With over 200 species of birds in north Louisiana, the Boom or Bust Byway is a birder’s paradise. If you’re a newbie, seasoned birder, or just trying it out, the 136-mile, long Byway has something to offer everyone. Here are the top birding hotspots on the Byway.
- Cross Lake
With over 8,500 acres of water, Cross Lake offers an excellent habitat to find waterfowl and other birds. With a few rare winter sightings each year, you may catch a glimpse of a lesser Black-backed Gull or a Western Grebe, a rare and uncommon species for our area. If you are not able to get out on the water, Cross Lake has several parks to enjoy. Ford Park and Richard Fleming Park both offer superb habitats for bird watching that includes walking trails and picnic tables.
- Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park
Walter B. Jacobs is a 160-acre nature park nestled in pine oak hickory forest with five miles of nature trails. The park features an interpretive center with restrooms, a handicapped-accessible trail, and several naturalists who are happy to answer birding questions. Walter B. Jacobs is a great place to find Barred Owls, Woodpeckers, and Songbirds.
- Sentell Road
Located off Hwy. 3049 near the Red River, Sentell Road is a diverse habitat made up of farmland, peach orchards, and pecan trees near the banks of the Red River. With such a variety of habitats, it’s easy to spot Birds of Prey, Meadow Lark, Vireo, American Pipit, and many others.
- Caddo Lake
Caddo Lake is a 25,400-acre lake and bayou that straddles the Texas and Louisiana borders. Earl G. Williamson Park, in Oil City, Louisiana offers excellent views of Caddo Lake, camping, and great birding. You can expect to find Songbirds, Woodpeckers, and Birds of Prey.
- Lake Claiborne
Located near Homer, Lake Claiborne is a 6,400-acre lake bordered by pine and hardwood forest. The area offers excellent birding with many opportunities to see waterfowl, Songbirds, Woodpeckers, and Birds of Prey. Lake Claiborne State Park offers camping, hiking trails, and of course, excellent birding.
If your new to birding or you are a seasoned birder wanting to join a club, the Byway has the Bird Study Group and the Louisiana Ornithological Society. These groups offer a wealth of knowledge, monthly field trips, and education material for members. Also if your new to birding, the eBird app is a great way to find birding hotspots on the Byway and log the species you see. Grab some binoculars and find something rare on the Byway.