You are here

Avery Island's Jungle Gardens Birding Guide

Subscribe via RSSSubscribe via email newsletter


Guest blog by: Katlyn Decou with Jungle Gardens


Bird City at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island - Photo by Pam McIlhenny
Pam McIlhenny

Avery Island, Louisiana, the birthplace of TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce, has been owned for over 180 years by the interrelated Marsh, Avery and McIlhenny families. Lush subtropical flora and venerable live oaks cover this geological oddity, which is one of five "islands" rising in atypical and mystical fashion well above south Louisiana’s flat coastal marshes. The island is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jungle Gardens, home of "Bird City", founded by E. A. McIlhenny, is a three mile driving tour around the remains of an unusual nursery. It's 170 acres of extraordinary, beautiful, strange, and useful plants, as well as a refuge for many animal species of special concern. Read up on birding in the gardens and plan your visit today!

Anhinga perched over a body of water at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island - Photo by Pam McIlhenny
Pam McIlhenny

1) When is Birding Season?

Springtime will bring many songbirds to the protected area - as well as the returning egrets, Louisiana herons and little blue herons. A little later arrive the night herons, least bitterns and anhingas.

Larger birds like the white ibises, roseate spoonbills and great blue herons are more casual visitors – coming for a few days or just to rest a short time. Before the summer birds leave around August to migrate south, other species from the north begin to arrive. Blue-winged teals, pintails and gadwalls show up first, followed by ducks, geese, coots and wading birds.

Great Egret with fish in its beak at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island - Photo by Pam McIlhenny
Pam McIlhenny

2) What is birding at Bird City and Jungle Gardens like?

Bird watchers will find Jungle Gardens a sight to behold. They can take the self guided tour, and we also offer a customizable experience, for both groups or individuals, with one of our trained bird enthusiasts. The tour takes place throughout Jungle Gardens where participants will explore areas known to the island that contain the most sought-after habitats. For more information and to book your guided tour contact Jungle Gardens by email or (337) 369-6243.

Bayou Teche, the Rookery at Jefferson Island, and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area are other great places to see birds in Iberia Parish.

A Snowy Egret stands on a branch at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island - Photo by Pam McIlhenny
Pam McIlhenny

3) What are the most sought after bird(s) in our region?
Warblers, buntings, grosbeaks, flycatchers, vireos, and thrushes are commonly sought after in our region.

4) What Types of Birds Can One See in each season?
Snowy egrets, Anhingas and more. Click to download the Jungle Gardens bird checklist segmented into seasons for an easier look at what birds appear when.

Green Heron perched in a tree at Jungle Gardens of Avery Island - Photo by Michael Musumeche
Michael Musumeche

5) What Equipment Does One Need?

  • A decent set of binoculars
  • Bug spray
  • Boots or a good pair of outdoor shoes
  • Long Sleeves and Pants
  • A Birder's Guide to Louisiana is a great guide for our region and is available for download on the Atchafalaya website.

For more information about Jungle Gardens, call (337) 369-6243, email them, visit and follow them on Facebook.


If you enjoyed this, check out: