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Falco sparverius  American Kestrel
In Louisiana, kestrels nest in very open pine forests and clearcuts if large snags still stand. Apparently, these insectivores and carnivores do not nest in the Mississippi/Red River or Coastal Marsh regions. As one of at least eight species of Louisiana birds that adopted holes excavated by the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the kestrel may have declined as the "RCW" vanished from most Louisiana piney woods during the 1900's.

painting by Louis Agassiz Fuertes 1914 (rearranged to fit next to map)
female (left) and male (right)

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Colinus virginianus  Northern Bobwhite
(The only Quail in the eastern U.S.) These ground-nesting granivores breed nearly statewide, though much less frequently in the Coastal Marsh Region and the heavily wooded Atchafalaya River Basin. Quail are common on the Vernon District of the Kisatchie National Forest where grassy cover in open pine forests is maintained through both incidental and prescribed burning. This species is on the Audubon WatchList for Louisiana.

painting by Louis Agassiz Fuertes 1914
male (upper) and female (lower)

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Meleagris gallopavo  Wild Turkey
These ground-nesting omnivores favor large, old tracts of woodland, hence their absence from most agricultural areas of Morehouse and East and West Carroll parishes, the Coastal Marsh Region, and the Prairie/Rice Field Region. Much of the population consists of individuals stocked for sport hunting.

photos Copyright 1999 by Brian Miller 
male (female is duller; lacks throat wattles, breast tuft, leg spurs, and barred primaries)