Following up on a report by Bill Bergen, I dropped by Lafreniere Park today and saw a Roseate Spoonbill. Here is Bill's stunning picture, taken Friday.
At 11:00 this morning, the bird was standing on the railing of the cement bridge near the start of the boardwalk, and was easily spotted from my car while circling on the park access road.
Roseate Spoonbills have in recent years become regular late summer-early fall visitors to our urban landscape, primarily in Lafreniere Park (where the evening wader roost along the boardwalk may offer the best shot of finding one) and in the drainage canals in Metairie. Last year, the most productive drainage canal segments for them were in the neutral ground of West Metairie (between David Drive and Clearview), and in the canal along the edge of Airline Hwy between David Drive and Williams Blvd.
The bird in the picture is an immature, and those that come to our area are most likely post-breeding dispersers from one or more of their rookeries in the tidal marshes nearer the outer Gulf Coast. They are frequently also found at this time of year in the wetlands outside the city, such as at the Madere Marsh overlook in Bayou Sauvage NWR.