Northeastern Louisiana offers some of the most unknown and exciting birding and wildlife viewing opportunities in the country. Exploring its mystical cypress swamps, river bottoms, wetlands, and pine forests will reward even the casual visitor with glimpses of brilliant yellow Prothonotary Warblers, fascinating Pileated Woodpeckers, beautiful Roseate Spoonbills, and breathtaking flocks of waterfowl and shorebirds that can number in the thousands.
Northeastern Louisiana is a region of wealthy natural resources, and was once part of a center of plant domestication thousands of years ago, before European colonization. This agricultural heritage lives on, built upon rich and productive soils of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. All combined, the region’s agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry generates nearly $2 billion in annual revenues.
Despite substantial conversion of natural bottomland forest habitat to agriculture and silviculture, excellent birding opportunities remain. Many state and federal lands are managed for wildlife, including the threatened Louisiana black bear, and declining forest songbirds, such as Kentucky Warblers and Wood Thrushes. Many regional specialties can still be found in abundance. Even birding along back roads through pastures, shrublands, and aquaculture impoundments can produce a great diversity of birds in a relative small area, from Painted and Indigo Buntings, to Pectoral and Upland Sandpipers, to Wood Storks and White-faced Ibis. In addition, upland regions provide opportunities to see piney woods specialists like Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Henslow’s Sparrows.