Creole Nature Trail in Southwest Louisiana

What to Expect, Downloadable Guides, & What To Bring

The Creole Nature Trail is annually home to more than 400 bird species, making it one of the Top 10 Birding Destinations in the country. Year-round, you will be treated to a seemingly endless array of raptors, waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds residing in this lush environment. To experience our exotic birds and waterfowl up close, try Grosse Savanne Eco-Tours.


When is Birding Season

Back to Top of List

Birds can be seen in Southwest Louisiana all year, but fall, winter, and spring are the best seasons for birding here due to the large number of species migrating. Located on both the Central and Mississippi flyways, Southwest Louisiana’s combination of beaches, coastal and fresh marshes, remnant prairie, bottomland forest corridors, and coastal oak maritime forests (cheniers) make us a birder’s paradise.

What Types of Birds Are Found Here

Back to Top of List

Where Are The Best Places to See Birds

Back to Top of List

Southwest Louisiana’s diverse ecosystem of prairies, forested wetlands, marshes, and coastal areas provide perfect habitats for more than 400 different species of birds in and around Lake Charles. Here are the best places to spot them!

Recent Bird Sightings

Back to Top of List

Download the Birding Guide

Back to Top of List

Guide for Beginners and Advanced Birders

 True Birding Guide and Checklist to Calcasieu and Cameron Parish

New to birding? Check out our visual guide to commonly sited birds along the Creole Nature Trail.

Beginner's Birding Guide and Checklist

Download the Birding Check List

Back to Top of List

Birding List Search

During the fall, winter, and spring, the Creole Nature Trail bird population soars as hundreds of thousands of migrating birds make their annual migration following the Central and the Mississippi Flyways. Use the helpful interactive search and table below to find specific species and view their abundance during certain seasons. You can also download the bird list at the link below.

 Complete List of Birds by Season and Classification by Rarity

What is the Weather Like

Back to Top of List

Temperatures in Southwest Louisiana range from the mid-40s to the low 60s during the winter months, 50s to low 80s in spring, 80s to 90s in summer, and the 60s to upper 70s in the fall. The weather can be unpredictable, so always come prepared with light layers for a rain shower and a cool Gulf breeze! 

What Equipment Do I Need

Back to Top of List
  • Binoculars: Although the naked eye can spot many birds, a good pair of binoculars will bring them to life in more vivid, colorful, and enlarged detail to really enhance your birding experience. (You don’t have to invest in expensive binoculars, but avoid a cheap pair that will blur what you see.)
  • Field Guide: If you're an accomplished birder, you've got your favorite guide. If you're a beginner, you’ll likely spot many new and less prominent species, so pack a small illustrated bird guide so you can quickly look up the pictures and names of everything you see!
  • Notebook/Journal: Take a small notebook or journal to record all the birds you see and where you spotted them, or if you're comfortable, write them down in your field guide.
  • Camera/Smartphone: You'll want to try to capture the marveling of nature’s majesty with a photo and the most unusual birds you see, don't spend too much time behind the lens! A quality camera will do that best, but today’s smartphones take excellent pictures, too. Bonus: A smartphone can help you look up bird species and provide GPS/directions to some areas, depending on the service.
  • Clothing/Shoes: You’ll definitely want a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, a light jacket or raincoat that you can easily take on and off, plus comfortable closed-toe shoes or hiking boots to navigate woods, waters, and trails. Bonus: Be sure to wear earth tones and avoid black or bright colors, as these seem to attract mosquitos and other insects.
  • Sunscreen/Insect Repellent: Both are a must!
  • Water/Snacks: The best birding locations take you to Louisiana's Outback, where food, fuel, and water are more sparse. Be sure to stock up and stay hydrated!