Creature Snapshot: Let’s Learn About Louisiana’s Birds!

November 8, 2019

One of the best things about the swamp is the fact that it’s home to so many creatures you may not see anywhere else! And, if you’re an avid reader of our blogs, you’ve certainly heard us talk about gators more than once. Let’s give some love to the other creatures in the swamp, shall we? Take a peek at these birds on our bayou tours in New Orleans and book online today!

The Majestic Brown Pelican

Due to the pelican being such an important piece of Louisiana’s identity, it’s important to begin with these interesting birds. The brown pelican is the Louisiana state bird and is even on our official state flag. However, you may notice that the bird there is white. This is because the flag itself was made in 1912, but the brown pelican wasn’t the state bird until 1966. By then, the white bird was well-known! To this day, the pelican has remained well-loved and you can see our bird represented in our media, culture, and on our shores.

Despite being the smallest of the pelicans, they are still a pretty large bird! Four feet long and with a seven to eight-foot-long wingspan, this big bird puts many others to shame. Pelicans are often easy to pick out from a crowd from the large pouch attached to the bottom of their beak. This big pouch can actually hold up to three times as much as they can fit in their stomach. And for good reason—they need to eat four pounds of fish a day. They catch these fish by diving headfirst into the water and scooping them into their bill. If you’re able to catch a glimpse of one of these maneuvers, it’s a good day! 

What Other Birds Can Be Found In The Swamp?

While the pelican is the most famous Louisiana bird, there are several others that stand out.

  • Herons are large, thin birds with even larger and thinner necks. In the state of Louisiana, there are several types of herons, and they come in many different colors. The most common of these in the state is the tricolored heron. Formerly known as the “Louisiana heron”, these birds come in blue-gray, lavender, and white. 
  • Egrets are actually a type of heron but their stark white coloring often stands out. Many like to make the distinction since their look is slightly different. However, they are closely related.
  • Many hawks, eagles, and hawks make their home in the Louisiana swamplands. You may be so lucky to see one of these predators swoop from the skies for their next meal!

If you’re an avid bird watcher, Louisiana is the perfect place to find the critters you aim to see.  

Want To Take A Ride On These Bayou Tours in New Orleans? Book Online Today!

There are so many birds in the Pelican State. Take a ride on our bayou tours in New Orleans today to see some interesting birds for yourself. Book online or just ask us more about the fantastic Louisiana wildlife! Call us at 504-323-0570, email [email protected], or send a message online to get your questions to our professionals. We’re excited to help you see these birds take flight.

New Orleans Bayou Creature: The Rougarou

October 15, 2019

Travel deep within the boggy terrain of the Louisiana bayous to discover a legendary, supernatural, creature. Yes, we’re talking about the Rougarou! Tales of this mysterious creature are especially popular during the spooky Halloween season.

What Actually Is A Rougarou?

When a human is cursed with lycanthropy—or a human who transforms into a wolf—they become a Rougarou. However, there are different beliefs regarding how the curse transfers. One version states that a human who gets bitten by a Rougarou will remain in the Rougarou form for 101 days. Within that period, the beast must draw another human’s blood in order to pass it on and rid themselves of the curse. 

Conversely, another version believes that a person with the curse will not transform into its form until it consumes human flesh. And finally, some old beliefs state that the Rougarou curse can only be passed by a witch. The witch will either become the beast herself to pass the curse by biting another human or cast a lycanthropy spell upon another human. The person who receives the curse would not be able to pass on the curse because only the witch has that power. 

We are unsure as to whether the cursed will become permanently transformed, has the ability to change upon will, or is forced into transformation during a full moon. As is the norm with traditional legends, these stories of origin and behavior often contradict another. 

No matter what the correct version is, though, one does not want to be caught in the path of a Rougarou! A domineering, dark-haired, long-fanged beast with bright red eyes and— much like the werewolf—has the head of a rabid wolf and the body of a man. Worst of all, the swamp monster is believed to have a strong taste for human flesh!

The Beginnings Of Cajun Folklore

Tales of our swamp legend are connected to Francophone cultures. The Rougarou itself is actually the Acadian variation of the name. The French are believed to have originally called it the Loup-Garou, Loup being the French word for “wolf” and Garou being the derivative of the English “werewolf.” As the French settled the new world, Rougarou became the typical name for the monster in the Louisiana bayou. 

Folktales are usually passed on as cautionary tales. Specifically, French Catholic (and eventually Cajun) parents used Rougarou to scare their children into behaving—the monster would eat them if they did not follow the rules during Lent! Most likely, the original intention was to prevent the children from playing in the swamp, where predatory animals dwell, and they later applied it to religious teachings.

Will you spot the Rougarou next?

Explore The Bayou With Us

Much like gumbo—a traditional Cajun dish—Louisiana culture is a pot full of spicy and strange ingredients! If you’d like to learn more about our unique culture on a journey through our beautiful bayous, visit us at the Adventures Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours! You can book your reservation online or call us at 504-323-0570.

10 Things To Thank A Swamp Tour Adventure For

November 14, 2018

No matter the time of year, you can take some time to be thankful. Certain people, certain things, or certain experiences can all inspire gratitude. We decided to take some time to think of reasons to be thankful for a swamp tour adventure in Louisiana.

swamp adventure new orleans

Swamp Tour Gratitude

When you’re on vacation, it might seem like you’re just checking things off. There is so much information online. So many of your friends are eager to make recommendations. You compile a list and spend your trip dashing from one thing to another. The cliché of needing a vacation AFTER your vacation can apply. Focus on what you want out of each experience. Try to be in the moment instead of worrying about your itinerary. On paper or in your mind, list out reasons you’re glad to be there.

  • Door-to-Dock Service. Nervous about navigating unfamiliar streets? Don’t feel like calling a cab? Find a swamp tour that will pick you up right at your hotel. You won’t be late because the boat won’t leave until your bus gets there!
  • A REAL Louisiana Experience. Did you know one of Louisiana’s nicknames is “The Bayou State?” If you visit Louisiana without going to a bayou did you REALLY visit Louisiana? Of course, the restaurants, music, and culture all contribute to a fantastic vacation. But to round it out, a trip into the bayous is a must-do.
  • Getting A Little Wild. No, we don’t mean the “wild” going on in the French Quarter. We mean wild as in … the WILD. Trees, animals, water. It’s a great escape from the noise of the city. You’ll see native Louisianians in their natural habitats. And we don’t only mean the tour guides (though they can be quite the characters themselves)! Relish the otherworldliness of cypress trees draped with Spanish moss. See if you can spot an alligator, a nutria, or maybe even a bald eagle!
  • An Easy Ride. You might see many different boat options that do swamp and bayou tours. A slow-moving pontoon might be your best bet. It matches the pace of the bayou—bayou means “slow-moving stream” after all. You’ll have the time to take in the sights and snap some envy-worthy images. A ramp allows wheelchairs and strollers easy access.
  • An Eco Education. We cannot overstate the importance of Louisiana’s ecosystem. A swamp tour is more than a fun diversion. It’s a look into what makes these areas vital for the state and the country. Tour guides tell stories about the swamp’s historical and economic importance. It may open your eyes and touch your heart.
  • The Memories. The most important reason to be thankful. These days, more and more researchers are studying happiness. It turns out, people who invest in experiences are happier than those who buy things. Don’t consider it another tourist attraction. A swamp tour is an investment in your family’s future memories.

Book Now, Thank Yourself Later

Whatever your reason for booking a swamp tour, choose Adventures of Jean Lafitte. Do you have questions? We’ve got answers. Booking couldn’t be easier. You can call us at 504-323-0570 or click here to book online. Come and make some memories with us. As for us, we’re thankful for visitors like you. We love having the opportunity to give you and your family a fun and unforgettable experience.

Things You Need To Bring On A Bayou Tour

July 31, 2018

Adventures of Jean Lafitte is more than just a bayou tour. It’s a true adventure. That means you’re going to want to bring the essentials of an adventure! What are those? We’re glad you (probably) asked!

bayou tours new orleans, things to bring on a bayou tour

Essentials For A Bayou Tour Adventure

Dress For An Adventure

First, you’re going to want to dress appropriately for the weather. This is New Orleans, so 80% of the year that means you’re going to want to dress very lightly. It will be hot and humid. If you happen to be planning your adventure for the winter months, then it might be a good idea to dress a little more warmly. The point is, you’ll be exposed to the elements in your bayou tour. So, plan accordingly.

Capture The Adventure

Whatever you do, you don’t want the memories of this adventure to fade. Whether you take photos on your phone or you bring a camera, plan to capture a few moments. Whether you’re with your family, your spouse, your friends, or by yourself, you’ll want to capture photos of moss hanging low off cypress trees, beautiful bayou vistas, and rowdy alligators.

Don’t Get Waterlogged

You’re going to want to protect yourself from the water if that’s an issue for you. We sell ponchos and umbrellas in the gift store or you can bring your own. If you’re bringing your wallet, your phone, or your keys, you might consider putting them in a ziplock or something as well.

Sunscreen & Bug Repellant

Don’t get eaten or beaten. The bugs will eat you if you let them, and the sun will beat you up all day long if you don’t take proper measures to protect yourself. Otherwise, you’ll end up eaten or beaten by the end of the day. It’ll still be a good time, but why add that element of risk!? A bayou tour is a great time, but it DOES have bugs and sun. Don’t fall victim to either.

A Fun-Loving, Adventurous Attitude

Bring yourself, your friends and family, and your desire for fun. That’s the best way to ensure you have a good time. Of course, we’re going to do everything we can to ensure that you have a good time, too. With all of us working together, there should be good times had by all! After all, a bayou tour is a pretty fun adventure!

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