Change to East Rock Family Walk

The Family walk at East Rock has been moved from Saturday to Sunday April 29th. Click here for details

Date Change for Barn Island

the Barn Island trip has been moved to the following Sunday, May 27th. Click here for details of the trip.

Time to Sign up for the Annual Club Celebration

Click here to go to the page to sign-up for our great evening of socialization and a talk by Dr. Richard Prum

Maps of the Urban Oasis Sites

Please click here to see our map page which highlights a number of maps including the new maps developed for the Urban Oasis sites in New Haven.

Mega Bowl II Results

The second annual Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County was held on February 3, 2018 (the Saturday before the NFL Super Bowl). Twenty eight birders participated in the event and everyone had a great time. Birders teamed up in groups of 3-5 people and went to birding locations throughout the county, from Southbury to New Haven and from Milford to Madison. They saw an impressive total of 102 species (nearly identical to last year’s total). There were seven teams that participated in the event. Teams returning from last year (with some changes in personnel) were the Avianophiles, the CT Young Birders’ Club Darth Waders, Winging It, and the Winter Wrenegades. New teams included the Greylags, the Lost Birders, and the Snowy Owlkins. Just like last year, the CYBC Darth Waders came up with the most species and earned the most points of any team. Their team’s name will be inscribed on the Mega Bowl Trophy for the second year in a row. They saw a total of 72 species and amassed 147 points. At the end of the day, the participants met at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby to enjoy a delicious dinner (expertly prepared by my wife, thank you Marianne!), share stories, and receive awards and prizes. By a wide margin, Ayla Elkins won the award for being the youngest participant (she’s only six years old!) and Judy Moore won the award for being the most senior participant (although she looks much younger than her stated age). Prizes were given to every participant through the generosity of the proprietors of The Fat Robin in Hamden and The Audubon Shop in Madison. A number of rare and uncommon birds were seen during the day, including: Barrow’s Goldeneye, Black-bellied Plover, Iceland Gull, Snowy Owl, Lapland Longspur, White-crowned Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird, Harlequin Duck, and Ross’ Goose. The Ross’ Goose was worth seven points to each team that went to see it, as it had never been recorded in New Haven County before in early February. Last year, an Eared Grebe staked that claim. We can’t help but wonder what rarity will show up next year to earn that distinction. I made a few minor changes to the event from last year to this year and the changes resulted in an even better time for all participants. I plan on making a few more changes for next year’s event in

2017 New Haven Christmas Count Results

The 118th Annual New Haven Christmas Bird Count Summary

On December 16th, 2017, Seventy six members and friends of the New Haven Bird Club set out to record all of the birds within the boundaries of the New Haven Christmas Count circle. As is often the case, weather played a prominent role in the outcome of the census. Often, the weather on the day of the count plays an important role in the count (as it did last year when we endured snow and rain). This year, the count day was mostly sunny and unusually cold, with a moderate northerly wind. In the days leading up to the count, it was cold and snowy. This led to the freezing of much of the still water in the interior portions of the count and the covering of the ground and trails throughout the area. So, birds that prefer fresh water were less plentiful and hiking was slower and more deliberate.

One of the important aspects of the Christmas Count is to recognize trends in the populations of the bird species that we are observing. Some notable results of this year’s count included low numbers of Mute Swan, American Black Duck, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Field Sparrow, and House Finch. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and White-breasted Nuthatch were seen in all-time high numbers. Irruptive species from the north were almost entirely absent, as there is a bumper crop of conifer seeds in the boreal forest this year. We recorded only one Red-breasted Nuthatch, two Purple Finches and no other “winter finches.”

Rarities found on the count included: Cackling Duck in Woodbridge, Common Eider, American Oystercatcher, and Snowy Owl, all at Brazos Road in East Haven (clearly the hot spot for the count period, there was even a Barrow’s Goldeneye observed there on the day following the count), Red-necked Grebe in Lake Saltonstall, Clay-colored Sparrow in Woodbridge, and Lincoln’s Sparrow in North Branford. Other notable finds were: Snow Goose, Canvasback, Northern Gannet, Black-crowned Night-heron, Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, Dunlin, American Woodcock, Iceland Gull, Eastern Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Brown Thrasher, Snow Bunting, and Orange-crowned Warbler (during count week).

The ten most abundant species seen on our count (in descending order) were: Canada Goose, European Starling, Ring-billed Gull, Common Grackle, House Sparrow, Mallard, Brant, Herring Gull, Greater Scaup, and Rock Pigeon. It is interesting (and perhaps a bit disturbing?) that three

Map and Rules for hiking on Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge at Milford Point

The Staff of the refuge has created a map and rules outline to let us know where we are to hike on the point

click here to see Milford_Point_map_rules

117th Annual Christmas Bird Count Report

Hours of steady snowfall resulting in the accumulation of four to five inches of snow on the ground. Several hours of rain turning that snow into slush and ice. And, that was just the weather before noon! The 117th annual New Haven Christmas Bird Count was held under difficult conditions, to say the least. But, the birding teams really came through and demonstrated their expertise, resilience, and determination. Everyone covered their areas to the best of their abilities and found birds everywhere they went. They took advantage of the better weather conditions in the afternoon and collectively found an astounding 124 species in the count circle on count day. An additional four species were found during count week. Rarities were found in many locations, including inland and along the coast. The compilation dinner afterwards was delicious and well-attended, as usual. It was a just reward for a job well done. The final results (with rare birds in boldface) were: Snow Goose, 6; Brant, 730; Canada Goose, 4332; Cackling Goose, 3; Mute Swan, 61; Wood Duck, 44; Gadwall, 95; Eurasian Wigeon, 1; American Wigeon, 53; American Black Duck, 396; Mallard, 1818; Northern Pintail, 4; American Green-winged Teal, 9; Canvasback, 10; Redhead, 1; Ring-necked Duck, 25; Greater Scaup. 1220; Lesser Scaup, 22; Surf Scoter, 3; White-winged Scoter, 5; Long-tailed Duck, 88; Bufflehead, 198; Common Goldeneye, 193; Hooded Merganser, 358; Common Merganser, 106; Red-breasted Merganser, 64; Ruddy Duck, 5; Wild Turkey, 59; Red-throated Loon, 66; Common Loon, 37; Pied-billed Grebe, 3; Horned Grebe, 8; Red-necked Grebe, 1; Double-crested Cormorant, 4; Great Cormorant, 6; Great Blue Heron, 8; Black-crowned Night-heron, 5; Black Vulture, 27; Turkey Vulture, 13; Osprey, CW; Bald Eagle, 6; Northern Harrier, 8; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 10; Cooper’s Hawk, 10; Red-shouldered Hawk, 10: Red-tailed Hawk, 53; American Kestrel, 2; Merlin, 1; Peregrine Falcon, 4; American Coot, 10; Black-bellied Plover, 1; Killdeer, 1; Sanderling, 64: Purple Sandpiper, 3; Dunlin, 20; Wilson’s Snipe, 1; American Woodcock, 4; Laughing Gull, 5; Ring-billed Gull, 1275; Herring Gull, 944; Iceland Gull, 1; Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1; Great Black-backed Gull, 63; Rock Pigeon, 442;Mourning Dove, 542; Monk Parakeet, 51; Eastern Screech Owl, 13; Great Horned Owl, 1; Snowy Owl, CW; Long-eared Owl, 1; Belted Kingfisher, 10; Red-bellied Woodpecker, 129; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 10; Downy Woodpecker, 129; Hairy Woodpecker, 21; Northern Flicker, 28; Pileated Woodpecker, 3; Blue Jay, 416; American Crow, 663; Fish Crow, 359; crow, sp., 206; Common Raven, 6;

Fargeorge Trip Report

Fargeorge Wildlife Refuge Trip Report: 22 people attending the New Haven Land Trust – New Haven Bird Club joint fieldtrip on Saturday Nov 5, 2016 to the New Haven Land Trust’s Fargeorge Wildlife refuge off of Quinnipiac Ave in New Haven. The weather was chilly and a little cloudy to start. Temperature = 30F to 45F Beginning to End. The Tide was Dead Low to start. We had no wind at all so there were no active migrators.

Some of the highlights were: lots of Ruby and Golden Crowned Kinglets – See Picture below, a Woodcock, and a Purple Finch. A grand time was had by all. A great thank you goes to the good folks at the New Haven Land Trust.

The following is a list of bird species seen and /or heard by the attendees:

Mute Swan American Black Duck Mallard Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron Cooper’s Hawk Red-tailed Hawk American Woodcock Ring-billed Gull Herring Gull

Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove Belted Kingfisher Downey Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Eastern Phoebe Blue Jay American Crow Fisk Crow

Common Raven Black-capped Chickadee Tufted Titmouse White-breasted Nuthatch Carolina Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet – See photo below Eastern Bluebird American Robin Northern Mockingbird

European Starling Cedar Waxwing Song Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Northern Cardinal Red-winged Blackbird Common Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird Purple Finch

House Finch American Goldfinch House Sparrow

Total Species Seen = 43

Species order from: “A Checklist of the Birds of New Have County Connecticut”. Rev of 2009 for the New Haven Bird Club by Chris Loscalzo

Report submitted by Mike Horn 11/5/2016

Urban Oasis Program

Something great is happening in our neighborhood. Small areas of public land throughout New Haven are being transformed into islands of bird habitat in a sea of urban development.

The idea is to create super areas that are overly abundant with plants that produce fruit and seeds and that host insects. Many hours have been put in already to remove invasive non-native vegetation, plant indigenous trees, shrubs, and perennials, and erect deer netting. These ‘Urban Oases’ may not support large populations of nesting birds but will provide critical stop over areas during spring and fall migrations. Think migration hotspots.

The initiative to create these areas has been spearheaded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Audubon Connecticut (the state office of the National Audubon Society), in partnership with: Common Ground High School, Urban Farm and Environmental Center; Yale Urban Resources Initiative; the City of New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees; Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Long Island Sound Study; Yale Peabody Museum; Menunkatuck Audubon Society; New Haven Public Schools; and local neighborhood groups.

Some of these Urban Oases sites are within Important Bird Areas (IBA), Lighthouse Point Park and the new West River Memorial/Edgewood Parks dedicated on June 11, 2016. Other Urban Oases sites are in Beaver Ponds Park and East Shore Park to name a few.

Audubon Connecticut has conducted invertebrate and bird surveys to determine the success of the planting and management efforts. If the area hosts a more diverse, indigenous population of plants there will be an increase in insects. And insects are bird food, food that is needed during migration.

What can Member of the New Haven Bird Club can do to support the Urban Oases?

Go birding!

Visit one of the Urban Oases sites and report you sightings to eBird Beaver Ponds Park Cherry Ann St Dover Beach East Shore Park Edgewood Park Lighthouse Point Park Long Wharf Preserve Southern Connecticut State University West River Memorial Park

Visit an Urban Oases and keep a record of all the birds of each species you see. Then submit your observations for just the urban oases to eBird.org. Directions to the Urban Oases are here.

What to bring: binoculars, a field guide or bird identification app, appropriate clothing based on the weather, and your phone. When you arrive

Membership Renewal now available On-line

We have added new functionality to the website to allow you to

Update your name, address and phone information Renew your membership Make a donation to the club

Just click above where it says “Join”

The next feature will be on-line registration for the banquet. You can still use the US Post Office but we are taking advantage of saving postage with these new features.