Connecticut Audbon Society
The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center
Programs & Events

Looking to schedule one of our interactive webinar programs exclusively for your group?

Click Here for Details!

All webinar programs can also be provided in person!

Thank you for celebrating our 6th annual benefit, Cocktails with Turtles!


Adult Programs

Beyond Birding in the Field 2022 Program Series

March -December 2022

Birding has quickly become one of America’s most popular outdoor activities, with over 45 million people a year watching our feathered friends! If you are a seasoned veteran or new to birding, Beyond Birding will teach you what you need to know bird with confidence. Join Conservation and Education Coordinator Joe Attwater and explore new locations and discover the extensive bird life that Connecticut has to offer. Each month we will focus on a specific topic and its connection to birds, including equipment,  migration and nesting, identification and more! Joe will also share valuable resources and discuss current happenings in the world of birding.

Each program session includes a 2 hour field portion and access to a pre-recorded webinar. Recordings are available to watch for the duration of the program. Program space is limited and registration is required. 

Each program is $15 members; $20 non-members. 

Click here for monthly program descriptions

Click here to register for individual sessions


Family Programs

Halloween Parade at the RTP Estuary Center

Saturday, October 29, 4-5 pm
RTP Estuary Center, 100 Lyme Street, Old Lyme

Join us for a family Halloween Spooktacular at the RTP Estuary Center! Create Halloween decorations, get hands on with some spooky science, and participate in the costume parade! We will also have members from the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Wild Ones teaching how to build seed balls with native CT plants! Come dressed in your Halloween costume, and bring your holiday spirit. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Program is free. Registration required.

Register here

Suggested donation $10


RTP Estuary Center Afterschool Adventures Program

The RTP Estuary Center’s afterschool program allows participants the opportunity to participate in hands-on, inquiry based learning experiences through STEM based activities. Participants will

RTP Estuary Center Summer Camp

photo by K. Gallo

learn how to use various types of scientific equipment and design and conduct experiments based on different weekly, seasonally-based topics. Themes will reflect the seasonal change found in nature. Each program will run for 6 weeks, meeting once a week from 3:45-5:00 pm. Participants are encourages to dress for the weather and bring a snack and water bottle. Cost is $70 per 6 week program for members; $85 for non-members

Busing is provided ONLY for Mile Creek Elementary and Lyme Consolidated students from school to the RTP Estuary Center for drop-off. Parent/Guardian must pick-up from RTP Estuary Center.

Eco-Adventures – Open to Grades 2-4 (Click here for more information)
Tuesdays, October 25, November 1, 15, 29 and December 6, 13

Register Here

Art and Science – Open to Grades 1-3 (Click here for more information)
Wednesdays, October 26, November 2, 9, 16, 30 and December 7

Register Here

Vacation Day Program

Tuesday, November 8, 9:00am-4:00pm
RTP Estuary Center, 100 Lyme St

Join us for a day of fall fun! Outdoor explorations, hands-on science experiments, games, and creative activities are in store!  Dress to be outdoors rain or shine.  Program is for ages 5 – 10. Each child should bring a water bottle, snack and lunch. Registration is required. $50 members, $60 non-members. 

Register Here


Bird Walks

International Big Sit! 2022 at the RTPEC

Sunday, October 9; 7 am – 7 pm – Drop in!
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Join us for the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center’s first Big Sit! The Big Sit! is an annual, international, noncompetitive birding event founded and hosted by the New Haven (Connecticut) Bird Club. The goal is to see as many bird species as possible in 24 hours from within a circle 17 feet in diameter.

We’ll search for fall migrants and early winter residents from the back of our center in Old Lyme. Located on 5 acres on the Lieutenant River, the mix of open habitat, wetlands, and scrubby forests at the center attracts a diverse array of species. Drop in any time between 7 am and 7 pm! Participation is free though donations are welcome!

For more information email


Bird Walks at the RTP Estuary Center

Follow the progress of bird migration at our new sanctuary in Old Lyme this fall, and help us collect valuable bird data in the process. Because the RTP Estuary Center is a new sanctuary, you’ll be helping establish a baseline record of the birds that migrate through.

The data will prove valuable as we work to make the sanctuary better for birds.

Each walk starts at 9 am. Click the dates to sign up!

Thursday, October 13 – Register here
Thursday, October 20 – Register here
Tuesday, October 25 – Register here

The cost is $5 per walk for Connecticut Audubon members; $10 for non members.


Hawk Walk

Saturday, November 5; 10-noon
Avery Farm Preserve, Groton

Fall in Connecticut means migration. In late morning and early afternoon, as many songbirds settle down from their night flights, our birds of prey are making use of warming temperatures and rising thermals to migrate. Many species make their way through and out of Connecticut, and the open grasslands and forests of Avery Farm Preserve are great spots to search for these majestic flyers. 

$10 for members; $15 non-members

Register here



Programs with the Connecticut College Arboretum

Fall Migration Bird Walk

Connecticut College Arboretum, New London
Saturday, October 22; 9-11 am

With dwindling daylight and the changing colors of leaves in Connecticut comes the return of many bird species to their wintering grounds further south.This is the time of year to see many of the songbird species that breed further north as they make their way through the state.
The Connecticut College Arboretum, which is surrounded by urban New London and the Thames River and has a diversity of habitats, is a key stopover site for numerous bird species that need to rest and refuel.
Free for members; $10 non-members

Register here


Woodpecker Walk

Conn College Arboretum, New London
Saturday, November 12; 9-11 am

When you think of the soundscape for a forest, chances are one of the sounds you think of is the drumming of a woodpecker.
Woodpeckers are among the most unusual groups of birds, with numerous adaptations for their lifestyle. All of the regularly occurring species of woodpecker can be found in the forests of the Connecticut College Arboretum, and with fewer leaves on the trees, late fall is one of the best times to search for them.
Free for members; $10 non-members

Register here


Eagles & Ducks Walk

Mamacoke Island, Quaker Hill
Saturday, December 3; 9-11 am

Winter in CT may not seem like a great time to go birding, but there is still a lot of bird activity in the state. Many duck species make their way south to winter along the coast and escape freezing waterways further north. Winter is also one of the best times of year to see Bald Eagles in the state. One of the best spots in southeastern CT to see all of these birds is Mamacoke Island on the Thames River, where Bald Eagles roost in the trees and ducks congregate in the open waters of the river. Free for members; $10 non-members

Register here


Webinars via Zoom


Pigeons & Doves Webinar

Wednesday, October 12; 6 pm

Often overlooked and frequently despised, pigeons are among the most well-known and widespread birds in the world, while doves are revered for their beauty and symbolism. The pigeon and dove family contains a huge diversity of species beyond the familiar birds found here in CT, and even those common species have some amazing features. In this webinar Conservation and Education Coordinator Joe Attwater will go over this interesting family of birds that found world-wide. Joe will discuss:

  • Breeding & nesting behaviors
  • Pigeon & dove species found in CT, the US, and world-wide
  • Threats & Conservation
  • Relationships with humans

Register here for Zoom link

suggested donation $10


Gamebirds Webinar

Wild Turkeys – Photo by Lee Anne Russell

Wednesday, November 16; 6 pm

Is it even Thanksgiving if there isn’t a turkey on the table? You may be familiar with the bird at the center of dinner, but the diverse group of birds referred to as “gamebirds” contains a wide variety of species all over the world. In this webinar Conservation and Education Coordinator Joe Attwater will explore this large and fascinating group of families and which you can expect to see in CT. Joe will discuss:

  • Families classified as gamebirds
  • Breeding & nesting behaviors
  • Species found in CT, the US, and world-wide
  • Threats & conservation

Register here for Zoom link

suggested donation $10





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