Speakers, Live Raptors, Photography Workshop and Boat Tours to Highlight

17th Annual Eagle Expo And More

            MORGAN CITY, LA – The 17th Annual Eagle Expo and More, scheduled February 18-19, 2022, in Morgan City, Louisiana, will feature seminars from wildlife and nature experts, a live raptor presentation, boat tours to view eagles and opportunities to meet fellow birders.
            Heading into its 17th 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 17, 2022, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Patterson Civic Center. This lively and informational 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 16, 2022 at the Patterson Civic Center at 10 a.m. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required. Please contact info@cajuncoast.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 18, 2022. C.C. 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 a separate registration.  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 18, 2022 and Saturday, February 19, 2022. Featured waterways include the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Black and Bayou Long.  Tours will be on Friday, 9 am and 1 p.m. and 8 am and 2 pm 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 over 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 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.

            Field trips to the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge and Green Foundation property in Patterson are also being offered.  The Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge in Franklin was established to provide critical habitat for the Louisiana black bear.  The refuge provides a home for an abundance of wildlife including neotropical songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians.  The Franklin Walking Trail and the Boardwalk will be optional tours. There is no cost.

The Green Foundation property off Cotten Road, is a bottomland hardwood forest that includes wet sites that attract Great Blue Heron, White Ibis, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested and Neotropic cormorants, Lesser Scaup, and Ring-necked Duck, along with raptors such as Red-tailed and Sharp-shinned hawks, Merlin, American Kestrel and American bald eagle.

            The Friday evening will feature a social at Lake End Park and Campground at one of the cabins on the Lake.

            Saturday, February 19, 2022 will feature a continental breakfast and a variety of speakers in the morning. Speakers for the morning seminars will include Krista Adams on Purple Martins, Erik Johnson with the Audubon Society and a presentation on the LA NERR project.    Full registration includes the Friday social, Saturday continental breakfast, Thursday Wings to Soar program, a t-shirt and speakers.   Registration fees are $45.00 per person.  Boat tours are separate and range from $35.00 to $70.00.  The field trips are free.

            The Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau has partnered with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), LUMCON, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Lake End Park, 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 or email info@cajuncoast.com.  For tickets visit https://bontempstix.com/organizations/eagle-expo.  For more information, visit https://www.cajuncoast.com/event/eagle-expo

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