A black and white bird with with black and white horizontal stripes, a black cap and neck that encircle large white cheek patches.

From swallow-tailed kites and brown pelicans to warblers — the refuge's coastal marsh, pine savannahs, cypress lined bayous, and hardwood forest habitats are home to a variety of bird species.

Year-round residents of the pine savannah habitat include the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Other refuge residents include shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, waterfowl, and songbirds. Brown pelicans are commonly seen over the water year-round. The refuge supports over 5,000 wintering waterfowl, including mallards, gadwall, and northern pintails. Spring and fall bring neotropical migrants — these are birds that summer in a breeding range in North America but migrate to Central or South America or the Caribbean for the winter. Many warblers, hummingbirds, shorebirds, songbirds, and some hawks are neotropical migratory birds.

Places to Birdwatch at the Refuge:

Boy Scout Road: Look for red-cockaded woodpeckers in the pine trees near the trailhead and along the four mile long out and back trail to Bayou Lacombe.

Bayou Cane: Look for black-bellied whistling ducks in the nest boxes along the bayou. You may also see a Mississippi kite or an osprey soaring overhead. Herons and shorebirds are often spotted.

Lake Road: Look for pelicans, terns, gulls, shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl. Owls are sometimes seen hunting over the marsh in early evening.

Find out what birds are being seen at the refuge at this eBird tracker.

Related Documents
Big Branch Marsh NWR Bird List.pdf

List of bird species found at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge