South Farm to host Wood Stork & Wading Bird EventSaturday, July 21st > > RAMAH – A Wood Stork & Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday,July 21st > at the South Farm of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area Complex.The > U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and > Fisheries would like to > invite everyone to view this spectacle. WoodStorks and other wading and > shore birds can be viewed in this area as they are drawn to feed in the > South Farm’s water management units. The South Farm includes a number of > large moist soil impoundments. These are flooded in the fall to provide > habitat for water birds with emphasis on waterfowl. There are good numbers> of small fish and crawfish in these impoundments. By late spring, the fish> have reached good sizes and there are more than enough crawfish to support> a public crawfish fis hery. The impoundments are drained in the mid-summer> to enhance growth of wetland plants for the following year. This takes a > period of almost a month, for two reasons - the sizes of the impoundments > and the management strategy to provide mud flats and very shallow water > with concentrated prey for birds like shorebirds (sandpipers) and wading > birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks, and ibises). > > The Wood Stork is the only stork native to North America. These large > wading birds (4 feet tall and 66 inch wingspan) are an indicator of > condition of our nation’s wetlands. As wetlands disappear so do the Wood > Storks. Even though many of these birds are from Mexico, the water > management units such as the South Farm are becoming more critical to the > survival of these birds. With only a few thousand of these birds left,> this > is a great opportunity for bird watc hers, photographers and anyone who > enjoys wildlife to see quite possibly the largest concentration of these > birds anywhere. Often alligators, Whitetail deer and many other species of> birds may be observed as well. Individuals and professionals will be on > hand to discuss the management of the area, identification of animals, and> to discuss the Wood Stork. > > The event will begin at 7:00 am and will last until noon. It is better to > arrive early for greatest opportunity to see the Wood storks. Driving > directions to the South Farm are: take I-10 to the Ramah exit (Exit 135). > Go north take the first road to the left, turn right by the market on > Mimms Street, cross the bridge and turn right on the lowerAtchafalaya Levee > road. Note this is a gravel road. Go approximately 1.5 miles or until you > see the “South Farm” sign cross over the levee and enter the parkin g lot.> Individuals will be there to provide you with additional information. > > There are no fees associated with this program but due to the fact the > event is on a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Wildlife > Management Area, all participants between the ages of 16 and 60 are > required to have either a valid Louisiana Hunting or Fishing License or a > Wild Louisiana Stamp. These licenses are available from the Louisiana > Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and may be obtained at a point of > sale retailer, over the internet at: > http://www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at1-888-765- 2602. > > For more information please call the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Project> Office at 337-585-0853.