American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) and Reddish Egrets (Egretta rufescens) are coastal species of conservation concern known to nest along most of the Gulf of Mexico’s coastline. However, there is a distributional gap in breeding records for both species between southeastern Louisiana and eastern Texas. Herein, we report on the first breeding records for each species from southwestern Louisiana at Rabbit Island (Cameron Parish, Louisiana), a small, marsh island in Calcasieu Lake. Suitable nesting habitat for American Oystercatchers (1 nesting pair) was present on the island via shell rake and for Reddish Egrets (6–12 pairs, min) in clumps of Juncus roemerianus; this is the first report of Reddish Egrets utilizing this plant species for nesting. A large scale island restoration project is slated for Rabbit Island and therefore, we provide restoration recommendations for conservation planners to improve habitat suitability for multiple bird guilds at this and other potential dredge spoil island projects.
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Vol. 127 • No. 2