US Fish and Wildlife Service
Animals living in south Louisiana are as distinctive as the habitat they live in. The Barataria Preserve is a great place to spot all kinds of Louisiana critters. Remember that where you are and the time of day is key to what birds and animals you will probably see.
Located squarely along the Mississippi Flyway, this is a birder's paradise. Over 200 species of birds use the preserve's waterways and vegetation for foraging, nesting, and resting. Look for many different species of heron, egret, and ibis wading along canal banks or slowly eating their way through the swamps. Songbirds are easily heard and less often seen in the forests, including colorful examples such as the prothonotary warbler and the painted bunting. Find out more about birding trips in Louisiana and start a birding adventure! You can see the results of the January 2013 Barataria Preserve bird count here; a link to the preserve bird checklist is below. For the latest in bird news for the New Orleans area, check out University of New Orleans ornithologist Dr. Peter Yauckey's Birding Made Easy New Orleans blog. If you're at the Barataria Preserve or at Chalmette Battlefield and Chalmette National Cemetery: keep track of the birds you see and then stop by the site's visitor center to record your observations at the eBird Trail Tracker kiosk. Your sightings will provide valuable information to park managers, bird researchers, and other birders.
Fish, crabs, and other aquatic organisms are plentiful but can be more difficult to see---try looking straight down into the water from a bridge or deck! The Barataria Preserve lies in the ecologically significant Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary, fertile waters where rivers and bayous meet the sea. These waters provide important nursery grounds for shell and fin fish including blue crabs, shrimp, speckled trout, and gar fish.
Did You Know?
Lubber grasshoppers are sometimes known as devil's horses in south Louisiana. They lay their eggs in the fall and prefer loose dirt, so they often lay their eggs in cemeteries. These enormous flightless grasshoppers hatch in spring and spend the summer munching their way through vegetation.