Greater Hartford Area News
Re-dedication of Hartford Urban Bird Treaty set for Friday, May 19, at Keney Park
May 12, 2023 — Join us at Keney Park in Hartford on Friday, May 19, for the official 2023 rededication of Hartford’s Urban Bird Treaty — a multi-organization plan to improve bird habitat in the city and offer more opportunities for city residents to learn about and enjoy birds.
The rededicated plan updates the original 2011 Hartford Urban Bird Treaty with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It will help neighborhoods learn from, collaborate with, and care for the benefits of nature in city parks and along stream corridors.
The re-dedication ceremony is set for 10 a.m. at the Keney Park Pond House, 323 Edgewood Steet, Hartford.
Hartford Councilwoman Shirley Surgeon are scheduled to participate, along with officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Watershed, Friends of Keney Park, and the Connecticut Audubon Society.
Bird walks and other activities will follow, from 11 until noon. The day starts with an 8:30 a.m. bird walk led by the Hartford Audubon Society. Horizon Wings, a raptor rehabilitation center in Ashford, will be there with live birds starting around 10 a.m..
The ceremony and the activities are all free and the public is welcome.
Connecticut Public, the parent organization of WNPR Public Radio, is Connecticut Audubon’s official media sponsor of the Bird Treaty events on May 19 and later in the summer. The renewal ceremony kicks off Connecticut Audubon’s Annual Migration Madness weekend bird celebration and helps mark the organization’s 125th anniversary.
A program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Urban Bird Treaty is a national network whose goal is to improve bird habitat in urban areas, and help city residents experience and learn about birds and the natural world.
Federal, state, and municipal agencies, along with non-profit and educational organizations, work together to create bird-friendly habitats and connect people with nature through birding and conservation.
The program has since grown to include 30 cities.
Renewing Hartford’s Urban Bird Treaty
Connecticut’s bird lovers were electrified in 2020 when a Townsend’s Warbler showed up in Hartford. A western U.S. species, it had never been seen in Connecticut before and scores of birders convened in Hartford to look for it.
The Townsend’s Warbler highlighted just how important cities are for birds — not just rarities from the west but common species as well. Connecticut Audubon is now working with local partners in Hartford to help make sure the city’s parks continue to be great places for birds.
Hartford was designated an Urban Bird Treaty city in 2011. The designation is up for renewal and the Connecticut Audubon Society, Friends of Keney Park, and Park Watershed are collaborating on an update.
The result will be better habitat for birds throughout the city’s parks, and more chances for city residents to learn about and enjoy them.
The Urban Bird Treaty is a national network whose goal is to improve bird habitat in urban areas, and help city residents experience and learn about birds and the natural world.
It’s a program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Federal, state, and municipal agencies, along with non-profit and educational organizations, work together to create bird-friendly habitats and connect people with nature through birding and conservation.
The program now includes 30 cities, and after more than a decade, Hartford’s agreement is up for renewal.
Hartford’s project got off to a great start in 2011. Its goals were to improve migratory bird habitat in city parks, cultivate public awareness and citizen science, and reduce migratory bird hazards.
Native shrubs were planted throughout Keney and Pope Park ponds. A “Plant Palette” brochure was created. Signs were erected to educate the community about native vegetation beneficial to migratory birds.
Trinity College Professor of Biology Dr. Joan Morrison (now emerita) studied how urban buildings are hazardous to migratory birds. She made recommendations to remedy these hazards, such as using reflective window film to reduce bird collisions, and minimizing both light pollution and the use of rodenticides.
The 2023 renewal is called Strengthening Connections: Hartford Urban Bird Treaty. Its goal is to help neighborhoods learn from, collaborate with, and care for the benefits of nature in city parks and along stream corridors.
Following 2020 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service guidelines, the next “Bird Agenda” for the city will make recommendations that align with the three main goals of the Urban Bird Treaty program.
- Protect, restore, and enhance urban habitats for birds.
- Reduce urban hazards to birds.
- Educate and engage urban communities in caring about and conserving birds and their habitats
The official Urban Bird Treaty renewal will be held at a public event, tentatively set for May 19 at 10 a.m.
It will be a family event, with educational activities and bird walks along with the presentation and adoption of the new “Bird Agenda.” We anticipate participation from federal, state, and local officials.
Connecticut Audubon Society is also planning at least four free bird walks and programs in Keney Park, Colt Park and two others still to be determined.
A Connecticut Audubon naturalist will teach participants how to use binoculars and identify birds, and will lead a walk through the park. Participants will learn about birds, and also about the general natural history of the area, and observe other wildlife and plants within the city parks.
Educational materials and activities will be available about the birds of Hartford and where to find them.
To reach our Greater Hartford Area program staff, please call 860-633-8402 or email email@example.com.
What to do with “abandoned” or “orphaned” birds
Have you found an abandoned bird?
Birds and other wildlife that seem to be abandoned or orphaned at this time of year often are not actually abandoned or orphaned.
The Connecticut DEEP has advice about what to do if you find a bird that you think is abandoned. There are several alternatives.
Click here to learn about them.
Please do not bring injured or orphaned animals to any Connecticut Audubon Society facility. Connecticut Audubon is not authorized to accept injured or abandoned animals.
But if it is obviously injured, it may need help. The CT DEEP has more information here about dealing with distressed wildlife.
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The Connecticut Audubon Society and its Greater Hartford Area program is committed to serving the people of the Capitol region through ongoing bird walks, nature hikes, school programs, virtual programming, and more.