Louisiana birds and eco-attractions called "spectacular" - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisiana birds and eco-attractions called "spectacular"

Posted: Updated:
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Sports Persons of the Week: Jacqueline & Kimmie Rushford

    Sports Persons of the Week: Jacqueline & Kimmie Rushford

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:50:06 GMT
    Our Sports Persons of the Week are Deridder Track and Field stars Jacqueline and Kimmie Rushford. Jacq, a Northwestern State signee, placed 3rd in the 2000 meter steeple chase with a time of 7.51.16 at the USATF National Junior Olympics while her sister Kimmie finished 2nd in Pole Vaulting, jumping her best height of 12' 1.5".The Lady Dragon grad was also a 4 year letter winner and a 6-time district champion while the upcoming junior the the returning district champ in pole vaulting, long and...More >>
    Our Sports Persons of the Week are Deridder Track and Field stars Jacqueline and Kimmie Rushford. Jacq, a Northwestern State signee, placed 3rd in the 2000 meter steeple chase with a time of 7.51.16 at the USATF National Junior Olympics while her sister Kimmie finished 2nd in Pole Vaulting, jumping her best height of 12' 1.5".The Lady Dragon grad was also a 4 year letter winner and a 6-time district champion while the upcoming junior the the returning district champ in pole vaulting, long and...More >>
  • McNeese Baseball hosts All-Skills Youth Camp

    McNeese Baseball hosts All-Skills Youth Camp

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:46:31 GMT
    Head Coach Justin Hill wanted to gather young baseball players, get them out at Cowboy Diamond, and teach the basics of baseball. The kids got to learn from not only MSU coaches, but also from the players they look up to. Coach Hill says its really a chance to give back to the Cowboy faithful."I think it's a big thing. Our guys really like working these camps because they get a chance to interact with the fans a lot closer and they get to learn from the kids and the kids get to learn from the...More >>
    Head Coach Justin Hill wanted to gather young baseball players, get them out at Cowboy Diamond, and teach the basics of baseball. The kids got to learn from not only MSU coaches, but also from the players they look up to. Coach Hill says its really a chance to give back to the Cowboy faithful."I think it's a big thing. Our guys really like working these camps because they get a chance to interact with the fans a lot closer and they get to learn from the kids and the kids get to learn from the...More >>
  • Suspect in 2008 death, rape of Lake Charles woman in custody

    Suspect in 2008 death, rape of Lake Charles woman in custody

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:59:20 GMT
    Jose Manuel Garcia-Guevara, the man wanted in connection with the 2008 murder and rape of a Lake Charles woman, has been captured and is in custody in Calcasieu Parish.More >>
    Jose Manuel Garcia-Guevara, the man wanted in connection with the 2008 murder and rape of a Lake Charles woman, has been captured and is in custody in Calcasieu Parish.More >>
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Ecotourism is growing in popularity among people who want to visit fragile, pristine and largely undisturbed areas.

We have those right here in Southwest Louisiana. That's why an internationally known birding guide and 32 major supporters of Cornell University are here.
 
Here at Sam Houston Jones State Park, John Fitzpatrick sounds so much like the barred owl his song beckons other species.

"Haw, haw haw haw haw! Awwww," he shouts, with apparent authenticity. "There's a sapsucker! Sapsucker just called! Two sapsuckers chasing!" he said, as fellow birders scan the trees.

"It's a common owl in the southern swamps and these woodpeckers want to come in and find out where the owl is because they don't want to be surprised by it," Fitzpatrick said.

He is the director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithica, N.Y., and one of one of 32 birders from all over the country united in their support of the bird lab.

"The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's premier center for the study and appreciation and concentration of birds. We do scientific research. We train students," Fitzpatrick said.

Their guide is internationally known Victor Emanuel, who leads birding and nature tours all over the world. He said there's great potential for ecotourism here in Southwest Louisiana. He said the birds are spectacular.

"There's so much to see here. It's an easy part of the country to get to. A lot of people want to travel within the United States and see bird and animals. It's a hobby that's growing incredibly fast," Emanuel said.

They're staying at Grosse Savanne Waterfowl and Wildlife Lodge, located way off the beaten path in a Cameron Parish marsh. 

Bobby Jorden is eco-tourism manager.

"Grosse Savanne has unlimited access to about fifty thousand acres of agricultural lands along with native coastal prairies, fresh and saltwater marshes. So, we're very fortunate to have various eco-types here. We do a lot of hunting and fishing along with these eco-tours," Jorden said.

While this area and the parks are well known for wildlife and nature, many locals may not realize the thrill of seeing certain birds. What has been the highlight so far?  

"The huge numbers of geese and ducks. We saw a bird called the Cinnamon Teal, a little chest nut colored duck that one of the local guides had seen only once in his life in Louisiana," Emanuel said.

And you may wonder, why birds and why a laboratory at Cornell devoted to their study.

"If we have good birds we know the underlying ecological systems are doing well," Fitzpatrick said.

Still to come, the shorebirds of Cameron Parish which they visit tomorrow. They are so much a part of Louisiana's wet and wild side.

For more information on ecotourism go HERE and HERE. For more information on birding and the Cornell lab go HERE and HERE.

Powered by WorldNow