Ed Trahan and Wayne Higginbotham from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Forestry Section attended a Bird Identification Workshop hosted by the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Office located in Vicksburg, MS during the week of April 17-20.
This four-day workshop consisted of classroom and field exercises that taught land managers how to improve their bird identification skills and to have a better understanding of how land management decisions affect migratory songbird populations. Participants included biologists, foresters and land managers from state and federal offices across the Southeastern U.S.
Georgann Schmalz, an ornithologist for Birding Adventures, Inc., was the workshop instructor. She emphasized visual identification and recognition of calls and songs. This is necessary because population surveys include capture and species identification from calls and songs.
Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in northeast Louisiana was the site of the first field day. Here the day was spent identifying bird species associated with various habitat types and timber management practices. Dan Twedt of the U.S. Geological Survey and an experienced bird biologist also demonstrated how birds are captured and banded for research purposes. Measurements and physical characteristics of several birds were taken and recorded.
The second field day was held on Delta National Forest in Mississippi. While the habitat was somewhat similar to that on the Tensas River NWR, several species were encountered that had not been seen or heard the day before.
The third day concluded with a trip to the Vicksburg National Military Park. The park is situated in the loess bluff soils of eastern Mississippi along the Mississippi River. The habitat contains old growth forest interspersed with open fields. The significance of this park is that there are old growth forests on this site.
For more information, contact Ed Trahan at 318-277-0770 or Wayne Higginbotham at 225-270-2050.