CanoeTour1

A free guided canoe tour, Paddling Along the Edge, will be held Saturday and March 3 in Lacombe.

PROVIDED PHOTO FROM REBECCA LARKINS/SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will offer two free guided canoe tours that explore the bayou along the edge of Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Lacombe to the shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

The tours, lasting three hours, will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and March 3.

The program, Paddling Along the Edge, "allows individuals to experience the excitement of canoeing southeast Louisiana’s scenic Cane Bayou, while learning about wildlife and the natural and cultural history of this fascinating place where land meets water," a news release says.

All paddle equipment and canoes are provided, and pre-registration is required.

The tours are geared toward adults, but children 5 and older may attend. Only children aged 10 and older will be allowed to paddle. The canoes have two seats for paddlers — younger children will sit in the middle of the boats. Participants should be prepared to paddle for 2-3 hours on flatwater with several stops to discuss the natural and cultural history. The refuge is located at 61389 La. 434.

To register, email joanne_dolan@fws.gov or call (985) 882-2015. For more info, visit fws.gov/refuge/Big_Branch_Marsh/Canoe.html

Eagle Expo next weekend

The 13th annual Eagle Expo runs Thursday-Saturday in Morgan City.

Expo events include boat tours into various waterways to view American eagles, a Birds of Prey educational program, presentations on the American eagle and other wildlife, a walking/hiking trail and a photography workshop. Admission and registration required. There is a separate registration for the photography workshop.

"The American bald eagle is a common visitor on the Cajun coast. Join us to view these majestic birds perched in a tree, soaring overhead, tending their young or hunting for food," a news release says.

The expo schedule is:

Thursday

6:30 p.m.: Wings to Soar, presented by the Rotary Club of Morgan City, Patterson Civic Center. Presentation with a variety of raptors including a falcon, hawk, black vulture and bald eagle. 

Friday 

9 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Boat tours

All day: Photography workshop with CC Lockwood (separate registration form and payment required), Everett Street Art Gallery. Lockwood will share tips on how to capture images of the American eagle and other wildlife. Includes class instruction and field trip. (225) 763-1259, (225) 245-5008, cactusclyd©aol.com or msrafttrip©aol.com.

6:30 p.m.: Dinner and presentation, Petroleum Club of Morgan City. John Snell, of WVUE Channel 8, will speak. 

Saturday

7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.: breakfast; 7:30 a.m. to noon, seminars, Morgan City Auditorium. 7:30 a.m. — Speaker Phillip Vasseur, update on whooping crane in Louisiana; 8:30 a.m. —  Katie Percy; 9:30 a.m. — Curtis Walker, migratory bird biologist, BTNEP, "Coastal Louisiana Array Project" which radio tags birds throughout south Louisiana wetlands; 10:30 a.m. — Wings to Soar presentation  

10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Water & Nature Expo, open to the public

9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.: Boat tours 

For more info and prices on individual events, call (800) 256-2931 or (985) 380-8224.

Poverty's pottery demo

Poverty Point World Heritage Site near Monroe will offer a ranger-led demonstration of crafting prehistoric-styled pottery similar to the pieces which the Native Americans fashioned more than 3,500 years ago.

The Feb. 24 event will begin with the demonstration at 10:30 a.m., and visitors will create their own pottery until noon. Guests can try their hand at figurines, decorated artistic objects, coiled clay pots and clay pipes inspired by those that have been excavated from the site.

Materials will be provided. Wear or bring appropriate clothes for working with potentially messy clay.

Poverty Point's $4 admission fee includes access to the museum, film theater, hiking trail, driving tour, seasonal tram tour and interpretive events. Children (3 and younger) and seniors (62 and older) are admitted free.

Poverty Point, located east of Monroe on La. 577 in West Carroll Parish, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more info, call (888) 926-5292 or follow Poverty Point World Heritage Site on Facebook.

Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.