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Bird Fest Offers Unique Birding Experience

Imagine standing near the swamp in the sweet, heavy air watching a beautiful array of birds, including bald eagles, purple martins, ducks and others, fly into the trees to roost while the sound of alligators echoes in the background.

If you’re entranced by this image then you would love The Great Louisiana Bird Fest, which goes from Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17.

The previous scene was how Chicago resident Kay Richardson described last year’s Bird Fest to The Times-Picayune.

Even though Bird Fest takes place in Southern Louisiana, specifically on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, many participants are out-of-towners who travel to see the wide range of birds.

The reason why Southern Louisiana is such a great place to have Bird Fest is that it’s home to an eclectic group of birds who are raising their young in the swamps.

According to the Northlake Nature Center website, some of the common resident birds are Great-blue Heron, Great and Snowy Egret; Black and Turkey Vulture; Laughing Gull, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpecker, and many more.

There are also Bald Eagles that frequent the area and set up nests in the trees.

During Bird Fest, participants go on several walks, take photography classes, eat delicious Louisiana food, socialize and, of course, observe birds.

I recommend any birder who’s interested in spotting fascinating birds in their unique environment attend Bird Fest, if not this year, then sometime in the future.

Or, if you’re really far from Louisiana, there are a lot of other festivals devoted to watching migrating and resident birds, including the Godwit Days, which takes place on California’s north coast.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.