Best Time to Visit This Site:

Migration, Winter

Most Sought Species at This Site:

Least Bittern, Tricolored Heron, Clapper Rail, King Rail, American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Nelson’s Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow

The popularity of this unit of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (Davis Bayou) as a birding site has waxed and waned over the years, particularly since the disastrous effect Hurricane Katrina had on its maritime forest. But in balance, its reputation as a reasonably productive spot during fallouts is well justified. Its core is the two-mile long Davis Bayou Trail that winds through a varied landscape of southern mixed hardwood forest, maritime forest, bayhead swamp, bayou and tidal marsh. Expect to find a good variety of woodland species in season and concentrate on the maritime forest during spring migration. In winter, there is a mix of water birds on the sheltered bay, including a good number of Hooded Mergansers, a species sometimes rather difficult to find in public areas on the immediate coast. There are also winter reports of King Rail invading what is primarily Clapper Rail habitat.  Seaside Sparrows are present year-round in moderate numbers. Be sure to visit the William M. Colmer Visitor Center. Its exhibits will put into perspective the entire National Seashore Park system, the habitats contained within it, and details of its trail systems.

GPS:  30.41170 -88.77967

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Updated: 9/17/2013