Spring migration has begun!

Here are a few things you can expect to see in Louisiana.

The birds are my way of gauging nature’s clock. Spring migration has begun, and each species (and individual bird) has its own story to tell. As the season unfolds, it is always a pleasure to watch the return of one species after another. At the same time, many of our wintering birds are departing, following the emergence of spring as it races northward. 

Below are a few pieces of this timeline that are relevant to certain initiatives Audubon Louisiana is working on this spring. Take a look at this list and let us know if you spot any of these occurrences while you are out and about this spring. Happy birding! 

  • Early March
    • The rare Swallow-tailed Kites can possibly be seen migrating almost anywhere – including over cities and marshes, as they head toward their bottomland hardwood forest breeding grounds. Keep your eyes open!
    • Wilson’s Plovers start showing up on the beaches, while Piping Plovers start disappearing to the north. 
  • Late March
    • The first Prothonotary Warblers arrive.
    • Wilson’s Plovers are setting up territories and getting ready to breed.
  • Early April
    • The first Prothonotary Warbler and Wilson’s Plover nests are spotted.
    • Least Terns begin arriving.
  • Late April
    • The peak of spring migration for Nearctic-Neotropical migrants that cross the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Least Terns start nesting.
    • The first Prothonotary Warbler chicks fledge.
  • Early May
    • The peak of spring migration for Nearctic-Neotropical migrants that circumvent the Gulf of Mexico.
    • The last Soras depart.
    • First Wilson’s Plover chicks fledge.
  • Late May
    • Summer begins.
    • The first Least Tern chicks fledge.
    • Black Skimmers begin nesting.
Prothonotary Warbler at Bluebonnet Swamp. Photo: John Hartgerink

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