Birdwatching at Bayou Sauvage

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Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for birding! The Refuge's habitats — bottomland hardwood forest, freshwater and brackish marsh, lagoons, canals, and bayous — provide for the needs of 340 species of birds. Thousands of waterfowl may be seen in late winter and spring. Wading birds are seen year round. For many birds, the Refuge is the last stop over on the Mississippi Flyway before they cross the Gulf of Mexico. 

Where to Look for Birds

Joe Madere Marsh Overlook: Located on Hwy. 90. Look for waterfowl and shorebirds such as Black-necked Stilts and Avocets in the shallow water and mudflats.

Ridge Trail Boardwalk: Also on Hwy. 90. This 1/2 mile long boardwalk trail winds through a remnant forest* that survived Hurricane Katrina and is being restored. Ibis, kites, raptors, and songbirds may be spotted on this walk.

*Hurricane Katrina severely impacted the Refuge.  The ridge trail area was a shady mature forest of oak trees and other hardwoods that sheltered neotropical migrants. Many of the trees that remained standing were flooded with salt water and could not survive the salinity. Restoration of the ridge trail forest with hardwood trees is ongoing and the song of warblers is returning. 

Download a Refuge bird list at this link.  (754 KB PDF)   

See what birds are being spotted where before you visit by checking out the eBird Tracker below.