HARDWOOD FOREST
•   AGRICULTURAL LANDS
•   DRY-MESIC SHORT-GRASS (ESPECIALLY LEVEES)
SURVEYS FROM NOVEMBER 2001 – MAY 2004

•415 INDIVIDUAL 4-6 HOUR SURVEYS
•2,000+ HOURS OF BIRDING DATA
• 270 BIRD SPECIES (59% OF STATE’S AVIFAUNA)
• BASIN IS 4 % OF THE STATE’S AREA!S
SURVEYS CONDUCTED BY:

JAMES BECK, RICK BELLO, STEVEN CARDIFF, MIKE
CARLOSS, JIM DELAHOUSSAYE, DONNA DITTMAN,
ROB DOBBS, BILL FONTENOT, ROBERT HAMILTON,
JAY HUNER, MICHAEL MUSUMECHE, DAVE PATTON,
GARY PONTIFF, MATT PONTIFF, VIRGINIA RETTIG,
EARL ROBICEAUX, ALLISON STYRING, AND
CHRIS WITT.
REPRESENTATIVE BIRDS

• WOOD DUCK*
• DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT
• LITTLE BLUE HERON
• SWALLOW-TAILED KITE**
•RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER*
•WHITE-EYED VIREO
• PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
• WHITE-SPARROW SPARROW
• NORTHERN CARDINAL*
• PAINTED BUNTING**
SURPRISE BIRDS:

• BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK
• LONG-TAILED DUCK
• WHITE-TAILED KITE
• BALD EAGLE
• WHITE-WINGED DOVE
• BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD
• SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER
• EASTERN BLUEBIRD
• AMERICAN PIPIT
• BALTIMORE ORIOLE
BIRDING “FESTIVALS” GENERATED BY PROJECT –
ECO-TOURISM!!

•EAGLE QUEST – MORGAN CITY – FEBRUARY
• NEOTROPICAL SONGBIRD TOUR – SHERBURNE AREA,
     MAY
•WADING BIRD/SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL – SOUTH FARM/
     RAMAH, JULY “STORKS”
AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR “FESTIVALS”:

•GOLD COAST CONVEN. & VISITOR’S BUREAU
• BARATARIA-TERREBONNE NAT. ESTUARY PROG.
• LA. DEPT. OF WILDLIFE & FISHERIES
• U. S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
• U. S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
RECOMMENDED BIRDING DESTINATIONS:

EIGHTEEN SITES WERE IDENTIFIED IN THE CENTRAL
AND LOWER BASIN AND FOUR IN THE UPPER
BASIN (AVOYELLES PARISH)

ALL SITES INCLUDED IN BIRDING TRAILS DEVELOPED
IN CONJUNCTION WITH LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT
OF CULTURE, RECREATION AND TOURISM –
SUSAN CALCOTTE DESERVES MANY THANKS FOR
HER WORK IN THIS AREA.

A SEPARATE BASIN BIRDING TRAIL? MAYBE?
SOME HIGH-LIGHTED LOCATIONS:

•SOUTH FARM – WATERBIRDS
• SHERBURNE x LA 975 – NEOTROPICAL SONGBIRDS
• INDIAN BAYOU – NEOTROPICAL SONGBIRDS
• BROWNELL PARK – EAGLES AND PELICANS!!
• LAKE FAUSE POINT STATE PARK – POTPOURRI
• BAYOU TECHE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE –
      LOUISIANA BLACK BEAR & RARE BIRDS?

				
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