This region of Louisiana was built over thousands of years by the Mississippi River, and coastal areas are experiencing some of the highest rates of erosion in the World. Even so, the region is a birding mecca, with an exceptional combination of coastal barrier islands, extensive bottomland hardwood forests, and coastal woodlands that draw many nesting and wintering water, shorebirds, and Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbirds.
In spring and fall, coastal migrant traps can be full of birds. In summer, beware of nesting birds on beaches, like Wilson’s Plovers, Least Terns, and Black Skimmers, and nesting islands can be full of Brown Pelicans, Tricolored Herons, and Roseate Spoonbills, with the occasional Reddish Egrets. Likewise, cypress-tupelo swamps fill with colorful songbirds like Prothonotary Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Summer Tanagers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos.
In fall and winter, look for diverse sparrows, including Nelson’s Sparrows in coastal marshes, and an excellent mix of short-distance migrants, like Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Orange-crowned Warblers, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. Coastal areas during migration and winter can be teeming with shorebirds, like American Avocets, Piping Plovers, Red Knots, and Western Sandpipers.
Read more about birds in Southeast Louisiana.