Connecticut Audbon Society

Daily Bird nesting season special: babies are scampering around Milford Point. Here’s how to help keep them safe.

A Piping Plover incubates eggs inside protective wiring on Sunday, June 12, at the Milford Point Coastal Center. Coastal Ranger Imani Rodriguez took the photo at a safe distance, with a zoom lens.

In the sanctuaries …
June 13, 2022 — So far, so good for the Piping Plovers nesting on the Milford Point sandbar.

Twenty baby birds have hatched and adults are still incubating eggs on three other nests.

It’s an incredibly perilous time out there for this federally-threatened species. The birds can’t fly yet and are at the mercy of storm tides and predators. Which is exactly what has befallen the American Oystercatchers out there: all four nests have been lost, although two pairs are trying again.

This is where you come in.

There is so much to see at the Milford Point Coastal Center this time of year. Over the weekend, birders observed Red Knots, which are federally-endangered; Short-billed Dowitchers and White-rumped Sandpipers; Willet and Semipalmated Sandpipers; Common Terns and Least Terns, and Black Skimmers.

We want you to enjoy all those birds and more. But please follow a few simple guidelines.

The best thing is to view the birds on the sandbar from the beach or observation platform across the tidal lagoon. It’s also always fine to visit the base of the sandbar — the part that abuts the beach.

But we’re asking for visitors to help by walking on the sandbar only when the tides are low.

One of the two federally-endangered Red Knots that were searching for horseshoe crab eggs at the Coastal Center on Sunday, June 12. If shorebirds fly away as you approach, you’ve gotten too close. Photographed at a safe distance with a Zoom lens by Coastal Ranger Imani Rodriguez.

The times to avoid are from two hours before until one hour after high tide. We can’t prevent anyone from walking on the sandbar around high tide. So please consider it a request for the sake of the birds.

No matter when you’re there, please walk carefully. Don’t linger for too long. If you notice birds flying away as you approach, you’ve gotten too close. Don’t go inside the string fencing.

If a Coastal Ranger or other Connecticut Audubon staff or volunteer asks you to move a bit farther from the birds, please heed the request.

We’re putting up new educational signs and throughout the summer you’ll be able to stop at an information table at the Coastal Center to ask questions and learn more.

Much of the work is funded by the Long Island Sound Futures Fund. We’re collaborating with the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds and in particular with Audubon Connecticut. The work is part of a summer-long study to see which techniques work best to protect the shorebirds.






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