Sunday April 14, 2013 - Sunday April 14, 2013
Sunday, April 14 – 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM $35 (Includes Wine & Cheese)
There is a private pocket of birding heaven on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. Just east of the Tchefuncte River between Madisonville and Ponchatoula, lies a 3,000-acre private wildlife preserve called Pine Island. Along with an abundance of native flora,PineIslandis home to thousands of roosting birds and is a naturalist’s dream come true.
Pine Island is the legacy of a logging operation once located in Madisonville. Cypress logging ceased at Pine Island nearly a century ago. Since then, the family which, until recently, owned the property, has assured that nature take precedence in the area and has maintained Pine Island as a wildlife refuge. The current owner continues that tradition. Today the private property is closed to the public, but birders with the Great Louisiana BirdFest are offered a rare glimpse into this lovely habitat.
You will drive through pines and mixed hardwoods, ending at the 300-acre man-made lake housing one of the south’s largest rookeries. You can both bird the wooded areas abutting the levees looking for residents and neotropical migrants and enjoy the view of the many birds nesting in the rookery. Then, as dusk settles over the swamp, thousands of birds, including egrets, herons, ibis, Anhinga and more, fly in for an evening’s rest. From the levee, the sight of these incoming birds is truly spectacular. The birding trip will remain at the rookery until sunset.
PineIslandis the perfect trip for the novice or the experienced birder. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit this ecological gem. While on this trip, you can get some beautiful photos of the rookery in addition to enjoying excellent birding if you bring your camera. For good shots of individual nesting birds, a long lens is needed, but any camera will give you memorable pictures of the scene.
¨ Easy to moderate walking to bird wooded edges of the levee optional.
Wintering Birds: Pied-billed Grebe, Bald Eagle,
Residents and Breeding Birds: Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue, Tricolored, Yellow-crowned Night, Black-crowned Night, Green, and Little Blue Herons; Cattle, Great and Snowy Egrets; White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill (one year), Wood Duck, Black and Turkey Vultures; Wild Turkey (one year), Purple Gallinule, Common Moorhen, Caspian Tern, Great-horned and Barred Owl; Red-bellied and Downy Woodpecker; Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Fish Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated-, Pine-, and Prothonotary- Warblers; Boat-tailed Grackle, and more.
Possible Migrants: Osprey, raptors, warblers, tanagers, orioles and buntings.