South Farm to host Wood Stork & Wading Bird Event Saturday, July 29, 2023

USACE New Orleans
Published July 17, 2023

RAMAH – A Wood Stork & Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday, July 29th 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.  Wood Storks 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 fishery.  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 (2-4 feet tall and up to a 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 watchers, 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 10:00 am.  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 lower Atchafalaya 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 parking 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 18 and over are required to possess either an annual or 5-day WMA Access Permit. These permits are available from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and may be obtained at a point of sale retailer, over the internet at: or by phone at 1-888-765-2602.


For more information please call the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Office at 337-585-0853.




Recreation in New Orleans District, Corps of Engineers


Park Ranger Dave Fisher

Release no. 23-020