Louisiana's Birding Trails

With landscapes ranging from coastal wetlands to rolling hills and prairies, Louisiana is a natural paradise.

Yellow Rails and Rice Festival - Bird watching

Louisiana is a bird watcher's paradise. Come experience it for yourself!

Welcome to the America's Wetland Birding Trail along the Louisiana Great Gulf Coast. Traveling along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road and six additional state scenic byways, the America's Wetland Birding Trail crosses through 22 Southern Louisiana parishes rich with unparalleled history, culture, arts and entertainment. The trail will guide you to some of the state's most productive natural places along the Great Gulf Coast and will offer ready access to some of the best birding in the country. The America’s Wetland Birding Trail consists of 115 bird watching sites crossing through 22 Louisiana parishes.

Mississippi River Birding Trail Sparsely populated and heavily cultivated in cotton, corn and soybeans, the Northeast Louisiana Delta has served as one of the last homes for the ivory-billed woodpecker and Louisiana black bear. Agriculture and hardwood timbering fragmented this once-contiguous mosaic of bottomland hardwood and and cypress-tupelo swamp habitats, virtually exterminating both the woodpecker and the bear. The ivory-billed woodpecker may be lost forever, but the Louisiana black bear is making an impressive comeback, thanks to an intensive wildlife conservation program initiated by both federal and state wildlife agencies. To date, hundreds of thousands of acres of abandoned farmland in this region have been purchased and restored to their former forested glory. The Mississippi River Birding Trail consists of 30 bird watching sites in 13 Louisiana parishes.

Red River Birding Trail Long storied throughout American history for its role in U.S. “Wild West” culture, the Red River changes character considerably as it enters Louisiana. Red clay bluffs, vast pine forests and pileated woodpeckers replace the rocks, bison and rattlesnakes of the river’s upper reaches in the Southern Great Plains. Geologically, the Red River neatly bisects a large “shield” of exposed, high-elevation tertiary outcroppings, which form the entire northwestern quadrant of the state. This tertiary shield supports many of Louisiana’s rarest plants. To this day, the Louisiana segment of the Red River Valley is best known for its timber resources, and interest in its mixed-pine forests culminated in the formation of the 600,000-acre Kisatchie National Forest system. Most of the forest’s districts lay along the Red River Trail. The Red River Birding Trail consists of 82 bird watching sites in 18 Louisiana parishes.

  • Complete Red River Guide (This file is a compilation of the files above and is quite large, 22 MB. It may take several minutes to download.)

Zachary Taylor Parkway Birding Trail Stretching nearly 150 miles eastward through the “boot” of Southeastern Louisiana, the Zachary Taylor Parkway leg of the America’s Wetland Birding Trail encompasses almost every major habitat type native to the state. At its western end, within the Tunica-Biloxi Loop, the trail slogs through the low bottomland hardwoods and cypress-tupelo swamps of the lower Mississippi River floodplain. Further east, the Audubon Loop climbs into the prominent upland hardwood blufflands of the Mississippi River’s east bank. This is the only region of the state where the Eastern chipmunk and American ginseng live and grow and represents the southernmost extensions of these two species’ North American distribution ranges. Finally, the trail meanders higher up into the dry, 300+ foot pineland ridges near its boundary with Southern Mississippi. The Zachary Taylor Parkway Birding Trail consists of 27 bird watching sites in 10 Louisiana parishes.

Please note that all trails are drafts, and subject to evaluation and revision.