Birder's Guide

AUG 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Stilt Sandpipers can be quite common in Louisiana's Rice Country. Photo © Glenn Seeholzer. large lumber companies, who were also the large landowners. The pines, of course, could be cut for market every twenty years or so, while the hardwoods would require a human lifetime to mature. The four main habitat types found today are pine uplands, coastal marshes, coastal prairies of the southwest, and bottomland hardwoods of the Mississippi/Atchafalaya/ Red River foodplains. A subclassifcation of the pine uplands is the Shortleaf Pine area in the extreme north, along the Red River. The pine uplands comprise three distinct regions. They are in the west central portion of the state, the north central district, and the parishes north of Lake Pontchartrain. The coastal marshes extend from the Gulf inland for some 20–25 miles. Generally treeless, the marshes do support low oaken ridges, called cheniers, that serve as resting and foraging points for trans-Gulf Neotropical migrants. The bottomlands are dotted with cypress/tupelo swamps that exist in areas where runoff is poor or nonexistent. It should be remembered that over the eons, the Mississippi River has fowed through a great deal of Louisiana. An abandoned river bed, therefore, stands an excellent chance of becoming a swamp at some point. A number of reforestation projects center around the bottoms in northeast Louisiana. August 2013 | Birder's Guide to Travel 13

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