Friday, September 13, 2013

Site report: migration in LaSalle Park, Metairie

I found myself at 8 am this morning fortuitously near LaSalle park in Metairie (at David x Airline), which I have never had the opportunity to visit during migration season before, and do not recall hearing any reports from this season previously.

The park is relatively new, mainly athletic fields, but a substantial piece of "native" forest was left intact and remains surrounded by a buffer of remnant canopy trees shading open ground underneath.  There are lots of notably large, mature hardwoods both in the remnant woods and in the surrounding manicured areas.  These woods are part of a larger woodlot that was present at least into the 1990s, when I surveyed it as part of a project looking at urban woodlot use by birds.  Don't quote me on this till I can review my records, but I think there were Broad-winged Hawks and Barred Owls in it during the nesting season at that time (not any more- but it still sticks out as a habitat island amongst its surroundings).

I spent 45 minutes, and did have some migrants.  A flock up in the canopy along the north edge had
2 Summer Tanager
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 immature Prothonotary Warbler (kinda odd to be so high in the trees)

From the boardwalk in the interior of the woodlot, near the "outdoor classroom," I had another flock in the understory:
1 Acadian Flycatcher
1 Black-and-White Warbler
1 Worm-eating Warbler

I failed to find any chickadees (which may have hurt the list- finding chickadees is often a good way to locate migrant warblers this time of year, as they tend to join chickadees).

There were 3-4 Cardinal family groups, all with cardinal (not cowbird) young- a heartwarming thing to see in the heart of Bronzed Cowbirdland.

Kudos to the landscapers here, who have actually set up a drip and pool for birds by the outdoor classroom. There were no birds using it, but the understory flock was close by and may have been drawn to it.

Good birding,

Peter Yaukey

for a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at, or look for it at the Maple Street or Garden District Book Shops.

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