St. Bernard Bird Festival is May 3-4

The St Bernard Bird Festival for 2019 will be held on Friday, May 3, 10 am to  4 pm, and Saturday, May 4, 9 am to 4 pm. All events except birding field trips will be on the grounds of the Historic Beauregard Courthouse, at 1201 Bayou Road, St Bernard, La. 

The Festival began its work early this year, sponsoring Purple Martin houses for Gauthier Elementary, St. Bernard Middle, and Nunez Community College.  Students will experience these insect-eating birds who migrate here from the Amazon Valley of South America. Krista Adams, an expert on Purple Martins, will be a special presenter on both Friday and Saturday at the Bird Festival.  She will speak on the life cycle and migration of these interesting birds and address how each Festival visitor can erect a purple martin house and have their own small colony of insect eaters in their own yard.  

Other festival events will include:

  • A close up view of bird banding of migrant and resident passerines, done periodically through both days, under the direction of Dr. Erik Johnson of Audubon Louisiana. Dr. Johnson is an expert birder and ornithologist. 
  • A presentation by Dr. Johnson entitled “Coastal Bird Conservation in a Vanishing Landscape”.
  • An exhibit of Parish decoy and bird carving sponsored by expert wood carvers and the St Bernard Art Guild. 
  • A demonstration by Sally Farrell of Wind in My Feathers.  She will exhibit birds that she helped recover from injuries. Some of these beautiful birds are the American Kestrel, Mississippi Kite, and several species of owls.  
  • Half day birding field trips by car pool in eastern St. Bernard Parish. For field trips, bring binoculars, footwear for potentially wet grass, sunscreen and optional bug repellent (bugs not usually a big problem ). Hoped for species highlights include: Wood Duck,  Roseate Spoonbill,  Swallow-tailed Kite, Mississippi Kite, Bald Eagle, Painted Bunting, and transient migrant vireos, thrushes, wood warblers, buntings, and grosbeaks.

Audubon is also organizing airboat tours of the Caernarvon Diversion outlet in Big Mar. For the last several years, there has been an active waterbird rookery that includes a variety of egrets, herons, anhinga, and all three species of ibis! The airboats will be somewhat distant to prevent disturbance, but we will have a spotting scope that can be used and shared by the 4 guests on each tour. Each tour will last approximately 1.5-2 hours and will run all day Friday and Saturday. Pre-registration is encouraged. If you are interested in this, please contact Nic Dixon ( to sign up. We believe there will be a nominal fee to hold your spot.

St Bernard’s wonderful river delta environment of woodland, swamp, and marsh struggles with large scale incremental environmental damage and piecemeal conversion to human habitat in accessible areas.. Festival goers will see the beauty and richness of the environment and its wildlife showing through it all and appreciate their resiliency and potential to recover  if further abuse can be stopped. 

For more details and information, go to