Center at Fairfield

Center at Pomfret

News & Visitor Information at the Center at Pomfret

Master Naturalist

Volunteer Training
Tuesdays, March 27 thru May 29, 8 a.m. – Noon

Have you always wanted to learn more about the natural sciences? Want to volunteer at the Center? With 40 hours (ten four-hour sessions) of training, this may be the program for you. Registration is limited. See for info and an application.

2018 Pomfret Summer Camp Documents

“Perfect Spot to Commune with Nature”

Center at has compiled a list of “15 Perfect Spots in Northeast USA to Commune with Nature” and we are thrilled to let you know that the Center at Pomfret/Bafflin Sanctuary” in number 4.

Read it here.

It’s even more impressive than it seems because the authors consider Maryland and Virginia to be the “Northeast.”

Bottom line though is that of the 15 Perfect Places, only four are in New England. We’re one of them!

Trail Wood is Closed until April 2 for Safety & Habitat Improvements

The Connecticut Audubon Society will close its Trail Wood Sanctuary in Hampton for the winter to allow loggers to safely remove trees that have died or were weakened by damage in recent years by gypsy moths.

The work will make the 168-acre sanctuary safer for hikers while also serving to improve the forest for birds and other wildlife. The project is scheduled to start in mid- December and be completed by March 2018.

Read more here.




Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret was awarded Best Place to Walk/Hike at this year’s Best of Norwich Magazine Awards!


Birds Seen This Week

American Woodcock, Wood Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Turkey Vulture, Killdeer, Red-tailed Hawk, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Robin, Bluebird, Song Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow

Birds This Month 

Click here for a list of birds you can see in March.



General Information

Photo by Aaron Bourque

Located in Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner,” the Center at Pomfret is surrounded by our 700-acre Bafflin Sanctuary. The Center is a community-based facility offering programming for all ages year round.

The Bafflin Sanctuary is actively managed for grassland, shrubland, and woodland birds, as well as other wildlife ,and is a nationally recognized Important Bird Area. Over 200 species of birds have been observed at Bafflin.

The sanctuary is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk for hiking and birding. Programs at the Center at Pomfret include bird walks, trail hikes, art exhibitions, photography workshops, seasonal workshops and lectures, environmental education programs, and citizen science training and projects. Also offered are after-school nature clubs, summer and school vacation camps (ages pre-K to high-school).

The Center manages the Trail Wood, in Hampton. Once the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning nature writer Edwin Way Teale, the 168-acre sanctuary now offers well-developed trails and programming for adults, families, and children. Visitors may view the small museum on the property as well as his writing cabin. Museum visits are by appointment only. The sanctuary is open year round from dawn to dusk for hiking and birding.

Download the Bafflin Sanctuary Rules

Download more information about our center and its green features.

For additional programming in our area consider Trail Wood,
our Edwin Way Teale Sanctuary in Hampton.

Film Series

Merchants of Doubt (2014)
Monday, March 26, 6:30 p.m.
(Snow date: March 27, 6:30 p.m.)

The story of how a cadre of influential scientists have clouded public understanding of scientific facts to advance a political and economic agenda. Free admission – donations always appreciated.


Regular Walks

Wednesday Noon Walks
Now through May 30, Noon 

Join Connecticut Audubon Society volunteers for fresh air, exercise, good company and naturalist lessons along the way. Seniors and parents with babes in backpacks welcome. Free to CAS members; $3 non-members.

Family and Children’s Programming

After School Nature Club
Pomfret Winter Session–Grades K-6
Thursdays, April 5, 12, 26 & May 3, 10, 17, 3pm-5pm

Do your kids need to blow off steam after school? Send them to the Center. After a quick snack, we will head out on the trails to explore and search for animal tracks and sign.  The afternoons will be filled with fresh air, exercise and fun. Wildlife lessons will be quietly inserted along the way.  We will go outside, so warm winter clothing and boots are a must. Fee: $60 for the 6-day session. Click to download the flyer and forms.

Survival 101: Fire Making
Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. – Noon

Learn how to build a fire using both ancient and modern techniques (with or without matches) in this continuing survival course taught by the Baranski brothers. Fee: $3 CAS members; $7 non-members.

‘Return of the Sea Otter:
The Story of the Animal That Evaded Extinction on the Pacific Coast’
Sunday, April 8, 2 p.m.

In his newest book, author Todd McLeish journeys along the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska tracking the status, health, habits, personality, and viability of sea otters – nearly hunted to extinction in the 18th and 19th centuries. Todd will share stories of his adventures while outlining the natural history of these adorable marine mammals. Fee: $3 CAS members; $7 non-members.

Migration Madness:
Saturday, May 19

1 p.m. – Songbirds Up Close with wildlife rehabilitator Kasha Breau. Many songbirds are returning to nest and some sustain injuries. Learn what it takes to revive them. Fee: $3 CAS members; $7 non-members.

3 p.m. – Live Birds of Prey with Horizon Wings. See magnificent eagles, owls and hawks native to northeastern Connecticut. Not to be missed! Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Toddler Trails and Tales
This Spring, Dates & Times TBA
Please call center: 860-928-4948

Center volunteer and mom of three, Melissa Telford will entertain your toddlers with stories, activities and fun along our trails. Wear clothes and boots appropriate for the weather. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Fee per child/per day: $5 CAS members; $7 non-members.

Bird Walks and Programs

Woodcock Watches
Wednesday, March 7, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 17, 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday, March 28, 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, April 4, 7:00 p.m.

A sure harbinger of spring, this fascinating little bird puts on a riveting mating display at dusk. As long as the weather and temperature cooperate, we should hear & see them in action. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Early Morning Bird Walks
Tuesdays, March 20 thru May 29, 8 a.m.

With access to over 1,650 acres of land, we will seek out a variety of bird species. Wear drab colored clothing and bring binoculars. (On some occasions a spotting scope is useful.) Fee: Free to CAS members; $5 non-members.

Long Pond Bird Walk
Saturday, April 7, 8 a.m.

Meet at the Center and carpool to this new Wyndham Land Trust preserve in Thompson. This property contains early successional habitat, mature conifer forest, a secluded 20 acre lake, and acres of submerged shrub lands. Bring a spotting scope or share with the group. At this time of year migrating waterfowl including Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and Ring-necked Ducks should be found. Fee: $7 CAS members; $12 non-members.

Virginia Rail Bird Walk
Friday, April 27, 6 p.m.

We will set out with the goal of hearing and observing a Virginia Rail. We will also look for any other species of birds. Possible species of interest include Common Snipe and Vesper Sparrow. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Beginners Bird Walk
Sunday, April 29, 8 a.m.

If you are new to bird watching this is a good weekend to start! Some of the colorful spring birds are back and the leaves aren’t out yet.  Expect to see Yellow warblers, Blue-winged warblers, Black and white warblers. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Bird Watch for Folks with Limited Mobility
Wednesday, May 9, 8 a.m.

Andy will lead the group by car to various locations to observe numerous bird species from the road. If you’ve been reluctant to go on a bird walk due to limited mobility, this is your opportunity. He will call the birds to you! Register at 860-928-4948. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Bird Walk
Saturday, May 12, 8 a.m.

Peak migration is near this time. We hope to find species such as Nashville Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Mother’s Day Bird Walk
Sunday, May 13, 8 a.m.

Bring your mother or grandmother out to see the assorted colorful birds of spring. Many species can be found this time of year including Bobolinks and Scarlet Tanagers. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members; Mothers Free!

20 Warbler Day
Monday, May 14, 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.

We are going to attempt to find 20 species of warblers in one day. We’ll be travelling to numerous locations. This is our 9th year doing this program. Last year we found 21 species! Register at 860-928-4948.

Fee: $15 CAS members; $30 non-members.

Bull Hill Bird Walk I
Thursday, May 17, 8 a.m.

Meet at the Center and carpool to this large forest in Thompson. Canada Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush are some of the expected species. Fee: $7 CAS members; $12 non-members.

Afternoon Bird Walk
Friday, May 18, 5 p.m.

This time of year is typically the peak of the spring bird migration, so anything is possible. Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

90 Bird Day (13th Annual) 
Saturday, May 19, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The goal is to hear or see at least 90 species of birds in nine hours or less. We’ll be visiting many locations within a 10-mile radius. Last year we reached our goal with time to spare! Bring a lunch, drinks, and a snack. Call 860-928-4948 to register.

Fee: $20 CAS members; $35 non-members.

Bird Banding Demonstration
Sunday, May 20, 9 a.m.

Watch our master bird banding crew in action. See birds up close as we gently catch them, record measurements and safely release them. Participants may release a bird.

Fee: $5 CAS members; $10 non-members.

Boston Hollow Bird Watch
Saturday, May 26, 8 a.m.

We’ll explore the famous Boston Hollow area of Ashford. Much of the land is owned by Yale. It is a unique area with a Northern forest feel. We will bird from the road in most cases. Fee: $7 CAS members; $12 non-members.

Killingly Bird Walk
Wednesday, May 30, 8 a.m.

Explore a new preserve near the RI border and some nearby state forest land. Forest interior birds should be found on the new preserve and nearby wetlands should provide some exciting finds! We will carpool from the Center. Fee: $7 CAS members; $12 non-members.

Bull Hill Bird Walk II
Thursday, May 31, 8 a.m.

Meet at the Center and carpool to this large forest in Thompson. Whip-poor-wills and Praire Warblers nest at the scenic vista!

Fee: $7 CAS members; $12 non-members.

Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program

Mammal Wildlife Tracking 

What’s in your backyard? Tracking activities, presentations, and mounted animal exhibit followed by an afternoon tracking hike on the sanctuary.  Dress for the weather, bring water, lunch and snack. For more information, contact Paula Coughlin, Coordinator at Fee: $50 CAS members/$60 non-members.

You may have seen the tracks of a red fox or a fisher in mud or snow. Maybe, you’re lucky and caught a glimpse of a coyote. Connecticut’s forests provide excellent habitat for local wildlife.  Our experienced Citizen Science Volunteers monitor sites in Woodstock, Willington, and Canterbury seasonally, always on the lookout for track and sign of fisher, river otter, mink, moose, black bear, and bobcat. You are welcome to begin or continue training to become a Citizen Science wildlife monitor by attending training hikes that suit your schedule throughout the year.

For information about all Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program projects and training, contact Paula Coughlin, Citizen Science Coordinator, 860-928-4948 or email


Vernal Pool Inventory Surveys

Training Workshops:

Friday, April 6, 9 a.m. – Noon

Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m. – Noon

Field work: Fri/Sat mornings, Apr & May

Usually dry by summer, snowmelt and spring rains fill vernal pools in early spring. The call of peepers and wood frogs follow. On Friday and Saturday mornings in April and May, our trained volunteers are out counting egg masses and looking for frogs and salamanders at vernal pools in northeast CT. If you have a vernal pool near you, please let us know. Register for one of the training sessions at 860-928-4948. 

Fee: $ 10 CAS members; $15 non-members.

Wildlife Tracking and Monitoring
Training / Monitoring Hikes
Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in  Woodstock
Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Willington
(Other dates TBA)

Search for and document track and sign of large mammals such as fisher, river otter, black bear, and bobcat. Become a trained volunteer and monitor study sites in Willington, Canterbury, Woodstock and Bethany on a quarterly basis. Attend training hikes that suit your schedule throughout the seasons. Registration is required, call 860-928-4948 or send an email to Training fee per hike: $50 CAS members; $60 non-members.

Schedule School Field Trips and In-class Programs

Attention Teachers!
Science In Nature School Programs

Early- Mid May 2016 031_2Want to add a little excitement to your classroom? Consider one of our in-class science programs. We have one hour programs for kindergarten through sixth grade. Sample titles include: Winter Tracks, Life Cycles, The Dirt on Soils, Adaptations, Birds and Beaks, Food Chains, Skins and Bones, CSI Aquatic, Winter Birds, and Rockin’ Out, to name a few. Also, consider our four hour school field trips The Dirt on Soil, Bird Ecology, Scratching the Surface (Geology), Watersheds and Erosion, Native Americans, EcoNiches and Adaptations, and more! The calendar fills up quickly. For more info and scheduling call 860-928-4948 or email Sarah at

Center at Pomfret, P.O. Box 11, 218 Day Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259  

Special Opportunities

Bird Surveys on Private or Public Property

Sanctuary Manager Andy Rzeznikiewicz is available to conduct bird population surveys and can provide habitat management recommendations for your property. Private property owners, Land Trusts, municipalities or other groups that want an inventory of what bird species they have breeding or using their property might be interested in this service. Conservation groups that are evaluating potential land purchases for conservation might find this service helpful as well. The best time of year to conduct nesting bird surveys is May and June. Call for more information: 860-928-4948.

Group Programming

Are you a school, library or other organization serving the community? We’re glad to raise environmental awareness in all contexts! We can bring our wildlife video and bird slide show programs right to you. Call 860-928-4948 for more information on each program.

Private Guided Bird and Nature Walks

Throughout the year, sanctuary manager Andy  Rzeznikiewicz can take you on a private bird and nature walk, geared to your expectations and locations.  Andy can take you to your next life bird, local hot spots, or places he knows to find birds and wildlife for you.  Owl walks and private woodcock watches are very successful in small groups.  This is an excellent gift for that outdoor enthusiast who has everything. Call 860-928-4948 for more information.


From the intersection of Routes 101 and 169, take Route 169 north.

Take your first right onto Day Road. Follow for approximately one mile to stop sign.

Turn right continuing on Day Road. Center less than one quarter mile up on your right.

218 Day Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259




Follow Us Facebook Twitter