Birdwatchers Digest's Annual Big Sit Oct. 13

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

PLAQUEMINE - Birdwatchers will spend the day on the Mississippi river levee at the Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site trying to see as many species of birds as possible from a 17-foot circle as part of the Birdwatchers Digest annual Big Sit on Oct. 13.

Some people have called the Big Sit a "tailgate party for birders." There are Big Sit circles all over the world, including Guatemala, India, the Netherlands, England, Vietnam, and New Zealand.

Last year, the circle at the Plaquemine Lock was occupied from sunrise to sunset with birders from the Baton Rouge Audubon Society and the Friends of Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site.

Observers were able to identify 57 different species of birds ranging from ruby-throated hummingbirds to bald eagles.

The big surprise of the day was a wild turkey feeding on acorns between the levee and the river.

The most unusual sitting was an orchard oriole. Orchard orioles are not rare in the area in spring and summer, but most of them have left our area and are on their wintering grounds (central Mexico to northern South America) by early October.

Bald eagles really put on a show for the birders. At least four different individual bald eagles were seen, three adults (white head and tail) at one time and one sub-adult (mostly black). The eagles put on appearances ten different times during the day.