Connecticut Audbon Society
The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Programs & Events

Migration Madness 2019

Photo by Frank Mantlik

Join us for the second Connecticut Audubon’s second annual Migration Madness! This family-oriented weekend runs May 17 – 19, and will focus on Connecticut’s bird populations, during the height of spring migration. Sign up for our numerous bird walks, and support or Birdathon team, The Magnificent Flyers of the RTPEC, as we count as many bird species as we can. Don’t forget your binoculars! For more information, visit the Migration Madness homepage.


Friday, May 17, 9 a.m.
Bird Walk at George & Woodward H Griswold Preserve, Old Lyme
We will look for waterfowl, ducks, and warblers while exploring the vernal pools and forested uplands which dot the preserve.
$5 for members, $10 for non-members, Register here

Friday, May 17, 5 p.m.
Bird Walk at Watch Rock Preserve, Old Lyme
Shorebirds abound in this coastal preserve on the Duck River. A diverse array of habitats make up the 25 acre preserve, which a variety of bird species call home. Great for Bird-a-thon participants!
$5 for members, $10 for non-members, Register here

Watch Rock by Joe Attwater

Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m.
Bird Walk at Connecticut College Arboretum, New London
Explore one of southeastern CT’s hidden gems, and search for the numerous warbler species that pass through the Arboretum during migration.
Free, Register here

Saturday, May 18, 12 p.m.
Bird Walk at Rocky Neck State Park, Niantic
This relaxed walk will look at marsh birds, shore birds, and more. 
$5 for members, $10 for non-members, Register here


Sunday, May 19, 9 a.m.
Bird Walk at Oswegatchie Hills Preserve, East Lyme
Overlooking the Niantic River to the east, this tract of coastal forest is an important stopover site for numerous migrating bird species.
$5 for members, $10 for non-members, Register here

Sunday, May 19, 12 p.m.
Bird ID at the RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme
Never gone birding before!? Have no fear, this kid friendly, simple guide will get you started on your way to being a world class birder. 
$5 f0r members, $10 for non-members, children 10 & under free, Register here

During Migration Madness, the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, 90 Halls Road Old Lyme, will be open to the public on both Saturday, May 18 and Sunday May 19 from 10 am – 3 pm. Come in to ask questions, report a bird sighting, or discuss possible places to hike. 

Sedge Wren by Mark Szantyr

Birdathon Team

The highlight of the weekend will be the Bird-a-thon, a friendly competition to find and count as many bird species as possible. Help support our team, The Magnificent Flyers of the RTPEC, or participate individually and collect pledges. All pledges go towards funding conservation work throughout Connecticut. If you’re birding on your own this weekend, here is the official bird list for CT.

To make a pledge for our team, click here

To participate as an individual, register here



Estuary Explorations 2019

Join RTPEC Conservation Biologist Jim Arrigoni for the third year of Estuary Explorations. Explore local habitats, discover wildlife and use scientific field gear to collect data! Estuary explorations is a monthly program offered April through November and focuses on the lower Connecticut River environment. Each session will conclude with a brown bag lunch and ecological discussion highlighting the plant and animal life encountered. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, bug spray and binoculars! For more information on the locations click here.

*The Thursday, June 20 program will be 6-9 pm*

$15 for college students, $30 for members, $40 for non-members

Thursday, June 20, 6 – 9 p.m.
Selden Creek, Lyme

Undulating gradually between mossy wetlands and dry oak and pine ridges, an unusually diverse variety of habitats will be encountered encountered while being serenaded by the flute-like songs of Wood Thrushes.
Register here

Saturday, July 20, 9 a.m. – Noon
Whalebone Cove, Hadlyme

Explore the maze of channels in Whalebone Cove by canoe or kayak on a three hour guided tour. This tidal, freshwater marsh is home to foraging ospreys, egrets, herons and marsh wrens.
Register here


Connecticut River Lecture Series

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is proud to present the Spring 2019 Connecticut River Lecture Series. This annual series of lectures showcases experts in the environmental, scientific, and cultural issues of interest and relevance to residents of southeastern CT. The spring 2019 series, sponsored by The Kitchings Family Foundation, will focus on key conservation issues of our salt marshes, a historical perspective on how climate events have affected our forests and familiar birds inhabiting our ecosystem. Lectures are free but seating is limited. 
We hope you join us!  


Wednesday, May 29th, 5:00 pm
Margaret Rubega:  The Habits and Work of Two Species: Hummingbirds and Chimney Swifts
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Fellowship H

Connecticut State Ornithologist Margaret Rubega studied a variety of species during her career as Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. In this lecture, Professor Rubega will discuss the working habits of two regional species. The delicate, but fierce, Hummingbird is a delight to behold and is a favorite visitor in every garden, typically beating its wings up to 80 times per second, creating that familiar humming sound. The chimney swift, also a small bird, is much overlooked despite its familiar silhouette. It has unique characteristics, such as never sitting on a perch but clinging to a chimney wall or other vertical surfaces and, like the tree swallow, feeding, quite literally, on the fly. 

Register for lecture here.



Project Limulus

Monday, May 20, noon- 2:00pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Every spring, Horseshoe Crabs crawl up from the depths of Long Island Sound to lay their eggs on local beaches. These strange and fascinating creatures are surprisingly valuable from ecological and economic perspectives, which is why its important to understand where they live and how their population is faring. YOU CAN HELP! 

The program will begin with a brief introduction and information session led by researchers from Sacred Heart University, then will head to White Sands beach in search of horseshoe crabs. Participants should wear shoes or rain boots that can get wet and sandy; we will be walking out along the beach. 

This program is free, but we do ask that you register here


Birding Basics – 6.15.19

Saturday, June 15, 9 – 11 a.m.
Haley Farm State Park, Groton

Situated along Palmer cove to the east and Bluff Point to the west, Haley Farm State Park’s open fields, coastal forests, and numerous wetlands attract a wide variety of bird species. Combined with Bluff Point, it protects over 1,000 acres of critical coastal habitat. Ducks and shorebirds forage along the cove, and songbirds can be heard singing in the open fields and forests.

$5 for members, $10 for non-members, register here



Nature Prints

Saturday, June 29, 2 – 4 p.m.
Connecticut College Arboretum, Goodwin Natural Area, New London
Joint program with the Connecticut College Arboretum

Join John and Linda Sargent as well as a CAS Teacher- Naturalist for an afternoon of art in the Connecticut College Arboretum. John is an artist and art teacher of many mediums, and Linda is a teacher of young children. For this workshop, John will share easy to use techniques on how to use nature’s materials to make print art that you can take home. Additionally, some of John’s relief prints created from wood grains, plants and floating ink on water (Suminagashi) will be on display to serve as inspiration. Linda will facilitate nature printing activities for younger children.  Our CAS teacher-naturalist  will lead a short nature walk to gather materials. Please wear old clothes or bring a smock. Adults and families welcome, suitable for ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

$15 for members, $20 for non-members, register here





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