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Press Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

Contact: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Phone: 337-266-8655
Fax: 337-266-8541
For Release: May 10, 2003

Learn to Bird at Acadiana Migratory Bird Day

Have you ever wondered what that winged flash of color was at your backyard bird feeder? Or taken out-of-town friends to Lake Martin and not been able to identify any of the wading birds you’ve seen? Or been awakened on a spring morning by the melodious music of a songbird you could not name?

Then the eighth annual Acadiana Migratory Bird Day celebration is for you. This year’s event will be held at the Acadiana Park Nature Station, E. Alexander Street, Lafayette, La., on Saturday, May 10, from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lake Martin.

The free event is for beginning bird watchers, families who would like to begin a rewarding hobby together (suggested for interested children 9 years and older) or anyone interested in learning more about the incredible diversity of birds in south Louisiana. Children 13 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

The day begins at 6:30 a.m. with coffee (bird-friendly, of course) in the canopy and a chance to identify the dawn chorus of early birds. From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. there will be “How to Bird Watch” bird walks, a hummingbird banding station, demonstrations of techniques and equipment used in bird research, the best bird watching tools from Wild Birds Unlimited, and a close “live” look at what makes a bird a bird.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., local birding group Louisiana Birders Anonymous (LABA) will have spotting scopes set up at Lake Martin and invite participants to enjoy the spectacular wading birds at the Lake Martin spoonbill-egret-anhinga-ibis-heron rookery. Transportation from the Acadiana Park Nature Station to Lake Martin will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

Birding experts will be on hand from the event sponsors: U. S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Acadiana Park Nature Station, Wild Birds Unlimited and LABA. Participants will receive a free 2003 International Migratory Bird Day poster with the theme “Birds—Catalysts for Conservation.”

Parking for the event is available at the entrance to the Acadiana Park Campground. Check in is at the registration table for activity locations. Participants need to bring binoculars and a bird field guide if possible. Long pants to protect against poison ivy, sunscreen and insect repellant are suggested.

For more information or to register for this event, call Bill Vermillion at the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (337) 291-3133 or Susan Horton at the National Wetlands Research Center, (337) 266-8655.

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