MORGAN CITY, La. - The 15th Annual Eagle Expo and More, scheduled February 13-15, 2020, in Morgan City will feature seminars from wildlife and nature experts, a live raptor presentation, boat tours to view eagles and opportunities to meet fellow birders including the new Water and Nature Expo at the Cajun Coast Welcome Center.
Heading into its 15th year, the Eagle Expo is a tribute to the return of the American Bald Eagle to Louisiana, which was removed from the endangered species list in June 2007. Laws banning the use of harmful pesticides such as DDT and greater public awareness and education have increased the bald eagle population throughout Louisiana and the United States. Currently, there are nearly 300 active nests in Louisiana with a large concentration in the St. Mary and Terrebonne Parish areas.
This year's Expo will include a presentation by Wings to Soar sponsored by the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area on Thursday, February 13, 2020, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Bayou Vista Community Center Thel presentation showcases an array of Eagles, Falcons, Hawks and Owls soaring overhead. Private schools, parochial schools and home-schooled students will have the opportunity to attend a Wings to Soar presentation on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Bayou Vista Community Center at 10 a.m. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required. Contact email@example.com or 985-380-8224 to place your reservation. Wings to Soar will also visit the following schools: Franklin Junior High, Morgan City Junior High, Berwick Junior High, and Patterson Junior High.
A photography workshop taught by renowned wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood will be held Friday, February 14, 2020. Lockwood is known for his numerous publications and books, especially his eleventh book, Marsh Mission, which brought attention to the crisis of the vanishing Gulf Coast wetlands. His photography has been featured in prominent publications such as the Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. The workshop includes a seminar at 9 a.m. at the Cajun Coast Welcome Center with a field trip to Bayou Black beginning at noon. The boat tour in Bayou Black will focus on birding and marsh landscapes. The workshop requires separate registration and payment $195. Contact C.C. Lockwood at http://cclockwood.com or 225-245-5008 or 225-763-1259 to register. Space is limited.
Tours to view eagles will take place Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15, 2020. Featured waterways include the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Black, Turtle Bayou and Bayou Long. Tours will be on Friday, 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Each featured boat tour offers something different to attendees.
The Atchafalaya Basin Tour takes attendees into the largest overflow swamp in the U.S. with 10 distinct aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Home to more than 170 bird species, 50 mammalian species, 40 reptilian, 20 amphibian species and 100 species of fin fish and shellfish, the basin offers more than just eagles.
The Bayou Black Tour meanders through old oil and gas canals. Birds of prey including Bald Eagles, Ospreys and various species of hawks call this place home. Other birds likely to be encountered include various species of ducks, wading birds and song bird species.
The Turtle Bayou Tour includes two small natural bayous that provide for fantastic views and local wildlife. Aside from eagles other birds likely to be encountered include Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Red-shouldered Hawks, White Ibis, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Carolina Chickadees and various species of terns and gulls.
The Bayou Long Tour includes various waterways including Lake Verret, Bayou Magazille, Fourmile Bayou, Grassy Lake, Bayou Cherami, Bayou Milhomme and Lake Palourde. On this tour, you will be able to view Bald Eagles and their nests, Blue Heron, Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher, White Ibis and various species of birds.
New this year includes a tour by Greenwood Gator Farm & Tours that will include a tour into the backwaters of Bayou Black.
Friday evening will feature a social and presentation by Mary Beth Lima who is a professor in biological engineering at LSU and an avid birder. She has 107 bird species on her yard list, 364 birds on her state list and is a member of the 300 club - seeing more than 300 species in Louisiana in a single year. She is working on the 64 club - seeing one bird in each parish. She will discuss her book, "Adventures of a Louisiana birder: 1 Year, 2 Wings, 300 species.
Saturday, February 15, 2020, will feature a continental breakfast and a variety of speakers in the morning. Speakers for the morning seminars will include:
Delaina Leblanc on Red Knot research and Stacy Ortego with the Louisiana Wildlife Federation on Garden for Wildlife program, Matt Courtman on Ivory Bill Woodpeckers and the LSU Raptor Rehab Center.
Full registration includes the Friday social, Saturday continental breakfast, Thursday Wings to Soar program, t-shirt, speakers and entrance to Water & Nature Expo. Registration fees are $40.00 per person. Boat tours are separate and range from $43.00 to $69.00.
The Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau has partnered with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), LSU Museum of Natural Science, Conrad Industries, LUMCON, Taco Bell, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Stazione Deli and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and Morgan City Rotary Club.
For a complete event schedule, costs, registration forms and listings of hotel rates, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at 985-380-8224, visit online at email firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets visit https://www.cajuncoast.com/event/15th-annual-eagle-expo.