Birdcraft Museum

Summer Camp Register Has Begun!

marsh maddness (4)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 or  Birdcraft.

To register online for camp at the Center at Fairfield or Birdcraft Museum, click here.

To download the Fairfield and Birdcraft camp Brochure click here. For registration information and forms for Fairfield and Birdcraft summer camps, click on the following: Registration Information, Registration Form, Medical Form, Medicine Release Form.

For Fairfield and Birdcraft Junior Counselor application, click here, and Summer Employment Application, click here.

For more information about Fairfield and Birdcraft camps, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.


Call for Artists: 5th Annual Birds and Their Habitat Art Exhibition and Sale

Connecticut Audbird and thier habitat croped (2)ubon Society announces a call to artists for the 5th Annual Birds and Their Habitat Art Exhibition and Sale, September 26 – September 28, 2014.  As the title suggests, works must feature birds and/or the beauty of nature, from bird life and their habitats to the diversity of natural landscapes specific to Connecticut and the Northeast.  Works must be original and current.  Mediums include: ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, wood carving and fine art crafts.  Click here for prospectus.  Please contact Nelson North at or call 203-259-6305 ext. 101. 


CT Audubon Society

The Birdcraft Museum is closed while it is under renovation. 

The sanctuary of course will remain open from dawn to dusk.

General Information

Birdcraft Museum

Birdcraft Museum

Founded in 1914, Birdcraft is the first private bird sanctuary in the United States.  This six-acre site  was originally planted as a refuge to attract, harbor, and feed migratory and resident birds.  To date, more than 120 bird species have been recorded on its grounds.  Birdcraft’s focus today is offering premier natural history education programs and events for children and adults.  It is also a federally-licensed Bird-Banding Station.

CT Audubon Society

The Grounds at Birdcraft

The grounds at Birdcraft include the Birdcraft Sanctuary and the Museum and Caretakers Cottage.  The Sanctuary consists of a pond and gardens that have been planted to attract birds and butterflies.  A teaching bridge and pavilion have been built over the pond to allow visitors to view the full natural beauty of the sanctuary.

The Museum and Cottage were the original headquarters of the Connecticut Audubon Society.  The Museum is currently closed for renovation, but the sanctuary and grounds are open.   In 2001, the Cottage was redesigned as a Visitor’s Center with a classroom, library and gift shop.

Bird Banding at Birdcraft

Since 1979, Connecticut Audubon Society volunteers, licensed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, have operated a Bird-Banding Station at Birdcraft.  More than 18,000 birds have been mist-netted, documented, banded, and released unharmed.  The Station operates weekdays in the spring and the fall.  Demonstrations are available, by arrangement.  Call 203-259-6305 ext. 101  for more information.  Click here for more information about Bird Banding.  Click here for the list of birds banded and/or seen this fall.

Events at the Birdcraft Museum

International Migratory Bird Day — Bird Banding Demonstration

Saturday, May 10 from 7:30 – 10:00am

Come celebrate the return of our migratory birds during International Migratory Bird Day 2014.  Master bander Judy Richardson and her team of licensed banders will demonstrate all aspects of the bird banding process throughout the morning.

Birds are captured using a fine net (known as a mist net), gently removed and fitted with a permanent aluminum or other light-weight band around the leg.  They are then measured, weighed, aged and sexed before they are released back into the wild unharmed.  Each band is individually numbered which enables the specific bird to be identified should it later be recaptured or recovered. The information is recorded and the data is sent to the original bander and the Bird Banding Laboratory. 

Bird banding is an integral aid to the study of birds, their migration, behavior, social structure, life-span, survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. From the data collected scientists can also determine where specific birds migrate to breed, where they spend the winter, whether species populations are rising or falling, and other details of their lives.

Connecticut Audubon Society’s has operated a Bird Banding Station at the Birdcraft Sanctuary since the seventies. Volunteers, licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have captured and documented more than 18,000 birds there.

The fee is $7.  Call for reservations at 203-259-6305 ext. 109.


News and Announcements

Sasqua Garden Club Commits to Landscape Restoration at Birdcraft

Newly cleared Teaching Terrace at Birdcraft

Newly cleared Teaching Terrace at Birdcraft

The Southport-based Sasqua Garden Club (a member of the Garden Club of America) committed to allocate funds for landscape restoration project at Connecticut Audubon Society’s Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary in Fairfield.  Charged with the restoration, improvement and protection of the environment, Sasqua saw a unique opportunity at Birdcraft whose historic building is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation.  The Birdcraft needed sponsorship to create landscaping that demonstrated conservation principles which will be highlighted in its new exhibits.  Sasqua stepped in to fill this role.  Read more >>>


Renovation at the Birdcraft Museum

The Birdcraft Museum begin interior renovation in the winter of 2012 and is expected to reopen in late 2013.  “This project has been in the planning stage for several years and we are now in a position to proceed with a phased approach to not only restoring the museum from a historical standpoint, but more importantly, bringing it into the 21st century of citizen science.” said Nelson North, Director, Fairfield Operations. “The completion of this project, over the next several years, will serve as a focal point for Connecticut Audubon Society’s mission of conserving Connecticut’s bird populations and habitat through science based education programs and advocacy.” The project will include new state of the art interactive exhibits focused on birds and their habitats. Restoration will also include the refurbishing of the museum’s dioramas which depict wildlife at the turn of the century. The exterior façade and footprint will remain unchanged.

While the Birdcraft Museum is currently closed, the Sanctuary, Visitor Center and the Nature Store will remain open during the renovation period. The Sanctuary is open from dawn to dusk and the Visitor Center will be open Monday- Friday 9:00 – 1:00pm.

Chimney Swift Tower


Renovations on the Chimney Swift Tower are now 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. (…)  >>read more>>

Bird-Banding Demonstrations

Connecticut Audubon Society volunteers, licensed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, have operated a Bird Banding Station at Birdcraft since 1979. Over 18,000 birds have been mist-netted, documented, banded and released unharmed. The station operates weekdays in spring  and fall.  Demonstrations are available to any group by appointment.

Call 203-259-0416 ext. 403 for more information.

Education Programs

Environmental Education Programs for Pre-K through Grade 12.

Due to the construction at the Birdcraft Museum, all education programs all held at the Center at Fairfield, 2325 Burr Street.   For questions or to register for a program at the Center at Fairfield,  please contact our scheduler at 203-259-6305 ext. 118.

CANE Program for Grades K-2

The Connecticut Audubon Nature Explorers (CANE) Program is offered to students at the Fairfield Public Schools and St. Thomas Parochial School. We train Parent-Volunteers to present three science enrichment programs to their child’s class. Two units are presented in the classroom, leading up to one end-of-year field study activity. We provide some of the materials that will be needed in the classroom.

The Kindergarten fall and winter programs are puppet shows; the spring program is held on school grounds.

The Grade 1 fall program is a puppet show; the winter program is a hands-on activity about bird beak adaptations; the spring program is a trip to the Birdcraft Museum.

The Grade 2 programs include setting up a salt water tank in the classroom; a ‘Mystery in the Marsh’ activity to test students’ detective skills; and a trip to Southport Beach to investigate the variety of wildlife habitats found there.

For more information, contact the CANE Coordinator at each school; or Colleen Noyes, Teacher Naturalist, 203-259-6305, ext., 112 or .

TRAINING SCHEUDLE:  For the 2013/2014 CANE  Training Schedule click here

PRESENTATION SCHEDULE:  For the 2013/2014 Presentation Schedule click on the appropriate grade level: Kindergarten, First Grade or Second Grade.


From I-95: Take Exit 21. Go north on Mill Plain Road for about ½ mile. Turn right onto Unquowa Road. After you go under the I-95 overpass, immediately turn left into our driveway and parking lot.

From I-84: Take Routes 25, 8, or 91 south to Merritt Parkway and follow directions below.

From Merritt Parkway (Route 15): Take Exit 44.

Northbound: Turn right onto Congress Street.

Southbound: Turn left at the light; go about 200 yards and turn left onto Black Rock Turnpike; take first right turn onto Congress Street.

From Congress Street: Turn left at first stop sign (Burr Street) and go straight (Burr Street turns into Mill Plain Road) to the 4th stop sign. Turn left onto Unquowa Road. After you go under the I-95 overpass, immediately turn left into our driveway and parking lot.


314 Unquowa Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Articles of Interest: Birding, Wildlife, etc.

Our adjoining 6-acre Birdcraft Sanctuary is open daily, year-round, from dawn to dusk.

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Coming Up At the Birdcraft Museum