Know a good bird-spotting site? Louisiana's Office of Tourism wants to know about it.

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
A bird stands atop a berry-covered plant outside Vermilionville Saturday, January 10, 2015, in Lafayette, La.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is redesigning and updating the Louisiana Birding Trails, and the office is looking for nominations from the public on which sites should be included.

Updating the birding trails is part of an effort to maximize the state's eco-tourism potential. Residents who want to submit a site can go to labirdingtrails.com/nomination-form, where they can include information on the site location, types of birds, amenities, nearby attractions and other details. 

The nomination process is for public lands, though owners of private lands can also submit nominations if they would allow visitors on the property. Nominations will be collected through Sept. 30.

“Louisiana is an ideal destination for birding enthusiasts and I’m excited to begin this process to better promote and share Louisiana’s beautiful outdoors and variety of wildlife with visitors from across the world,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser in a press release. “Submit your online nominations to be a part of this amazing project.”

Hargrove International is leading the process with assistance from SEG Environmental, the National Audubon Society and ForeSite Consulting, among others. The Office of Tourism is currently meeting with stakeholders around the state, including a stop in Lafayette on Thursday, to promote the nomination process.

Once sites are nominated, experts will go out in the field to evaluate the nominated sites, and a team will recommend sites to the Office of Tourism to be included as part of the Louisiana Birding Trails. Once the sites are approved, work will begin on producing content — like maps and images — to promote birding in Louisiana.

The project is expected to be completed in December 2022.

Sharon Calcote with the Office of Tourism told attendees at an informational meeting in Lafayette on Thursday that they are looking at using new forms of technology to better promote wildlife education, such as potentially integrating with a website that plays bird calls or using videos on the trails.

"Who would've thought that we could do this 20 years ago?" Calcote said. "With the website, we can create these different avenues for visitors to pursue, which we didn't have 20 years ago."

There is also the potential for communities near the birding trails or sites to benefit from the increased eco-tourism. The plan is to list nearby amenities in these communities in hopes that birders will visit.

Cheryl Hargrove, of Hargrove International, said there aren't any concerns at this point about duplicate nominations for the same site or trail. Instead, the focus is on covering as much of the state as possible.

"Our team will go through and make sure that we come through with all the sites," Hargrove said. "What we want to do and make sure of is that we cover Louisiana and all of its parishes in this process.

"So if there's a birding site out there that you know is good and important to be considered, we need that information."