Posts Tagged ‘Birdcraft’


Fire Throat: Blackburnian Warbler

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
Warbler,_Blackburnian_MdfBlackburnian Warbler
Setophaga fusca

At our Birdcraft Sanctuary we had seven individual Blackburnian Warblers in one day recently! Andy Griswold, director of our EcoTravel program, writes about the species.

What it looks like: One of the most strikingly colored of our wood-warblers, this species’ flaming orange throat was responsible for its colloquial name of “Fire Throat.” With yellow and black on its neck and face, black wings with a large fused white wing bar, and black streaks on a yellow to white belly, the male is unique among our North American warblers. Females are a muted version of the male, showing two narrower wing bars.

This bird was named after Anna Blackburne, an English botanist in the 1700s.

Where to find it: In recent days this species has made a good showing in Connecticut with as many as seven individuals being recorded for Connecticut Audubon Society’s Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield. Andy Rzeznikiewicz had Blackburnian on Sunday on his annual “20-Warbler Day” excursion in and around our Center at Pomfret (they actually found 22 species this year). Other places like East Rock in New Haven and park land with mature trees would be a good spot to look for this species.

How to find it: Blackburnian Warbler breeds in mature coniferous and mixed coniferous/deciduous forests. In migration look for this bird in almost any taller flowering tree, usually fairly high up but not always. It often sings from the highest tree tops.

What if it isn’t there: Being in at the peak of songbird migration, look for all those other migrant species passing through including Northern Parula, Tennessee Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Mourning Warbler, and Blackpoll Warbler. Of course you will likely find many of our nesting warbler species and should always keep in mind that southern vagrants like Kentucky, Prothonotary, and Swainson’s Warbler are possible. The Swainson’s Warbler would be a first state record. Learn its song!

Conservation status: Populations are considered stable with an estimated global breeding population of about 10 million. An individual recorded as the oldest banding recapture was at least eight years and two months old.


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Hooded Warbler: Bird Finder for May 12

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

HoodWarbler2atBirdcraft_TimAndiricHooded Warbler
Setophaga citrina

There are so many birds arriving (17 species of warbler at our Birdcraft Sanctuary alone today, Wednesday, 5/11) that it’s hard to pick just one. But with numerous reports from around the state, Andy Rzeznikiewicz has chosen Hooded Warbler for this week’s bird. At Birdcraft, the banding team banded a second-year male today, shown below.

By Andy Rzeznikiewicz, Land Manager, Connecticut Audubon Society
What it looks like: A very striking bird with a bright yellow face and underparts, black hood and bib, and a greenish back.

Where and how to find it: This bird nests in the understory of mature forests. It is often found in areas of thick mountain laurel or in thickets of invasive barberry. It is often heard before it can be observed. The call is loud and distinctive — so loud, in fact, that they can sound closer than they really are. Hooded Warblers can be observed high in the canopy or low in the underbrush. 

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Trail Wood sanctuary in Hampton and Morgan R. Chaney Preserve in Montville have nesting populations found in the barberry thickets. 

At Trail Wood, check the areas of the south woods and behind the writing cabin.  Or join one of the guided bird tours to find them.

What if bird isn’t there: At this time of year, almost anything is possible while bird-watching. Trail Wood has many Scarlet Tanagers, Ovenbirds, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Veerys, Wood Thrushes, Pileated Woodpeckers, Blue-winged Warblers, and Red-eyed Vireos to name a few.

HoodWarbleratBirdcraft_TimAndiricConservation Status: The Hooded Warbler is actually on the increase! It is a southern bird that is becoming easier to find. It seems to be taking advantage of all the barberry invading the Connecticut forests. The first Hooded Warblers nested at Trail Wood about seven years ago; now at least three pairs nest there. At least four areas in Pomfret now have nesting populations as well, including a property abutting the Bafflin Sanctuary.

Photos courtesy of Tim Andiric.

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159 Years Ago on This Day: The Birth of Our Founder, Mabel Osgood Wright!

Monday, January 26th, 2015
Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame

Happy birthday to our founder, Mabel Osgood Wright! She was a true conservation pioneer, not only among women but all people!

Wright founded the Audubon Society of Connecticut in 1898 and 16 years later, in 1914, she created Birdcraft Sanctuary, the first private bird sanctuary in the country. It is now a National Historic Landmark.

Read this terrific account of her life on the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame website.

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