USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Bird Checklists of the United States

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Arthur, Louisiana


Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, comprising 34,760 acres, was established in 1937 primarily to preserve a small portion of the vanishing southern Louisiana marshes for wintering waterfowl. Supporting over 500,000 ducks and 150,000 geese at peak populations, the refuge serves as one of the major wintering grounds for waterfowl in the Mississippi Flyway. In addition to boasting the largest concentration of white-fronted geese in the flyway, the refuge probably supports the largest population of fulvous whistling-ducks found on any refuge in the United States.

The refuge provides nesting and feeding areas for as many as 40,000 marsh and water birds during the spring and summer months. The first American nesting colony of cattle egrets outside of Florida was found here. Nesting pairs of the spectacular roseate spoonbill are continuing to increase. White-faced ibises, white ibises, common and snowy egrets, great blue, tricolored, and little blue herons, anhingas, olivaceous and double-crested cormorants are but a few of the other water and marsh birds common to the refuge. In addition, passerines, including many species of warblers, abound on refuge levees during spring and fall migration.

The primary attraction of the refuge is a 16,000-acre impoundment freshwater pool. Managed with burning, selective spraying, and manipulation of water levels, undesirable vegetation has been replaced with an abundant supply of natural foods for waterfowl and other marsh wildlife. A sign, two miles south of Hayes, LA, on state Highway 14, directs visitors to the north levee of the pool. Refuge headquarters is on State Route 3056, eleven miles southwest of Lake Arthur.

The following list of 236 species represents observations made by refuge personnel and qualified ornithologists since 1937. A number of additional estuarine and coastal birds could also be observed prior to 1951 when locks were installed in the Mermentau River Basin to exclude the Gulf waters. Many of these same birds can still be seen during extremely severe coastal storms. These and other accidentals are included in a list of 27 additional species.


Abundance, seasonal occurrence, and nesting status symbols are coded as follows:

Seasonal appearance
Sp - March to May
S - June to August
F - September to November
W - December to February

Seasonal abundance
a - abundant
c - common
u - uncommon
o - occasional
r - rare
* - nests locally


GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c o c c ___ Horned Grebe - - - r
PELICANS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican r - o c ___ Double-crested Cormorant u o u u ___ Olivaceous Cormorant* a a a a ___ Anhinga* c c u u
HERONS, EGRETS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u o u u ___ Least Bittern* c c c r ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Great Egret* a a a c ___ Snowy Egret* a a a c ___ Little Blue Heron* c c c u ___ Tricolored Heron* a a a c ___ Cattle Egret* a a a a ___ Green Heron* c c c u ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* c c c u ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron* c c c u
IBISES, SPOONBILL, STORK Sp S F W ___ Glossy Ibis* o o r r ___ White Ibis* a a u u ___ White-faced Ibis* a a u u ___ Roseate Spoonbill* c c u o ___ Wood Stork - o o -
WATERFOWL Sp S F W ___ Fulvous Whistling-Duck* c u c o ___ Black-bellied Whistling-Duck* u u o r ___ Greater White-Fronted Goose c r a a ___ Snow Goose a r a a ___ Canada Goose o - o o ___ Ross' Goose r - o o ___ Wood Duck* u u u u ___ Green-winged Teal c - a a ___ American Black Duck r - r r ___ Mottled Duck* c c c c ___ Mallard c r a a ___ Northern Pintail c - a a ___ Blue-winged Teal c r a c ___ Cinnamon Teal - - - r ___ Northern Shoveler a - a a ___ Gadwall c - c c ___ American Wigeon c - c c ___ Canvasback r - r r ___ Redhead r - r r ___ Ring-necked Duck c - - a ___ Lesser Scaup u - u u ___ Common Goldeneye r - - r ___ Bufflehead u - u u ___ Hooded Merganser o - o o ___ Red-breasted Merganser r - r r ___ Ruddy Duck u - u u
VULTURES, HAWKS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture o o o o ___ Turkey Vulture o o o o ___ Osprey o r o o ___ Mississippi Kite r r - - ___ Bald Eagle r - r r ___ Northern Harrier u - u c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o r o r ___ Cooper's Hawk o r o o ___ Red-shouldered Hawk o o u u ___ Broad-winged Hawk o r u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk o - u c ___ Golden Eagle r - r r ___ American Kestrel c r c c ___ Merlin o - o o ___ Peregrine Falcon o - o o
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Northern Bobwhite* u u u u
RAILS, GALLINULES AND COOTS Sp S F W ___ Yellow Rail - - o o ___ King Rail* a a a a ___ Virginia Rail o - o o ___ Sora u - u u ___ Purple Gallinule* a a a r ___ Common Moorhen* a a a u ___ American Coot* a o a a
SHOREBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover o - o o ___ American Golden Plover o - - - ___ Semipalmated Plover u o u o ___ Killdeer* c c c c ___ Black-necked Stilt* c c c o ___ Greater Yellowlegs c u c - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c u c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u - u - ___ Spotted Sandpiper u o u - ___ Upland Sandpiper o - - - ___ Whimbrel o - - - ___ Long-billed Curlew r - r r ___ Hudsonian Godwit r - - - ___ Ruddy Turnstone r r - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u - u - ___ Western Sandpiper c - c o ___ Least Sandpiper c o c c ___ White-rumped Sandpiper u - - - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u u u - ___ Dunlin u - o o ___ Stilt Sandpiper u - o o ___ Short-billed Dowitcher c c o o ___ Long-billed Dowitcher c u c c ___ Common Snipe u - u u ___ American Woodcock - - o o ___ Wilson's Phalarope r - - - ___ Bonaparte's Gull - - r r ___ Ring-billed Gull u u u u ___ Herring Gull o r o o ___ Caspian Tern u u o o ___ Royal Tern - - o o ___ Common Tern r - r r ___ Forster's Tern* c c c c ___ Least Tern r r - - ___ Black Tern c c u - ___ Laughing Gull o o - -
PIGEONS AND DOVES Sp S F W ___ White-winged Dove r - r r ___ Mourning Dove* c c c c ___ Common Ground-Dove r - r r
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* r - r - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* c c o -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl o o o o ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* u u u u ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Barred Owl* u u u u ___ Short-eared Owl - - - r
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* c c u - ___ Chuck-will's-widow o - - - ___ Whip-poor-will o - - -
SWIFTS AND HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift o o o - ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird - - o r ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird c u c r ___ Roufous Hummingbird - - o -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher c c c c
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker r r r r ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker o - o o ___ Downy Woodpecker u u u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker u u u u ___ Northern Flicker c o c c ___ Pileated Woodpecker* u u u u
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher - - r - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee u u u - ___ Acadian Flycatcher u u u - ___ Least Flycatcher - - o - ___ Eastern Phoebe u - u u ___ Vermilion Flycatcher - - o o ___ Western Kingbird - - r - ___ Eastern Kingbird* a a a - ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher r r r -
MARTINS AND SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin* u u - - ___ Tree Swallow a - a - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow c - c - ___ Bank Swallow u - u - ___ Barn Swallow* c - c -
JAYS AND CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* u u u u ___ American Crow o o o o ___ Fish Crow u u u u
CHICKADEES AND TITMICE Sp S F W ___ Carolina Chickadee* u u u u ___ Tufted Titmouse u u u u
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch - - r -
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper - - r -
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Carolina Wren* c c c c ___ House Wren o - o o ___ Sedge Wren u - u u ___ Marsh Wren* a a a c
KINGLETS AND GNATCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet o - o o ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u - u u ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* c u c o
BLUEBIRDS, THRUSHES AND ROBINS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird o o o o ___ Veery o - o - ___ Gray-cheecked Thrush o - - - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u u ___ Wood Thrush o r o r ___ American Robin o - u u
THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird* u u u u ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher* u u u u
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit u - u u ___ Sprague's Pipit r - r r
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing u - u u
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike* c c c c
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* o o o o
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo u u u - ___ Solitary Vireo r - r r ___ Yellow-throated Vireo u - - - ___ Warbling Vireo o - - - ___ Red-eyed Vireo u u u -
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler o - o - ___ Tennessee Warbler u - o - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler o - o o ___ Northern Parula* u u o r ___ Yellow Warbler u o u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler o - o - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c c ___ Black-throated Green Warbler o - u - ___ Blackburnian Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler o o o r ___ Pine Warbler - - o o ___ Bay-breasted Warbler u - u - ___ Cerulean Warbler o - o - ___ Black-and-white Warbler c - c - ___ American Redstart u r u - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* c c u - ___ Worm-eating Warbler o - o - ___ Ovenbird o - o - ___ Northern Waterthrush o - o - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush o - o - ___ Kentucky Warbler u r u - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c c ___ Hooded Warbler u u u - ___ Wilson's Warbler - - o o ___ Yellow-breasted Chat o o o -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager* u u u - ___ Scarlet Tanager o - o -
NEW WORLD FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak u - u - ___ Blue Grosbeak o o o - ___ Indigo Bunting c u u - ___ Painted Bunting u u u r ___ Dickcissel o o - -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Towhee o - o o ___ Chipping Sparrow o - o o ___ Vesper Sparrow o - o o ___ Savannah Sparrow c - c c ___ Song Sparrow u - u u ___ Swamp Sparrow c - c c ___ White-throated Sparrow o - o u ___ Dark-eyed Junco - - o o
BLACKBIRDS, GRACKLES, COWBIRDS AND ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a a ___ Eastern Meadowlark* u u u u ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird r - - - ___ Rusty Blackbird r - r r ___ Boat-tailed Grackle* a a a a ___ Common Grackle o r o u ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* u o u c ___ Orchard Oriole* c c - - ___ Northern Oriole o o o -
OLD WORLD FINCHES Sp S F W ___ House Finch o - o u ___ Purple Finch - - - r ___ American Goldfinch o - o c
WEAVER FINCHES Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* o o o o
These additional 26 species are either of extremely rare occurrence or were formerly of the area.
Common Loon                                   Wilson's Plover
Western Grebe                                 American Avocet
Brown Pelican                                 Willet        
Magnificent Frigatebird                       Marbled Godwit
Reddish Egret                                 Red Knot       
Tundra (Whistling) Swan                       Sanderling     
Black Swan                                    Franklin's Gull
Brant                                         Gull-billed Tern
White-winged Scoter                           Black Skimmer
Common Merganser                              Inca Dove
Black Rail                                    Groove-billed Ani
Clapper Rail                                  Lark Sparrow    
Whooping Crane                                Seaside Sparrow

For additional information contact:
                     Refuge Manager               
                     Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge
                     209 Nature Road
                     Lake Arthur, Louisiana 70549
                     Telephone: 318/774-5923
                     Fax: 318/774-9913
                     E-mail: R4RW_LA.LCS@mail.fws.gov

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1989.  Birds of Lacassine National Wildlife 
     Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1989.  Birds of Lacassine National Wildlife 
     Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govlacassin.htm 
     (Version 1997).

Return to Bird Checklists of Louisiana
Return to Bird Checklists of the United States

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/chekbird/r4/lacassin.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 18:52:55 EST
Menlo Park, CA [caww55]