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BioSciNEWS Online
Don't miss the rotogravure section at the end of the newsletter
Volume 2, Number 5, May 2001

An Annex  Warming  was held on Monday, May 14 from 3:30-5 pm in the first floor lobby of the new Life Sciences Annex.  An official Life Sciences Annex Dedication to be attended by university and state dignitaries will be held in the fall.  The more informal party was highlighted by the presentation of awards to graduate students in the biological sciences, the recognition of faculty who retired since the departments (Biochemistry, Microbiology, Plant Biology, and Zoology and Physiology) merged, and food and drink provided by the department.
GRADUATE AWARD WINNERS
Simon Chang/Ezzat Younathan Award (to a teaching assistant in the biochemistry program for outstanding instruction)
 Keith Levert (Biochemistry) major professor:  Grover Waldrop, $250.00
John Waggener (Biochemistry) major professor:  Pat DiMario, $250.00
Daisy B. and William J. Luke Award  (to a teaching assistant in the plant biology program for outstanding instruction)
Ning Zhang (Plant Biology) major professor: Meredith Blackwell, $250.00
Freshman Biology Award (to a teaching assistant in the biological sciences for outstanding instruction in freshman biology laboratories)
Ning Zhang (Plant Biology)  major professor:  Meredith Blackwell, $200.00
William F. Gates Award (to a teaching assistant in the zoology degree program for outstanding instruction in freshman laboratories)
Wiebke Boeing (Zoology) major professor:  Charles Ramcharan, $250.00
C. W. Edgerton Honor Award  is given annually to a plant biology graduate student for significant achievements in research 
Kalan Ickes (Plant Biology) major professor: Bruce Williamson
T. Vinton Holmes Award  (to a student in the field of ornithology to support research)
Alison Styring (Zoology) major professor:  Van Remsen, $500.00
McDaniels Travel Awards
Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos (Zoology) major professor:  Mohamed Noor, $450.00
Bjoern Wissel (Zoology) major professor:  Charles Ramcharan, $450.00
Wiebke Boeing (Zoology) major professor:  Charles Ramcharan, $450.00

Ning Zhang

Bjoern Wissel

Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos 

OUTSTANDING JUNIOR AT LSU   Dr. Mark Emmert, Chancellor, and assisted by Dr. Daniel Fogel, Provost, presided over  an outdoor ceremony in the Quadrangle Friday 27 April. Ebony Spikes was named outstanding junior at LSU.  Ebony, a biochemistry major, who persue an MD/PhD program, does research on yeasts from the gut of beetles that eat basidiocarp tissues with Drs. Sung-Oui Suh and Meredith Blackwell.  She has obtained data on carbon and nitrogen utilization patterns of these fungi, and she currently is supported by an NSF-REU supplement and the LSU "Top 100 Scholarship." Ebony spent the summer of 2000 at the Harvard School of Public Health doing research that culminated in a research presentation (Development of a gene expression system in the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia). Ebony received special recognition at LSU when she was chosen outstanding junior in the Honors College and in addition won the Honor's College highest award, the Sternberg Award.   Four other students in the Department of Biological Sciences also were recognized (see (March BioSciNEWS for more details).  These included:
  • Outstanding Senior in the College of Basic Sciences, James Prempeh (Biochemistry)
  • Outstanding Junior in the College of Basic Sciences, Bryan Fillette (Zoology) 
  • Outstanding Sophomore in the College of Basic Sciences, Michelle Salassi (Biochemistry); 
  • Outstanding Senior in the Honors College, Sumeet Asrani (Biochemistry)
  • Outstanding Junior in the Honors College, Ebony Spikes (Biochemistry)
Another  student honored in the convocation as an outstanding student in University College has an indirect connection to the department.  Sara Elizabeth Exner is the great niece of Bea Exner, former member of the Department of Plant Pathology at the time that the Department of  Botany was part of that unit.  Sara's parents met in botany class, and her mother Patricia Exner is in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction . 

Moving on to greener algae
Susan Meiers completed her PhD in 1998 working with Russell Chapman.  Since that time she has been a popular instructor in the freshman biology program at LSU, and she was nominated this year for the Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society award for excellence in education. She will be leaving her job at LSU to take a tenure-track position as phycologist at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, for Fall 2001.  Western Illinois' gives an MS degree, and their graduates are known for their field experience.  She'll be continuing her research on the ecology, systematics, and biogeography of the Characeae [a group of algae that is almost as complex as land plants],  and she will enjoy getting back into research.  We wish her well.

In Memoriam: Dr. Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001)
Richard E. Schultes, 86, authority on hallucinogenic plants at Harvard University, died 10 April in Boston.  He was remembered by Jonathan Kandell as "a swashbuckling scientist and influential Harvard University educator who was widely considered the preeminent authority on hallucinogenic and medicinal plants."  The full New York Times (April 13th, 2001) obituary  was posted by the Society for Economic Botany (SEB).  Several short passages of the truely fascinating obituary are excerpted here.  In addition Schultes was remembered along with Harvey Ball, the man who gave the world a smiley face, on  ABC World News Tonight by Peter Jennings. "Richard Evans Schultes traced his fascination with the South American rain forests to the fantasies evoked while he was bedridden as a child. He was born on Jan. 12, 1915, in Boston, where his father was a plumber and his mother was a homemaker. Confined to his room for months with a stomach ailment when he was about 5 years old, he listened enraptured to excerpts read to him by his parents from "Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and the Andes," a travel diary kept by the 19th century British naturalist Richard Spruce. The impression left by those passages was so powerful that the boy decided to follow in Spruce's footsteps.

[Of particualr interest to the editor is Schultes' work in the World War II effort, because her major professor, C.J. Alexopoulos, told  stories of his service with the Rubber Development Corporation in the Brazilian Amazon at this time.]  "In 1941, Dr. Schultes traveled to the Colombian Amazon, where he would spend most of his field research, and an area Spruce had studied. At first, Dr. Schultes concentrated on plants that produced curare. This substance, used by Indians as a fast-dissipating poison to hunt prey, also proved to be vital as a muscle-relaxant during major surgery in hospitals. The professor identified more than 70 plant species from which the Indians extracted curare.  Dr. Schultes was deep in the Colombian rain forest when news of Pearl Harbor reached him more than a week after the Japanese attack. He immediately made his way back to Bogotá, the Colombian capital, and visited the United States Embassy to enlist in the armed forces. But the United States government decided his World War II services would be much more valuable as a botanist doing research on natural rubber, particularly since the Japanese occupied the Malayan plantations that accounted for much of the world's rubber supplies. Dr. Schultes soon became the leading expert in the field, collecting and studying more than 3,500 specimens of Hevea, the tree family that produces the latex from which rubber is made."


THE TIMES [London] SATURDAY MARCH 31 2001 Obituary
Darrell  Addison Posey , an anthropologist who gave up scholarly detachment to fight for the rights of native peoples, began by studying entomology at Louisiana State University.  His friendship with William Haag at LSU fuelled his interest in the diversity of ethnic cultures and led to an PhD in anthropology at LSU.  "At the time of his death [March 6, 2001 at 53], he was co-ordinating a new programme at Oxford University's Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, devoted to ecological and social dimensions of wellbeing."

Summer Research
Ashley Blouin, a research student in Evanna Gleason's lab, has been accepted into two research-related programs this summer.  From June 3-10 she will attend an Undergraduate Workshop on Perception, Action and Cognition at the Center for Visual Science at Rochester (NY) University. From there she will go to California from June 25-Aug 17 as a participant in a UCLA Summer Research Program for Undergraduate Students. Ashley will be working in a behavioral neuroscience lab in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.  These honors should help Blouin to obtain her eventual goal, to attend graduate school.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Program (Student, home institution, mentor or area)
Kamel Brakta, LSU, Sue Bartlett
Diana Calcote, LSU, Richard Bruch
Roosevelt Campbell, UTPA, Microbiology
Jason Churchman, LSU, John Larkin
Rebecca Cross, LSU,  Roger Laine
Chris Davis, LSU, John Battista
Ariana de la Garza,  UTPA , Microbiology
Florence Desrouleaux , LSU, Isiah Warner Chem
Xavier Ejigiri Ijeoma, UTPA, Genetics
Ashley Godfrey, LSU, James Moroney
Kenneth Hsu, LSU, David Longstreth
Laurie Kane, King's College, PA
Rhet Langley, East Stroudsburg Univ., Physiology
Yanci Mannery, Dillard, Physiology
Thomas Mendler, LSU, David Pollock
Mame Niang, LSU, Brian Rogers
Delaina Pitre, LSU, Greg Pettis
Davey Prout, LSU, James Moroney
Brant Segura, LSU, Jackie Stephens
Arsham Sheybani, LSU, Robert Hammer
Rashmi Sreenivas, UTPA, Microbiology
Camille Tallini, LSU, Robert Hammer
Dilan Weerakoon, LSU, Huangen Ding

LAMP Program
Angela Byrd, LSU, Vince LiCata
Ebony Spikes, LSU, Meredith Blackwell

NSF-REU
Lisa Bertucci, LSU, Mohamed Noor
Jessica Farrar, LSU, Meredith Blackwell
John Williams, LSU, Meredith Blackwell


WANTED! Good micrographs!  Basement gallery needs facelift!  Scientifically and/or aesthetically pleasing images are sought for display in the hallway outside the Socolofsky Microscopy Center near the LSB Conference room (Room 28) - not a bad venue for visual lab data due to the tour group traffic in the area!  If you will provide Cindy Henk or Ying Xiao with an interesting print, negative, or file, they will prepare wo images suitable for framing - one for you and one for the gallery!  Please  provide a layman's figure legend along with your image by 31 May - but preferably ASAP!  Henk (8860) and Xiao (0488) are in LSB, Room 24, and have mailboxes in LSB 508.  By the way, click here for current information (prices, etc.) on the SMC.  (Want your image on the website, too?)

Read the Accounting Services newsletter (via PDF) for April 2001 on the web or from a hard copy that has been circulated.  There is important information on grants, procurement card, open enrollment, etc.

Congratulations
Kristen Keteles, student of John Fleeger, received an offer for a faculty position at the University of Central Arkansas.  In this tenure-track faculty position, Kristen will teach upper-level environmental biology and toxicology classes.  Central Arkansas has a graduate program leading to the MS degree.  The campus is located about 30 minutes from Little Rock.

Alison Styring  received a Dissertation Fellowship from LSU's Graduate School.  This fellowship is designed for students nearing the end of their graduate studies at LSU.  Styring will use the fellowship to visit museums and to devote her full-time energies to finishing her Ph.D. in Zoology under the direction of  Van Remsen.


Alumni news
Links to alumni
A partial list is linked here in the hope that more web sites will be added by readers.  Thanks to Laura Goff for tracking down a few more people.
Reminders from the fifth floor
  • Procurement Card.  After making purchases on your procurement card, please turn in supporting paperwork (packing slip, order form, journal voucher that you receive online).  Please sign paperwork and affix account number to which charge is to be made.  Send all documentation to Teresa in room 502 Life Sciences the same day or no later than the second day.
  • Packing slips.  The accountants are still having problems getting these slips.  When they do receive them, often the date items were received is not written on the form.
  • Barnes & Noble.  Please send your receipts to the accounting section in LSB 502 when you make purchases.  The majority of the receipts are not being turned in to the accountants.

  • $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research
    • Jessica Light (Hafner PhD student) won an honorable mention award from the local chapter of Sigma Xi for her proposal, Coevolution of sucking lice and their mammalian hosts using molecular data. The award was presented at the annual Sigma Xi banquet held 24 April in the Union Magnolia Room. 
    • Michael S. Taylor (Hellberg Ph.D. student) received an award from the Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research fund in the national competition for his proposal, Does Mate Recognition Drive Divergence in Opsin Genes Related to Color Discrimination?

    Write On Biologist *Undergraduate student authors
    Meetings and Travel
    HAVE A BIG DAY: A First Person Report on the Greatest Birdathon (with species lists, below)
    by Christopher Witt
    [See original story, MarchBioSciNEWS] On Wednesday, April 25, 2001, Jason Weckstein, Dan Christian, and I [Christopher Witt] set a new big day record for the state of Louisiana by finding 209 species on a single calendar day.  On our fourth consecutive spring of shooting for the record, we finally were fortunate enough to break the 202 barrier.  209 species not only marked a fantastic birdwatching day, but it also helped us to achieve the most successful fundraising year ever for the LSU Ornithology Graduate Students' Birdathon.  For our success on both fronts, some credit is due to Curt Sorrells for his creative pledge, which provided a financial incentive for beating the old Louisiana big day  record.  Thanks also to ALL of our Birdathon supporters, past, present, and future. We really did this for our birdathon mentors, Van [Remsen], Steve [Cardiff], and Donna [Dittman], who needed an excuse to get back on the big day trail again.

    Below is an account of our big day, from start to finish, including a complete list of species and estimated numbers:
    At 11:30 pm on the night before Wednesday, April 25, 2001, Jason Weckstein, Dan Christian, and I met in the parking lot outside Jason's apartment to attempt our second and final big day of the spring.  We loaded up Jason's green Ford Explorer with coolers, maps, Q-beams, and spotting scopes, and we reviewed our planned itinerary one last time so that we would be prepared for every turn and every stop on our 24-hour, 600-mile route.  For the fourth year in a row, we were attempting to break the all-time Louisiana big day record of 202 species, set by Van Remsen, Steve Cardiff, Donna Dittman, and Ted Parker on April 21, 1987. We knew that there was an excellent chance that we would fall short again, as we did one week earlier when we tallied 194 species.  We also knew that we were better prepared than ever for an historic run.  A cold front had passed through the previous day, and the winds were light out of the north, under clearing skies.  Conditions would be excellent for nighttime and morning birding in the woods and swamps, and we hoped that trans-gulf migrant songbirds that arrived with the cold front would still be present in the coastal cheniers.

    Just as the clock struck midnight, we heard the scream of a juvenile Barn Owl from across a cow pasture.  One species and counting.  Within a half hour, we had driven a loop around Baton Rouge and picked up half a dozen more species.  House Finch brooding nestlings: Got it.  Robin incubating eggs: Got it.  Red-tailed Hawk on a nest: Got it.  We were even lucky enough to see a Mississippi Kite where we had scouted it flying into its roost the previous evening.  We aimed the spotlight into a tall pecan tree where we could see the kite's wings and tail sticking out from the branch where it was sleeping - just enough to identify, therefore enough to count.  Around City Park Lake, we got stopped by the police for suspicious behavior (the officer assumed that we were either drunk or lost, but he seemed to buy the story that we were just doing a little nighttime birdwatching).

    By 12:45am, we had left Baton Rouge with 12 species on our list.  We headed west to find a sleeping Anhinga and some hooting barred owls in the swamps of St. Martin Parish.  From there, we drove northwest to the pine woods region of Vernon and Beauregard Parishes.  We remained in the pine woods until dawn, but we missed two species that we had gotten there the week before: American Woodcock and Chuck-wills-widow. As the sky began to get light at 6:15am, we found ourselves in the midst of a loud chorus of Bachman's Sparrows, Cardinals, Pine Warblers, and Yellow-breasted Chats. We found most of the expected species right away.  In addition, we were fortunate to hear a Chipping Sparrow (a species we usually miss) singing from a pine tree in an open, grassy field.  As soon as we had tallied the pine woods species that we knew we probably wouldn't get later along our route, including Prairie Warbler, Sedge Wren, Pine Warbler, Bachman's Sparrow, and Brown-headed Nuthatch, we sped off for the hardwood forests and cypress swamps of the Sabine River bottomlands, along the Texas border.  There we heard Wild Turkey, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Warbler, Northern Parula, Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Acadian Flycatcher, Hooded Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler.  In nearby second growth we added Red-headed Woodpecker, Painted Bunting, and Blue Grosbeak.

    Around 8:00am, we zoomed south to the open field areas of Calcasieu Parish south of Vinton and Sulphur where we picked up LeConte's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Black Vulture. When we stopped at one spot to look for Spotted Sandpiper, a male Blackburnian Warbler flew right in front of us and landed on a bare branch - one more migrant we wouldn't have to worry about finding on the coast.  As we got back on the highway, we were feeling depressed about three species that we had missed where we were expecting to find them: Northern Bobwhite, Broad-winged Hawk, and Swainson's Hawk.  Just when it looked like Swainson's Hawk was a lost cause, Dan spotted a hawk on a dead snag on the shoulder of the interstate going through Lake Charles. It was too big to be a Broad-wing, and as we approached, we could see that it was in fact an adult Swainson's Hawk!  Two minutes later, from the bridge across Lake Charles, we spotted an Osprey winging by.  Five minutes later, we screeched to a halt for a raptor perched on a roadside wire - Broad-winged Hawk!  We were on a raptor hot streak, but that didn't quell our anxiety as we approached the rice fields south of Lake Charles. On our run the week before the rice fields had been nearly void of migrant shorebirds, and we knew that we would have to pick up at least 20 species of shorebirds there if we would have a chance at the record.  During our first two stops at flooded rice fields we picked up White-rumped and Stilt Sandpipers, two species that we had missed the week before.  We barely had to slow down to hear a singing Dickcissel as we sped along the dirt roads between flooded fields.  A flock of Bobolinks winged past the right side of our car.  At about 10:00am, when we were almost through the rice fields, we spotted a Whimbrel standing in a freshly plowed dirt field. When we pulled over to take a closer look, we noticed that the field was crawling with Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and other calidrines of various shapes and sizes.  Dan and I were so intent on scoping the far side of the field for every last shorebird that we almost didn't notice the call of a Bobwhite right behind us. Fortunately, Jason made sure that we noticed by screaming "BOBWHITE!! BOBWHITE!!" in a fit of celebration.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  Slowly but steadily, we were filling the holes in our list.

    After picking up a last minute Glossy Ibis among a flock of White-faced  Ibis, we tore off down route 27 heading for Cameron Parish, the  birdwatching capitol of Louisiana.  We had a good morning list, but we knew that the possibility of a record-breaking day  hinged on the hope that the previous day's storm knocked down a sufficient number of landbird  migrants into the coastal chenier woodlands.  At 10:45am, we walked into the woods behind the Rutherford Motel.  It was eerily quiet at first, but then a Northern  waterthrush started calling, and a brilliant Scarlet Tanager swooped across the trail in  front of us.  A few steps further in, a Black-throated Green Warbler sang quietly, then two Bay-breasted Warblers appeared in a live oak above our heads.  There were not the  numbers of birds that we were hoping for, but one by one we racked up species:  Tennessee Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes.  After leaving the Rutherford Motel, we made a critical decision not to drive the eight slow miles along Rutherford Beach.  In past years, Rutherford Beach had produced some great birds, but we had driven it the week before and found almost nothing.  In addition, we wanted to avoid the psychological setback of spending an hour on one of the world's most disgusting beaches (measured by density of cowpies, garbage, biting flies, and  decomposing cetartiodactyls).  Instead we decided to spend more time in the woods searching for warblers, vireos, and flycatchers.  Our strategy seemed to pay off.  In following hour we picked up Cooper's Hawk, Lincoln's Sparrow, Merlin, and half a dozen species of warblers.  The 15 mile per hour north winds made finding birds in the  trees difficult, but we may have also benefited from the strong winds because we found that flocks of foraging warblers were concentrated on the lee side of the  cheniers.

    By 3:00pm we headed for East Jetty, at the mouth of Calcasieu Pass.  Along the road, we stopped to peak in the sewage ponds where we found a Ruddy Duck and a pair of Lesser Scaup.  Further down, we spotted a Clapper Rail hop up out of the salt marsh.  At East Jetty, we charged through the marsh and flushed a Nelson's Sparrow, before walking down the beach to scope out shorebirds and gulls.  A shallow pond on the beach produced Marbled Godwit and Short-billed Dowitcher.  A lone Reddish Egret stood with a group of Snowy Egrets.  We picked up Caspian, Sandwich, and Black Terns, and Brown Pelican.  No Red Knot, no Piping Plover, no Lesser Black-backed Gull. After ten minutes, we knew we had done as well as we could have hoped, so we turned around and jogged the quarter of a mile back to the car, spotting scopes and all.  Next we drove through the town of Cameron, where we were able to pick up Inca Dove and Cedar Waxwing while barely even stopping the car.

    By 3:45pm, we were waiting in line at the ferry to cross Calcasieu Pass. The day up until that point had been so frenetic, that we hadn't stopped looking for birds for even a moment to tally up how many we had gotten. While Jason and Dan scanned for  Bonaparte's Gulls from the ferry, I counted up the list: 196!  That was by far the best we  had ever done by that point in the day.  After a cautious celebration, we resumed scanning for Bonaparte's Gulls (which we ended up missing).

    West of Calcasieu Pass, things continued to go well.  The only worry at that point was that there weren't enough easy birds left for us to get. On the water tower at Holly Beach, we found a Peregrine Falcon - the first time in a while that we've seen it there on a big day, despite looking religiously.  A stop at the White-tailed Kite spot yielded nothing, despite scanning wires and posts for two minutes.  As we were pulling away, however, we spotted a kite perched on a fence post.  Considering that they are a big white bird that always perches in the open, the Holly Beach White-tailed Kites can be awfully difficult to spot.  From there we zoomed to Peveto Woods where we picked up Cerulean and Wilson's Warblers. I gave a shout to Dan and Jason when I spotted a female Cerulean, and several hopeful birders came running out of the woods only to find that it was a bird they'd already seen.  We met Roger Breedlove there, and we glimpsed Charlie Lyon, but we were only able to give a crude hello before scurrying into the woods on our race against the clock.  They seemed to understand that we were on a mission - something about our appearance must have given away that we had been up for 30 straight hours.

    After Peveto Woods, we stopped at the Secret Place, which has consistently produced good birds for our big days in the past.  On the drive in we found a Wilson's Phalarope, and as soon as we parked the car, we got a stunning look at a Black-billed Cuckoo perched in a low Acacia thicket. After an unproductive walk through the chenier, we jogged back to the car. Dan convinced Jason to drive down a road that headed to the south side of the chenier to give a quick check for ducks.  Jason, perpetually nervous about getting the car stuck, had to be swayed, but Dan guessed assertively that the road would be "no problem".  Of course, a few yards down the road we hit the mud puddle of all mud puddles, and our spinning tires splattered a mud/cow-manure slurry all over the car, inside and out. Tires spinning, mud flying, we managed to escape to the blacktop again and we headed west towards Sabine Pass.  Along the road, we added Seaside Sparrow and Pied-billed Grebe.  Once there, we found a couple of Cave Swallows, and we scoped a distant American Oystercatcher.  By that point, there were few species left that were possible.

    We zoomed back east to the cheniers, and began searching for American Redstarts or Chuck-wills-widows, but there were none to be found.  As evening approached, birds in the cheniers began to become active with migratory restlessness.  Gray Catbirds especially, along with smaller numbers of tanagers, grosbeaks, and warblers, were pouring through the chenier canopy.  But we found nothing new.  Just after sunset, we headed back west to search for American Bittern in the marshes on the way to Sabine Pass.  Just as it was becoming too dark to see, the bitterns began to fly, and we saw five or more before heading off again to search for Sora.  We found a Sora fairly easily with use of a tape. By that point, clouds of saltmarsh mosquitoes were swarming so thickly over the road that they resembled a line of smoke trailing into the distance.  Each time we got in and out of the car, the swarms followed, until the density inside the car was at least as high as it was outside.

    With darkness came exhaustion, as well as the opportunity to finally stop and tally our list.  We had 209 - a new record for Louisiana by seven species.  We returned to the ferry and went to the marsh behind the courthouse to try for additional rails.  A couple of Soras piped up briefly, but we heard nothing else over the chorus of frogs.  Back in the town of Cameron, we got stopped by the police for second time in 22 hours. Fortunately, the officer deemed us harmless and sent us on our way with a warning.  At 11:00pm, we made our last stop at a marshy area in the rice fields, but no rails called.  It was too late to reach the pine woods by midnight to try for Chuck-wills-widow, so we loaded up on coffee and headed back to Baton Rouge.  We were satisfied and relieved that in our fourth year of trying for the Louisiana big day record, we finally achieved the perfect combination of luck, strategy, and preparation to put  us over the top.
      Here is a list  with estimated numbers of  the birds  found on the big day.
    Pied-billed Grebe - 3 
    American White Pelican - 25 
    Brown Pelican - 10
    Double-crested Cormorant - 40 
    Neotropic Cormorant - 60 
    Anhinga - 1 
    American Bittern - 5 
    Least Bittern - 2 
    Great Blue Heron - 15 
    Great Egret - 70 
    Snowy Egret - 300 
    Little Blue Heron - 200 
    Tricolored Heron - 15 
    Reddish Egret - 1 
    Cattle Egret - 300 
    Green Heron - 40 
    Black-crowned Night-Heron - 30 
    Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - 25 
    White Ibis - 35 
    Glossy Ibis - 1 
    White-faced Ibis - 150 
    Roseate Spoonbill - 40 
    Fulvous-whistling Duck 20 
    Snow Goose - 1 
    Canada Goose - 2 
    Wood Duck - 5 
    Mottled Duck - 30 
    Mallard - 10 
    Blue-winged Teal - 100 
    Gadwall - 1 
    Lesser Scaup - 4 
    Red-breasted Merganser - 2 
    Ruddy Duck - 1 
    Black Vulture - 6 
    Turkey Vulture - 15 
    Osprey - 1 
    White-tailed Kite - 1 
    Mississippi Kite - 1 
    Northern Harrier - 3 
    Cooper's Hawk - 1 
    Red-shouldered Hawk - 2 
    Broad-winged Hawk - 3 
    Swainson's Hawk - 1 
    Red-tailed Hawk - 6 
    Merlin - 2 
    Peregrine Falcon - 1 
    Wild Turkey - 2 
    Northern Bobwhite - 1 
    Clapper Rail - 2 
    King Rail - 1
    Sora - 3 
    Purple Gallinule - 2 
    Common Moorhen - 10 
    American Coot - 12 
    Black-bellied Plover - 25 
    American Golden-Plover - 1 
    Wilson's Plover - 4 
    Semipalmated Plover - 125
    Killdeer - 30 
    American Oystercatcher - 1 
    Black-necked Stilt - 30
    American Avocet - 8 
    Greater Yellowlegs - 10 
    Lesser Yellowlegs - 250 
    Solitary Sandpiper - 20 
    Willet - 40 
    Spotted Sandpiper - 7
    Upland Sandpiper - 1 
    Whimbrel - 20 
    Marbled Godwit - 2 
    Ruddy Turnstone - 45
    Sanderling - 30
    Semipalmated Sandpiper - 50 
    Western Sandpiper - 3 
    Least Sandpiper - 200 
    White-rumped Sandpiper - 10 
    Pectoral Sandpiper - 25 
    Dunlin - 40 
    Stilt Sandpiper - 18 
    Buff-breasted Sandpiper - 26 
    Short-billed Dowitcher - 20 
    Long-billed Dowitcher - 100 
    Wilson's Phalarope - 1 
    Laughing Gull - 400 
    Ring-billed Gull - 25 
    Herring Gull - 20 
    Caspian Tern - 4 
    Royal Tern - 150 
    Sandwich Tern - 10 
    Common Tern - 45 
    Forster's Tern - 35 
    Least Tern - 20 
    Black Tern - 1 
    Black Skimmer - 50 
    Rock Dove - 20 
    Eurasian Collared Dove - 15 
    White-winged Dove - 10 
    Mourning Dove - 75 
    Inca Dove - 2 
    Black-billed Cuckoo - 1 
    Yellow-billed Cuckoo - 20 
    Barn Owl - 2 
    Eastern Screech-Owl - 1 
    Great Horned Owl - 1 
    Barred Owl - 5 
    Common Nighthawk - 10 
    Chimney Swift - 40 
    Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 30 
    Belted Kingfisher - 3 
    Red-headed Woodpecker - 2 
    Red-bellied Woodpecker - 10 
    Downy Woodpecker - 10 
    Hairy Woodpecker - 3 
    Red-cockaded Woodpecker - 1 
    Northern Flicker - 1 
    Pileated Woodpecker - 3 
    Eastern Wood-Pewee - 15 
    Acadian Flycatcher - 6 
    Great-crested Flycatcher - 20 
    Eastern Kingbird - 40 
    Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - 1 
    Purple Martin - 150 
    Tree Swallow - 200 
    Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 100 
    Bank Swallow - 5 
    Cliff Swallow - 30 
    Cave Swallow - 2 
    Barn Swallow - 65 
    Blue Jay - 35 
    American Crow - 25 
    Fish Crow - 40 
    Carolina Chickadee - 15 
    Tufted Titmouse - 10 
    Brown-headed Nuthatch - 2 
    Carolina Wren - 20 
    Sedge Wren - 10 
    Marsh Wren - 4 
    Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 8
    Eastern Bluebird - 5 
    Veery - 20 
    Gray-cheeked Thrush - 4 
    Swainson's Thrush - 12 
    Wood Thrush - 40 
    American Robin - 1 
    Gray Catbird - 150 
    Northern Mockingbird - 50 
    Brown Thrasher - 20 
    Cedar Waxwing - 10
    Loggerhead Shrike - 24
    European Starling - 100 
    White-eyed Vireo - 15 
    Yellow-throated Vireo - 6 
    Red-eyed Vireo - 45 
    Blue-winged Warbler - 1 
    Golden-winged Warbler - 1
    Tennessee Warbler - 25 
    Northern Parula - 4 
    Yellow Warbler - 14 
    Chestnut-sided Warbler - 8 
    Magnolia Warbler - 3 
    Myrtle Warbler - 2 
    Black-throated Green Warbler - 4 
    Blackburnian Warbler - 2 
    Yellow-throated Warbler - 2 
    Pine Warbler - 30 
    Prairie Warbler - 1 
    Bay-breasted Warbler - 12 
    Blackpoll Warbler - 8 
    Cerulean Warbler - 1 
    Black-and-white Warbler - 16 
    Prothonotary Warbler - 6 
    Worm-eating Warbler - 4 
    Swainson's Warbler - 1 
    Ovenbird - 40 
    Northern Waterthrush - 15 
    Kentucky Warbler - 18 
    Common Yellowthroat - 8 
    Hooded Warbler - 12 
    Wilson's Warbler - 1 
    Yellow-breasted Chat - 20 
    Summer Tanager - 28 
    Scarlet Tanager - 35 
    Northern Cardinal - 80 
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 30 
    Blue Grosbeak - 25 
    Indigo Bunting - 85 
    Painted Bunting - 1 
    Dickcissel - 2 
    Bachman's Sparrow - 25 
    Chipping Sparrow - 1 
    Savannah Sparrow - 20 
    LeConte's Sparrow - 1 
    Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - 3 
    Seaside Sparrow - 2 
    Lincoln's Sparrow - 1 
    Swamp Sparrow - 1 
    White-throated Sparrow - 17 
    White-crowned Sparrow - 5 
    Bobolink - 16 
    Red-winged Blackbird - 250 
    Eastern Meadowlark - 30 
    Great-tailed Grackle - 50 
    Boat-tailed Grackle - 250 
    Common Grackle - 150 
    Brown-headed Cowbird - 100 
    Orchard Oriole - 22 
    Baltimore Oriole - 2 
    House Finch - 1 
    House Sparrow - 10


    Species missed but might have been found:
    Northern Gannet
    Black-bellied Whistling Duck (seen the previous day)
    Green-winged Teal
    Northern Shoveler
    American Kestrel
    Virginia Rail
    Snowy Plover
    Piping Plover
    Red Knot
    Baird's Sandpiper
    Common Snipe
    American Woodcock
    Bonaparte's Gull
    Gull-billed Tern
    Chuck-wills-widow
    All Empidonax other than Acadian
    House Wren
    Ruby-crowned Kinglet
    Warbling Vireo
    Philadelphia Vireo
    Nashville Warbler
    American Redstart
    Canada Warbler
    Eastern Towhee
    American Goldfinch


    False alarm: a time to socialize (photograph, David J. Longstreth)

    Are you interested in news of other biologists at LSU?  Try the Museum of Natural Sciences, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, CCEER, College of Agriculture, and LUMCON.

    21 April 2001
    Proofreading by Vermar D. Hargrove and Thomas Dietz
    Send news items to Meredith Blackwell
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