Judy Richardson Receives Certificate of Appreciation From US Department of Agriculture
Judy Richardson, master bird bander and Chairman of the Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board received an International Cooperation Award from the US Department of Agriculture for her significant contribution to the establishment of a Network of Bird Monitoring in Costa Rica. This 2011 Conservations Award is part of the “Wings Across the Americas” program which is a United States Forest Service program to conserve birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies. Wings Across the Americas supports international conservation and uses Forest Services experience and expertise to improve bird conservation at home and abroad.
In Latin America, a big leap in the collection and sharing of data is found in the establishment of the Network of Bird Banders of Costa Rica. Richardson’s work with the San Vito Bird Club in the establishment of a network of bird monitoring in Costa Rica won her international recognition. The first of its kind in Latin America, the network has been a model for others in the region and facilitates cooperative research projects. Results are being used by bird researchers, land mangers and decision makers in Costa Rica and throughout the Americas for understanding resident and migratory species.
On a local level, here in the U.S., Richardson monitors birds through her bird banding efforts at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary in Fairfield. Richardson is a master bird bander and Chairman of the Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board. “Many of the birds that migrate to Costa Rica may actually pass through our Birdcraft sanctuary.” states Nelson North Connecticut Audubon Society, Director of Fairfield Operations, “Judy’s bird banding efforts at the Birdcraft are instrumental in the monitoring process. Her work here and in Costa Rica will continue to expand our comprehension of the biology and life histories of our birds, ultimately resulting in their improved conservation.”
Chimney Swift Repairs Complete
Repairs on the Chimney Swift Tower began in the early part of the summer and have now been completed! Be sure to stop by and visit the Chimney Swift Tower which sits at the head of the trail entrance.
The Chimney Tower is a memorial which was built in 1934 to honor Mabel Wright, founder and first president of the Connecticut Audubon Society in 1898. A pioneer conservationist, Mrs. Wright demonstrated a profound influence in the field of nature study and bird protection. After her death and in accordance with her will, the chimney was erected, on the Connecticut Audubon Society’s first bird sanctuary to provide nesting habitat for her favorite bird, the Chimney Swift.
She very eloquently wrote about the Chimney Swift in her book “Birdcraft” published in 1895:
“This bird, popularly known as the Chimney Swallow, but which is more closely related to the Nighthawk, may be easily distinguished from the Swallows when flying, by its short, blunt tail. You will never see it perching as Swallows do; for, except when it is at rest in its chimney homes, it is constantly on the wing, either darting through the air, dropping surely to its next, or speeding from it like a rocket. The Chimney Swift secures its food wholly when flying, and is more active at night than in the day. In the breeding season its busiest time is that preceding dawn, and it then works without cessation for many hours. The whirling of the wings as the bird leaves the chimney makes a noise like distant thunder, and if there is quiet a colony the inhabitants of the house may be seriously disturbed, and the presence of the nest s often introduces bedbugs, as they are to a certain extent parasites of these birds. This makes him an undesirable tenant, and in modern houses, where the flues are narrow and easily clogged, wire is stretched over the chimney mouth to keep him out.
Nothing, however, is more picturesque than these Swifts as they circle above the wide stone chimney of some half-ruined houses, where the garden is overgrown by old lilacs, and great banks of the fragrant bushes hide the crumbling walls. I know of such a place, only a few miles away, where the Swifts curve and eddy above the hugh chimney, bent with the weight of years, in such perfect accord and rhythm, now wholly disappearing within, now curling forth in a cloud, that it is easy to imagine the fire burns again upon the hearth and that the birds are but columns of hospitable smoke.”