The Birdcraft Museum is closed while it is under renovation.
The sanctuary of course will remain open from dawn to dusk.
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.
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.
Bird Banding – International Migratory Bird Day 2014
Events at the Birdcraft Museum
News and Announcements
Birdcraft Centennial at Holiday Tea
Milton the barn owl, is pictured with Teacher/Naturalist Jillian Maher, and Kathy Van Der Aue in period dress.
Supporters of the Connecticut Audubon Society flocked to the annual holiday tea which this year marked the 100th birthday of the founding of the Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary. The December 6 event commemorated another significant historical milestone for the Fairfield community in a year with much to celebrate. Guests were welcomed at the door by Kathy Van Der Aue of Southport posing in period dress as Mabel Osgood Wright, the naturalist, author, and conservation pioneer who was a founder of Birdcraft in 1914. Milton the barn owl, a frequent attendee at Conencticut Audubon Society events, is one of Audubon’s resident educational birds. He is a majestic, living reminder of why Mabel’s legacy is important to honor and preserve.
Pictured here with Cindi Bigelow is Holiday Tea Cochair Bonnie Hirschfeld.
Next to a multi-tiered birthday cake and plaque in memory of Mabel’s work and Birdcraft’s founding, guests sipped tea and delighted in an array of exquisite holiday treats prepared by the event committee led by Co-Chairs and Board Members Landon Storrs and Bonnie Hirschfield.
A highlight of the event was the chance to learn tea facts, history and tips in a presentation by Fairfield community partner and corporate sponsor Cindy Bigelow, President and CEO of the Bigelow Tea Company, which generously donated the tea for this occasion. Curious guests were also led through a demonstration about varieties of tea and were able to test and compare different samples. Read more
Sasqua Garden Club Commits to Landscape Restoration 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 began interior renovation in the winter of 2012. “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 will remain open during the renovation period. The Sanctuary is open from dawn to dusk.
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 203-259-6305 ext. 109 for more information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
TRAINING SCHEUDLE: Click here for the revised 2014/2015 CANE Training Schedule. Mystery In the Marsh 2nd grade dates are revised, please check the schedule carefully.
PRESENTATION SCHEDULE: For the 2014/2015 Presentation Schedule click on the appropriate grade level: Kindergarten, First Grade or Second Grade.
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.