Deer Pond Farm
57 Wakeman Hill Road, Sherman
Open daily year-round, dawn to dusk.
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Birds of Deer Pond Farm
Deer Pond Farm is big, and its volunteers, staff, and environmental contractors continually work hard on trail maintenance and on high quality habitat for wildlife.
The result is a varied sanctuary that offers a great experience for visitors.
The highlands rise to 1,200 feet above sea level at the sanctuary’s entrance and dip down to about 900 feet throughout the rolling terrain.
The trails pass ponds and swamps, climb through mixed hardwood forest to overlooks with views to the Hudson Valley, and lead to meadows and shrub habitats.
Approximately 15 miles, well-marked, wide and well-maintained.
Deer Pond Farm, which spans the Connecticut-New York border, was a gift from the Wriston family in 2017. Like the Croft Preserve further north, in Goshen, it is part of a larger expanse of relatively unfragmented forest, which increases its value to wildlife.
Connecticut Audubon is carrying out several projects to improve habitat, especially for birds, such as Eastern Towhee and Chestnut-sided Warbler, that require young forest and shrub-scrub areas. Several plots of seed-producing grasses and flowers have been planted to provide food for fall migrants.
Volunteers maintain a pollinator garden near the Deer Pond Farm office and parking lot. Purple Martin gourds like those at the Milford Point Coastal Center rise near the shore of the sanctuary’s pond. Timberstand improvements have opened the canopy for sunlight to reach highbush blueberry and mountain laurel in the understory. Volunteer monitors keep track of nest boses for Eastern Bluebird, American Kestrel, and Wood Duck.
The diversity of habitat means there is much to see and listen for year-round. Connecticut Audubon staff maintains parts of the sanctuary for species whose numbers are dwindling, including Indigo Bunting and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. American Redstart is fairly common in the right habitat, and a Hooded Warbler has been heard singing during recent nesting seasons.
Birds of the forest interior include Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Scarlet Tanager and Ovenbird. Also look for Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered hawks.
On the New York portion, look for breeding American Woodcock, and for Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Prairie Warbler. Veery and Ovenbird are abundant.
Deer Pond Farm Connecticut eBird Hotspot.
Deer Pond Farm New York eBird Hotspot.
You can also see a month-by-month list of bird sightings on the Deer Pond Farm Conservation page.
More than 30 species on butterfly have been documented at Deer Pond Farm. The sanctuary’s size and varied habitats also makes it rich in mammals, including coyote, fox, bobcat, bear, beaver, otter, bat, cottontail rabbit, and fisher.
Staff office hours are typically Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If the door is locked, feel free to call 860-799-4074; staff may be nearby outside and able to connect with you.
There is one portable restroom near the red barns and parking lot.
Dial or Text 911 for emergencies.
News and program information
Bird walks and other programs.