Primarily a birding and nature photography site, three resources make this drive along the Atchafalaya River worthwhile. A landfill near the road attracts thousands of raptors, shorebirds, crows and grackles, gulls and terns. A roadside borrow pit, used for constructing embankments, attracts all sorts of wading birds. The Berwick boat launch at the Atchafalaya River attracts all of the above and more. This is a prime example of south Louisiana’s “biomass effect,” in which massive quantities of certain groups of birds are attracted to certain sites at particular times of the year.

For birders, it’s an easy site to navigate. River Road possesses wide shoulders where birders can comfortably pull over at any given location. Plus, parking near the Berwick boat launch yields the best view of the Atchafalaya River.

Open water, a dump/landfill, a grassy powerline right-of-way, and ample bottomland hardwood forest habitat render this site highly birdable on a year-round basis. Shorebirds, terns, and gulls, including Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Ring-billed, and Laughing Gulls, and Forster’s and Caspian Terns are year-round residents here. So are Black Skimmer, Anhinga, at least seven species of wading birds, thousands of Black and Turkey Vultures and American and Fish Crows, Red-winged Blackbird, and Boat-tailed Grackle.

During migration periods and summer, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Rough-winged and Barn Swallows, Eastern Bluebird, numerous warbler species, as well as both Indigo and Painted Buntings are all expected.

Early fall through early spring brings waterfowl, American White and Brown Pelicans, and dozens of Bald Eagles along with numerous nearctic songbirds, including White-throated, Savannah, Song, and Swamp Sparrows.