Connecticut Audbon Society
Center at Fairfield

Coastal Center at Milford Point

Coastal Center Programs & Events

The Answer for the June 1 Mystery is……

If you guessed jingle shells, mermaid’s toenails, Neptune’s toenails, toenail shells, gold shells or saddle oysters, you are correct!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Jingle shells are shiny mollusks that got their name because they produce a bell-like sound when several shells are shaken together.
  2. The shells are thin and often translucent, they will grow following the shape of the surface they are on.
  3. They are bi-valves and related to mussels, clams and scallops
  4. They are not eaten by humans, the “meat” of the bi-valve is bitter in taste.
  5. Often times you will see a small hole at the bottom of the shell, where the byssal threads are secreted by a gland located near the jingle shell’s foot. The byssal threads attach themselves to a hard substrate to secure it in place.
  6. They live in relatively shallow water less than 30 feet deep.
  7. Jingle shells are filter feeders. They eat plankton by filtering water through their gills, where cilia remove the prey.
  8. They are usually male and female, but sometimes can be hermaphroditic. They reproduce by spawning. Gametes are released into the water column and will live there until they settle on the bottom of the ocean and attach themselves to a hard surface.
  9. Most jingle shells are washed up on shore during a storm and it is not often you see a live jingle shell.
  10. Many people use jingle shells for crafts and jewelry.
  11. If you collect the jingle shells enjoy them at the beach, then leave them where you found them for others to enjoy!

 

 

 

Because of concerns about COVID-19, the Center building is closed and all indoor and outdoor programs are cancelled until further notice. For Summer Camp information click here. Connecticut Audubon sanctuaries are open for hiking. Please keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other hikers and birders. We will be continually re-evaluating the situation and make decisions accordingly. 

 

I Spy: Coastal Connecticut

June 1– Welcome to Mystery Monday! Let’s play a game of I Spy: Coastal Connecticut!

Every Monday we will post part of a picture of an organism found along the coast of Connecticut.

Can you guess the creature in this picture?

Make your best guess–you can post your answer on The Coastal Center’s Facebook page: click here or on The Connecticut Audubon Society Facebook page: click here.

The answer will be posted Tuesdays at 10 a.m. here our webpage. Check back to see if your guess was correct and learn some fun facts about the creature!

Can you guess what this is?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Answer for the May 25 Mystery is……

If you guessed Horseshoe Crab, you are correct!

This is one of our favorite creatures that lives in the Long Island Sound!

Did you know?

  1. Horseshoe crabs are marine and brackish water arthropods of the family Limulidae.
  2. Horseshoe crabs get their name because their arc shaped carapace, or exoskeleton, has been compared to the shape of a horse’s shoe.
  3. Horseshoe crabs live primarily in and around shallow coastal waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms.
  4. Given their origin 450 million years ago, horseshoe crabs are considered living fossils.
  5. The earliest horseshoe crab fossils are found in strata from the late Ordovician period, roughly 450 million years ago.
  6. The Atlantic horseshoe crab has two small legs (chelicerae) for moving food into the mouth and five large pairs of legs for moving.
  7. Females are about 20–30% larger than males
  8. Horseshoe crabs use hemocyanin to carry oxygen through their blood. Because of the copper present in hemocyanin, their blood is blue.
  9. In the Spring, Horseshoe crabs migrate to shallow water near the shore, the female digs a hole in the sand and lays her eggs while the male(s) fertilize them. The female can lay between 60,000 and 120,000 eggs in batches of a few thousand at a time.
  10. Horseshoe crabs are more related to spiders, ticks, and mites, than they are to crabs. There are only four living species of horseshoe crabs today. Limulus polyphemusresides on the eastern coastline of North and Central America. (Project Limulus-Sacred Heart University Website)

If you are interested in learning more about Horseshoe Crabs visit Project Limulus on the Sacred Heart University Website https://www.sacredheart.edu/academics/colleges–schools/college-of-arts–sciences/departments/biology/project-limulus/horseshoe-crab-history/

 

 

I Spy: Coastal Connecticut

May 25 – Welcome to Mystery Monday! Let’s play a game of I Spy: Coastal Connecticut!

Every Monday we will post part of a picture of an organism found along the coast of Connecticut.

Can you guess the creature in this picture?

Make your best guess–you can post your answer on The Coastal Center’s Facebook page: click here or on The Connecticut Audubon Society Facebook page: click here.

The answer will be posted Tuesday at 10 a.m. here our webpage. Check back to see if your guess was correct and learn some fun facts about the creature!

Can you guess what this is?

Wildlife Photography Workshop Webinar

Monday, June 1
2 p.m.

Baltimore Oriole photo by Tomas Koeck

Join award winning photographer, Tomas Koeck, as we look at the how to’s behind wildlife photography. This class is for beginners, intermediate photographers, and anyone who wants to learn more on how to capture wildlife through a lens. In this seminar, Tomas will go over gear, how to use a DSLR, photographing techniques, processing images, and even taking photos with just an iPhone. Tomas will also go over the ethics involved in nature photography. Come join this webinar to learn, have some fun, and hone your skills to help capture the image of a lifetime!

While we are offering this program for free, we ask that you consider a suggested donation of $10.

Click here to register for the Zoom link.

 

photo by Tomas Koeck

Tomas Koeck- Presently working on a degree at Sacred Heart University in Communications, Tomas has published works in TAMRON Optics, Connecticut Audubon Society, the Easton Courier, and others. He is also featured on some of the most prestigious Instagram wildlife photography platforms such as Elite Owls and Elite Raptors. Tomas is also currently sponsored by TAMRON lenses and is a photojournalist working on a nature documentary for Vision Project.

 

 

Adopt a Purple Martin Gourd

Photos by Frank Mantlik

Help our conservation efforts by adopting a Purple Martin gourd! Your adoption will help the Connecticut Audubon Society maintain the structures and continue our effort to protect Purple Martins.

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. They are considered a Threatened Species in Connecticut.

Purple Martins are completely dependent on human-made structures, either boxes or gourds, for their survival. Our colony is the third largest in Connecticut, and last year we had the most successful year with 170 chicks fledging!

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

Supporting the colony also makes a great gift for members of your family or friends! $60 per gourd. Click here to adopt your gourd today!

 

I Spy: Coastal Connecticut Past Mysteries

We’ve taken our prior I Spy: Coastal Connecticut mysteries and put them in one handy location.

Test yourself on your knowledge of coastal organisms. We’ve put the answers and interesting facts under each mystery.

If you want to check out prior I Spy: Coastal Connecticut mysteries click here.

 

Summer Camp

As promised, we wanted to get back to you about our summer camp as soon as we heard from the State of Connecticut on guidelines. After careful consideration for the safety of our campers and our staff, we made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person camps for the summer.

Please understand that we do not make this decision lightly. We know how important summer camp is for our camp families and we want nothing more than to be able to provide a safe and fun space for your children to gather this summer. The decision to close camp is based on current restrictions put in place by the state. We believe we will not be able to operate camp in a way that would keep campers safe and healthy while also provide them with a fulfilling experience.

We will be offering alternative programming for your children this summer that will combine live, virtual and interactive instruction from our experienced Camp Directors and staff along with outdoor and indoor projects and activities for campers to do at home. Stay tuned for more details to follow next week.

To visit our Summer Camp page, click here.

 

Birthday Parties, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts

For more information about the programs, please click on the links below.  For more information and to schedule a party or program, please call 203-878-7440.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES
Look no further! The Coastal Center at Milford Point is the perfect place to hold your child’s next birthday party! Our staff has designed a wide range of “theme” parties to provide your child and their friends with a memorable and fun hands-on learning experience.
Click here for our Birthday Party brochure.

GIRL SCOUT PROGRAMS
Our updated scouting programs are designed to help scouts earn their badges and learn about the natural world around them.
For our Girl Scout program brochure click here. 

CUB SCOUT PROGRAMS
Our updated scouting programs are designed to help scouts earn their badges and learn about the natural world around them.
For our Cub Scout program brochure, click here.

 

 

 

 

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