Connecticut Audbon Society

A study of Old Lyme’s Tree Swallow roost by Cornell, UMass and others could revolutionize scientific understanding of the species

October 3, 2018 – As natural spectacles go, there might be nothing in Connecticut to match the roosting at dusk in late summer of Tree Swallows in Old Lyme.

Each evening on Goose Island, tens of thousands of birds convene. Or is it hundreds of thousands? A million? Nobody knows for sure.

But now a team of scientists, with the help of Connecticut Audubon’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, is trying to find out. If they succeed they will  have pioneered a method that will revolutionize the study and knowledge of Tree Swallows.

On an evening and morning in mid-September, they conducted a reconnaissance and photographic imaging study of the Tree Swallows as they gathered to roost and then flew off for a day of

Professor Winkler’s team on the Connecticut River, waiting for the Tree Swallows to roost.


The goal is to establish the first complete quantification of a Tree Swallow roost based on an actual count of individual birds, according to David Winkler, professor of ornithology at Cornell University and a researcher on the project.

Click here to read our full report.






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