LOUISIANA: YELLOW RAILS & CRAWFISH TAILS
Late-autumn birding tour on the Gulf Coast targeting Yellow Rails and other migrants and wintering species of the region.
The star of our quest: the much-wanted Yellow Rail! (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)
Cajun country is one of the primary rice-growing regions of the US, and as such it provides many prairie and taiga pothole-breeding birds their winter home: ducks, geese, bitterns, Sedge Wrens, LeConte's Sparrows, and secretive Yellow Rails. These species are found across much of the Southeast, but because of the rice-harvesting schedule of Cajun farmers, the chance of seeing them here is perhaps better than anywhere else--as the rice combines collect the lagniappe (extra) autumn crop, they flush the birds that are otherwise buried deep in marshy grass. In addition to the marsh birds, any hedgerow may have lingering or vagrant migrants, wintering sparrows, or some other surprise!
In the course of our long weekend, we'll also bird the coastal marshes, beaches, and cheniers (tree islands) for late seasonal migrants and wintering species, and we'll visit the nearby pine woods that are home to such southeastern specialties as Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and Bachman's and maybe even wintering Henslow's sparrows. And don't forget your appetite: Louisiana is rightly known for its tasty cuisine! So why don't y'all come on down and visit?
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