Connecticut Audbon Society

 

 

Natural Selections

Welcome to Connecticut Audubon’s blog, Natural Selections. Use the box on the right to subscribe for free and you’ll never miss a post.

Click here for a calendar of programs, online and in-person.

 

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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?

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.”

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.”

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Saw-whet Owl

November 19, 2020 — In honor of the tiny bird that survived in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, today’s Daily Bird is Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Snow Bunting

November 20, 2020 — Flocks of up to 50 Snow Buntings were feeding and flying about on the sandbar at the Milford Point Coastal Center this week  — an excellent sign for fans of this beautiful bird. You could do worse over this weekend or during Thanksgiving week than donning your mask and heading out to look for them, either there or elsewhere.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Lapland Longspur

November 18, 2020 — Each winter, uncommon avian visitors from the north appear in open habitats such as fallow farm fields, coastal beaches, grasslands, and dunes. Among these winter visitors may be the Lapland Longspur

Read more...

A Young Birder’s Exhortation: “Fellow Connecticut birders: go north! There are birds!”

November 17, 2020 — The Connecticut Young Birders Club is a small but active group trying to grow and become more active. One of the members, Will Schenck, wrote this account of a trip they took to Litchfield County on a recent weekend. Their enthusiasm is hard to match. When was the last time, for example, you heard about a “euphoric experience with a Ruffed Grouse”? 

Read more...

Daily Bird: Fox Sparrow

November 17, 2020 — Sightings of the Fox Sparrow are on the increase in Connecticut. The place to look is on the ground. Typically Fox Sparrows can be found scratching for food among the leaf litter or picking up seeds under your feeder.

Read more...

An Old Bird-Centered Friendship is Revived at a New Canaan Sanctuary

November 13 — A century after Connecticut Audubon’s founder Mabel Osgood Wright helped her friends in New Canaan establish a bird sanctuary, that friendship has been rekindled over plans to restore the habitat.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Northern Shoveler

November 12, 2020 — One of the most distinctive of our dabbling ducks, small numbers of Northern Shovelers are most frequently seen in our area in late winter and early spring, but several have been around recently,

Read more...

Fall Fundraiser for Fairfield Region: Online Auction + A Conversation With James Prosek and Richard Prum

November 11, 2020 — Bid on fabulous items in our online auction now, and join us on November 18 at 7 p.m. for a virtual conversation on “Art Birds Art?” with James Prosek, a well-known contemporary artist, and Richard Prum, the W. R. Coe Professor of Ornithology at Yale University and Curator of Ornithology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History. Your participation will support the work of Connecticut Audubon’s Fairfield Centers — Birdcraft and the Center at Fairfield — which provide programming for our community, teachers and students.

Read more...

Daily Bird: White-crowned Sparrow

November 11, 2020 — One of the aristocrats of the sparrow family, the size and handsome markings of this sparrow immediately distinguish it from other sparrows and draws the observer’s attention.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Hooded Merganser

November 10, 2020 — Hooded Mergansers are beautiful, small diving ducks that frequent open brackish creeks and marshes in the fall and winter and into spring. If there were a competition for the most beautiful wild duck in Connecticut, Hooded Merganser would be right in there.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Red Crossbill

November 5, 2020 — The Red Crossbill is a common resident of higher-altitude coniferous forests of northern New England, but is nomadic, irruptive, and unpredictable in Connecticut. They can wander extensively, especially during years when cone crops fail within its normal winter range. During irruption years, movements may begin as early as late September, and may coincide with exodus of Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Common Redpoll

November 4, 2020 — Common Redpolls are “irruptive” fall and winter visitors to Connecticut. That is, they occur only when their food supply to the north is depleted.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Red-breasted Nuthatch

November 3, 2020 — During “irruption” years, you can find this bird without much effort at all and, in some locations, you can see numerous individuals consistently for several weeks during fall migration.

Read more...

News Release: Connecticut Audubon Agrees to Buy a Former Inn in Old Lyme as Headquarters for its Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

November 2, 2020 — The Connecticut Audubon Society and its Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center will soon have a great new facility in Old Lyme to continue to carry out the regional conservation, science research and education work that began five years when the RTPEC was established.

Read more...

Mountainfilm on Tour: 11 Great Films in Your Home and at Your Convenience

October 30, 2020 — Mountainfilm is a dozen short, exciting adventure films from top directors and producers. We’re bringing this great series to your home! Buy a ticket and enjoy the show anytime from noon on November 6, to noon on November 8.

Read more...

Winter Finches in Connecticut: “A siskin on every feeder port of every feeder”

November 2, 2020 — Good news, bird lovers. The winter finch influx seems to be continuing, with Common Redpolls and a Red Crossbill added to the list. Members from across the state sent us their report.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Evening Grosbeak

October 29, 2020 — Those of you who have packed on more than a few years of chasing birds will easily remember the 1950’s and 60’s when Evening Grosbeaks were welcome visitors to our winter feeders. Usually they came in small flocks and mobbed the sunflower tray for a day or two, then disappeared. Being large, colorful grosbeaks with massive bills and dressed in black, white and bright yellow, they were always greeted with joy and amazement.

Read more...

That’s quite a view out the dining room window

October 28, 2020 — Imagine Sally and Walter Brockett’s surprise when they looked out their dining room window in North Haven yesterday and saw five Sandhill Cranes.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Purple Finch

October 28, 2020 Purple Finches are stacked up at the feeder right now, yielding their posts only to Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Blue Jays. This is the seventh day in a row they’ve been here. In recent years they’ve stopped by only for a quick visit. This is their longest stay. And it isn’t just here. […]

Read more...

Daily Bird: Pine Siskin

October 27, 2020 — It doesn’t happen often but once in a while a half dozen species of birds we rarely see in Connecticut will move south from their summer grounds in the far north in search of food. They’re called winter finches, even though they’re not all finches and it’s not winter. We’re going to feature them on the Daily Bird, starting with Pine Siskin today.

Read more...

Blackbirds of Connecticut, on Zoom

October 26, 2020 — Join us on Tuesday evening, October 27, for a Zoom webinar on the amazing blackbirds of Connecticut: grackles, redwings, and more.

Read more...

Not a quail. A Yellow Rail.

October 20, 2020 — “It flew out of the box and is now near main entrance on ground under porch.”

Read more...

Congratulations to the 2020 Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award Winners

October 16, 2020 — Congratulations to the winners of Connecticut Audubon’s Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award: Eleanor Perkins Robinson, Michael Aurelia, Frank Mantlik, and Tricia Gregory.

Read more...

Generous Donors, Dedicated Birders Help Reach Big Sit Goal

October 15, 2020 — Thanks to your generous donations, we surpassed our goal of $5,000 and had a successful day of identifying birds! Our tally was 108 bird species identified including a Jaeger species, a tie for our third highest count. Highlights included 12 species of ducks (including seven Northern Shovelers and all three scoter species), Wild Turkeys, 12 species of shorebirds, and lots more.

Read more...

The Connecticut Audubon Society Celebrates 25 Years of Education and Conservation in Milford

The Connecticut Audubon Society celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Coastal Center at Milford Point with a small gathering of dedicated friends, neighbors and supporters on Wednesday, October 21. The afternoon, outdoor event was the kick-off to acknowledge a milestone that will be recognized with other events and activities in the year ahead. Against the […]

Read more...

Raptors Are On the Move. We Have the Info You Need to Know, Via Zoom

Cooper's Hawk

October 5, 2020 — It’s always thrilling to see a hawk but it’s even better if you know which hawk you’re looking at. We have a solution to that — a Raptor Migration Webinar, Tuesday, October 6, 7 p.m., via Zoom.

Read more...

A Tiny Butterfly, a Secret Location, and Seven Volunteers to Improve Its Habitat

October 3, 2020 — On a recent Saturday, I joined a work party to help restore habitat at one of only two places in Connecticut where the highly endangered Northern Metalmark butterfly can be found. We all agreed to not even divulge the town in which this population is located. 

Read more...

The Big Sit 2020: A great way to support bird conservation

Six of New England’s best birders will be representing the Connecticut Audubon Society in this year’s International Big Sit Bird Challenge, to be held Sunday, October 11. The event is a fundraiser for the Coastal Center at Milford Point. The team will be trying to raise more than $5,000 by identifying as many species of birds as possible from one spot (an observation platform in the dunes).

Read more...

Meet the Bees, a Zoom presentation, Monday, September 21

September 17, 2020 — Peek inside a real, buzzing beehive while experiencing a day in the life of a beekeeper. View and hear thousands of these little ladies hard at work; if you get extra lucky, you’ll meet Her Majesty, the Queen Bee!

Read more...

Air Quality at Home, a Zoom presentation, Friday, September 18

September 17, 2020 — Spending more time living, working and learning remotely from home? In this Zoom presentation, learn about the quality of the air in your home environment: the effects of air fresheners, carpeting, mold, Radon and more. Hear why some people are affected by common home allergens, while others are not.

Read more...

September Field Walk – Explore Milford Point From Salt Marsh to Shore, Tuesday, September 22

September 16, 2020 — Explore the amazing bounty of maritime plants and animals along Milford Point’s shoreline with Diana Payne, PhD, associate professor and education coordinator with UConn’s Connecticut Sea Grant. This fall walk, timed for low tide, is ideally suited for investigating marine life from the tide pools to the salt marsh.

Read more...

September Field Walk – Insects That Run the World, September 15 (Center at Fairfield)

September 11, 2020 — Join Entomologist Steve Mason to learn about the tiny creatures that make up the world’s greatest biomass and gain an appreciation for their role in our fragile ecosystem.

Read more...

Bird Migration Walk, Saturday, September 12 (Center at Fairfield)

September 10, 2020 — Come and hike the trails of the Larsen Sanctuary with our naturalist and learn what birds are migrating, and why the varied habitats in the Sanctuary are important for the birds that live there.

Read more...

Backyard Bird Feeding, a Zoom presentation, Friday, September 11

September 8, 2020 — Join Connecticut Audubon’s Teacher/Naturalist Tricia Kevalis and learn the basics of backyard birding including how to identify backyard birds by​ sight and sound, who is at the feeder, what their feeding habits are and more!

Read more...

Daily Bird: Caspian Tern

September 5, 2020 — Although uncommon, Caspian Terns may be found in coastal Connecticut from mid-April to early November. Basically, if you’re seeing a large, red-billed tern that flies like a gull and has a hoarse voice, you’re probably looking at a Caspian Tern.

Read more...

Shorebird Walk at Ash Creek

September 4, 2020 — Late summer is an incredible time to visit Fairfield’s Ash Creek, a Long Island Sound estuary, as it is warmed by the sun and filled with a bounty of creatures, including an excellent variety of shorebirds. On Thursday, September 10, explore this amazing natural world with Connecticut Audubon’s Milan Bull, senior director of Science and Conservation.

Read more...

Land Donation Adds Important Bird Habitat to Connecticut Audubon Preserve in Montville

September 3, 2020 — Thirty-three acres of prime oak forest has been added to Connecticut Audubon’s 233-acre Morgan R. Chaney Sanctuary in Montville, increasing the amount of habitat protected by the preserve by almost 15 percent.

Read more...

Daily Bird: American Golden Plover

September 3, 2020 — American Golden-Plovers get their name from the golden hue of their speckled back feathers. Right now, the birds are molting into their non-breeding (alternate) plumage, so their bold, black throat and belly feathers are interspersed with more brown feathers, making for a more barred appearance.

Read more...

September Field Walk – Migrating Shorebirds: SOLD OUT

September 2, 2020 — Explore Milford Point to look for migrating shorebirds with Milan Bull, Connecticut Audubon’s senior director of science and conservation. Situated on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River, Milford Point is a designated Important Bird Area that provides essential habitat for these migrating birds.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Broad-winged Hawk

September 1, 2020 — Starting in late August, hundreds of thousands of Broad-winged Hawks leave northern forests to head for their wintering grounds in Central and South America. Look for them on almost all ridge lines where the birds can find thermal winds to give them the necessary lift to form large kettles and soar.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Buff-breasted Sandpiper

August 29, 2020 — This is the time of year to look for Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Five were reported from Hammonasst Beach State Park yesterday, Friday, August 28.

Read more...

One Bird, One Place #7

August 27, 2020 — A common bird declining rapidly but still almost everywhere, and two rarities, one of which is unusually abundant for this time of year — those are our birds. Check out where to look for them.

Read more...

The mixed legacy of John James Audubon

August 27, 2020 — For the past several weeks there has been an important and renewed focus on issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in our society and institutions. Accordingly, the Connecticut Audubon Society and other Audubon societies across the country have been involved in discussions about the mixed legacy of John James Audubon.

Read more...

Semipalmated Sandpiper: From tundra to Suriname and back via Milford Point.

August 27, 2020 — No matter how much you know or learn about bird migration, it is still a marvel that a shorebird resting on the sandbar at the Milford Point Coastal Center had once been on the flats of Suriname, on the northeast coast of South America.

Read more...

Animal Feeding Frenzy at the Center at Fairfield

August 25, 2020 — Our turtles and toads cordially invite you to join them on our back lawn as they enjoy a socially distanced meal. You can help our naturalist feed them while learning about their differences and similarities. Bring lots of questions, they are eager to see you!

Read more...

Birding by Ear, on Zoom

August 24, 2020 — Learning how to bird by ear is an important tool and useful field skill for birders though it can be difficult to pick out which bird is calling and from where. This program, set for Tuesday, August 25, is for everyone but has been formatted to meet the needs of people with visual impairments.

Read more...

Shorebirds of Connecticut: Watch the presentation by Brad Winn

August 21, 2020 — If you missed Brad Winn’s shorebird presentation on Thursday, August 20, we posted it on our website. Highly recommended and well worth an hour of your time.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Baird’s Sandpiper

August 22, 2020 — Baird’s Sandpipers are long-distance Central Flyway migrants a few of which stray east to Connecticut mainly in autumn and are generally found on mudflats and grassy estuary, pond, and marsh edges, often in drier areas than those preferred by similar species.

Read more...

One Bird, One Place #6

August 21, 2020 — You won’t have to go far to fund one of this week’s birds (Ruby-throated Hummingbird), but for another, a trip to the shore would be worth it.

Read more...

Daily Bird: White-rumped Sandpiper

August 19, 2020 — White-rumped Sandpiper is an uncommon species in Connecticut, but one that can be found with some reliability. It favors coastal shorelines and mudflats at the state’s top shorebird stopovers such as Milford Point, Sandy Point in West Haven and Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.

Read more...

Monday Bird Report

August 17, 2020 — A federal judge ruled in favor of birds, a bird name has been changed, and it sort of makes sense that the B-52s (at least one of them) are into birds, doesn’t it?

Read more...

Daily Bird: Pectoral Sandpiper

August 15, 2020 We have 300 places left for Thursday’s Shorebirds of Connecticut Zoom presentation by Manomet’s Brad Winn. Reserve a spot here. Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos Edited from a version published in April 2017 by Greg Hanisek, editor of The Connecticut Warbler, the journal of the Connecticut Ornithological Association Where To Find It: This […]

Read more...

Meet Our Raptors at the Center at Fairfield

August 14, 2020 — What is a bird of prey? Whooo hunts at night? Learn this and more as you experience the thrill of meeting live raptors during this family-friendly program on our back lawn.

Read more...

One Bird, One Place #5

August 14, 2020 — To find this week’s bird, visit the Milford Point Coastal Center (just a heads-up: you’ll see at lot more than the two featured here), and check out phone wires and utility poles anywhere.

Read more...

The Shorebirds of Connecticut, a Zoom presentation with Manomet’s Brad Winn, Thursday, August 20

August 12, 2020 — If you’ve ever been awestruck by silvery clouds of sandpipers flying in unison above New England’s shoreline, this is the presentation for you:

Thursday, August 20, at 7 p.m., Brad Winn, director of shorebird habitat management for Manomet in Massachusetts, will discuss New England’s sandpipers and plovers, and efforts to protect them — including how you can help.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Forster’s Tern

August 11, 2020 — Of the four mid-sized species, we’re preparing for our two breeders — Common and Roseate Tern — to clear out. But at this stage of the year we’re just entering prime time for Forster’s Terns.

Read more...

Oystercatcher rescue

August 6, 2020 — Through their own wiles, the birds nesting at Milford Point survived the July high tides — when the waters rose, the Piping Plovers moved their eggs and an American Oystercatcher sat on hers until the danger passed. But when one of the surviving oystercatcher chicks got itself tangled up in something a couple of weeks ago, there was no chance it would free itself.

Read more...

Storm birds

August 5, 2020 — Storms often carry rare birds into the area and, even more frequently, they push birders out of doors to try their luck at finding the rarities. Yesterday two Connecticut Audubon birders lucked out.

Read more...

Bird Walks With Stefan Martin at the Coastal Center

August 4, 2020 — Search for migrating shorebirds, terns and waterfowl, and other species, during a coastal bird walk along Milford Point with Stefan Martin, Connecticut Audubon’s land steward. Situated on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River, Milford Point is an enormously important IBA site (Important Bird Area) that provides essential habitat and includes sites for breeding, wintering and migrating birds.

Read more...

Monday Bird Report

August 3, 2020 — Each week, Frank Mantlik, a member of the Coastal Center’s regional board, leads a team that checks each of the gourds at the Coastal Center’s Purple Martin colony. Here’s his latest report.

Read more...

The public is invited to participate in an online meeting to discuss the National Estuarine Research Reserve

August 3, 2020 — Connecticut Audubon members and the public in general are invited to participate in an online meeting that will help plan the environmental review of the proposed Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve. The meeting is online and starts at 7 p.m., Tuesday, August 4.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Stilt Sandpiper

August 1, 2020 — One of these uncommon birds recently appeared at Milford Point. In general it can be found in coastal wetlands, usually on mud flats with other shorebirds.

Read more...

One Bird, One Place #4

July 31, 2020 — Sandy Point, Pomfret, and Stratford are the places to go for this week’s birds. And a birding trip to any of those will reward you with far more than our suggestions here.

Read more...

Daily Bird: Whimbrel

A Whimbrel at Milford Point, photographed recently by Frank Mantlik. Size is hard to judge without another bird in the photo but the long, down-curved bill is unmistakable.

July 29, 2020 — This very large shorebird presents a spectacular contrast to the smaller sandpipers and plovers that it towers over on a sandbar or mudflat. There’s been at least one lately at at Sandy Point, in West Haven, one or two at the Milford Point Coastal Center; and 10 days ago an observer counted six on the Norwalk Islands.

Read more...

Roger Tory Peterson

July 28, 2020 — When Roger Tory Peterson died — 22 years ago today, July 28, 1998, at his home in Old Lyme — I was on deadline and without an idea for a weekly “On Nature” column I wrote for the daily newspaper in northern Westchester County.

Read more...

The Daily Bird/Monday Bird Report: Red Knot and a possible hat trick of listed species

July 27, 2020 — There are not many chances to observe a federally-listed bird species in Connecticut. If you’re lucky you might see three at Milford Point.

Read more...

Eco-hour Zoom Presentation: Coves and Habitats of the Lower Connecticut River

July 27, 2020 — For four summers, young scientists from colleges in New England have been working with us to track how grasses and other plants in the coves of the lower Connecticut River are changing. Join them at 4 p.m., Thursday, July 30 for an Eco-hour Zoom presentation of their work.

Read more...

One Bird, One Place #3

July 24, 2020 — This week’s birds: Black Vulture, Wood Duck, Winter Wren. Read on to see where to find them

Read more...

Beautiful Animals that aren’t birds: Compton Tortoiseshell

August 2, 2020 — Stefan Martin, one of Connecticut Audubon’s top-notch naturalists, was making a check of the perimeter of Deer Pond Farm in Sherman last week when he saw a rare-for-Connecticut butterfly rise from the dirt road he was walking on.

Read more...

 

 

 

Subscribe to our blog

Loading

(Please check your spam folder.)

 

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
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Instagram