Eavesdropping on Louisiana’s Secretive Marsh Birds
March 17, 2023
Some of the most reclusive groups of birds in the marsh, known collectively as secretive marsh birds, may help inform how Louisiana's coast is rebuilt.
Leah Moran and Aylett Lipford, graduate students in the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources, are leading data collection in the field by conducting callback surveys at hundreds of points along Louisiana's coast.
In the spring, the team begins collecting data from the callbacks, moving to a different location on Louisiana's coastline each week. During the months that the team is collecting data, they are completely immersed in coastal communities.
These coastal residents have helped Moran navigate the marsh and have even helped her with locating birds.
"We have met a lot of neighbors and landowners and generations of families that live there. We've met commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen and everyone out there loves the marsh, and they love birds," Moran said. "They have a plethora of information as well. They can tell you firsthand how they've seen the marsh disappear because they're out there every day, and some of them have been out there every day for 30-plus years."