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This guided bird walk at the Coastal Center on April 23 is a great way to celebrate Earth Week

In the Sanctuaries …
April 11, 2021 — Join Stefan Martin, our habitat steward, for an Earth Week walk along the marsh, beach, and upland areas of the Milford Point Coastal Center in search of migrating songbirds and shorebirds. Friday, April 23, 8 to 10 a.m.

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Learn your spring migratory birds during this April 21 Earth Week walk in Groton

April 10, 2021 — Spring is a great time to go birding in Connecticut. Dozens of species move into and through the state from wintering grounds further south. The diversity can be overwhelming, especially when identifying warblers high in the canopy or picking out songs in the dawn chorus. But we’re here to help. Join us for an Earth Week Spring Migration Bird Walk at the Avery Farm Nature Preserve in Groton.

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Celebrate Earth Week with an April 20 morning walk at the Larsen Sanctuary in Fairfield

April 9, 2021 — Botanist and naturalist Jim Cortina, along with Connecticut Audubon volunteer Burt Boardman, will lead a nature walk for adults focused on learning about plants and animals in the Larsen Sanctuary. The destination is Deer Meadow. Along the way, there will be stops to examine the springtime signs and emergence of a great variety of wildlife.

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Daily Bird: House Finch

April 8, 2021 — Though year-round residents in Connecticut, House Finches become much more active in spring as they gear up for breeding season. They’re rarely alone, traveling in small, noisy flocks. Listen for the jumbled song of the males, who may sing throughout the year.

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Volunteers of Friends of Larsen Sanctuary in Fairfield complete “one for the books”

In the Sanctuaries
April 8, 2021 — The volunteers of the Friends of Larsen Sanctuary group could hardly contain their enthusiasm after spending a long day planting native trees and shrubs recently. Guided by Charlie Stebbins, Misty Beyer, Mary Hogue, and George Neamonitis, they planted 79 native trees and shrubs along the Fragrance Loop trail, near Farm Pond, in the pollinator garden, and along the entrance.

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Daily Bird: Spring waterfowl — Green-winged Teal

April 7, 2021 — There were scores of Green-winged Teal on the marsh at Milford Point yesterday, and good numbers in recent days at Shell Beach in Guilford. They peak in abundance during March but there are still a number of Green-winged Teal scattered about the state in other locations as well.

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Daily Bird: Eastern Phoebe

April 6, 2021— Eastern Phoebe is one of the first songbirds to arrive back in Connecticut during spring migration. They’re mainly insect eaters, particularly flying insects. They’re a common species that can be found around most homes and outbuildings, and readily build their nest on small ledges under overhangs in buildings, on outdoor lights and under bridges.

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Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz 2021: A Great Family Activity

April 5, 2021 — Birds are returning, flowers are blooming, insects are buzzing. And no doubt you’re spending more time outdoors. That means it’s time for Connecticut Audubon’s second Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz. It takes place in one day — Earth Day, April 22, 2021. The Earth Day Backyard BioBlitz is free and it’s fun but you must register to participate.

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Daily Bird: Spring waterfowl — Blue-winged Teal

March 31, 2021 — As spring takes hold, our marshes, both inland and coastal, will really begin to awaken. One of our most familiar and easily-observed groups of birds, the ducks, are in peak migration and can be seen readily in most wetlands. Keep an eye out for the dapper Blue-winged Teal among the flocks of familiar waterfowl.

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The Housatonic Valley Association wants to hear from birders

March 31, 2021 — If the Housatonic River north of New Milford is one of your birding destinations, the Housatonic Valley Association wants to know what you think. The association is looking for ideas for how to make the river area more welcoming, safer, and cleaner for recreation opportunities.

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Daily Bird: White-faced Ibis

March 30, 2021 — Birders found a White-faced Ibis — an uncommon visitor to Connecticut’s coast — at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison today.

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Board Chair Kathleen Van Der Aue Honored for “Patient and Purposeful” Collaborations on Behalf of Birds

March 30, 2021 — Kathleen Van Der Aue, the chair of Connecticut Audubon’s Board of Directors, has been honored by the Connecticut Ornithological Association with an award named for Connecticut Audubon’s founder, Mabel Osgood Wright, the pioneering conservationist who in many ways inspired Van Der Aue’s own conservation work.

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Daily Bird: Great Horned Owl

March 29, 2021 — Great Horned Owl is one of the earliest nesting birds in Connecticut, and you may already start to see the downy heads of chicks poking out the top of their stick nests this time of year.

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In the thick of it with the rare New England cottontail: An interview with cottontail expert Lisa Wahle

In the Sanctuaries …

March 28, 2021 — Rare and elusive, New England cottontail rabbits live throughout the northeast, including on at least three Connecticut Audubon sanctuaries. In this video interview Lisa Wahle talks about the project; the difficulty of identifying them in the field; their range; and the Connecticut Audubon sanctuaries where they find refuge.

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Daily Bird: Spring waterfowl — Wood Duck

March 26, 2021 — This time of the year Wood Ducks are found in good nesting habitat. That includes almost all freshwater bodies and wetlands with nearby large trees and adequate cover.

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Wildlife After Dark: A free Zoom presentation about fishers and other mammals at Deer Pond Farm

In the Sanctuaries
March 25, 2021 — The birds of Connecticut Audubon’s sanctuaries are well-documented. But what about the large, formidable weasels called fishers? Wildlife biologist Katerina Gillis is working on it. On Thursday, April 1, at 7 p.m., she’ll walk you through what she’s learned in a special free Zoom presentation filled with amazing images from her game cameras.

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Nest Boxes for New Canaan’s Birds

In the Sanctuaries … March 24, 2021 — Breeding season is underway and birds needs places to nest, so Connecticut Audubon staff spent this morning in New Canaan helping volunteers put up nest boxes at the Bristow Bird Sanctuary. The work is part of a series of habitat improvements that the New Canaan Conservation Commission, […]

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Daily Bird: Spring waterfowl — American Black Duck

March 24, 2021 — Breeding season is starting so look for American Black Duck mainly in freshwater wetlands such as shallow ponds, marshes, and beaver ponds. Some nesting occurs in saltwater marshes as well.

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Daily Bird: Spring waterfowl — Ring-necked Duck

March 22, 2021 — Ring-necked Ducks appear on Connecticut’s shallow freshwater lakes as soon as the ice disappears in late winter and early spring. As with many waterfowl, if you pick the right spot and don’t try to get too close, they can be fairly easy to observe with binoculars or a scope. Also like most waterfowl, they are strikingly beautiful.

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Daily Bird: Bonaparte’s Gull

March 19, 2021 — They are most likely to be seen during spring migration through Long Island Sound, which peaks from now to early-April, when with some luck the larger flocks may be found. When in flight, these flocks stay very tightly together and can be quite acrobatic as they weave back and forth through the air. Look for them feeding on barnacle larvae on the water’s surface. This annual phenomenon known as a plankton “bloom” occurs in March and April, coinciding with the Bonaparte’s Gull migration.

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Daily Bird: Black-headed Gull

March 17, 2021 — A great find at any time of the year, but more likely in the late winter and early spring, this small, hooded gull is normally found associating with large flocks of Bonaparte’s Gulls but often consorts with larger gull species such as Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls.

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Connecticut Audubon’s Hartford Advocacy List for 2021

March 16, 2021 — Helping to change laws, in Hartford and Washington, by speaking out and writing is an incredibly effective way of protecting the environment. Connecticut Audubon Public Policy/Advocacy Committee has chosen a handful of important bills in Hartford to speak out on in 2021. Here’s a list, with links to our written testimony.

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Banded oystercatcher returns to Milford Point

In the Sanctuaries …

March 16, 2021 — The focus of attention at the Milford Point Coastal Center last week was the yellow leg-wear of a visitor to the outer sandbar. The visitor? An American Oystercatcher, banded with a yellow leg identification tag.

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Scott Weidensaul lecture in partnership with Ridgefield Library and Ridgefield Garden Club, March 23

March 12, 2021 – Join us on Zoom at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, for a special presentation by author Scott Weidensaul, author of numerous books, including Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, which was nominated for a Pultizer Prize.

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Daily Bird: American Woodcock

March 10, 2021 — A harbinger of spring, American Woodcocks arrived in Connecticut in February again this year rather than in March. Their flight displays and calls are an amazing spectacle that should be witnessed by all who appreciate nature and yearn for spring to start.

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Daily Bird: Wilson’s Snipe

March 9, 2021 — Wilson’s Snipe are starting to show up in Connecticut. These game birds are cryptically and physically similar to American Woodcock but they are readily distinguishable by a head-striping pattern opposite that of Woodcock: longitudinal rather than latitudinal.

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International Women’s Day 2021: Our Founder, Written by Our Board Chair

March 8, 2021 — In honor of International Women’s Day, we went into the archives for this beautiful short biography of our founder, Mabel Osgood Wright, written by our Board Chair, Kathleen Van Der Aue.

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Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds: #BirdNamesforBirds

March 8, 2021 — Is it acceptable to honor a person who believed of Black men that “his intellect … is greatly inferior to that of the Caucasian, and that he is, therefore, as far as our experience goes, incapable of self-government”? What if that same person also owned slaves? Meet the Rev. John Bachman of South Carolina. It’s a controversial issue and we’ll tackle it during the next Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds.

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Despite the pandemic, 200-plus volunteers documented a thriving Osprey population in 2020

March 8, 2021 — More than 200 volunteers overcame arduous circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to document 510 active Osprey nests in 2020, the most since Connecticut Audubon’s Osprey Nation project began in 2014.

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Daily Bird: Winter Wren

March 4, 2021 — Winter Wrens can be found throughout the state at this time of year although they are usually hard to find because of their secretive habits. The best place to look is in thick brush near streams.

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Daily Bird: American Tree Sparrow

March 3, 2021 — To those unfamiliar with birds, American Tree Sparrow would likely blend in with the background or be glossed over as just another sparrow. But to a birder’s eye, this species perfectly masters a balance between drab coloring and striking streaks of rufus, especially in an already bland winter backdrop.

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An easy way to keep up with what’s happening In the Sanctuaries

In the Sanctuaries … March 2, 2021 — Connecticut Audubon’s sanctuaries are amazing places. Amazing for the diversity of birds, the occasional moose, the minks and fishers, the bobcats, the scores of other animals. But they’re also amazing for the people of Connecticut. You can snowshoe. You can look for breeding birds. You can track […]

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A New Home for Milford Point’s Ospreys, Thanks to the Teamwork of Volunteers and the Generosity of Donors

March 1, 2021 — Move-in day is not for another month but the Milford Point Ospreys’ new home is ready for their arrival. Thanks to a team of volunteers, and an enormously generous outpouring of donations from Connecticut Audubon supporters, a new Osprey nest platform went up in the marsh at the Milford Point Coastal Center on Wednesday, February 24, replacing the one lost in a winter storm.

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Daily Birds: Blackbirds

February 24, 2021 — Among the first noticeable signs of spring in February is the progression of blackbird flocks, often large or even huge. They will consist of a mix of Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Any of the three can be the primary species in a given flock, although flocks dominated by cowbirds tend not to have a lot of grackles.

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This weekend: Mountainfilm! 11 great films for a great price

February 24, 2021 — Mountainfilm on Tour is this weekend — February 26 til noon on Monday, March 1. MountainFilm brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado. Enjoy these 11 phenomenal short films from the comfort of your home!

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Daily Bird: Red-shouldered Hawk

February 23, 2021 — Red-shouldered Hawks can be found in every month, but they can be especially conspicuous starting around this time of year, when mated pairs and rival males engage in raucous nuptial and territorial vocalizations. They get very noisy again when the young leave the nest, but some calling can be heard anytime.

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Action Alert: Speak out in favor of strengthening the Migratory Bird Protection Act

February 23, 2021 — You have a chance today to help make sure the Migratory Bird Treaty Act continues to be an effective way to protect birds. Please help by sending comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tell them that you support strengthening the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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Daily Bird: Common Loon

February 18, 2021 — Common Loons may be the symbol of wild, northern lakes but in winter and spring these large diving birds are relatively easy to find in Connecticut’s coastal waters and larger freshwater lakes and rivers. It is the largest loon you are likely to see in Connecticut.

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Daily Bird: Red Crossbill

February 17, 2021 — Birders are getting good views and good photos of a small flock of Red Crossbills at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, in pines to the right of the Meigs Point pavilion. We posted this Daily Bird just a few months ago, in November (it was originally written several years ago), but Hammo has been such a reliable location lately for these rarities that it’s worth posting again (with new photos by Patrick Comins).

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Watch Mariamar Gutierrez in a 6-minute preview of her “Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds” presentation coming up on Thursday

February 15, 20210 — In a preview of her Thursday Zoom presentation, Mariamar Gutierrez talks about stopover ecology and “full-service hotels” for migratory birds.

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Next on Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds, a fascinating look at what songbirds go through during migration

February 11, 2021 — Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez talks about her research into New England songbird migration in the next “Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds,” on Thursday, February 18.

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Daily Bird: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

February 10, 2021 — Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers can be found throughout the state in winter. They’re a little larger and stockier than Downy Woodpeckers, black and white, with adult males sporting a bright red crown and throat. Adult females lack the red throat. They have a prominent white stripe on their wings.

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The Osprey nest and Osprey Cam at Milford Point were destroyed in the recent storm. Please contribute to so they can be replaced!

Osprey mom with her two babies

February 9, 2021 — Everything needs to be replaced — quickly — and you can help. Please make a donation to help provide a nesting place for Milford Point’s Ospreys.

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A discussion of Audubon’s “Birds of America” this evening with Patrick Comins and Nelson North

February 9, 2021 — The present meets the past at 6 this evening as Connecticut Audubon Executive Director Patrick Comins joins former Executive Director Nelson North for an online conversation about John James Audubon’s art, conservation, and the naturalists who have shaped current day conservation.

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In the Sanctuaries: Winter is here, and it’s great

February 8, 2020 — Pack your snowshoes, pull on your hiking boots, grab your poles. Winter is a great time to visit Connecticut Audubon’s sanctuaries. You will see something amazing, guaranteed.

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Coastal Center 25th Anniversary Photo Contest

Through a camera lens, Milford Point is a captivating location to all who enjoy photographing nature at its best. Magnificent migrating birds over Long Island Sound. Spectacular sunsets over the tidal marsh. Glistening sea grass by the boardwalk Close-ups of marine life in a tide pool. To showcase and share treasured images of this special […]

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Daily Bird: Rough-legged Hawk

February 8, 2010 — When Rough-legged Hawks leave their tundra breeding grounds, they look for areas with the most abundant food source. In Connecticut this mean marshes and open fields. In recent days, Rough-winged Hawk has been seen in Tolland, Madison and Mansfield, with other scattered sightings reported over the last month.

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The pelican rescued in Connecticut is rehabbing in Florida

February 5, 2021 — The injured Brown Pelican rescued last week from the Connecticut River has made it safely to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Florida, where it is being treated for pneumonia and a touch of frostbite but is otherwise doing well.

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Keeping bears away from your bird feeder

March 26, 2021 — It was cold enough through the winter for bears in Connecticut to lie low. But with warmer weather, they’ll revive. And they’ll be hungry, which can be a problem for people who love to feed birds in their yard.

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“Robby. Is that you?”

February 4, 2021 — Charles Lautier, a resident of Stratford who has been a Connecticut Audubon member for several years, sent us this anecdote about a neighborhood American Robin. Food connects us to other humans; in Charles’s yard, one of the simplest foods — peanut butter — helped create a surprising and charming human-avian connection.

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Daily Bird: Northern Shrike

February 3, 2021 — This is the rare passerine, or songbird, that actually preys on rodents and other birds. It and its close relative the Loggerhead Shrike are the only two in North America to do that.

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Early birds get the mate

February 2, 2020 — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North Atlantic-Appalachian region celebrated Groundhog Day by interviewing Connecticut Audubon Executive Director Patrick Comins about actual signs that spring is on its way. Their blog post, published this morning, is here. We thank them for permission to use it on Natural Selections. Enjoy, puns and all!

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Superb Owl is On! Join us via Zoom on Super Bowl Sunday

February 1, 2021 — Our popular Super Bowl Sunday Live Owl event with Horizon Wings is here, virtually! Join Mary-Beth Kaeser of Horizon Wings as she introduces you to several local owl species.

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Daily Bird: Northern Harrier

February 1, 2020 — The Northern Harrier is a hawk of grasslands and open country. At this time of year it can be found at dozens of locations along the coast, and in open grasslands inland as well.

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Update from the Pelican Clinic: Eating a Mess of Minnows

January 30, 2021 — Good pelican news for a Saturday morning. We’ve posted a terrific short video of the rescued Brown Pelican eating vigorously.

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For 2021, 10 Things You Can Do to Help Birds

January 29, 2021 – Since 1970, bird populations in North America have dropped by 29 percent; there are now approximately 2.9 billion fewer birds in North America than there were 50 years ago. Ignoring the problem won’t solve it. Feeling guilty about it won’t solve it. You can help Connecticut’s birds, and when you do, […]

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Update from the Pelican Clinic: Major Improvement from Yesterday

January 28, 2021 — The Brown Pelican that was rescued in dire condition from the icy Connecticut River in Essex yesterday is doing surprisingly well today and seems as if it will survive. Christine Cummings, co-founder A Place Called Hope, the raptor rehabilitation center in Killingworth that has been treating the bird since yesterday afternoon, […]

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Brown Pelican Rescue in Essex

January 27, 2021 — Quick action by Connecticut Audubon’s staff led to the rescue of an injured Brown Pelican huddled in distress on a cove in Essex today.

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Seasonal Job: Osprey Nation Coordinator

January 27, 2021 — The Connecticut Audubon Society invites applicants for a seasonal position at 35 hours per week beginning March 1 through October 1, 2021 as coordinator for the Osprey Nation Project.

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Daily Bird: Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup

January 26, 2021 — Both species can be found in saltwater and freshwater, although neither is numerous on freshwater in Connecticut. But as we’ll see, finding them can be the easy part; distinguishing them can be harder.

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Summer Camp 2021 FAQ: Return to the Outdoors

January 26, 2021 — Connecticut Audubon’s popular day camp will return for summer 2021 promising great outdoor fun for kids. We’re planning camp sessions for the Center at Fairfield, Coastal Center at Milford Point, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme, and the Center at Pomfret.

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A good weather report for Connecticut Audubon and Jim Arrigoni, via the Weather Channel

January 25, 2021 — If you were watching the Weather Channel yesterday morning, you saw the two interviews with Connecticut Audubon’s Jim Arrigoni about winter wildlife. They’re slightly different, so if you missed them, watch both.

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Half-Earth on Zoom: Watch this short preview and then sign up

January 24, 2021 — Can enough of the planet be saved so there’s ample room for wildlife to thrive? That’s the goal of the Half-Earth Project.

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Daily Bird: Great Cormorant

1/21/21 — The Great Cormorant is the largest North American cormorant and is found on nearly all continents. In the States, it is restricted to the east coast, where it breeds on a just a few rocky island colonies in Maine. It is a regular winter visitor to Connecticut where it replaces the more commonly found summer resident, the Double-crested Cormorant.

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Frederick D. Schroeder, a longtime Connecticut Audubon member and a steadfast friend

January 21, 2021 — Connecticut Audubon is remembering Frederick D. Schroeder, a friend and birding companion as well as a former regional board member and one of the organization’s longest active members. Mr. Schroeder died on January 16.

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Daily Bird: Ruby-crowned Kinglet & Golden-crowned Kinglet

January 20, 2021 — Winter is the prime time for seeing Golden-crowned Kinglets in Connecticut. They’re very hardy and overwinter in decent numbers. Ruby-crowned Kinglets can be harder to find in this season but they’re here too.

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E.O. Wilson’s Half-Earth Project on Zoom, January 28

January 19, 2021 — Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds returns on Thursday, January 28, with a great program about an effort to save half the earth for biodiversity.

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Daily Bird: Snow Goose

January 19, 2021 — Snow Goose occurs each winter in Connecticut but only in limited numbers, unlike the massive flocks found on the Delmarva Peninsula, the Nebraska wetlands, and the rice fields of Arkansas. You can expect to typically find one or two birds mixed in with large flocks of Canada Geese. Most records are from inland sites.

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Daily Bird: Lapland Longspur

January 15, 2021 — Lapland Longspurs are not always here but, when they are you’ll find then at coastal locations with open expanses of grassland, dunes, sand barrens or open weedy places.. They’re often with Horned Larks or Snow Buntings, foraging for wind-blown weed seeds.

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Video Interview: A Winter Wonderland of Warblers in an Unlikely Place in Norwalk

January 15, 2021 — There’s a newly-discovered winter hotspot in Connecticut for birds. If you visit now, there’s a good chance you’ll see Prairie Warbler, Cape May Warbler, and Tennessee Warbler — yes, now, in January.

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Advocacy: Connecticut Audubon calls on the General Assembly to pass the Blue Plan

January 22, 2021 — The Connecticut Audubon Society submitted testimony today to the General Assembly’s Environment Committee urging the passage of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan.

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Daily Bird: Red-throated Loon

January 11, 2021 — Winter is the season for loons in Connecticut and the Red-throated, the smallest of its family, is a favorite. The best place to find this high latitude nester in Connecticut is on Long Island Sound. Through March, this should be a relatively easy bird to find.

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Video preview: The Song of the Ovenbird, with Eliza Grames

January 4, 2020 — Communications Director Tom Andersen does a quick check-in with UConn Ph.D. candidate Eliza Grames as she prepares for her “Young, Gifted, And Wild About Birds” presentation on Thursday evening, January 7.

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Daily Bird: Merlin

January 13, 2021 — The Merlin frequents open areas such as marshes, beaches, and large fields. Most migrate through Connecticut to winter further south, but some spend the winter in southern Connecticut, mainly along the coast. You usually see one when you least expect it and it is often a quick look since they are usually flying fast in pursuit of prey.

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Protecting the Beach Birds: An Interview with Katerina Gillis, Coastal Ranger at Milford Point

December 18, 2020 — High tides threatened them. Foxes preyed on them. People and their dogs disturbed them. And because of COVID-19, few conservation workers could put in the time protecting them. 2020 was a tough year for the birds nesting at Milford Point. The IBA Coastal Ranger talks about the details, including the emotional toll it took on her.

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Coming January 7 — Eliza Grames and The Song of the Ovenbird: Part II of Young, Gifted & Wild About Birds

December 18, 2020 — The reviews of Part I of Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds are in, and they are awesome. “So impressive! I learned a ton! Thank you!” “Wonderful program!  It provided me with a whole new perspective on birding.” So why not join us for part II?

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Daily Bird: Sharp-shinned Hawk

December 20, 2020 — From fall til early spring Sharp-shinned Hawks are often found patrolling bird feeding stations and field edges. The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small hawk, around 11 inches in size. Adults have blue-grey above and reddish-brown barring below.

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Daily Bird: Red-breasted Merganser

December 16, 2020 — The Red-breasted Merganser’s distinguishing characteristics are a long neck, a scarlet bill, and a double crest at the back of the heads of both males and females. Typically staying within 20 miles of the coast, the Red-breasted Merganser has a notable preference for salt water, compared to the other two species of merganser.

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Daily Birds: Redhead, Canvasback

December 15, 2020 — Two red-headed ducks occur in Connecticut in winter, one somewhat regularly, the other not so much. Both are diving or bay ducks – or pochards – of the genus Aythya.

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Daily Bird: Black Scoter

December 11, 2020 — There are numerous places to see Black Scoters along the shore but they are rare visitors to Connecticut’s fresh water. The adult males are all black with a yellow knob at the base of the upper bill. Juveniles and females are grey-brown with a dark cap and lighter cheeks.

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State of the Birds 2020 Highlight: To Protect Birds, Prepare to Advocate for Land Protection

December 11, 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown meant that elected officials paid less attention than usual to land conservation issues in 2020. So in 2021, conservation advocates will have to double down. Amy Paterson, executive director of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, covered the issue in her Connecticut State of the Birds 2020 article, called “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Conservation Funding.”

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The Birds of Happiness

December 9, 2020 — You know that feeling you get when birds come to your feeder or when you pass through a mixed flock of songbirds in the woods? That’s happiness and, it turns out, those birds are bringing it to you.

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Daily Bird: Mew Gull 2

December 9, 2020 — Mew Gulls are similar to Ring-billed Gulls. The western European and northwestern North American subspecies are both smaller than Ring-billeds. These Mews have thin greenish yellow bills with either a thin ring or no ring at all, depending on season. Their mantles are slightly darker, and they have darker eyes than the Ring-billed’s.

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Daily Bird: Mew Gull 1

December 9, 2020 — Notice of a Mew Gull in New London went out this morning on our Rare Bird Alert. We are lucky enough to have posted about Mew Gull twice before, and even luckier that the authors were Patrick Comins, who is Connecticut Audubon’s executive director, and Greg Hanisek, editor of the Connecticut Ornithological Association’s quarterly journal, The Connecticut Warbler.

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4 Stars: You can be confident that your donations are being used wisely and well

December 9, 2020 — 2020 marks the third year in a row that Charity Navigator has designated Connecticut Audubon a four-star organization. Out of approximately 1,000 non-profits in Connecticut, only 48 received four stars in 2020. “This is our highest possible rating and indicates that your organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way.”

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State of the Birds 2020 Highlight: Piping Plovers and the Audubon Alliance.

December 8, 2020 — Connecticut’s Piping Plovers fared poorly during the 2020 breeding season. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds was forced to cut back on its protection work. Only when restrictions were eased during summer and the work-pace picked up did Piping Plovers do better. It’s an important enough issue that we wrote about it in this year’s State of the Birds report and are highlighting it here.

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Daily Bird: “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrow

December 8, 2020 — For those birders who relish long walks in biting cold winds, coastal sparrow searches in winter can turn up one of the rarer subspecies of the common Savannah Sparrow, the “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrow.

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Habitat improvements in store at the Coastal Center thanks to a new Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant

December 7, 2020 — Federal and state environmental officials today announced 24 grants totaling $2.8 million to local governments, nongovernmental organizations and community groups in New England to improve Long Island Sound. Included in this year’s grants is more than $44,000 for the Connecticut Audubon Society to restore coastal beach, dune and forest habitat at the Milford Point Coastal Center.

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Natural Landscape Design for New England: An Intensive Virtual Course

December 7, 2020 —  Join us on Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11, for this two-day, six-hour virtual course and learn techniques to create landscapes that are “ecologically functioning” as well as beautiful. This course, presented by New Directions in the American Landscape and co-sponsored by The Connecticut Audubon Society, will illustrate how to apply these altered practices in a variety of settings including meadows, shrublands, woodlands, and fine gardens.

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First up on Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds — #BlackBirdersWeek: The hashtag that started a movement

December 7, 2020 — The Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds series on Zoom starts next week with “#BlackBirdersWeek: The hashtag that started a movement,” featuring co-founder Deja Perkins.

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The Alcids of Connecticut: Tuesday Webinar

December 6, 2020 — Dovekies, murres, guillemots, puffins, razorbills — these are the Alcids of Connecticut. Some are rare. When they are here, they can be hard to observe, given their preference for the sea. But they’re fascinating and worth learning about.

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Connecticut Audubon’s Birds of the Year for 2020

December 21, 2020 — Birding and bird conservation is a lot more fun when you can share your stories. When a rare bird arrives, people spread the news. When a bird needs help, it becomes a rescue tale to be recounted. When something as simple as groups of beautiful birds show up at feeders, feeder-watchers can’t wait to let you know about it. For our 2020 Birds of the Year, we have the usual array of interesting rarities. But we also have great stories to make the list come alive.

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Christmas Bird Count 2020-21

December 5, 2020 — ‘Tis the season for Christmas Bird Counts. Keep alert for French hens and turtle doves, and take extra time scrutinizing all the pear trees you might come upon. Here’s the schedule of CBC’s in Connecticut.

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State of the Birds 2020: The first in-depth look at how the pandemic is affecting conservation

December 3, 2020 — Bird conservation and research didn’t stop when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March. But they were affected in ways big and small, usually for the worse but in some cases creating opportunities for conservationists to adapt and make the best of a bad situation. That’s the main finding of Connecticut Audubon’s 2020 State of the Birds report, released today.

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Daily Bird: Long-tailed Duck

December 2, 2020 — It’s a great time of year to bundle up and head to the shore to look for sea ducks. Look in shallow, sandy bottomed, salt water areas of Long Island Sound, at the mouths of rivers and occasionally inland on larger rivers and lakes.

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Zoom Bird Names: A Quiz

December 2, 2020 — Recently we started using closed captioning on our Zoom programs, for people who might have difficulty hearing the presenters. It works great. But it also produces funny transcriptions of bird names. See if you can figure out what they are.

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Daily Bird: King Eider

December 1, 2020 — King Eider is a robust sea duck, somewhere between the size of crow and a goose, but smaller than its relative, the Common Eider. All coastal areas, especially rocky areas, are places to look for this species.

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Tuesday evening webinar: Backyard Bird Feeders

November 30 — Feeding birds in your yard is a win-win. You provide food and water for the birds in your neighborhood and, because maintaining a bird feeder is as much about enjoying the birds as it is about feeding them, you’ll get the added satisfaction of attracting more birds and more species. We have a webinar that can help.

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CT State of the Birds 2020 to Look In-depth at How the Pandemic is Affecting Conservation

November 25, 2020 — We are set to release our annual Connecticut State of the Birds report on Thursday, December 3. The 2020 report is titled “Pandemic: Conservationists scramble in the field, the lab, and the legislature.” It is the first in-depth look at how the coronavirus lockdown has affected conservation in the state.

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Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds

November 21, 2020 — Join us for this great series of presentations featuring younger-generation conservationists, scientists and ornithologists doing newsworthy or innovative work. Topics include #BlackBirdersWeek, E.O. Wilson’s Half-Earth movement, urban and suburban birds and bees, #BirdsNamesforBirds, and more.

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During these unprecedented times we are grateful to our funders who have graciously supported Connecticut Audubon as we develop online and distance learning programs. These programs have been made possible in part by:

  • The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
  • John P. Flanagan Foundation
  • NewAlliance Foundation
  • Savings Bank of Manchester Foundation
  • The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven
  • The Nordson Charitable Foundation
  • The Perkin Fund
  • The Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts
  • The SpringRiver Private Foundation Trust
  • The Valley Foundation
  • Virginia B. Squiers Foundation
  • The Waterfall Foundation
  • Wakefern
  • ShopRite
  • Garofalo Markets
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