Places & Faces
Grab Your Binoculars: Fall Migration is Underway
10/2/2018 1:22:48 PM
Fall Migration

"Our parks are a critical component of quality of life in the City of Lake Charles,” says Mayor Nic Hunter. "Programs like these are a small part of a larger effort we are making across the city through our Partners in Parks initiative to expand opportunities for citizens of all ages to make their way outside and explore science and nature in their own backyard.”

It’s no secret that Southwest Louisiana is a bird watcher’s paradise. Located in the middle of several major flyways and lauded by Audubon Louisiana as the premier birding destination in Louisiana, the area has one of the largest spotted species lists among the 64 parishes. Fall and spring offer up some of the best opportunities to see a variety of species as they stop over for a rest before completing their migrations. 

Coastal marshes and plains are obvious locations to head for your birding adventure, but you can start your trip right in the middle of Lake Charles at Tuten Park, 3801 Nelson Road.

"In recent years we’ve recorded sightings of more than 120 different bird species in the park,” says Irvin Louque, City of Lake Charles Tuten Park program manager. "At this time of the year in particular, there are opportunities to see many common and uncommon migrant birds that pass through Louisiana on their way to wintering grounds in Central and South America as well as returning wintering birds that will spend all winter in Louisiana.”

The following free events in the park this month will help residents and visitors capitalize on this prime bird watching period.

The October Monthly Bird Walk will be held on Friday, October 12, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Held in partnership with the Gulf Coast Bird Club, the guided walk will take place along the park’s nature trails. Participants are asked to bring their own binoculars, bug spray, and the appropriate weather gear. A Birds of Tuten Park Field Checklist will be provided.

"We hold these bird walks monthly, but the October one is definitely one of the more exciting ones due to its timing coinciding with the major fall migration,” adds Louque. "Some of the species we are hoping to see include the Broad-Winged Hawk, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, and American Redstart.”

Just in time for Halloween, things will get a little spooky when Tuten Park holds a Bats of Southwest Louisiana seminar on Saturday, October 20, from 9 to 11 a.m.

Theresa Cross, an educator with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and board member of the Southwest Louisiana Master Naturalists, will give a presentation about the importance of bats to humans, Louque says. "She will also provide information on the types of bat species inhabiting Louisiana and their diets.”

Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about a bat house design that works well for Louisiana.

Events are free, but pre-registration is required. Visit to sign up or call Louque at (337) 491-8770. To learn more about Partners in Parks or to make a donation, visit

Tuten Park now features a hammock station for park visitors to enjoy.

The station is the contribution of Andrew Wright of Boy Scout Troop 107 who planned and completed the project as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project. Additionally, he donated two wooden benches that have been placed along Tuten Park’s nature trails.

The goal of the station is to provide an easy and safe place for park visitors to hang their hammock at the park. Located behind the main building at the front of the park, the station is in a shaded area and provides space for four hammocks.

Tying hammocks from trees in the park is also allowed provided the tree is at least eight inches in diameter at the point of strap contact to ensure the tree is strong enough. All hammocks tied to trees must be attached using at least one inch wide straps to minimize damage to tree bark.
Posted by: Katie Harrington | Submit comment | Tell a friend


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