Connecticut Audbon Society
Center at Fairfield

Coastal Center at Milford Point

Coastal Center Programs & Events

Because of concerns about Covid-19, the Coastal Center is running outdoor programming only and asking participants of those programs to practice social distancing and wear masks.
The Coastal Center building is closed and all indoor programs are cancelled until further notice.
See below for current programs. 
The Nature Store has items available for pre-order and pick up. Click HERE for details.

Ongoing Programs:

  • NEW! Distance Learning: Science in Nature: Bring the excitement and learning of our Science in Nature programs to your classroom with these live, virtual programs. Click HERE for program brochure.
  • NEW! Field Trips for Home Learning Groups: Enrich your home learning group by taking a field trip to the Center at Fairfield for hands-on, outdoor, environmental programs. Click HERE for program brochure. 
  • Birding 101 Programs
    •  Our bird focused remote learning programs (via Zoom) are ideal for libraries, senior centers, scout troops and more, they can also be tailored to meet your specific audience needs.  Choose one program or select a few to create a series. Program topics: What Makes a Bird a Bird?, Woodpeckers in Your Backyard, Backyard Birds, Birdfeeding & Nuisance Animals, Nesting Boxes for Birds.  For more information click here. To schedule a program please contact Carol Kratzman at ckratzman@ctaudubon.org
  • Girl Scout Programs: Our programs are designed to help scouts earn their badges and learn about the natural world around them. For details click here. 
  • Cub Scout Programs: Our  programs are designed to help scouts earn their badges and learn about the natural world around them. For details click here.
  • Birthday Parties: Look no further! The Coastal Center at Milford Point is the perfect place to celebrate your child’s birthday with an outdoor nature exploration program. Currently all birthday parties are held outdoors. For more information please contact Louise Crocco at 203-878-7440 ext. 502 or via email:  lcrocco@ctaudubon.org

 

Spring Bird Walks with Stefan Martin

In the Sanctuaries …

Thursday, April 8
Friday, April 23Earth Week Walk!
Friday, May 21

8 – 10 a.m.
Coastal Center, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT. 

Join Stefan Martin, our habitat steward, for a walk along the marsh, beach, and upland areas of the Coastal Center in search of migrating songbirds and shorebirds.

Situated on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River, Milford Point is a designated Important Bird Area that provides essential habitat for breeding and migrating birds.

All levels of birders are welcome. This program is for adults and teens 18 and up. Group is limited to 1- participants. Please bring binoculars and spotting scopes, if you have them.

photo by Frank Mantlik

Pre-registration required.
Members $20, Non-members $25.  

Friday, May 21: Register here.

Once registered, a waiver must be completed and returned to lcrocco@ctaudubon.org before the program date. Participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. The program is 100% outdoors. Please wear appropriate outdoor gear, sturdy, closed-toe footwear, and bring water. Apply sunblock and bug spray, if desired, before arriving.  

Note: Center building and facilities (including restrooms) are closed. However, there is a portable toilet available (please bring hand sanitizer).

These walks may be cancelled or postponed due to adverse weather. Program participants will be notified via e-mail. 

This program is held at the Coastal Center, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT. 

 

Spring Bird Walks with Frank Mantlik

Monday, April 26, 8-10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, May 4, 3-5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 11, 8-10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, May 26, 8-10:30 a.m.

Join Frank Mantlik, expert birder and Coastal Center Regional Board member, for a bird walk along Milford Point. We’ll look for lingering ducks, gulls, early songbirds and shorebirds, and returning Ospreys and Piping Plovers, as well as just enjoying our time outdoors. This program is for adults and teens 18 and up. Please bring binoculars and spotting scopes, if you have them.
Group is limited to ten participants.
Pre-registration required.

Members $20, Non-members $25.

Tuesday, May 4, Register here.
Tuesday, May 11, Register here.
Wednesday, May 26, Register here.

Once registered, a waiver must be completed and returned to lcrocco@ctaudubon.org before the program date.Participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. The program is 100% outdoors. Please wear appropriate outdoor gear, sturdy, closed-toe footwear, and bring a jacket. Apply sunblock and bug spray, if desired, before arriving.
Note: Center building and facilities (including restrooms) are closed, however, there is a portable toilet available (please bring hand sanitizer).

These walks may be cancelled or postponed due to adverse weather. Program participants will be notified via e-mail.

This program is held at the Coastal Center, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT.


 

MIGRATION MADNESS WEEKEND

SPRING BIRD WALK WITH STEFAN MARTIN   a Migration Madness Birdathon Walk!
Friday, May 14
8 – 10 a.m.

photo by Frank Mantlik

Join Stefan Martin, our habitat steward, for a walk along the marsh, beach, and upland areas of the Coastal Center in search of migrating songbirds and shorebirds. Situated on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River, Milford Point is an enormously important IBA site (Important Bird Area) that provides essential habitat for breeding and migrating birds.
All levels of birders are welcome. This program is for adults and teens 18 and up. Limited to 10 participants. Please bring binoculars and spotting scopes, if you have them.  
Pre-registration required.
Members $20, Non-members $25.  
Click here to register.

Once registered, a waiver must be completed and returned to lcrocco@ctaudubon.org before the program date. Participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. The program is 100% outdoors. This walk may be cancelled or postponed due to adverse weather. Program participants will be notified by e-mail.
For more information, call 203-878-7440 ext. 502 or email lcrocco@ctaudubon.org

The program is held at the Coastal Center, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT. 
This walk is one of many programs taking place around the state for Connecticut Audubon’s Migration Madness Birdathon weekend.

 

BEGINNER BIRD WALK – a Migration Madness Birdathon Walk!
Saturday, May 15
9:30  – 11 a.m.

New to birding? This walk is for you! Learn basic field marks and other identification clues and how to use binoculars.  We’ll visit the marsh, beach and upland areas of the Coastal Center in search of the birds that are here this time of year, including our resident Osprey pair and the Purple Martin colony. This walk is geared for adults. Limited to 10 participants. Please bring binoculars if you have them.  

Members $15/person, Non-members $20/person.
Pre-registration is required.
Click here to register

Once registered, a waiver must be completed and returned to lcrocco@ctaudubon.org before the program date. Participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing.  This walk may be cancelled or postponed due to adverse weather. Program participants will be notified by e-mail. For more information, call 203-878-7440 ext. 502 or email lcrocco@ctaudubon.org

This program is held at the Coastal Center, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT. 
This walk is one of many programs taking place around the state for Connecticut Audubon’s Migration Madness Birdathon weekend.


BIRD BINGO SELF-GUIDED SCAVENER HUNT- FREE family friendly fun!
Friday, May 14,
Saturday, May 15
Sunday, May 16

Everyone loves a scavenger hunt! Pick up your scavenger hunt on the front porch during the day on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of Migration Madness Weekend.
Explore the habitats of the Coastal Center in search of birds and their behaviors to complete your Bird Bingo Scavenger Hunt.  Where will you find the most birds? What birds will you find?

This is a FREE self-guided activity. Registration not required.
For more information, call 203-878-7440 ext. 502 or email lcrocco@ctaudubon.org
This program is held at the Coastal Center, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT.

Note: Center building and facilities (including restrooms) are closed, however, there is a portable toilet available (please bring hand sanitizer).

This is one of many programs taking place around the state for Connecticut Audubon’s Migration Madness weekend.

 


 

CT Trails Day Nature and Bird Walk

Saturday, June 5
9:30 – 11 a.m.

Join us for a guided nature and bird walk. Geared for beginners, this walk is for adults and teens age 18 and up. Approximately a 1.5 mile walk through the woodlands and along the beach. Terrain is level but beach area is rocky. This program is 100% outdoors, please dress accordingly. We recommend sturdy shoes, sun hat, and a jacket. Please apply sun screen and bug spray, if desired, before arrival. Please bring binoculars, if you have them. We are unable to lend binoculars at this time.

Limited to 10 participants. Participants are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Program is free. Pre-registration is required.

Click here to register

Upon registration, please complete this waiver and email to Louise Crocco, our office manager, prior to the program date. Waivers will also be available the morning of the walk.

Rain cancels the walk. Program participants will be notified by email and information will be posted on our website: https://www.ctaudubon.org/coastal-center-programs-events/

Note: Center building and facilities (including restrooms) are closed, however, there is a portable toilet available (please bring hand sanitizer).

 

Adopt A Purple Martin Gourd 2021

Martins perching on June 26, 2020. Photo © Frank Mantlik

Play a direct role in conservation by adopting a Purple Martin gourd for the 2021 nesting season!

Your adoption will help maintain the structures and support the staff effort to monitor and check the nests each week — essential tasks for protecting Purple Martins.

Supporting the colony also makes a great gift for members of your family or friends!

The cost is only $60 per gourd. Click here to adopt your gourd today!

Purple Martins are completely dependent on human-made structures, either boxes or gourds, for their survival.

This species was listed as “threatened” in Connecticut until about six years ago. Because of its increasing population, largely the result of the careful management of colonies, its status was changed to “special concern.” Our colony is the third largest in Connecticut, and in 2020 we had a very successful year with 132 chicks fledging!

When you adopt a gourd, a numbered gourd will be assigned to you. A paper gourd with your name (or a name you indicate on the registration) will be hung in the windows at the Coastal Center.

Purple Martin supporters receive weekly updates about the gourds, the status of the nests being built in them and a copy of the end-of-season report.

The team at work checking, cleaning and keeping records at the colony. Photo © Frank Mantlik

Purple Martins have declined in many areas nationwide, including Connecticut and New England. According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, competition with invasive House Sparrows and Starlings for nesting space, and pesticides poisoning their food supply are contributors to their decline.

Purple Martins are beautiful, much-admired songbirds, and these popular swallows are sought after as backyard birds all across the U.S., particularly in the south and east. They feed only on flying insects. They are often mistakenly thought to control mosquitoes. That’s not quite true. They feed on a much wider variety of insects including dragonflies, which themselves feed on mosquitoes.

Purple Martins are not easy to attract, requiring certain habitat and landscape conditions, usually open areas near water, but once a colony is established, they will return every year to breed and raise their young. 

Here’s what supporters of the project are saying:

“CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE CARING FOR OUR PURPLE MARTIN COLONY!  HOW EGGCITING!!  AND HOW PRECIOUS ARE THOSE NEWLY HATCHED🐣BABIES!🐣🐦

“THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS AND KEEPING US INFORMED ON THEIR PROGRESS!!  NATURE IS THE BEST!
Bev”

” Thank you! It is wonderful to see the terrific report and photos. Really appreciate all your hard work!
Carol D.”

 

SUMMER CAMP 2021: REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Summer Camp will be held June 14 – August 20.

Return to the outdoors! Campers from ages 5-9 will explore and thrive in a natural environment through an excellent balance of fun and engaging activities.

Click HERE for complete details, including registration information.
To comply with COVID-19 guidelines, group sizes will be smaller this year, so register early!

Camp programs will follow the policies and guidance specific to COVID-19 provided by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Education. All campers will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Small group, outdoor programming where kids will safely explore, discover and learn about the natural world.

Staffed by knowledgeable teacher-naturalists and counselors experienced with working with children.

To download our summer camp brochure, click here.

 

 

Birding 101 Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enrich the offerings of your group or organization with our remote-learning programs (via Zoom). Ideal for libraries, scout troops, senior centers, and more. These programs can also be tailored to meet your specific audience needs.

What Makes a Bird a Bird? Discover the characteristics that make birds unique and different.
This program includes a PowerPoint presentation. Program fee: $165. Length: 60 minutes.

Woodpeckers in Your Backyard  Explore the woodpecker’s role in our back yard ecosystem, how to identify the species found in Connecticut and their physical characteristics and, if desired, how to attract these fascinating birds to your feeders. Our teacher/naturalist will share tips on dealing with nuisance woodpeckers.
This program includes a PowerPoint presentation. Program fee: $165. Length: 60 minutes.

Backyard Birds  Join our teacher-naturalist to learn the field marks that help you identify birds most likely to in your yard as well as fun facts about each one. Discover what they like to eat and their unique behaviors. Get tips on how to create a bird-friendly backyard. This program includes a PowerPoint presentation. Program fee: $165. Length: 60 minutes.

Bird Feeding & Nuisance Animals  Discover which birds are at our feeders and yours during different seasons, what they like to eat, and their unique behaviors. Learn what you can do to reduce nuisance animals at your feeders. This program includes a PowerPoint presentation. There will be samples of bird feeders and seed that can be used in your yard to attract birds.This program includes a PowerPoint presentation. Program fee: $165. Length: 60 minutes.

Nesting Bird Boxes  What do bluebirds, tree swallows, chickadees, and woodpeckers have in common? They’re cavity nesters. During this program, we’ll share information on how to select suitable nesting boxes for a variety of species, the proper placement of nesting boxes and how to attract birds and discourage predators to these new locations.This program includes a PowerPoint presentation. Program fee: $165. Length: 60 minutes.

For more information or to schedule a program please contact Carol Kratzman at ckratzman@ctaudubon.org

 

 

25th Anniversary Challenge

Join the 25thAnniversary Challenge! You can help us launch our next 25 years by donating any multiple of $25 in honor of our 25thAnniversary.

We also hope that you will post the link below to your social media pages.

Click here to make a Donation to the Coastal Center at Milford Point

As many of you know, the Coastal Center is a hidden gem located next to the Charles Wheeler Salt Marsh and Wildlife Management Area at the mouth of the Housatonic River.

For 25 years the Coastal Center at Milford Point has been a popular educational facility for children and adults, promoting awareness and fostering the preservation of Long Island Sounds ecosystem, birds and other wildlife inhabitants.

The Center now reaches thousands of school children annually with both on-site and outreach programs. Our summer camps, public programs and wildlife sanctuary serve as a resource for many statewide conservation efforts.

Thousands of visitors and birders come to the sanctuary year–round, with this year having record breaking numbers.

You made it possible for us to keep our grounds open when state parks were closed and we are committed to being here for you for years to come.

We need you now more than ever!

Your support has made amazing things happen at the Coastal Center over the past 25 years, and we have a lot more that we can do!

Click here to make a donation to the Coastal Center at Milford Point’s 25th Anniversary Challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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