BTNEP – Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program

The title’s long and I’m not sure how to pronounce Barataria-Terrebonne, but recently I obtained (was sent) a calendar from BTNEP called “Wings Over the Wetlands – Louisiana’s Waders”. This is the second year BTNEP has created a calendar promoting their efforts in protecting the estuaries of Louisiana.

Louisiana has 17 species of wading birds that occur regularly including some of the most gorgeous birds in the U.S. – Tri-colored Heron, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill to name a few. There are more waders in Louisiana than any other state!

Roseate Spoonbills at High Island, Texas
Paging through the calendar there is a multitude of info about wading birds and great in-your-face photos. I especially like the fact that the calendar includes info on days there are birding events and when various waders are beginning to nest (many of them nest early on in the year).

I have only been to one rookery (wader nesting congregation) and it is close to the coolest thing I’ve seen in nature. The noise and activity of seven or more species of birds flying in and out of trees that look as if they can barely support them, is truly amazing. Not only that but there was an alligator swimming about underneath.

The American Birding Association is having their annual convention in Lafayette, Louisiana from April 23 to 29 this year.

The recovery of wading birds is great considering what they were facing a hundred years ago:

From The Birder’s Handbook (Ehrlich, Dobkin, and Wheye, 1988) “Here are some official figures of the trade from one source alone, of auctions at the London Commercial Sales Rooms during 1902. There were sold 1,608 packages of…herons’ plumes. A package is said to average in weight 30 ounces. This makes a total of 48,240 ounces. As it requires about four birds to make an ounce of plumes, these sales meant 192,960 herons killed at their nests, and from two to three times that number of young or eggs destroyed…In 1903, the price for plumes offered to hunters was $32 per ounce, which makes the plumes worth about twice their weight in gold.”

3 thoughts on “BTNEP – Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program

  1. The calendar with all of the local birding events is an excellent idea! The photo you posted is awesome!
    OMG – it makes me sick to think of what they used to do to birds so they could be “fashionable.”

  2. Glad you liked the calendar. Many copies are still available free of charge. Just contact us at 800 259-0869 and we would be happy to send you more for friends and family.

    We beginning to work on next year’s production, probably focussing on warblers that frequent the state.


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