The Atchafalaya Basin is a vital part of the ecosystem on which the area’s wildlife has come to depend. With landscapes ranging from coastal wetlands to rolling hills and prairies, Louisiana offers a variety of habitats including fresh and saltwater marshes, cheniers, upland pines, cypress-tupelo swamps, bottomland hardwood forests and open meadows. Enjoy some of the best birding in the country at these areas in Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.
The Atchafalaya is home to almost 400 bird species including waders like herons, egrets, ibises and spoonbills. Forming part of the Mississippi Flyway, the area is a major wintering ground for ducks and geese, and eagles are often spotted. Not unusual in the warmer months are sightings of swallow tailed kite, Swainson’s warbler and Bachman’s sparrow.
Local information: Lake Martin/Cypress Island Preserve is a large wading-bird rookery. Jefferson Island/Rip Van Winkle Gardens is a smaller wading-bird rookery, lots of spoonbills! Whiskey Bay Road is great for local breeders like Prothonotary, Swainson's Warbler and Painted Bunting. As you travel around the Lafayette area, be sure to watch for Whooping Cranes!
- Baton Rouge Audubon Society
- Louisiana Ornithological Society
- LSU’s Louisiana Bird Resource Office
- Events and additional information
- Regional sightings
- Atchafalaya Bird List
- Indian Bayou Birding
- Indian Bayou Hiking
- Louisiana Important Bird Areas
- America's WETLAND Birding Trails
- Barataria - Terrebonne National Estuary Program