Event Details

The Bayou Birding Bon Temps is a statewide birding event that promotes birding in Louisiana and develops checklists for birding sites.


Who: Everyone is encouraged to participate. 

When: April 1 - April 30, 2013 

Where: Birding trail sites, National Wildlife Refuges, and Louisiana Wildlife Management Areas


Louisiana has a long tradition of nature study with ornithological giants such as Catesby, Wilson, and Audubon exploring the Louisiana Purchase. The Pelican State is rich in bird abundance and diversity with a stalwart community of birdwatchers. Louisiana’s birding largesse primarily is enjoyed by residents whereas neighboring states have promoted their natural heritage successfully as a tourist draw.


In the last few years, birding trails were developed for Louisiana. This is an excellent resource for both residents and visitors. The Bayou Birding Bon Temps will promote our birding trails with residents and visitors with a statewide birding competition. Further, we will use eBird.org to enter checklists by birding trail site. These checklists will provide valuable information for visitors curious about what has been seen where and when. This is precisely the information birders want to know while planning a birding trip.


Louisiana birding trail information


In addition to the birding trails, Louisiana's Wildlife Management Areas (1.4 million acres) and U.S. National Wildlife Refuges (600,000 acres) are included as event locations.

Louisiana Wildlife Management Areas
Louisiana Wildlife Refuges



Because Louisiana is a large and diverse state, the Bayou Birding Bon Temps will be divided into three regions: Northern Interior, Southern Interior, and Coastal.

  • Northern Interior parishes: Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Union, Morehouse, West Carroll, East Carroll, Madison, Richland, Ouchita, Jackson, Lincoln, Bienville, Red River, De Soto, Natchitoches, Caldwell, Franklin, Madison, Tensas, Catahoula, Concordia, LaSalle, Grant, Winn, and Sabine
  • Southern Interior parishes: Vernon, Rapides, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, St. Landry, Point Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, Calcasieu, Jeffererson Davis, Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Tammany, Iberville, Ascension, Assumption, and St. James
  • Coasta parishes: Cameron, Vermilion, Iberia, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard


Map of Louisiana

Map of Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges & Management Areas

Map of Louisiana

Award Categories 


Big Day

(species count)
This is a classic big day restricted to Louisiana. We recommend you review and follow the American Birding Association Big Day Count Rules.


Big Location

(species count)
Single day and total period divisions
This category will be the most beneficial for developing location checklists. Choose a location and bird it for a day or the whole month. The location within each region with the most species takes the bragging rights.


Most Locations

(total period location count)
This category is for the explorers. The participant that enters checklists for the most locations wins.


Lagniappe Award

(Random birding trail location, all entries from location eligible for drawing)
A little something extra.



The following rules will help guide participants of the Bayou Birding Bon Temps. Participants should be familiar with and comply with the following rules. Participants should also be familiar with ABA's Code of Ethics.



  1. Participants will count only full species as defined by the current ABA checklist.
  2. Birds identified to a taxonomic level above species may be counted if no other member of the taxonomic level are on the checklist e.g. duck sp. can be counted if no other ducks are seen.
  3. Birds counted must be alive and unrestrained. Sick and injured birds are countable. Nests and eggs do not count.
  4. Electronic devices are allowed, but see ethics for guidelines.


We will extract the eBird data for the month of April on May 1.



  1. Location checklists may be submitted for official birding trail sites, Louisiana Wildlife Management Areas, and National Wildlife Refuges. Birds seen en route to these locations may not be added if they occurred outside of the site boundaries. It is the responsibility of the participant to learn the boundaries of the site. 
  2. The Big Day is restricted to Louisiana. Northern Interior and Southern Interior should check the map for boundaries. Participants should send checklists to birdoffice@tigers.lsu.edu. You do not need to submit this checklist to eBird. The scale of the data are not very useful if you have driven all across the region. Big Day participants are encouraged to enter data from locations, but this is optional.


  1. If participating in a Big Day attempt. ABA Big Day rules apply.
  2. Participants may form teams if they choose. There is no limit to the number of team members.


  1. Participants must count only birds unquestionably identified. If in doubt, leave it out.
  2. Know and abide by the rules.
  3. Share information with fellow birders, they'll thank you for the information.


Birding is about accuracy and honesty. If participants personally observe other participants violating the rules or spirit of the birding code of ethics, they may file a protest. This protest may result in the expulsion of the participants from current and future Bayou Birding Bon Temps events.



This event is free and open to the public. Bragging rights are there for the taking.



** Header Image is Pileated Woodpecker by ARCreative **