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Connecticut State of the Birds 2014: Habitat Change Threatens State Birds; Sound Conservation Management is Crucial to Recovery

Bobolinks are among the grassland birds that would benefit from better conservation management. Connecticut Audubon Society photo by Frank Gallo

Bobolinks are among the grassland birds that would benefit from better conservation management. Connecticut Audubon Society photo by Frank Gallo

Connecticut’s wide diversity of bird species is diminishing and is at risk of continued declines as habitats throughout the state suffer from neglect caused by a lack of conservation management.

That’s the key finding of Connecticut Audubon Society’s annual Connecticut State of the Birds report, released today at a news conference in Easton, at Aspetuck Land Trust’s 1009-acre Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut Audubon Society is the state’s original and independent Audubon society.

The report shows how land conservation agencies and organizations throughout the state have reduced or eliminated the natural processes that otherwise would create a mosaic of different habitat stages and types, resulting in an increasingly large forest monoculture and a diminishing variety of birds.

It also highlights examples of how sound conservation management planning is leading to sustainable improvements around the state. As Stephen B. Oresman, chairman emeritus of Connecticut Audubon Society, put it in his article, “What we are promoting is an approach to wiser land use that is complex, detailed, and long-term.”

Released annually since 2006, Connecticut State of the Birds has become the leading research-based assessment of conservation conditions in Connecticut. This year’s report, “Connecticut’s Diverse Landscape: Managing Our Habitats for Wildlife,” highlights examples of where conservation planning and management has succeeded in sustaining the habitats that are most in danger, including grasslands and early-successional fields.

“There is still a wealth of beauty and biodiversity throughout Connecticut,” said Connecticut Audubon Society President Alexander R. Brash. “But managing areas for wildlife is a lot more complicated than just letting them go. Because our landscape is already human dominated and no longer naturally balanced, we must determine what we want a landscape to look like and then actively manage the process to achieve that goal.”

There are signs of progress, and the report recommends increasing support for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the largest owner of conservation land in the state; and the creation of a grant program to help Connecticut’s 100-plus private land conservation organizations pay for professional planning.

Read the rest of the news release …

Volunteer for Osprey Nation

Ospreys on their nest platform at Milford Point. Photo by Sherri Delaney.

Ospreys on their nest platform at Milford Point. Photo by Sherri Delaney.

Osprey Nation is Connecticut Audubon Society’s new citizen science partnership to monitor the health of Connecticut’s Ospreys.

We need your help and expertise!

If you live near an active Osprey nest and can volunteer about an hour a month to be part of our network of stewards, email us at Osprey@Ctaudubon.org.

The goal of Osprey Nation is to create a long-term record of data that will give the conservation community a better understanding of the health of Connecticut’s Osprey population.

You’ll be collecting basic information that will tell us about the well-being not only of these great, fish-eating raptors but of our lakes, rivers, Long Island Sound – and ourselves, as well. Read more …


It’s Connecticut Audubon Day at the Bridgeport Bluefish!


Connecticut Audubon Society is teaming up with the Bridgeport Bluefish for Audubon Awareness! Join us at The Ball Park at Harbor Yard for a day of baseball, birds of prey, and Audubon fun! Kids run the bases! Sunday, August 10, 2014 @ 1:05PM Buy tickets at www.bridgeportbluefish.com and be sure to use the Promo Code ‘CAS’! […]

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Running for the Birds!


Lace up your sneakers and head to Stratford Point for the 2 Roads Brewery ‘Shore 2 the Pour’ Road Race! Join Two Roads Brewery and the Connecticut Audubon Society for a Three-Mile Beach Run! Sunday, August 24, 2014 @ 10 a.m. - Short Beach, Stratford A portion of the proceeds will benefit bird habitat improvements at […]

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We’ve Upgraded Our Osprey Cam

The Ospreys are nesting at the Milford Point Coastal Center, and you can watch them now directly from our website. We changed providers because previously only 20 people could watch the streaming video at one time. Now we have virtually unlimited room for views. We hope you enjoy it! Thanks to Sherri Delaney for the […]

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News Release: SBM Charitable Foundation Supports Outdoor Science Education for 1,500 Students at Connecticut Audubon’s Center at Glastonbury

June 6, 2014 –Fifteen hundred elementary school students from Manchester and East Hartford participated in hands-on curriculum-based conservation science instruction at Connecticut Audubon Society’s Center at Glastonbury this spring, thanks to a grant from the SBM Charitable Foundation of Manchester. Through Connecticut Audubon’s flagship Science in Nature program, the students delved into conservation subjects such […]

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Our Pledge and Our Vision for Connecticut

We at Connecticut Audubon Society want to share with you our pledge and our vision for the state. Through the charismatic nature of birds, we will work to maintain and improve our state’s natural habitats for the betterment of Connecticut’s residents, birds and other wildlife, and to make our state a model of sustainability and […]

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An Innovative “Living Shoreline” Reef is in Place at Stratford Point

Workers installed 64 concrete reef balls in the intertidal zone at the Stratford Point coastal habitat restoration area on Monday and Tuesday, May 5 and 6 – a technology never before used in Long Island Sound. This pilot project is designed to improve wildlife habitat and protect the shoreline from erosion caused by storms like […]

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The Winners of the Great Snowy Owl Observation Contest of 2014

The last Snowy Owls from the winter’s historic influx have migrated north, leaving bird lovers throughout Connecticut with months of great birding memories. Connecticut Audubon Society is marking the end of this memorable season by announcing the winners of its Great Snowy Owl Observation Contest of 2014. The winners are Donna Johnson Buckley, of Clinton, […]

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Summer Camp & Special Events!

Registration for Connecticut Audubon Society’s summer camps is underway! This page has everything you need to register for camp at the Center at Fairfield, Birdcraft Sanctuary, the Center at Pomfret and the Milford Point Coastal Center, as well as for summer programs at the Center at Glastonbury. To register online for camp at the Center […]

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Innovative “Living Shoreline” Will Help Improve Bird Habitat at Stratford Point

November 7, 2013 – Connecticut Audubon Society and Sacred Heart University of Fairfield have been awarded a $59,000 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant to construct an innovative “living shoreline” project at Stratford Point to both improve critical bird and wildlife habitat and protect the state’s coastline from storms like Hurricane Sandy. The living shoreline […]

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Bridgeport 8th Graders Mark the Second Year of Science in Nature

Connecticut Audubon Society President Alex Brash, along with Angela Bhushan, science director of the Bridgeport public school district, spent Tuesday morning in the field with a group of 35 Bridgeport 8th graders, conducting conservation science experiments to mark the second full year of our Science in Nature education program. The students, from the Curiale School, […]

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Connecticut’s Best Nature Sanctuaries, Chosen by Yankee Magazine: Bafflin & Trail Wood

May 2013 – Like good parents, we don’t make judgments about which of our 19 sanctuaries are better than the others. We love them all. But that doesn’t mean others can’t render a judgment. The editors of Yankee Magazine have done just that, choosing Trail Wood and the Bafflin Sanctuary, in northeast Connecticut, as the […]

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Fish at the Larsen Sanctuary

Since 2010 students from Housatonic Community College, along with their professor, Dr. Tony Pappantoniou, have been engaged in studying the fish species of the Larsen Sanctuary, at Connecticut Audubon Society’s Center at Fairfield. Dr. Pappantoniou recently sent us an account of their work….  

Chimney Swift Monitoring

Connecticut Audubon Society helped to monitor a Chimney Swift nest and roost site in summer 2013 in Hartford. Anthony Zemba, our director of conservation science, along Jack and Maggie Peretto from the Hartford Audubon Society, monitored the chimney at the Governor’s Foot Guard Armory from the last week of April until late September. They were volunteers […]

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