Center at Fairfield

A Gathering of Feathered Friends at Birdcraft

Tricia Kevalis with Lucy Barred OwlJoin us for
A Gathering of Feathered Friends
Friday, October 2
Birdcraft Museum
6 – 8 p.m.
$35 per person


Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres
Birds of Prey and Live Music
Artwork for Sale:  Carved Feathers by Bill Rice and Paintings by Kelly Radding

Friends and supporters will flock together for a fun evening hosted by your favorite Birds of Prey — Milton and Millie, and company.  This is not just a great party but an end-of-season gathering of feathered friends to support our conservation work in the Fairfield area. 

To purchase tickets on-line click here, or call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Nature Store News – migration begins

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  Date: 5/20/2009  Location: Somerset County, NJ

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Hummingbird migration is in full swing this week and into next week.  After that, and even now, many warblers are coming through with orioles, tanagers, and swallows.  Seed eaters are a bit later in September along with the raptors. Stock up on seed now as the birds begin to show up, especially nectar feeders.  Visit our Nature Store to see our great selection of hummingbird feeders and accessories.  The Nature Store is open from 10 -3 pm Monday through Saturday.  Our knowledgeable staff  is always on hand to help with your selection.  And of course, we have lots of seed on hand for all your summer bird feeding needs. 

The Bird Seed Sale is October 3.  Preorders are due by Wednesday, September 23.  Click here for the preorder form.

Fall Programs

Looing for something to do nature related this fall?  We have some great classes: click here for the September flyer and here for our October programs.

 Sponsor a Bird of Prey Today!

Our Birds of Prey are in need of sponsors to help cover the cost of their feed, shelter, and care.  Millie the Barn Owl You can sponsor a bird through our Bird Sponsorship Program.  You’ll be helping to provide the necessary support to care for our non-releasable birds.  Click here for sponsorship information.


  General Information

Center at Fairfield

Built in 1971, the Center at Fairfield serves as the hub of environmental education programs and activities for schools, families and children, and adults throughout the year. Its many events include summer camp, after-school youth programs, programs for scout troops and other community organizations, and annual special events (Birds and Their Habitat, Adirondack Night, Enchanted Forest, Egg Hunt ).

The Center is adjacent to the 155-acre Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary and provides an indoor setting for the interpretation of its varied land, forest, and freshwater wetland ecosystems. The Center features a butterfly garden, the Farm Pond (great for spotting frogs, turtles, and ducks), a greenhouse featuring a ‘Fairy Garden’ and nature-related exhibits. The Center also features a “Live Birds of Prey” Compound which is open Monday through Saturday from 10am – 3pm.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet our owls, hawks, and falcons up close!

Our Nature Store provides nature-related gifts, birding guides, a great variety of bird houses and feeders, a wide selection of Lyric bird seed and other bird-related supplies.

The Center welcomes many volunteers, as participants in our Citizen Science projects and Animal Care Program, and in our many events and activities. Read our News and Announcements.


Larsen Sanctuary Checklist of Birdsside one and side two
Click here for the Larsen Sanctuary trail map.

Events at the Center at Fairfield

Backyard Birding

Saturday, September 12 from 10-11 a.m.
Fall is a perfect time for viewing birds and it’s a great family activity that begins at your backyard feeder.  Learn how to identify Connecticut’s birds by sight and sound.  See who is at the feeder this time of year, their feeding habits, and ways to attract birds to your feeder, what birdseed to use, and where to place feeders. Join us for a walk in the sanctuary weather permitting.  Free

Master Naturalist Training

Hank Gruner, VP Programming Connecticut Science Center instructs herpetology Master Naturalist Class at Center at Fairfield.

Hank Gruner, VP Programming Connecticut Science Center instructs herpetology Master Naturalist Class at Center at Fairfield.

Tuesdays, September 15 – November 17 from 10am – 2pm
Would you like to learn and share knowledge of the natural world in Connecticut?  If so then this training program may be for you!  Classes are taught by professional field experts like Miley Bull, senior director of Science & Conservation at Connecticut Audubon Society, Bill Kenny, Ecologist/Landscape Architect and James E. Biardi, Director of Environmental Studies at Fairfield University.   The topics include: Ecosystems, plant & bird identification, herpetology, nature/trail interpretation, wildlife, and more!  The cost is $195 Members and $250 Nonmembers (includes membership).

Application is due by September 8.   *Upon completion of training, participants must be able to volunteer 40 hours.   For the course Syllabus click here and for the Training Outline click here.  To download the application click here.  Classes are held at Center at Fairfield.

Birds of Prey Day

Saturday, September 19 11 a.m. -2 p.m.Tricia Kevalis with Lucy Barred Owl

Sleek, strong silent types…our newest birds of prey, along with their fellow resident bird ambassadors, invite the public to come learn what makes them so unique.
Join our teacher/naturalists for a Birds of Prey presentation at 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.  See these remarkable birds up close and learn about their characteristic features, impressive adaptations and behaviors.  There will also be fun bird-relat4ed crafts, nature activities, guided trail walk, snacks and door prizes.  Receive a 10% discount on all bird feeders in the Nature Store.  The event is free to the public, although donations are always welcome! The event takes place at Center at Fairfield.

Nature Nursery

Sept 28 – Nov 23 (No class October 12)
Classes meet: 10 – 10:45 a.m. For children ages 2-3 years accompanied by an actively participating adult

What do all the animals do in the fall? How do they prepare for winter? Where do the leaves go? Each week we will discover the answers to these very questions. Come join us as we discover fun facts, create cool crafts and meet exciting animals. Please wear appropriate attire and foot wear. Preregistration

required. Individual class fee (one child and one adult): Connecticut Audubon Society Members $12 per class; Nonmembers $16 per class. 8-Program Series fee: Connecticut Audubon Society Members $88; Nonmembers $120.  Center at Fairfield.


After School Nature Club

 Thursdays, October 1 through November 19 (no class on Nov. 3)  3:45 to 5:15 p.m.
grades K to 2  

A healthy way for students to blow off steam after school. After a quick snack, we will head out on the trails exploring the woods, meadows, ponds and streams. Their afternoon will be filled with fresh air, exercise and fun.  Members: $10 per child; nonmembers: $14 per child. This program is held at the Center at Fairfield.

Junior Animal Care Keeper

 Tuesdays, October 6 through November 17 (no class on Nov. 3) 3:30 to 5 p.m.  
For students in grades 6 and 7

Join us in caring for the resident non-releasable animals who call the Center at Fairfield their home. From glamorous to gross, learn about animal husbandry care, preparing and offering their food, and ensuring they have a healthy environment.  Members $60 and Nonmembers $80.  This program is held at Center at Fairfield.


Backyard Birding

Saturday, October 10 from 10 to 11 a.m.
For adults and children ages 12 and up

Fall is the perfect time for viewing birds, and it’s a great family activity that begins at your backyard feeder.  Learn how to identify Connecticut’s birds by sight and sound. Learn about bird feeding habits, ways to attract them to your feeder, what birdseed to use, and where to place feeders. Join us for a walk in the Sanctuary weather permitting. Free



Bird Banding Demonstration

Thursday, October 15 at 9 a.m.
Pine Creek Open Space, Fairfield

Join Master bander Judy Richardson and her team of her sub permittees as they take bird banding on the road! They usually band at Birdcraft but they wanted to see if they could catch some different migratory birds closer to the sound. Meet at Pine Creek Open Space at the gated entrance on Old Dam Road. If it is raining it will be postponed.  $7 per person. To register call 203-259-6305 ext. 109


Girl Scout Badge Days

Saturday October 17 or Saturday April 23
This is a great opportunity to earn a badge!  Our teacher/naturalists will lead scouts on an exploratory hike through Larsen Sanctuary, all while satisfying badge requirements, journeys and achievements. 
Brownie Bugs and Brownie Hikers are being offered on October 17 and April 23.  There are two time slots to choose from, either 9-10 a.m. , 10-11 a.m.  or 11 a.m. -12 p.m.
Junior Animal Habitats is being offered on October 17 and April 23.  There are two time slots to choose from, either 9-10 a.m. , 10-11 a.m.  or 11 a.m. -12 p.m.
For program descriptions or to register, visit the Girl Scout website.  The Program description for Brownie Bugs is on page 13, Brownie Hikers page 14 and Junior Animal Habitats on page 17.
These programs are held at the Center at Fairfield.

Enchanted Forest

Friday, October 23 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

You’ll have a fun – but not scary – experience being escorted through the luminary trail and learning about nocturnal animals in their natural habitat.  After the hike, enjoy indoor activities and snacks.  Dress for the weather.  This is held rain or noon-shine!  Guided walks leave every 15 minutes beginning at 5:30.  The last walk leaves at 7:30.  Pre-registration is required.  The program fee is Members $10/child, $2 for adults.  Nonmembers is $15/child and $2 for adults.  Call 203-259-6305 ext. 109 for reservations.  This is held at Center at Fairfield.

birthday cakeBirthday Parties

Celebrate your child’s birthday with The Connecticut Audubon Society!  We provide a fun-filled 45-minute nature-based program of your choice for your child and 15 guests.  Program offerings include; Totally Turtles, Slither & Slime, Creature Feature, Winged  Wonder and more!   Parties are available on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. -Noon or 1:00-2:30 p.m.   Weekday parties available on a limited basis by request.  Click here to view the brochure.  For more information call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.


Scouting Programs

Badge Bonanzas!

Attention all scouts, you won’t want to miss this great opportunity to earn a badge or two!  Join CAS Teacher-Naturalists as they lead scouts on a hike through the beautiful Larsen Sanctuary all while satisfying badge requirements, journeys, and achievements!

Boy Scouts:  Check back here in the early fall for the 2015/2016 Boy Scout schedule and registration form.
Girl Scouts:  Brownie Bugs and Brownie Hiker- October 17  or April 23
                        Juniors – Animal Habitats – October 17 or April 23
For  information or to register visit the Girl Scout website click here.  Information about Brownie Bugs is on page 13 of the program booklet and Brownie Hikers is on page 14.  Junior Animal Habitat information is on page 17.  


Education Programs

Environmental Education Programs for Pre-K through Grade 12.

Connecticut Audubon Society offers educational programs which comply with the Connecticut Science Framework standards.  All programs are coordinated with local curriculum objectives and are available for school visits at the Center at Fairfield.  Our early elementary programs are offered at the Center at Fairfield and can also be brought to your school.

Complete details are available in our School Program Guide.  For our Science and Nature brochure, click here.

For questions or to register for a visit 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 call Colleen Noyes 203-259-6305, ext., 112.

TRAINING SCHEDULE:  For the 2015/2016  click here

PRESENTATION SCHEDULE:  The 2015/2016 Presentation Schedules will be posted here in the fall.



News and Announcements

The Flanagan family dedication at Deer Meadow Trail.

The Flanagan family dedication at Deer Meadow Trail in memory of John Patrick Flanagan.

The Flanagan family dedication at Deer Meadow Trail in memory of John Patrick Flanagan.

On Saturday, June 27th, Amanda Flanagan and family, along with Nelson North, director Fairfield Operations, gathered at the head of Deer Meadow Trail to celebrate the dedication of the trail in memory of  her former husband, John Patrick Flanagan.

The John Patrick Flanagan Foundation is a major sponsor of Connecticut Audubon Society’s outreach programming bringing inner city Bridgeport youth to the Center at Fairfield for Science and Nature programs in the Larsen Sanctuary.

New Chair Campaign

Photo by Abbie Winter

Photo by Abbie Winter


Our chairs are too rustic for use!   Want to help?  Join our Chair Campaign and make a $35 tax deductible donation today!  



Kudos to the National Charity League Easton/Redding Area Chapter which kicked off our Chair Campagin with the donation of our first row of new chairs.  Many thanks too, to the wonderful donors who purchased over 35 chairs at our Adirondack Night silent auction.   
To make a donation on-line, click here.  Then enter $35 in the “other category” and click on “I support the Center at Fairfield” in the drop down menu.  Or, call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.

Donations Needed

Refrigerator:  A refrigerator is needed with dimensions no larger than 66 inches high and 32 inches wide.    Please contact Nelson North at 203-259-6305 ext. 101.


Visit our Fairy Garden!

There’s a lot of activity in the green house… little voices chattering with delight as they search for fairies, tiny pigs and ponies in the Fairy Garden exhibit.  This teeny garden of whimsy is a miniature landscape.  Small-scale plants, foliage that looks like mini forest trees and teensy accessories gIMG_1366ive the illusion of tiny creatures living in the garden. 

This charming garden was created by Master Gardeners: Anne Mele, Mary Hogue and Kristine Scerbo with the assistance of green house volunteer Jessie Linderoth.  Fairy gardens are often located in small secluded areas in the garden, giving visitors the impression that they just happen to fall upon this magical place.  So come, stumble upon our Fairy Garden, you’re sure to find magic here! 

Join our Volunteer Team!

 Fairfield Center Volunteer

At the Center at Fairfield, we believe that every person can make a positive difference in protecting and preserving our environment.  By volunteering, you can help promote understanding, appreciation and stewardship of our natural world.  We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for people of all interests and experience levels, working in the visitor center or outdoors.

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer, please contact the Director of Fairfield Operations, Nelson North at 203-259-6305 ext. 101.

Garden Volunteer

Are you interested in learning about plants and all apsects of gradening?  We offer a variety of volunteer opporutnnities, including garden maintenance in our green-house; outdoor herb, perennial, and large butterfly gardens!  You can be involved in planting, weeding, edging, and sprucing up the Center at Fairfield Gardens.  We welcome all levels of experience.  Our graden team typically works on Friday mornings at 2325 Burr Street. 

Animal Care Team

Our Animal Care Program provides a unique opportunity for teenagers, ages 13-18 years old, to experience animal husbandry first hand.  Animal Care volunteers assist with daily feeding, habitat cleaning, and general animal care housekeeping, as well as handling animals under direct supervision.

Our live animal collection includes permanently injured or otherwise human-dependent reptiles, birds and mammals which are all an integral part of our educational programming.

The time commitment is one day per week during the school year from 3:00-5:00pm or on Saturdays from 10:00-noon.  Animal Care hours in the summer are from 2:00-4:00pm during the week.

For more information about Animal Care volunteer opportunities call 203-259-6305 ext. 116 or email  Click here to download the Animal Care volunteer application.


From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road. Go north on Mill Plain Road for 4.5 miles (Mill Plain Road becomes Burr Street). The Center is on the left.

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44 Route 58. Northbound: Turn right onto Congress Street at the end of the ramp. Proceed to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Burr Street. The Center is approximately 1 mile along on the left. Southbound: Turn left at the light at the bottom of the ramp, and turn left at the next light onto Route 58. Go under the bridge, and turn right at the light onto Congress Street. Proceed to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Burr Street. The Center is approximately 1 mile along on the left.

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

Connect to MapQuest


2325 Burr Street
Fairfield, CT 06824

Center & Nature Store Hours:

10 a.m.-3 p.m.
(Closed Sunday)

Articles of Interest: Birding, Wildlife, etc.

Our adjoining 155-acre Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary is open dawn to dusk year-round.
Sanctuary Map

Get Directions

Coming Up At the Center At Fairfield

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