Connecticut Audbon Society
The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Programs & Events

Winter Waterfowl Walk

Greater Scaup, male in foreground.

Saturday, January 18, 9 – 10:30 am
Griswold Point, Old Lyme

As the lakes and ponds of the northeast freeze over, many species of waterfowl head to the coast, to open water. Sea ducks, Loons, Grebes and more call the coast of Connecticut home during the winter. The mouth of the Connecticut River, on Long Island Sound, is the perfect place to spot these winter species gathering just offshore. Bring your binoculars, and layer up! We will provide a spotting scope, an essential piece of equipment for waterfowl watching.

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


MLK Day Vacation Program with the RTP Estuary Center

Monday, January 20; 9am – 4pm
Lyme Youth Services Bureau, Old Lyme

Explore the natural world of winter with the RTP Estuary Center! Outdoor explorations, hands-on science experiments, games, and creative activities are in store!  Winter attire required. Program is for ages 6 – 11. Each child should bring a water bottle and a nut free snack and lunch. Registration is required.
$40 members, $50 non-members. Registration is required. 

Register here


Owl Prowls

Tuesdays January 21, 28, February 4, 11, and
Monday, February 17, 5:30 pm
Old Lyme

Perhaps no other group of birds harbor as much mystery and intrigue as owls. As we’re heading to sleep they are just starting their day. These nocturnal hunters are perfectly adapted to life in darkness, from their silent flight to their unique eyes and ears. Join us at the newest and largest Old Lyme Land Trust property as we search for the incredible birds, and learn about what makes them such perfect nighttime fliers. Bring a headlamp or flashlight (preferably one with a red light setting) and binoculars, and bundle up! Appropriate for ages 10 and up. *Limit of 12 participants per program*

$5 for members, $10 for non-members


Tuesday, January 21 – Program is at capacity
Tuesday, January 28 – Register
Tuesday, February 4 – Register
Tuesday, February 11 – Register
Monday, February 17 – Register
Tuesday, February 18 – Register


Mural Reveal

Thursday, January 30, 5 pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Join us for the grand unveiling of our new CT River Estuary mural! This volunteer collaborated acrylic mural depicts our local estuary plants and animals at both the micro and macroscopic levels. You’ll also be able to see inside our ever changing and improving center and meet one-on-one with the teacher-naturalists and artists of the mural. Learn about the different styles that each of the artists brought to this collaborative piece and their background as budding or established artists. This event is free.

Register here


Whoo Wants To Learn About Owls?

Whooo Wants to Learn about Owls?
Saturday, January 25; 10:30 – 11:30 am and 1-2 pm
Saturday, March 7; 10:30-11:30 and 1-2 pm
RTP Estuary Center

Join us for an hour with an owl! Our teacher-naturalists will be presenting Cookie, the barred owl while we learn about this local species up close including where and when they nest, what they sound like and ways you can help ensure a healthy population of barred owls in CT! We will also be examining real owl feathers, dissecting owl pellets, and identifying mammal bones. $15 members, $25 non-member, $10 for children 10 and under

Saturday, January 25 10:30-11:30am – Register
Saturday, January 25 1:00-2:00pm – Register
Saturday, March 7 10:30-11:30am – Register
Saturday, March 7 1:00-2:00pm – Register



Welcome to Forest Bathing

Photo by Regan Stacey

Saturday, February 8, 3-4pm
RTP Estuary Center

Curious about Forest Bathing? Join Regan Stacey, founder of Awaken the Forest Within, as she explains the many benefits of forest therapy including it’s health benefits and the importance of nature connection to our own well being. Regan will discuss what to expect on a forest bathing walk and will conclude her presentation with an herbal tea from the land. This is a free program; however registration is required. 

Register here

Great Backyard Bird Count

Photo by Brian Bennett

Info Session
Wednesday, February 12, 6:30-7:30pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Thursday, February 13, 6 – 7 pm
Wild Birds Unlimited, Niantic

Field Session
Sunday, February 16, 9 – 11 a.m.
Connecticut College Arboretum, New London

Since 1998, people all over the world have participated in the first citizen science project to collect wild bird data, the Great Backyard Bird Count! Join us at the RTP Estuary Center for an informational session about the history and background of the count, as well as how to conduct your own Great Backyard Bird Count! On Sunday, February 16 come practice your skills in the field at the Connecticut College Arboretum in New London, a designated important bird area. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a novice, this is a great opportunity to learn how to identify and count birds in the wild, and be a part of a worldwide citizen project.
This program is free, but we ask that you register.

Register for the RTPEC Info Session here

Register for the Wild Birds Unlimited Info Session at 860-739-7302 or at

Register for Field Session here


Creative Craft Hour

RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Calling all young artists! Stop by the RTP Estuary Center for a series of  nature crafts that encourage creativity and imagination! This family friendly program includes all art materials and supplies needed. Adult free with participating child. Dress for mess! Appropriate for ages 5 and up! Pre-registration is required.

$10/members; $15 non-members

Art in a Jar
Participants will create beautiful glass jar art with a natural theme
Saturday, February 15, 10:30-11:30am 
Register here

Fish Printing
Learn printmaking with  rubber fish. Paper will be provided however, participants should feel free to bring their own fabric or white t-shirt as well
Saturday, March 28, 10:30-11:30am
Register here

Egg Painting and Nest Making
Participants will build their own natural looking nest and hand painted eggs
Saturday, April 11, 10:30-11:30
Register here

Family Winter Walk

February 22, 9-10:30am
Watch Rock Preserve, Old Lyme

Shake off your cabin fever, head outside and join one of our teacher-naturalists for a winter walk. We will look for tracks, listen for birds and enjoy the beauty of the woods in winter. Keep warm by trying to complete our winter scavenger hunt!

$5 members, $10 non-members, children 6 and under free, register here


Fire Cider Workshop with Sara Warren

Saturday, February 22; 2-4pm
RTP Estuary Center

Learn how to make your own Fire Cider! Fire Cider is a traditional herbal remedy used to ward off colds and flus and can also be taken daily to increase overall wellness!

Photo by Sara Warren

This spicy tonic is a blend of Apple Cider Vinegar, horseradish, onions, lemon, orange, jalapeño, turmeric, ginger, garlic, rosemary, cayenne and black peppercorns. These herbs are left to infuse in the Apple cider vinegar for a few weeks and then strained out and enjoyed for months to come! It can be taken by the spoonful or even added to recipes.

This will be a hands on workshop! Each participant will leave with:

  • 16 oz mason jar of freshly made Fire Cider 
  • Full printed instructions 
  • Printed list of the herbs in the blend and their individual health benefits 
  • Straining cloth and amber medicine bottle for when your Fire Cider is ready to be strained! 

Sara Warren from Sage Rootz in Branford, CT will be leading this workshop. She is an herbalist and specializes in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Plant Based Nutrition and is also a manufacturer of a variety of herbal products.


Register here

FrogWatch USA

Training Sessions
Wednesday, February 19, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Thursday, February 27, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme
Co-Sponsored with the Mystic Aquarium

Field Session
Thursday, April 16, 7 pm
Hatchetts Hill Preserve, Old Lyme

Did you know that you can help monitor frog and toad populations in your area in just 10 minutes a week? You’ll become a certified FrogWatch USA volunteer during our two hour training program, where you’ll learn how to identify frogs and toads by call, and how to collect and submit valuable population data to a national survey. Amphibians are important biological indicators of environmental health, and the information gathered from the survey can be used to help protect these important species. This program is free, but we do ask that you register. 

February 19 – Register here

February 27 – Register here

Field Session  – Register here





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