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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: February 28, 1997

Acadiana Migratory Bird Day

The freezing weather and ice are receding, spring is on the way and millions of migrating birds will soon be here. To celebrate the annual return of huge numbers of migratory birds and increase awareness of both birds and their habitats, the National Wetlands Research Center and partners are hosting the second annual Acadiana Migratory Bird Day.

This year's Acadiana Migratory Bird Day has been expanded to a four-day celebration, with many new programs: a nightly seminar series April 9-11, a scheduled elementary school program that will visit 10 selected schools April 7-11, and a children's session at the center the morning of April 12. Additionally, Dr. Chandler Robbins, internationally known ornithologist and author of "A Guide to Field Identification--Birds of North America" will also speak.

Each spring and fall the Acadiana area is witness to the return and departure of millions of migratory birds arriving over a two- to three-month period. This spring will herald the annual return of neotropical birds such as hummingbirds and warblers, plus shorebirds and some waterfowl. They winter each year in South and Central America and then return to the Gulf of Mexico Coast, where they either rest before continuing northward or remain to build nests and breed, often in our backyards.

Dr. Carroll Cordes, NWRC's chief of migratory bird research, said, "After the public's positive response to the bird day last year, the center decided to make Acadiana Migratory Bird Day an annual event." Over 100 people participated last year.

This year's nightly seminar series will include local and national experts on migratory birds and their habitats. Seminars will start at 7 p.m. at the center conference room, 700 Cajundome Blvd. in Lafayette, and seating is limited.

Seminars include:

Wednesday April 9, "Bird Watching in Louisiana's Chenier Plains" by Dave Patton of Louisiana Ornithology Society and Paul Conover of the Acadiana Park Nature Station, and "Bird Watching in Louisiana's Rice Fields" by Virginia Rettig of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Thursday April 10, "Bird Migration in the Chenier Plain" by Dr. Wiley Barrow of the National Wetlands Research Center and "Gardening for Birds" by Bill Fontenot of Acadiana Park Nature Station.

Friday April 11, "Bird Conservation Issues in the Southeast" by Chuck Hunter of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners in Flight Program and "The Importance of Louisiana to Neotropical Migratory Song Birds" by Dr. Chandler Robbins of U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland.

On Saturday, April 12 there will be a workshop in the morning and a field session in the afternoon. The public workshop will be held at NWRC. The morning session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will include presentations on wildlife photography, Lake Martin ecosystem, identification of the birds of Lake Martin, wildlife in distress, and basic bird physiology. Space is limited, so preregistration is mandatory for the Saturday morning event. For additional information, or to preregister, call Susan Horton at the center (337-266-8655).

The Saturday afternoon session will be held at Lake Martin, southeast of Lafayette starting at 2 p.m. Activities will include guided bird hikes, wildlife telemetry, mist netting, and bird banding. Acadiana Migratory Bird Day is open to anyone interested in learning more about migratory birds, but participation is limited. The workshop is geared to at least a sixth grade level, and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Participants must bring their own lunch and arrange for their own transportation from NWRC to Lake Martin.

Program sponsors with the National Wetlands Research Center are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Acadiana Park Nature Station, and Wildlife in Distress, Inc.

The National Wetlands Research Center is part of the U.S. Geological Survey, a federal agency within the Department of the Interior. The center strives to provide the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of the nation's biological resources.

For more information about Acadiana Migratory Bird Day, call the center's outreach coordinator at 337-266-8655, or access the National Wetland Research Center's web site at

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