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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: March 17, 1998

Acadiana Migratory Bird Day

Spring weather has arrived in Acadiana, and so have the first of millions of migrating birds. To increase awareness of both birds and their habitats, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are sponsoring the third annual Acadiana Migratory Bird Day activities. This year's events will include seminars April 16-17 and field trips April 18-19.

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 build nests and breed, often in our backyards.

Carroll Cordes, NWRC administrator for migratory bird research said, "This year's activities will be both informative and fun. We reached hundreds of people last year and hope to do the same this year."

Nightly seminars featuring regional experts on migratory birds and their habitats will be held from at 7 to 9 p.m at the National Wetlands Research Center conference room at 700 Cajundome Blvd. in Lafayette, La.

On Thursday, April 16, Bruce Fleury, Tulane University, New Orleans, La., will speak on "The Importance of Agricultural Wetlands to Colonial Waterbirds," and Cecilia Riley, Houston, Tex., will discuss "The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory."

On Friday, April 17, Bill Ferguson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lake Charles, La. will discuss "Migratory Birds and Law Enforcement" and Kathryn Diaz and Gina Stanton of Wildlife in Distress, Lafayette, will present a talk on "Caring for Birds."

On Saturday, April 18, participants will have a choice of three birding trips. Jay Huner, University of Southwestern Louisiana, will lead a bird-watching tour of the University's farming facilities near Cade, La. Huner and participants will depart from the parking lot of the National Wetlands Research Center at 7 a.m. and travel by car caravan to Cade.

Linda Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will guide a bird-watching tour of the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, southwest of Lake Arthur, La. Participants must provide their own transportation to the refuge, where a tour will start at 9 a.m. from the refuge's Tidewater Boat Launch. The refuge number is 318-774-5923.

Diane Bordon-Billiot, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will lead a bird-watching tour of the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, near Hackberry, La. Participants are asked to arrive at the refuge headquarters by 10 a.m. The refuge number is 318-762-3816.

On Sunday, April 19, Dave Patton, Louisiana Birders Anonymous, will lead a bird- watching trip to Cameron Parish. Interested participants should contact either Patton at 337-232- 8410 or Judith O'Neale at 337-981-1011 for specific information.

Acadiana Migratory Bird Day activities are open to anyone interested in learning more about migratory birds. For more information, call the Center's Animal Ecology Branch at 337-266-8654.

As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, to contribute to the conservation and the sound economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and to enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy and mineral resources.

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