This itinerary provides a simple overview of top birding sites, while the complete Birding Guide provides more detailed information on all the birding hotspots in the region. For those who use eBird, check out the 226 species spotted in less than seven days during our April 2023 birding trip. When planning your trip, remember that Spring Migration happens from March through June, while Fall Migration occurs from July through October. But these are far from the only times to see hundreds of species of birds!

Beaumont, TX, and Lake Charles, LA, offer much more than exceptional birding. Varied local cuisines from seafood to Cajun to Creole to sushi and po-boys; breweries and distilleries; live music; casino gaming; championship golf; world-class spas; charter fishing or fishing from the pier/shore; photogenic historic districts, and the list goes on and on. The area also boasts a wide range of accommodations from budget to 4-star, from bed & breakfasts to casino resorts. 

Bolivar Marsh Beaumont
Bolivar Flats - Beaumont, TX

Day One


Bolivar Flats is a massive tidal flat where you can find large numbers of gulls, terns, and shorebirds feeding at low tide. Flocks roost here when the tide is high.


Scaup, mergansers, and occasionally scoters are seen in the nearshore waters along this stretch of the coast. At low tide, thousands of shorebirds, gulls, and terns will feed and roost here. In addition, the spoil islands in East Bay support significant colonial waterbird rookeries.


The sanctuaries are critical habitats for migrating birds, and there have been nearly 400 species documented on the various properties around High Island. Must-visit sites include Smith Oaks Sanctuary and Boy Scout Woods.


A sprawling 34,000-acre wildlife refuge, Anahuac is an oasis for birds and paradise for birders. Home to hundreds of thousands of birds, you can see on a drivable car loop the coastal marsh and prairie habitat is a year-round birding hotspot that only gets hotter during spring migration.

Beaumont Cattail Marsh
Cattail Marsh - Beaumont, TX

Day Two


The Cattail Marsh Nature Area consists of approximately 900 acres of levees, ponds, and mudflats. Located next to Hillebrandt Bayou, the marsh system sees more than 295 species annually, peaking during the winter and spring months.


Privately owned and managed by local Audubon chapters, Sabine Woods is a shining example of a chenier plain. The slightly elevated beach ridge allows oak trees to grow along the coast, which attracts migrants in droves. The peak time to visit is late March-early May when the woodland is practically dripping in neotropical passersby’s.


Sea Rim’s estuarine environment serves as an important nesting area for various marsh birds and provides an initial stopover for migratory species traveling the Central and Mississippi Flyway.

Egret on the Creole Nature Trail - Pintail Wildlife Drive
Pintail Wildlife Drive - Lake Charles, LA

Day Three


Located on Cameron Prairie NWR, Pintail Wildlife Drive's 3- mile loops marsh habitat is host to migrating and wintering shorebirds and many wetland species, including Cinnamon Teal, Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, as well as King, Sora, and Virginia Rails.


Grazing cattle and rice fields attract many different birds, including ducks, teal, sandpiper, Sora, Heron, Ibis, and even Terns. Private land, viewing from the roadway only.


Located in Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Price Lake Road's shell/limestone road through the brackish marsh allows spectacular views of wading birds, shorebirds, and Clapper Rails year round.

Birder at Rutherford Beach Creole Nature Trail
Rutherford Beach - Lake Charles, LA

Day Four


Lying directly in the center of the flight path of migratory birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico, an enormous number of migratory songbirds pass over the Cameron Parish coast each spring and fall. As many as two million birds use Peveto Woods Sanctuary each year.


The freshwater marshes on either side of the entry road to Rutherford Beach are loaded with wading birds, waterfowl, rails, and some seabirds during most months of the year. Once you reach the beach, look for shorebirds and seabirds in all directions.


Kisatchie National Forest, the only National forest in Louisiana, United States, is located in the forested piney hills and hardwood bottoms of seven central and northern parishes. There are an estimated 400 red-cockaded woodpeckers living in the forest. Make sure to check out the eBird hotspot.