Save The Date
Saturday, December 7, 2013
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
We invite you to our Annual Holiday Tea where we will offer a first look at the completion of Phase I of the Birdcraft Museum renovation!
Watch for more details.
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.
Events at the Birdcraft Museum
Special Preview of Phase I Renovation at Holiday Tea
December 7, 3-5 p.m.
Connecticut Audubon Society has a special treat on the menu for this year’s annual Holiday Tea atBirdcraftMuseum inFairfield. In addition to the sandwiches, cookies and other delicacies associated with this tradition, the Holiday Tea will offer the public a special preview of the first phase of Birdcraft’s renovation.
Birdcraft is the only National Landmark in the state that earned its designation because of its link to conservation. It is undergoing a major renovation that will establish it as an important 21st-century environmental education center and a keystone to Connecticut Audubon Society’s expanding education program.
Phase I of the renovation will be complete in time for an unveiling at the Holiday Tea, from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, December 7.
The full renovation will complete Birdcraft’s transformation from a museum that was state of the art in the early 20th century into one that is state of the art 100 years later.
“Our goal is to retain the historical significance that people love, focus onConnecticut and get people interested in citizen science,” said Nelson North, Connecticut Audubon’s director ofFairfield operations “We want it to be a place to become engaged and energized.” Accoridng to North, the Holiday Tea is also a time to thank the many volunteers who support Connecticut Audubon Society on an on-going basis. “We are so grateful to all of our volunteers for giving of their time in support of our mission,” he said. “Our foundation is built on the belief that by working together – the community, our board, members, staff, and volunteers – we can all come closer to our shared goal of educating our youth to become responsible stewards of our natural environment. It’s wonderful that we can combine our appreciation by offering a special preview at this very joyous event.”
The Holiday Tea will also feature a guest appearance from one of the Connecticut Audubon Society’s resident hawks or owls and an assortment of small gifts available for purchase.
The Tea is open to the public and is free of charge but donations are always welcome.
News and Announcements
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 >>>
Looking Back at 2012
2012 will be a year to remember at the Connecticut Audubon Society for many successes despite the unbelievable disruption and loss brought by storms. Last year we enthusiastically experienced record high numbers of campers in our hands-on, inquiry and science based summer camp. We effectively launched our new Science in Nature program and embraced our 3rd annual Birds in their Habitat Art Exhibit with tremendous volunteer and community wide support. And progress continued to be made on restoring our historical Birdcraft Museum. Two other things will also stand out as highlights in 2012: the generosity of our donors and the support we received from so many residents and organizations throughout the region. Read more>>>
- Milton the barn owl was among those in attendance at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s recent annual Holiday Tea. Milton, one the Audubon’s resident educational animals, is often present at is educational programs and special events.
From left are Tea Committee Member Judy Wilkinson, Tea co-chair Bonnie Hirschfeld and Connecticut Audubon Society staff naturalist Caitlin Holmberg with Milton.
The Connecticut Audubon Society annual Holiday Tea at the historic Birdcraft received an exceptional show of support again this year. A few changes were introduced for 2012, including the new Holiday Candy Exchange with a choice selection of handmade candies made from treasured recipes. “The annual Holiday Tea is always a wonderful way for us to thank our volunteers and members for all they do throughout the year in support of the Audubon’s educational programs in the Fairfield area. A Candy Exchange was a fun addition to the Tea. Festive boxes in hand, people made their choices from an array of home made candies and the old adage, “Happy as a kid in a candy store” definitely came to mind”, said Bonnie Hirschfeld. The Tea was co chaired by Board Members Bonnie Hirschfeld and Judy Richardson. 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>>
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.
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. 109.
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 email@example.com .
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.
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.