The National Audubon Society partners with Bird Life International to identify, monitor, and protect the Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the United States. Tara Wildlife has been designated as an IBA, the only privately owned IBA in Mississippi, since the assessment in 2008 (http://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/tara-wildlife-inc).
Important Bird Areas are selected based on the criteria set out by Bird Life International, which began the designation in the late 1970’s. An IBA is “of greatest significance for the conservation of the world’s birds” (http://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/programmes/sites-habitats-ibas-and-kbas).
Bird Habitat at Tara Wildlife
Tara Wildlife is located in the Mississippi Flyway, a major migration route for neotropical birds and waterfowl that follows the Mississippi River. Approximately 326 bird species use the Mississippi Flyway each year with forty percent of all migrating waterfowl in North American using the Mississippi Flyway.
Over 6,000 acres of Tara’s riparian and southern bottomland alluvial forest has been committed to perpetual Conservation Easements held by Wetlands America Trust and Mississippi Land Trust. The property lends its self to a wide variety of recreational activities both consumptive and non-consumptive. There is an emphasis on maintaining habitat such as open fields, forested wetlands and moist soil units for wintering waterfowl along with areas that entice wading and shore birds.
Bird Species at Tara Wildlife
In the late summer, you can find wood storks, roseate spoonbills, white ibis, little blue herons, and other wading birds in the pools and ponds around the property. In the winter, mallards, northern pintails, ring-necked ducks, and other waterfowl can be seen on the lakes, borrow pits, and other impoundments.
A nesting pair of bald eagles has nested on the property or adjacent to the property since the early 1980’s. Ospreys can also be found nesting at Tara or the adjacent property.
Reported Sightings at Tara Wildlife 2004 to the current date
An inventory of birds found at Tara has been recorded over the last 13 years on eBird.org – an online checklist program that allows bird watchers to report sightings made at various locations. You can view the sightings reported at Tara Wildlife here: http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L343333