Birding enthusiasts can experience the wonder and variety of migrating songbirds at the annual Neotropical Songbird Tour, held at the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Saturday, May 13. Arrival time is between 6:45 and 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Exit 127 on Interstate 10, located halfway between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, and La. Hwy 975. Look for a gravel pull-off just after turning onto La. 975
The Neotropical Songbird Tour will take participants on one of the leading breeding bird survey routes in North America. Participants will be introduced to bird identification through their songs and chirp notes. These vocalizations, originating from the dense understory or the tall canopy of deciduous bottomland hardwood forest, are usually the first clues to the area's wealth of bird species. Sherburne WMA offers one of the highest densities of nesting neotropical songbirds in North America.
Tour participants will be guided to two sites where facilitators will be available to assist them in bird identification. At each site it may be possible to hear as many as 15 species of birds. Some birds are easily seen whereas others are elusive, so binoculars may be useful. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will also demonstrate mist-netting techniques being used in their monitoring programs on the WMA complex. The bird tour will conclude around 11 a.m.
After the bird tour ends at around 11 a.m., participants are encouraged to attend the LDWF-sponsored Step Outside Day also on the Sherburne WMA. Step Outside Day is aimed at introducing outdoor activities to people with disabilities and children.
For a downloadable Atchafalaya Basin bird checklist from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service please visit http://www.fws.gov/southeast/pubs/atchafalaya_birdlist.pdf on the Internet.
The Neotropical Songbird Tour is sponsored by LDWF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Basin Ranger District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Atchafalaya Basin Program.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.