Lake Ouachita State Park in Mountain Pine announces the 2013 Bird Island Tour schedule. Bird Island, located in the middle of Lake Ouachita, hosts up to 50 thousand purple martins each night during the summer. After nesting, the birds convene there with thousands of others before their long migration to Brazil. While the roost is active, Lake Ouachita State Park gives barge tours out to observe the birds flying low across the lake, swirling around Bird Island, and finally cascading into a small grove of cypress trees just as the sun sets. While visiting the evening martin roost, tour guests may find the nesting egrets and herons equally captivating. If lucky, guests may also catch a glimpse of other wading bird alongside the martins, egrets and herons.
The 2013 tour schedule includes trips to the island several evenings per week in July and August. A visit to Lake Ouachita State Park’s webpage at www.ArkansasStateParks.com/LakeOuachita will get you a detailed schedule of upcoming programs, activities and tours. While the greatest number of birds have historically been seen in late July and early August, you can’t go wrong by reserving your space on any of these popular tours. Reservations are required and space is limited. Tickets are $9 plus tax for adults, $5 plus tax for children age six to twelve and free for those under age six. To make reservations, purchase tickets, or for more information; contact the visitor center at (501)767-9366.