JONATHAN OLIVIER| THE COURIER
Dec. 26, 2014
GRAND ISLE — A bird rarely seen in Louisiana was among 130 species heard or spotted on Grand Isle during the National Audubon Society’s annual winter bird count.
A Lucy’s warbler, which normally lives in the U.S. Southwest or in Mexico, was the exciting find of the day on Grand Isle, said Chris Brantley, who organized the count on Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island and one of nearly 30 planned around Louisiana between mid-December and Jan. 5.
There are only a few records of the bird ever being seen in Louisiana, Brantley said.
Around 15 observers scoured the island on Dec. 18 for the annual event designed to get a sense of bird population trends.
The current count is the 115th nationally; Brantley said Grand Isle has had a bird count every year since 1997 and, with a few breaks, since 1949.
Other birds Brantley noted as special finds were an American redstart, ovenbird, western tanager and a few ruby-throated and black-chinned hummingbirds.
Counters from Lafayette to Baton Rouge gathered at Grand Isle, binoculars in hand. They broke into groups that searched a 15-mile diameter circle from Grand Isle State Park to Fourchon.