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Avian diversity associated with a crawfish impoundment unit in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, USA.

ABSTRACT--Crawfish impoundments are managed agricultural wetlands. They are stocked initially with adult crawfish Procambarus clarkii and P. zonangulus in the spring and drained after several weeks. Crawfish persist and reproduce in earthen burrows. Well over half of the 46,000 hectares of crawfish impoundments in southern Louisiana are then planted with a crop such as rice, sorghum, or soybeans, with rice being the dominant crop. Volunteer moist soil vegetation is grown in the remaining impoundments. Impoundments are flooded during the fall and crawfish emerge with their young. The shallow impoundments have a myriad of invertebrate and small vertebrate aquatic animals that attract many predaceous water birds. Herbivorous water birds find high densities of seeds, roots, and tubers in the ponds. Other avian species are attracted to the periphery of crawfish impoundments, especially those adjacent to brushy, wooded areas. This report addresses the avian diversity associated with a 25 ha crawfish impoundment unit and an adjacent 215 ha agricultural complex in southern Louisiana. A total of 225 species of birds has been recorded in 12 years and the significant, seasonal use of the crawfish system by water birds is documented.

Key words: crawfish, aquaculture, water birds, habitat, predation, management.

INTRODUCTION

Crawfish (Procambarus spp.) are cultivated in south Louisiana by establishing self-perpetuating populations of crawfish in shallow earthen impoundments that are flooded for crawfish production in the cool months. A common misconception about crawfish aquaculture in Louisiana is that all crawfish are cultivated in ricefields. In fact, at least one-quarter of the 46,000 ha of crawfish impoundments in the state involve rice-crawfish rotations (Huner 1995). The remaining crawfish impoundments are located in low-lying crop lands or impounded wooded wetlands.

Predaceous fishes are excluded from crawfish impoundments (Huner and Barr 1991). As a result, high populations of large invertebrates (insects, mollusks, crawfishes, and other crustaceans) and small vertebrates (minnows, tadpoles, and frogs) can be found in crawfish impoundments compared to surrounding, unmanaged wetlands. This dense concentration of food organisms is attractive to predaceous water birds (Rettig 1994, Fleury and Sherry 1995, Huner 1995, Frederick et al. 1996; Fig. 1). Likewise, plant material, especially seeds, edible roots, tubers, and succulent leaves, provide excellent feeding opportunities for herbivorous water birds (Perry et al. 1970, Nassar et al. 1991). Furthermore, other avian species are attracted to the periphery of crawfish impoundments, especially those adjacent to brushy, wooded areas (Martin 1985, Martin and Hamilton 1985, Remsen et al. 1991).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Predaceous water birds also prey on crawfish in crawfish impoundments (Martin and Hamilton 1985, Huner 1995). At times, herbivorous water birds, such as ducks and geese, may trample and destroy emergent, forage vegetation (Huner 1995). Because crawfish are polytrophic and consume significant quantities of invertebrates and seeds as well as detritus (Momot 1995), all water birds feeding in crawfish ponds compete with the crawfish for food. Thus, even though crawfish impoundments represent high quality water bird habitat, farmers are concerned about negative effects of predation, destruction of forage vegetation, and competition for food by water birds on their crawfish crops.

This report documents the avian use and diversity at a small crawfish impoundment unit in southern Louisiana and the agricultural area surrounding it. However, our data do not permit a definitive discussion of the nature of the impact of water birds on crawfish production.

STUDY AREA AND METHODS

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette College of Applied Sciences Experimental Farm occupies 240 ha of land in western St. Martin Parish in south-central Louisiana. The farm is located roughly halfway between the village of Cade and the town of St. Martinville just south of Louisiana Highway 92. The farm is located at the junction of the natural loessal terrace and adjacent alluvial lowland about 2 km west of Bayou Teche (Soil Conservation Service 1977). Subdivisions include managed (aquaculture, primarily crawfish) and forested, semi-natural, short-hydroperiod wetlands as well as livestock (beef, dairy, horse, sheep, and goat) pasture, organic waste lagoons, hay fields, and crop lands (primarily sugar cane). Roughly one-third of the property is devoted to each of the following uses: wetland systems, livestock, and crops.

Water bird use of the wetland systems, especially a 25-ha crawfish impoundment unit, was continuously monitored from 1992 through 1998. Over 90% of the observations were made during a 30-60 minute period approximately an hour after dawn. Water birds observed in the 25 separate ponds were recorded. The total number of daily observation periods during the study period was 1,091: 1992, 44; 1993, 174; 1994, 177; 1995, 155; 1996, 156; 1997, 201; and 1998, 184.

The main pond was 11.4 ha in area and total water area for all ponds was about 18 ha. The ponds were primarily used for cultivating crawfish with rice grown during the summer months to serve as the forage base for the crawfish. The impoundments were flooded for crawfish production from September-October through June-July with depths of 30-40 cm. The rice forage crop established in the ponds was irrigated during most summers with depths of 10-15 cm.

Beginning in 1987 and continuing through 1999, all areas of the farm were regularly visited by amateur and professional ornithologists. These birders assisted us in recording the bird species using the farm and providing a general idea about seasonal abundance. Nomenclature and order reported here were based on Dittmann (1998) and Dickinson (1999). Reference checklists for the region included the Fontenot (1999) checklist for south-central Louisiana, the Musumeche (1997) checklist for the adjacent Spanish Lake wetland in Iberia Parish, and the Vermillion (1997) checklist for the state of Louisiana. The data presented in this communication are based on birds that have physically used the property as opposed to "flyover" data.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Summaries of all water birds recorded at the UL at Lafayette crawfish impoundment unit from January 1992 through December 1998 are presented in Tables 1a (overall) and 1b (annual). Monthly utilization of the unit by the water birds during this seven year period is summarized in Table 2. The 225 bird species observed on the UL at Lafayette Experimental Farm from September 1987 through January 2000 are listed in Table 3.

Seasonality

The relatively small UL at Lafayette crawfish impoundment unit provides habitat for a remarkable diversity of water birds considering its size (Table 1a,b). In general, 15 to 20 individual water birds will be present at any particular time during the fall-winter-spring period when all ponds are flooded for crawfish production. During the summer, there are usually 5 to 10 water birds present.

Large numbers of long-legged water birds are especially conspicuous when crawfish ponds are drained in the spring (Table 2). As many as 1,000 birds including herons, egrets, ibises, spoonbills, and storks may be present during the week-long period required to drain the main pond unit. Herons and egrets are also attracted in smaller numbers in August or September when rice irrigation water is drained for fish control. Few crawfish are present but numerous invertebrates, small fish, and tadpoles provide good foraging opportunities.

Flocks of 50 to 150 White Ibis, dark ibises (Plegadis spp., primarily White-faced Ibis), Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Little Blue Herons are also encountered during the fall, winter and spring when prey, primarily crawfish, is abundant and vulnerable as a consequence of low oxygen or low water levels. Several hundred Cattle Egrets are regularly attracted to the main crawfish impoundment at two times of year: when rice forage is being flooded in July and when it is being refilled in the fall for crawfish production. At both times, terrestrial arthropods are forced to climb above the rising waters into the emergent vegetation and become vulnerable to the birds. Both Little Blue Herons and ibises may be encountered in good numbers at these times as well.

With the exception of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, the numbers of herons, egrets, and ibises are relatively low in April and May despite their conspicuous presence in area rookeries (Vermillion, pers. comm.). We believe that the UL at Lafayette aquaculture unit is outside the foraging range of the nesting birds even though significant quantities of prey are present.

Summary data do not distinguish between cormorant, duck, shorebird, gull, and tern species present during the study period (Table 1a, b and Table 2). A number of individual species of these taxa have been recorded (Table 3). The dominant species within each taxon are as follows:
 Cormorant--Neotropic Cormorant and Double-Crested Cormorant.

 Duck--Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, and Ring-necked Duck.

 Shorebirds--Black-necked Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and
 "peeps."

 Gulls--Laughing Gull and Ring-billed Gull.

 Terns--Forster's Tern.


Migratory coots, cormorants, gulls, and terns are encountered in greatest numbers from late fall into mid-spring (Table 2). A decline in duck numbers in mid-winter correlates with both reduction in food resources, seasonal rains expanding available natural habitat, and nearby, intense waterfowl hunting in neighboring crawfish ponds. Geese rarely land but are present during fall and winter months. Flyovers, especially of Snow Geese, are common then.

Migratory shorebirds are most likely to be encountered from late summer into early fall whenever mud flat or poorly vegetated, shallow water habitat is available. Although there is a well documented spring movement of shorebirds in the area (Lowery 1974), all ponds are full of water so that favored shallow water habitat is not available to attract any appreciable numbers of shorebirds.

Water bird numbers do vary from year to year. For example, the greatest number of American Coots encountered in 10 years were present during the 1996-1997 season skewing their representation somewhat compared to other water bird species (Table 1a, b).

The seasonal diversity and abundance of water birds associated with the UL at Lafayette crawfish impoundment unit is consistent with other studies of the water bird use of Louisiana crawfish impoundments and rice-field systems (Martin and Hamilton 1985, Martin 1985; Remsen et al. 1991, Rettig 1994, Fleury and Sherry 1995). The data demonstrate that small crawfish units have significant value as water bird habitat.

Depredation and Competition Issues

The question of water bird depredation has been a major concern to crawfish farmers (Fleury and Sherry 1995; Huner 1995). Furthermore, all water birds compete, in some way, with crawfish for food resources, plant, animal, or both.

The following bird taxa were regularly observed to take crawfish during the course of this study: Pied-billed Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue-Heron, White Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Ring-billed Gull, Laughing Gull, Forster's Tern, and Belted Kingfisher. Therefore, crawfish were preyed upon by birds that wade, dive, and swim-dive to take prey. Thus, crawfish in all areas of our ponds were vulnerable to different groups of predaceous water birds at sometime during the regular September through June crawfish season.

Romaire (1993) used a crawfish pond management model to determine the theoretical impact of predaceous water birds on crawfish production. He did not address the issue of competition for food resources. Ideal crawfish production was about 2,000 kg/ha. Romaire found that predation when ponds were drained probably did not have an impact on crawfish production in well-managed crawfish ponds. Heavy predation during the winter and early spring reduced the model crawfish production by approximately 50 percent. Crawfish production in the UL at Lafayette's two commercial-sized ponds has been consistent with Romaire's predation projections during the 1992-1998 study period (Huner 1999).

Several factors besides vertebrate predation are known to adversely effect crawfish survival and production levels including failure to control predaceous fishes, poor water quality, reduced harvesting intensity, and high crawfish population densities (Huner and Barr 1991, Martin and Hamilton 1985). However, populations of crawfish-eating wading birds are continuing to increase (Fleury and Sherry 1995), and we have found additional species of water birds including cormorants, gulls, terns, and grebes to be crawfish predators in crawfish impoundments. These birds were rarely observed by Martin and Hamilton (1985) who concluded that wading birds had no negative impact on crawfish production in crawfish impoundments. Finally, no one has, to our knowledge, addressed the issue of competition for food resources between birds and crawfish. We conclude, therefore, that definitive studies on the impact of avian predators and competitors on crawfish production in crawfish impoundments are long overdue.

Avian Diversity

In 28 years, Musumeche (1997) has documented over 240 bird species in the Spanish Lake wetland in Iberia Parish. Musumeche's study area is located approximately 10 km to the southwest of the UL at Lafayette Experimental Farm. We report here 225 bird species during a 13 year period (Table 3). Musumeche's study area is dominated by alluvial valley habitat but the western boundary is loessal prairie (Soil Conservation Service 1978). Therefore, that area is similar on a macro-scale to that encountered on a micro-scale at the UL at Lafayette Experimental Farm. As a result, most of the bird species that Musumeche lists as common during the appropriate season have been regularly observed on the UL at Lafayette Experimental Farm. There is a similar correspondence to observations on nesting species with at least 47 species nesting or believed to be nesting on the farm.

The Fontenot (1999) checklist for south-central Louisiana includes 314 species from Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and eastern Vermillion Parishes. Seasonal abundance and nesting of species common to the UL at Lafayette site in St. Martin Parish and the Spanish Lake site in Iberia Parish are consistent with the broader area covered in Fontenot's checklist.

Land use at the UL at Lafayette Experimental Farm is representative, on a micro-scale, of that practiced by agricultural interests throughout south-central Louisiana. Dominant crops are crawfish, often in rotation with rice, sugarcane, corn, soybeans, and cattle. Although individual farm holdings may not include agricultural wetlands, pastures, forested areas, and croplands, the region, taken as a whole, provides a vital landscape of such habitats accounting for the avian diversity documented by Musumeche (1997) and Fontenot (1999).
TABLE 1A. Total number * of water birds observed at the University of
Louisiana at Lafayette crawfish impoundment unit from January 1992
through December 1998.

 Taxon Total Percent

Pied-billed Grebe 2,023 2.4
American White Pelican 1 <0.1
Cormorants 5,004 6.0
Anhinga 43 0.1
American Bittern 13 <0.1
Least Bittern 5 <0.1
Great Blue Heron 889 1.1
Great Egret 8,328 10.0
Snowy Egret 15,093 18.1
Little Blue Heron 11,167 13.4
Tricolored Heron 661 0.8
Reddish Egret 1 <0.1
Green Heron 89 0.1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 525 0.6
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1,406 1.7
White Ibis 8,850 10.6
Dark Ibis 4,492 5.9
Roseate Spoonbill 162 0.2
Wood Stork 175 0.2
Geese 8 <0.1
Ducks 6,514 7.8
Sora 92 0.1
Common Moorhen 4 <0.1
American Coot 10,007 12.0
Shorebirds ** 2,361 2.8
Gulls 2,927 3.5
Terns 1,802 2.2
Belted Kingfisher 243 0.3

* Total number observed was 83,335 birds.

** Does not include Killdeer and Common Snipe.
TABLE 1B. Average number of water birds per observation day at the
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Experimental Farm from January
1992 to December 1998. *

 Year

 Taxon 92 93 94 95

Pied-Billed Grebe -- 0.1 3.1 0.7
American White Pelican -- -- -- --
Cormorants 0.1 0.2 1.6 2.8
Anhinga -- -- + --
American Bittern -- -- + --
Least Bittern -- -- -- --
Great Blue Heron 0.3 0.6 0.5 0.8
Great Egret 15.6 2.5 7.8 5.4
Snowy Egret 24.0 6.3 15.9 11.6
Little Blue Heron 1.3 5.0 5.6 7.4
Tricolored Heron 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.2
Reddish Egret -- -- -- --
Green Heron 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Black-crowned Night-Heron + 0.1 0.9 0.8
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1.4 0.5 0.7 0.1
White Ibis 11.2 1.3 6.2 6.1
Dark Ibis 0.1 4.0 8.2 1.5
Roseate Spoonbill -- -- -- +
Wood Stork -- 0.8 -- --
Geese + -- -- --
Ducks 1.5 5.1 3.5 11.5
Sora -- -- -- 0.2
Common Moorhen -- -- -- --
American Coot 0.1 -- 0.1 9.8
Shorebirds ** 0.1 + 0.4 0.5
Gulls 0.6 + 3.7 2.9
Terns 0.3 0.3 3.1 1.0
Belted Kingfisher -- 0.1 0.2 0.3
 Totals 57.4 27.4 62.1 63.7
 Number of observation days 44 174 177 155

 Year

 Taxon 96 97 98

Pied-Billed Grebe 4.0 2.3 1.4
American White Pelican -- -- +
Cormorants 2.5 11.0 8.7
Anhinga + + 1.6
American Bittern + + +
Least Bittern + + +
Great Blue Heron 1.2 1.2 0.8
Great Egret 12.7 6.8 9.5
Snowy Egret 23.1 11.4 16.7
Little Blue Heron 21.2 10.7 16.1
Tricolored Heron 1.7 0.3 0.7
Reddish Egret -- + --
Green Heron 0.1 + 0.1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 0.1 0.9 0.1
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 4.0 1.0 1.6
White Ibis 19.2 10.4 5.9
Dark Ibis 8.6 1.4 5.2
Roseate Spoonbill 0.3 0.4 0.4
Wood Stork -- 0.2 +
Geese + + +
Ducks 8.0 6.6 4.7
Sora 0.2 0.1 0.1
Common Moorhen + + +
American Coot 33.4 12.4 4.6
Shorebirds ** 8.9 1.3 3.5
Gulls 1.2 7.0 1.2
Terns 2.8 1.6 1.9
Belted Kingfisher 0.4 0.3 0.2
 Totals 153.6 87.3 85.0
 Number of observation days 156 201 184

* Total number observed was 83,335 birds.

** Does not include Killdeer and Common Snipe.

+ Birds observed but mean value <0.1.
TABLE 2. Seasonality of water birds observed at the University of
Louisiana at Lafayette crawfish impoundment unit, January 1992 through
December 1998.

 Percent occurrence per month

 Taxon J F M A M J

Pied-billed Grebe 13.6 23.0 8.9 2.1 0.7 0.3
American White Pelican 100 0 0 0 0 0
Cormorants 13.8 23.2 31.9 11.3 3.3 13.4
Anhinga 0 0 0 0 48.8 48.8
American Bittern 0 23.1 0 0 7.7 7.7
Least Bittern 0 0 0 0 80.0 20.0
Great Blue Heron 17.0 12.6 6.2 4.2 2.7 4.3
Great Egret 6.2 6.6 8.9 5.3 4.3 45.3
Snowy Egret 4.2 7.1 5.9 2.9 4.5 51.4
Little Blue Heron 1.6 1.8 5.9 4.7 5.4 21.8
Tricolored Heron 1.8 2.4 1.4 2.3 5.9 56.3
Reddish Egret 0 0 0 0 0 100
Green Heron 0 0 0 2.2 9.0 37.1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 3.8 0 0 3.8 5.3 80.8
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 0 0 0 0.4 15.9 67.2
White Ibis 15.0 9.5 3.5 <0.1 0 35.1
Dark Ibis 12.7 8.3 4.8 0.1 0 0.9
Roseate Spoonbill 0 0 0 0 0.6 88.9
Wood Stork 0 0 0 0 0 19.4
Goose 25.0 12.5 0 0 0 0
Duck 2.3 7.4 11.6 13.2 9.9 2.2
Sora 12.0 2.2 5.4 3.3 0 0
Common Moorhen 0 0 0 25.0 25.0 0
American Coot 11.1 22.4 29.2 14.7 <0.1 <0.1
Shorebirds 1.8 0.3 0 1.3 3.0 7.1
Gulls 14.5 49.3 25.9 5.9 0.2 0.1
Terns 32.1 39.1 6.8 <0.1 0 0
Belted Kingfisher 15.2 8.2 3.7 0.4 0 0

 Percent occurrence per month

 Taxon J A S O N D

Pied-billed Grebe 0 0.6 0.4 10.8 23.1 16.3
American White Pelican 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cormorants <0.1 <0.1 0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Anhinga 0 0 0 0 0 2.3
American Bittern 0 0 0 0 23.1 38.5
Least Bittern 0 0 0 0 0 0
Great Blue Heron 1.9 4.3 5.6 8.9 13.7 19.1
Great Egret 7.0 2.7 0.6 2.4 5.2 5.5
Snowy Egret 9.2 3.3 0.7 3.1 3.2 4.4
Little Blue Heron 27.2 11.2 4.6 6.1 6.5 3.4
Tricolored Heron 13.9 8.0 2.6 2.1 1.7 1.7
Reddish Egret 0 0 0 0 0 0
Green Heron 15.7 25.8 10.1 0 0 0
Black-crowned Night-Heron 9.7 0 0 0 0 0
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 13.9 2.3 0.4 0 0 0
White Ibis 6.5 2.0 2.0 3.0 11.5 12.0
Dark Ibis 10.1 1.4 2.6 29.3 14.7 16.1
Roseate Spoonbill 10.5 0 0 0 0 0
Wood Stork 80.6 0 0 0 0 0
Goose 0 0 0 0 37.5 25.0
Duck 1.9 3.3 12.4 17.5 16.5 25.0
Sora 0 0 2.2 19.6 33.7 21.7
Common Moorhen 50.0 0 0 0 0 0
American Coot <0.1 0 0 1.0 7.6 13.9
Shorebirds 15.2 8.3 20.6 24.5 15.0 3.1
Gulls 0 0 0 0 0.1 4.1
Terns 0 0 0 0.6 0.2 21.1
Belted Kingfisher 1.2 2.1 7.4 20.6 20.2 21.0
TABLE 3. Birds observed at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Experimental Farm from 1987-1999. Names and hierarchal organization
based on Dittmann (1998).

 Common name Scientific name

 1. Pied-billed Grebe * Podilymbus podiceps
 2. American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
 3. Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
 4. Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
 5. Anhinga Anhinga anhinga
 6. Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens
 7. American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
 8. Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis
 9. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
 10. Great Egret Ardea alba
 11. Snowy Egret Egretta thula
 12. Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
 13. Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor
 14. Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens
 15. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
 16. Green Heron * Butorides virescens
 17. Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
 18. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa violacea
 19. White Ibis Eudocimus albus
 20. Glossy Ibis Plegadus falcinellus
 21. White-faced Ibis Plegadus chihi
 22. Roseate Spoonbill Ajaja ajaja
 23. Wood Stork Mycteria americana
 24. Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
 25. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
 26. Fulvous Whistling-Duck * Dendrocygna bicolor
 27. Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
 28. Snow Goose Chen caerulescens
 29. Ross' Goose Chen rossii
 30. CanadaGoose Branta canadensis
 31. Wood Duck * Aix sponsa
 32. Gadwall Anas strepera
 33. American Wigeon Anas americana
 34. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
 35. Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula
 36. Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
 37. Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
 38. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
 39. Northern Pintail Anas acuta
 40. Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
 41. Canvasback Aythya valisineria
 42. Redhead Aythya americana
 43. Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
 44. Greater Scaup Aythya marila
 45. Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
 46. Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
 47. Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
 48. Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
 49. Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
 50. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
 51. Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus
 52. Mississippi Kite Ictinia mississippiensis
 53. Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
 54. Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipter striatus
 55. Cooper's Hawk Accipter cooperii
 56. Red-shouldered Hawk * Buteo lineatus
 57. Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus
 58. Red-tailed Hawk * Buteo jamaicensis
 59. American Kestrel Falco sparverius
 60. Merlin Falco columbarius
 61. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
 62. Northern Bobwhite * Colinus virginianus
 63. King Rail Rallus elegans
 64. Virginia Rail Rallus limicola
 65. Sora Porzana carolina
 66. Purple Gallinule Porphyrula martinica
 67. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
 68. American Coot Fulica americana
 69. Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
 70. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
 71. Killdeer * Charadrius vociferus
 72. Black-necked Stilt * Himantopus mexicanus
 73. American Avocet Recurviostra americana
 74. Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
 75. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
 76. Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
 77. Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatu
 78. Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
 79. Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
 80. Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
 81. Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
 82. White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fusicollis
 83. Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
 84. Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
 85. Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus
 86. Ruff Philomachus pugnax
 87. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
 88. Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
 89. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
 90. American Woodcock Scolopax minor
 91. Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor
 92. Laughing Gull Larus articilla
 93. Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia
 94. Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
 95. Herring Gull Larus argentatus
 96. Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
 97. Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
 98. Royal Tern Sterna maxima
 99. Common Tern Sterna hirundo
100. Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
101. Rock Dove * Columba livia
102. Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
103. White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
104. Mourning Dove * Zenaida macroura
105. Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
106. Yellow-billed Cuckoo * Coccyzus americanus
107. Barn Owl * Tyto alba
108. Eastern Screech-Owl * Otus asio
109. Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus
110. Barred Owl Strix varia
111. Long-eared Owl Asio otus
112. Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
113. Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor
114. Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus
115. Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica
116. Ruby-throated Hummingbird * Archilochus colubris
117. Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
118. Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus
119. Red-bellied Woodpecker * Melanerpes carolinus
120. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
121. Downy Woodpecker * Picoides pubescens
122. Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
123. Northem Flicker * Colaptes auratus
124. Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
125. Eastem Wood-Pewee Contopus virens
126. Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens
127. Alder Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum
128. Least Flycatcher Empiodonax minimus
129. Eastem Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
130. Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
131. Great Crested Flycatcher * Myiarchus crinitus
132. Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis
133. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus
134. Loggerhead Shrike * Lanius ludovicianus
135. White-eyed Vireo * Vireo griseus
136. Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons
137. Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
138. Red-eyed Vireo * Vireo olivaceus
139. Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus
140. Blue Jay * Cyanocitta cristata
141. American Crow * Corvus brachyrhynchos
142. Fish Crow * Corvus ossifragus
143. Purple Martin * Progne subis
144. Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
145. Northern Rough-winged Swallow Strelgidopteryx serripennis
146. Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
147. Cliff Swallow Hirundo pyrrhonota
148. Barn Swallow * Hirundo rustica
149. Carolina Chickadee * Parus carolinesis
150. Tufted Titmouse * Parus bicolor
151. Carolina Wren * Thrythorus ludovicianus
152. Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickiii
153. House Wren Troglodytes aedon
154. Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
155. Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
156. Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
157. Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
158. Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
159. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
160. Eastern Bluebird * Sialia sialis
161. Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
162. Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
163. American Robin Turdus migratorius
164. Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
165. Northern Mockingbird * Mimus polyglottos
166. Brown Thrasher * Toxostoma rufum
167. European Starling * Sturnus vulgaris
168. American Pipit Anthus rubescens
169. Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
170. Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
171. Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
172. Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla
173. Northern Parula Parula americana
174. Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
175. Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia
176. Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
177. Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
178. Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca
179. Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica
180. Pine Warbler Dendroica pinus
181. Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum
182. Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
183. American Redstart Stenophaga ruticilla
184. Prothonotary Warbler * Protonotaria citrea
185. Worm-earing Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus
186. Swainson's Warbler Limnopthlypis swainsonii
187. Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus
188. Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
189. Common Yellowthroat * Geothlypis trichas
190. Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
191. Canada Warbler Wilsonia canadensis
192. Summer Tanager * Piranga rubra
193. Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
194. Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus
195. Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
196. Field Sparrow Spizella pusilla
197. Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
198. Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
199. Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
200. Le Conte's Sparrow Ammodramus leconteii
201. Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
202. Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
203. Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
204. White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
205. Northern Cardinal * Cardinalis cardinalis
206. Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
207. Blue Grosbeak Guiraca caerulea
208. Indigo Bunting * Passerina cyanea
209. Painted Bunting * Passerina ciris
210. Dickcissel * Spiza americana
211. Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus
212. Red-winged Blackbird * Agelaius phoeniceus
213. Eastern Meadowlark * Sturnella magna
214. Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
215. Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinas
216. Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
217. Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
218. Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major
219. Common Grackle * Quiscalus quiscalus
220. Brown-headed Cowbird * Molothrus ater
221. Orchard Oriole * Icterus spurius
222. Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
223. House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
224. American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
225. House Sparrow * Passer domesticus

* 47 species are known or thought to be nesting.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Individuals who have assisted in identifying birds at the UL at Lafayette Experimental Farm have included: W. J. Bernard, III, Mark J. Broussard, Paul Chadwick, Bruce Fleury, Bill Fontenot, Paul Leberg, Billy Leonard, Tibor Mikuska, David Patton, and Bill Vermillion. Gregory Richard and Pamela Richard assisted with data reduction/summarization. Partial support for this project was provided by the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board.

LITERATURE CITED

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DITTMAN, D. L. 1998. Checklist of Louisiana birds. Louisiana Ornithological Society, Lafayette, Louisiana.

FLEURY, B. E. AND T. W. SHERRY. 1995. Long-term population trends of colonial wading birds in the southern United States: The impact of crayfish aquaculture on Louisiana populations. The Auk 112:613-632.

FONTENOT, B. 1999. Checklist of south-central Louisiana birds. Lafayette Nature Station, 1205 East Alexander, Lafayette, Louisiana 70501.

FREDERICK, P. C., K. L. BILDSTEIN, B. E. FLEURY, AND J. OGDEN. 1996. Conservation status of large, nomadic populations of white ibises (Eudocimus albus) in the United States. Conservation Biology 10:203-216.

HUNER, J. V. 1995. How crawfish impoundments sustain wetland vertebrates in the South. Pp. 32-40. In National Ecosystem Management Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana. Conservation Technology Information Center, West Lafayette, Indiana.

HUNER, J. V. 1999. The relationship between pond size and crawfish (Procambarus spp.) production. Freshwater Crayfish 12:573-583.

HUNER, J. V. AND J. E. BARR. 1991. Red swamp crawfish. Biology and exploitation, 3rd ed. Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 147 pp.

MARTIN, R. P. 1985. Ecology of foraging wading birds at crayfish ponds and the impact of bird predation on commercial crayfish harvest. Thesis. Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 121 pp.

MARTIN, R. P. AND R. B. HAMILTON. 1985. Wading bird predation in crawfish ponds. Louisiana Agriculture 28:3-5.

MOMOT, W. T. 1995. Redefining the role of crayfish in aquatic ecosystems. Reviews in Fisheries Science 3:33-63.

MUSUMECHE, M. J. 1997. Birds of Iberia Parish. Iberia Parish Tourist Commission, New Iberia, Louisiana. 8 pp.

NASSAR, J. R., D. C. HAYDEN, P. J. ZWANK, AND J. V. HUNER. 1991. Multiple-use impoundments for attracting waterfowl and producing crawfish. U. S. Dept. Int., Fish & Wildlife Service, Nat. Wetl. Res. Center, Slidell, Louisiana. 48 pp.

PERRY, W. G., JR., T. JOANEN, AND L. McNEASE. 1970. Crawfish-waterfowl, a multiple use concept for impounded marshes. Proc. 24th Ann. Conf. Southeastern Assoc. Game & Fish Commissioners 24:506-519.

REMSEN, J. V., M. M. SWAN, S. W. CARDIFF, AND K. V. ROSENBERG. 1991. The importance of the rice-growing region of south Louisiana to winter populations of shorebirds, raptors, waders, and other birds. J. Louisiana Ornithology 1:34-47.

RETTIG, V. 1994. Use of agricultural fields by migrating and wintering shorebirds in south-west Louisiana. Thesis. Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 100 pp.

ROMAIRE, R. P. 1993. "CRAWPOP": A computer model to simulate population dynamics of red swamp crawfish in ponds. School of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, Louisiana State Univ. Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE. 1977. Soil survey of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service in Cooperation with the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 73 pp.

SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE. 1978. Soil survey of Iberia Parish, Louisiana. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service in Cooperation with the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 58 pp.

VERMILLION, B. 1997. Louisiana Backyard Wildlife Management. Louisiana Dept. Wildlife and Fisheries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 99 pp.
Jay V. Huner and Michael J. Musumeche

Crawfish Research Center
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lafayette, LA 70504
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Author:Huner, Jay V.; Musumeche, Michael J.
Publication:The Proceedings of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Jan 1, 1999
Words:5382
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