This weekend Southern Louisiana boasts not one, but two birding festivals! … Anybody?
The Great Louisiana Birdfest takes place at the North Lake Nature Center in Mandeville, on the Northshore. There are scheduled walks all weekend (including one on Sunday evening from 4:30-8 that includes wine and cheese for $35), but there are also five miles of trails that go through their 400 acres marked for self-guided tours. Here’s a little blurb from their website that got me excited.
No other coast in the entire world is as busy with birds as the coast of Louisiana. Each year, nearly the entire eastern population and several species of the western population of migratory neo-tropical songbirds and waterfowl migrate through Louisiana’s coast in what is one of the world’s greatest spectacles. On some days in April, more than a million birds will reach Louisiana’s coast. Spring migrants arrive on Louisiana’s coast after a long gulf crossing and rely on the coastal wetlands to restore depleted energy reserves and to provide food and cover.
Also this weekend is the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival. There are all kinds of tours and events scheduled for the weekend. Walking tours are five dollars and don’t require registration. And there are also free (!) boat tours, but they require preregistration. This is how you get to Grand Isle from New Orleans. And since it is a little drive, if you decide to stay the night, I’ve stayed at this very unassuming and inexpensive motel, right on the beach. And don’t forget to visit the butterfly dome!