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A tough weekend for birds on the Milford Point sandbar means protection work must increase

In the Sanctuaries
June 10, 2021 — A succession of high tides during the full-moon period combined with a days-long storms washed away more than a dozen coastal waterbird nests at Milford Point over Memorial Day weekend. There’s still time for some of the birds to try a second nest — with your help the nesting season won’t be a total loss.

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Volunteers and early adopters are helping Connecticut’s Purple Martins

In the Sanctuaries …

June 8, 2021 — Six weeks after they returned from their wintering grounds, Purple Martins are laying eggs in the cluster of nest gourds at the Milford Point Coastal Center. That’s right on schedule. The team of volunteers and staff that monitors and maintains the gourds conducted its weekly check on Friday, June 4, and found eggs in 19 of the 71 gourds — a total of 76 eggs in all. Martins were building nests in 39 gourds, so it’s likely that many more eggs will follow.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Yellow Warbler

June 5, 2021 — “Sweet, sweet, sweet, ain’t I sweet!” sings the Yellow Warbler, and indeed it is sweet to hear this most vocal of warblers warming up the early spring season with song. Also among the most common of warblers here in Connecticut, the Yellow Warbler is aptly named: it is yellow! While the male proudly displays bold chestnut stripes down his breast, the female is pure yellow tip to toe. No wingbars, no tail spots, just yellow, highlighted by a big black eye, like a round lump of coal.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Black-throated Green Warbler

June 3, 2021 — One of the perils of birding is the affliction known as “warbler neck.” And Black-throated Green Warblers (Setophaga virens) are adept at causing it. From high in the pines or hemlocks of our Connecticut woodlands, the distinctive, buzzy “zee, zee, zee zoozee” (or “See, See, See Suzie”) song of the Black-throated Green advertises its presence and invites prolonged studies through binoculars until 1) the bird is spotted or 2) your neck gives out.

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Daily Bird: Black-bellied Whistling Duck, a rarity

June 1, 2021 — The first state record of Black-bellied Whistling Duck was in mid August, 2018, when one showed up in Essex. Now six have been found in Watertown —  the second state record. Back in August 2018, Andy Griswold, Connecticut Audubon’s EcoTravel director, wrote about the species for our old Bird Finder feature. We’ve revised it for today’s Daily Bird.

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The country’s most important bird protection law is safe, thanks to a vast grassroots advocacy effort

May 27, 2021 — Thanks to a nationwide grassroots advocacy effort that included members of the Connecticut Audubon Society, the long-standing protections of the country’s most important bird protection law will remain intact. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced recently that it was revoking changes made in 2018 that weakened the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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2021 Birdathon Photo Contest Winners

May 26 — Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Migration Madness Birdathon Photo Contest. They emerged as the top shots our of almost 100 photos entered, as chosen by this year’s judge, Mary Grace Leone.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Black-throated Blue Warbler

Don’t miss the beautiful videos on this!
May 25, 2021 — The Black-throated Blue Warbler, stunningly unique in its adult male garb, is quite average in other ways. It’s never as rare or hard to find as a Mourning Warbler, and never as abundant at the height of migration as a Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, or a Palm Warbler.

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The Blue Plan passes and is now Connecticut’s official Long Island Sound planning policy

May 24, 2021 — Long a priority for Connecticut Audubon’s advocacy work, the Long Island Sound Blue Plan is now the official policy of Connecticut. The state General Assembly voted to adopt the Blue Plan on May 14. The plan is a guide to help decision-makers in their deliberations about which areas of the Sound are most valuable for conservation, the economy, recreation, etc.

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Beaver rides the current and lumbers up onto the beach at Milford Point

May 24, 2021 — The beaver pictured here lumbered up onto the beach at the Milford Point Coastal Center over the weekend, presumably after floating or swimming down the Housatonic River. It undoubtedly wasn’t the first beaver to show up there but it was unusual nonetheless.

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2021 Migration Madness Birdathon in Review: Exhaustion, Elation, Satisfaction — All in All, a Great Weekend

May 23, 2021 — Great weather, dozens of enthusiastic participants, and scores of bird species all made for an amazing 2021 Migration Madness Birdathon. Almost 100 people participated and 72 submitted checklists. Well over 200 people participated or made donations. They saw a total of 207 species of birds and raised $18,906 for bird conservation in Connecticut.

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Legislative committee unanimously passes Coastal Center lease bill

May 19, 2021 — Good news from Hartford: the bill authorizing a new lease for Coastal Center at Milford Point has made it out of committee. Following Friday’s hearing, the Government Administration and Elections Committee voted unanimously today to pass HB 6679, which was introduced by Representative Frank Smith of Milford. Thank you to Rep. Smith, to the committee, and to everyone who spoke or sent a message in favor of the bill!

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Blackpoll Warbler

May 19, 2021 — Though Blackpoll Warblers are fairly common in Connecticut, we are likely to see them only in spring and fall migrations, when they are among the last warblers to migrate. They don’t breed in the state or most of New England, and nest further north than any other warbler species.

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Migration Madness Birdathon 2021 Leaders

May 15, 2021 — Checklists are still coming in from the 94 people who have registered for the Migration Madness Birdathon. Here are the leaders after the first day and the number of species each person saw. Participants can submit lists anytime before midnight on Monday, May 17, so there are many more lists to come.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Worm-eating Warbler

May 12, 2021 — During migration Worm-eating Warblers may be seen at any of the typical warbler stopovers, such as Connecticut Audubon’s Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield and East Rock Park in New Haven.

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Migration Madness 2021 Grand Prize: an original owl carving being created specially for the Birdathon

May 12, 2021 — We just received the details from bird carver Keith Mueller about the carving he is creating for the 2021 Migration Madness Birdathon grand prize. Keith is an amazing artist, and it is an incredible honor to have him create an original work just for the Migration Madness Birdathon, May 14-16.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Blackburnian Warbler

May 11, 2021 — One of the most strikingly colored of our wood-warblers, this species’ flaming orange throat was responsible for its colloquial name of “Fire Throat.”

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Magnolia Warbler

May 10, 2021 — The first time I really noticed a warbler was in my backyard in Milford when I was 10 years old with my dad’s binoculars. It was a Magnolia Warbler in a Flowering Dogwood at about eye level. For a 10 year old it seemed impossibly beautiful and I had no trouble looking it up in my field guide.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Hooded Warbler

May 7, 2021 — Usually first noticed by a ringing “weeta, weeta, weeteeo” song, a Hooded Warbler sighting highlights almost any bird walk in the Connecticut woods. Hooded Warblers reach the northern edge of their breeding range here in Connecticut (although there is a breeding population in southern Ontario), generally arriving during the first week of May and setting up housekeeping almost immediately.

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20 Warblers in 60 Seconds

May 7, 2021 — Got a minute? Connecticut Audubon Board member Gilles Carter put together this fun video: “20 warblers in 60 seconds” to celebrate the upcoming Migration Madness Birdathon.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Black-and-White Warbler

May 6, 2021 — Although every warbler species is unique, the Black-and-white Warbler stands out, and for a variety of reasons. Many warblers exhibit bright and flashy colors, but the aptly named Black-and-white Warbler is just that: black and white. Yet it is far from drab: the ornate and contrasting striped pattern conjures the exotic pattern of a zebra.

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Purple Martins are back and you can help them directly by adopting a nest gourd

In the Sanctuaries …
May 3, 2021 — Purple Martins have been gone from the Coastal Center since early September, probably wintering in the Amazon basin. But they’re back now, and you can help them thrive.

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These special walks at our centers are perfect for Birdathon participants

May 5, 2021 — With the Migration Madness Birdathon approaching, we’ve scheduled 19 bird walks at our centers to help you add to your Birdathon lists. The event is set for May 14, 15 and 16. It’s a weekend-long celebration of Connecticut’s birds during a peak migration weekend.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Chestnut-sided Warbler

May 5, 2021 — This time of the year, Chestnut-sided Warblers are migrating through and can be found in numerous habitats. They nest in old field and scrubby habitat throughout Connecticut, a declining habitat type as forests mature and fields get developed and converted to lawns.

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Daily Bird: Wood Warblers — Northern Parula

May 4, 2021 — Today marks the start of the Daily Bird’s warbler extravaganza. We have 19 warblers lined up for you, many with first-rate HD video by Connecticut Audubon Board member Gilles Carter. The first is Northern Parula, written by Connecticut Audubon Executive Director Patrick Comins.

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Tune up for the Migration Madness Birdathon with these 8 great bird videos

May 2, 2021 — Take a close look at these videos of Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Hooded Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Orchard Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Redstart, Belted Kingfisher, and Louisiana Waterthrush. And then sign up for the Migration Madness Birdathon, May 14-16.

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Migration Madness Birdathon, May 14-16. Register now!

April 30, 2021 — You’re probably planning on going birding in mid-May. If you are, why not sign up for the 2021 Migration Madness Birdathon and get in on the fun? It’s scheduled for the weekend of May 14 – 16. Whether you are young or old, expert or novice, you’re invited.

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Daily Bird: Common Raven

April 28, 2021 — Common Ravens are among the earliest birds to construct nests, sometimes even while snow still blankets the ground in early March. Listen for its throaty croak, an identification dead give-away that is unlikely to be confused with Common Crow or Fish Crow, Connecticut’s other two big, all-black birds.

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Daily Bird: Noisy Spring Woodpeckers — Northern Flicker

April 27, 2021 — If Northern Flickers are breeding near where you live, you know it. Their calls pierce the woods in April, loud, long, and persistent. Take the time to look for the bird too because, as Andy Rzeznikiewicz says in today’s Daily Bird, “their various colors and markings are spectacular.”

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Daily Bird: Noisy Spring Woodpeckers — Pileated Woodpecker

April 23, 2021 — Woodpeckers are noisy this time of year. If you happen to live near a pair of Pileateds, you’ll know it. Add their loud territorial call to that of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Common Flicker, and Downy Woodpecker, and you have a woodpecker cacophony.

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An injured Herring Gull at Milford Point: add face masks to fishing line, nets, and balloon strings on the list of litter that imperils birds

In the Sanctuaries
April 23, 2021 — They are the latest menace to wildlife — Covid protection masks that are lost or thrown on the ground and get tangled around birds’ wings, necks, and legs. On Monday, April 19, two members of Connecticut Audubon’s staff at the Milford Point Coastal Center found a young Herring Gull completely caught in a mask.

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Ten Ways to Help Birds: Number 1 — Advocate!

April 22, 2021 — We’ve made a list of 10 things you can do to help birds, and we’re counting them down one day at a time until today, Earth Day! Thank you for all you do to make a difference for conservation!

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 2 — Reverse the climate crisis

April 21, 2021 — The biggest threat to birds is climate change. Birds are already starting to feel the heat right here in Connecticut. It’s a global problem with local and regional implications, and with local and regional opportunities for meaningful action. The most effective action is collective but that doesn’t mean we should ignore individual action.

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Daily Bird: Eastern Bluebird

April 21, 2021 — One of the most sought after birds to attract to one’s yard! Males are a brilliant bright blue year round with a rusty colored breast, females are more grayish blue with a rusty breast and flanks. Their song is a thrush-like gurgle, often soft but sometimes surprisingly loud and forceful.

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 3 — Support open space preservation

April 20, 2021 — The bottom line for birds is habitat. They need suitable places to nest, spend the winter, and rest and feed during migration. It’s critical that you support the acquisition, preservation, and proper management of open space, including forest land, on the state and local level.

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 4 — Landscape with native plants to attract insects and birds

April 19, 2021 — Even small yards can have a big impact on birds and insects. Earth Week is a good time to start revamping or enhancing your property. Native plants host native insects that are in turn food for birds and other wildlife. Hundreds of species of pollinators and birds live in Connecticut.

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Video preview: Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz, Thursday, April 22

April 19, 2021 — Registrations are trending up for this year’s Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz. It’s set for Thursday, April 22 — all day. But you don’t have to stay in your backyard. Connecticut Audubon’s sanctuaries will all be open. Cathy Hagadorn, director of Deer Pond Farm in Sherman, has some ideas about what you might find there on Earth Day.

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Video preview: Dr. Desiree Narango talks about her April 21 Zoom presentation, “The birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees”

April 17, 2021 — In her upcoming presentation in Young, Gifted, and Wild About Birds, Dr. Desiree Narango will talk about which plant species can attract those birds to your yard or nature preserve. She’ll tell you how to choose which trees and shrubs to plant. She’ll also go deep into the amazing biodiversity you’ll find in your own yard: Butterflies, moths, caterpillars, bees, birds, all illustrated with wonderful photos. Wednesday, April 21, 7 p.m., via Zoom.

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 5 — Join!

April 18, 2021 — You’re probably already a member of the Connecticut Audubon Society. If so, thank you! But if you’re not, give yourself an Earth Day gift and join!

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 6 — Cut out the pesticides

April 17, 2021 — Pesticides are poison, plain and simple. If you apply pesticides to your property to kill insects, you’re killing the food that Connecticut’s birds rely on. And while you might think you’re targeting mosquitoes or ticks, you’re also killing butterflies and bees of all sorts – Connecticut has over 300 species of native bees!

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What to expect during the 2021 Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz? Hundreds of species of plants and animals

April 16, 2021 — If you’re thinking about participating in the 2021 Earth Day Backyard Bioblitz, take a look at what happened last year: Well over 200 people from throughout Connecticut submitted 2,619 observations of 663 species — 444 plants, 86 birds, 38 insects, and 31 fungi.

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Daily Bird: April Migrants — Pine Warbler

April 16, 2021 — Of all the warblers that breed in Connecticut, the first to return in spring is the Pine Warbler, arriving in mid- to late March, just ahead of Louisiana Waterthrush. 

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 7 — volunteer for bird monitoring, habitat improvement work

April 16, 2021 — We have two state-wide projects that directly benefit birds and also rely on volunteers – Osprey Nation and the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds. We also doing habitat improvement work throughout the state. It’s important and rewarding work — a chance to help birds directly near where you live.

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 8 — Keep your cats indoors

April 15, 2021 — Don’t let the cat out of the house. Outdoor cats kill an estimated 1.3 – 4 billion birds in North America every year (they also kill 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually).

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Daily Bird: April Migrants — Palm Warbler

April 14, 2021 — If you wait until May to look for spring warblers in Connecticut, you might miss seeing this gem. At this time of year Palm Warblers have entirely bright yellow underparts with fine dark steaks on their breast sides. They have a rusty red cap that is most colorful in males, an eyebrow that is just as yellow as the breast, and olive-brown upper parts without wing bars.

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 9 — shop sustainably

April 14, 2021 — Over the last 50 years, the population of birds in North America has falled by almost 30 percent. Shopping sustainably won’t solve the whole problem. But it’s one of a number of positive actions you can take. It’s a good Earth Day resolution.

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Daily Bird: Osprey

by Joe Attwater
April 12, 2021 — There is perhaps no other bird along the coast of Connecticut that ushers in warm weather better than the Osprey. March into early April is when these magnificent birds make their way back to the state from wintering grounds on the west coast and South America, just as spring is starting to ramp up.

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10 Ways to Help Birds: Number 10 — Make your windows safe

April 13, 2021 — If early January is for New Year’s resolutions, the coming of Earth Day is a good time to make your own environmental resolutions. As with many other issues, individuals can take meaningful action to protect birds from killing themselves on windows. But that’s just one idea. Today starts our list of 10 ways to help birds. We’ll be counting them down, one each day til Earth Day, Thursday, April 22.

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Deer Pond Farm in Sherman is the place to be for a great Earth Week bird walk, Saturday, April 24

In the Sanctuaries …

April 12, 2021 — Spend the Saturday morning of Earth Week at Deer Pond Farm looking for (and no doubt finding) Red-shouldered Hawks, Pileated Woodpeckers, Louisiana Waterthrushes, Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows and many more migratory and breeding birds.

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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

In the Sanctuaries
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

In the Sanctuaries
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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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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