Contributed by St. Bernard Parish Government
Hundreds of enthusiastic bird lovers attended this year’s Bird Festival May 6-May 7. Over 100 species of birds, both native and migratory, were sited during the Festival.
Audubon Louisiana, once again, provided the core group of experts for the event. The group was led by Dr. Erik Johnson, Ph.D., one of the top experts on birds in Louisiana.
Once again, the experts from Audubon captured and banded many birds and everyone who observed that activity was treated to breath-taking sights. All the birds captured were examined and data recorded before they were banded and released.
Dr. Johnson also made a presentation in the Frank Fernandez Multipurpose Building regarding birds in Louisiana in a changing environment. Krista Adams, another presenter, spoke on the migratory patterns of the Purple Martins, our annual visitor from the Amazon Valley in South America. Krista also gave instruction on how to best place a Purple Martin house on your property.
Over 50 school children attended and their teachers expressed an interest in placing a Purple Martin house on school property. Adams and officials of the Bird Festival will be assisting in the project.
Linda Van Aman, a local expert on native plants, gave a walking tour on the Nature Trail on the Islenos Museum property. The tour was well attended and most learned a great deal more about native plants in St. Bernard.
Common Ground Relief, represented by Charlotte Clarke, hosted a tree give away and spoke on the re-forestation efforts by her group in South Louisiana.
Several woodcarvers and other artists displayed their beautiful works, copying many of the birds that were sighted during the Festival. It was quite interesting to see them working on their carvings and paintings in full view.
Audubon Louisiana again sponsored airboat excursions to the Big Mar bird rookery — one of the largest rookeries in Southeast Louisiana. Each excursion had an Audubon guide aboard.
A partial list of the birds spotted and the banding activity can be viewed at https://ebird.org/tripreport/53197 and also at https://photos.app.goo.gl/8SQVA4BQaEJxeNrS8
Festival officials thanked St. Bernard Parish Government, the Tourism Commission, Parish Historian, William Hyland, and the Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society for the use of the beautiful grounds and, further, allowing the visitors outside of St. Bernard to visit the restored Colonial homes.
Officials also thanked the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office and Emile Pellittieri, of Pellittieri Homes, for their assistance in erecting the temporary tents for the exhibitors.