Every Wednesday in March from 10-11 a.m. – Preschool children ages 1-4 are not too young to be aware of and inspired by the world around them, so start your child on the right foot with a love of nature. You and your children or grandchildren will explore habitats in Earl Park at the Connecticut Audubon Society, 1361 Main St, Glastonbury CT 06033, 860-633-8402. Click here for details and to register.
Photo courtesy of Sandee Harraden
Winter is eagle season in Connecticut. Our resident Bald Eagles are building nests. Migrants are gathering near waterways in search of food. There’s even a chance that a Golden Eagle might pass through.
And we have opportunities through EcoTravel and at Shepaug Dam for you to get outside and see them!
But we also want to hear your stories.
In recent years, Bald Eagles have constructed nests not just in remote locations but also near I-95 in New Haven, in Milford near our Coastal Center, and on Norwalk Harbor. As the population grows, other eagles will be looking for nesting locations too. So send your nesting observations to email@example.com.
We will forward the information to state conservation officials, and if we get enough sightings we’ll plot them on a map of the state.
We also put an eagle sighting post on our Facebook page and we invite you to participate. We hope it turns into a thread of observations, anecdotes, and photos.
So far, our Norwalk eagle correspondent, James Ferrante, reports a pair roosting occasionally on Hoyts Island in Norwalk Harbor, and a juvenile hanging out on the Five Mile River in Rowayton. Christopher Bousquet, our Milford eagle correspondent, tells us that he has seen the Bald Eagles that nested near the Coastal Center only five or six times but he’s holding out hope that they’ve found another site nearby.
Brian Hess of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reports that there were 51 active Bald Eagle territories in the state during the 2016 nesting season; 58 chicks hatched. The 2016 mid-winter survey turned up 121 Bald Eagles, down from 146 and 143 the two previous year, probably because of the milder weather.
That’s a lot of eagles and it makes for good viewing. We hope you get out and enjoy them!
Every Wednesday in March from 3:30-5 p.m. – Nurture your age 5-9 child’s natural curiosity in our new After School Junior Naturalist Program at the Connecticut Audubon Society, 1361 Main St, Glastonbury CT 06033, 860-633-8402. We will explore our natural world at Earle Park to entertain and educate your child. Activities will include making habitat and animal observations, journaling, drawing, photography and recording data. Click here for details and to register.
Need a gift for a nature lover? The Connecticut Audubon Society Nature Store at 1361 Main Street, Glastonbury CT 06033 (Mon-Sat 10-3) offers a large selection of gifts for nature lovers of all ages, as well as houses, feeders and seed for your birds. Click here for more info.
Let you child celebrate his/her next birthday at our nature center! Please click here to download the Birthday Party Brochure with all the details you need to know or here to print a Birthday Party Application Form which can be brought to the center to schedule your party.
From Daisies and Cubs to Gold and Eagle, The Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury has programs and project ideas for every age. Our staff looks forward to working with you to develop a program for science and nature-related topics, including conservation, ecology, habitats, and bird study. Click here for program information.
Searching for macroinvertebrates to identify with the Creek Critters app. Connecticut Audubon photo by Eleanor Robinson
May 19, 2016 – The Connecticut Audubon Society has launched a new mobile app designed to help Connecticut residents – especially youngsters – evaluate the health of their local streams by finding and identifying the creatures that live in them.
Called Creek Critters, the new app had its first field test on Saturday, May 14, when three dozen kids and adults gathered at the Old Saybrook Town Park to inaugurate it.
The new free app makes it fun and easy to collect and identify the macroinvertebrates (basically, large bugs) that help indicate whether a stream is in good shape or is impaired by pollution. Users get a quick analysis of overall stream quality based on their findings. Because different species are adapted to living in waters with different levels of pollution, their presence or absence gives a quick snapshot of how well the stream is doing.
The data can be shared with conservation organizations or local officials and planners working to improve habitat quality and limit the environmental impacts of development in the region.
Connecticut Audubon’s education director, Michelle Eckman, worked on Saturday’s field trip with the Old Saybrook Land Trust and Outdoor Adventure Kids of Old Saybrook, headed by Laurel Friedmann. Eleanor Robinson, an environmental educator and member of Connecticut Audubon’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center board, was instrumental in planning and organizing the field trip.
“The Connecticut Audubon Society has always stressed the importance of getting young people involved with the natural world, for its own sake and to help establish the next generation of conservationists,” said Robinson, who is a member of Connecticut Audubon’s Board of Directors. “Mobile phones are a part of almost every child’s life these days, so Creek Critters is a great way to make the most of that reality.”
Creek Critters was developed by the Audubon Naturalist Society, in Washington D.C., in collaboration with the Connecticut Audubon Society, Audubon of Rhode Island, Massachusetts Audubon and New Hampshire Audubon. Gregg Trilling of the Audubon Naturalist Society participated in Saturday’s event, helping to collect and identify some of the bugs the kids collected.
Saturday’s participants waded into five streams in three watersheds, collecting macroinvertebrates by gently rubbing rocks and silt found in the stream bed. Using magnifying lenses and charts in the Creek Critter app, they identified stonefly larva, aquatic worms, midgefly larva and other species.
“Stonefly and mayfly larva have very low pollution tolerance, so their presence indicates good water quality,” Michelle Eckman said. “Other species found are more tolerant of pollution: midgefly larva, scuds, dragonfly larva, and mosquito larva. This does not mean that these species require pollution to survive, it just means they are more tolerant of it.”
The kids used the app to submit reports, starting a database for stream testing in Connecticut. Several of the participating families offered to “adopt” a stream and test it throughout the year to learn how changes in the seasons and bio-indicators influence water quality.
Creek Critters can be downloaded from the Apple App store or via Google Play.