St. Martin

Feb 7, 2011 9:02 AM by Nichole Larkey & AP

Eagle Expo offers wildlife tours, lectures

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Nature lovers get a chance to catch glimpses of America's living national symbol this week during events based in Morgan City.
The annual three-day Eagle Expo is set for Thursday through Saturday. It includes trips to bald eagle habitats in western
Terrebonne and eastern St. Mary parishes.
Participants attend lectures and take boat tours that give them a glimpse of eagles and the other abundant wildlife of the wetlands.
A 2006 survey from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries showed Terrebonne with 69 eagle nests, more than any
other parish. It was followed by St. Martin Parish, 31; Assumption, 36; St. Charles, 29; St. Mary, 27; Lafourche, 21; and St. John the Baptist, 19.
Mitch Samaha, a biologist with the Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries, said he has seen a steady increase in eagle
nests in Terrebonne, and cites conservation efforts as the reason
why.
Samaha said Terrebonne is a good spot to see eagles because the
territory includes the Houma Navigation Canal and Gulf Intracoastal
Waterway in close proximity to cypress forests.
"Those trees provide great perching and nesting habitats," he
said.
Organizers of the event include the Cajun Coast Visitors and
Convention Bureau, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary
Program and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Samaha said the eagle population in Terrebonne brings in tourism
from bird-watchers who enjoy the aesthetic importance bald eagles
bring to the area.

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