First Wednesday Walk moved to Feb 14th due to Weather

Due to impending storm the first Wednesday walk will be on the second Wednesday, Feb 14

click here for more details

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

The Second Annual Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County - Feb 3, 2018

This fun and friendly event involves birding in teams of 3-4 people anywhere in New Haven County. The teams try to see as many species as they can on the day of the event. Each species observed has a point value, with one point for the most common species to five points for the rarest species. At the end of the day, everyone meets to share stories, enjoy a delicious dinner, and tabulate the results. Prizes are given out to all participants, with special prizes going to the team accumulating the most points on the day. Advanced registration is requested: birders should register for the event by Sunday, January 28, 2018. The event will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018. The end of the day celebration will be held at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby. To register: contact the Mega Bowl Coordinator: Chris Loscalzo at or 203 389-6508.

click here for full details

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

Opportunity for Swallow viewing on the Connecticut River

This is an event shared with our members by Dave Zombeck

Captain Mark and Mindy of RiverQuest CT have been extremely kind and have opened up a special Swallow Spectacular cruise date for us, Thursday evening, September 21, departure from their dock in Haddam at 5:00 P.M. If you’ve never seen it you can’t imagine what you’re missing. If you have seen it, once is not enough. In the words of Roger Tory Peterson:

“I have seen a million flamingos on the lakes of East Africa and as many seabirds on the cliffs of the Alaska Pribilofs, but for sheer drama, the tornadoes of Tree Swallows eclipsed any other avian spectacle I have ever seen.”

Enjoy the journey aboard RiverQuest as we cruise to our destination and then back to the dock during twilight. For more information and to sign up for Tree Swallow Sunset Cruise Spectacle use ( lasts about 3.5 hs ,BYOB & /or picnic dinner ) this link: RiverQuest web: Please sign up by August 24th to guarantee your spot. The cruise will go out to the general public after September 7 , cost $40 pp. For GPS directions use address: Eagle Landing State Park,, 14 Little Meadow Rd, Haddam, CT Phone:(860) 662-0577

Night at the Yale Peobody Museum, Thurs August 24 , 7-9 PM

Sorry, this event is full. We will look to repeat in the future

Please join us for a special event exclusively for NHBC members – Night at the Peabody Museum with Dr. Kristof Zyskowski. Dr. Zyskowski is manager of vertebrate collections and will offer a behind the scenes tour of extinct, endangered and threatened birds. The birds featured will include, for example, Passenger Pigeon, Ivory Billed Woodpecker, Carolina Parakeet, Pink Headed Duck, Hawaiian Crow and others. Dr. Zyskowski will discuss the new ways researchers have been addressing the preservation of endangered species with hopeful results.

To allow time for lots of viewing and questions, there will be a limit of 20 participants. If you are interested in attending, please contact Gail Martino, and she will add you to the list. The collections building is located on the 1st floor corridor of the Environmental Science Center adjacent to the Peabody Museum at 21 Sachem St. Please use the museum parking off Whitney Avenue or metered parking on Sachem St.

New Schedules are up and running

The Yearbooks have been sent out and all of the 2017 walks are on the calendar. I am adding the 2018 walks in the next couple of days. If you see anything that you question drop me a line.

Megabowl of Birding results

Mega Bowl Summary The first annual Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County was held on February 5, 2017 (Super Bowl Sunday). Twenty four birders participated in the event and a good time was had by all. 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 103 species and garnered 237 points in doing so. Birders got creative in coming up with names for their teams. The names of the teams were as follows: the Abominable Snow Buntings, the Avianophiles, the CT Young Birders’ Club Darth Waders, the Suet Blockers, Winging It, and the Winter Wrenegades! By a narrow margin, the CYBC Darth Waders pulled off an upset and came up with the most species and earned the most points of any team. Their team’s name has been inscribed on the Mega Bowl Trophy! They saw a total of 82 species on the day and amassed 175 points. At the end of the day, the participants met at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby for a scrumptious dinner (prepared expertly by my wife, Marianne) and to receive awards and prizes. Wil Schenck won an award for being the youngest participant and Bill Batsford won an award for being the most senior participant (all of the other participants were very young, according to Bill). 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: Eurasian Wigeon, Black Scoter, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ring-necked Pheasant, Rough-legged Hawk, Killdeer, Iceland Gull, Long-eared Owl, Brown Creeper, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-crowned Night-heron, Wilson’s Snipe, and Eared Grebe. Although all birds are equally valuable in the eyes of a birder, for this event species were given a point-value from 1 to 5 based upon their abundance or rarity in early February in New Haven County. Collectively, the teams saw 100% of the 1-point birds, 90% of the 2-point birds, 80% of the 3-point birds, 30% of the 4-point birds, and 3% of the 5-point birds. Seeing the Eared Grebe earned each team 7 points (and every team went to see this rarity at Nathan Hale Park in New Haven) as the species had not been recorded previously in

Date Change for April Indoor Meeting – New Date April 20th

To not conflict with Holy Thursday and Passover we decided to move April’s meeting to the 20th.

Click here for details of a great meeting!

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 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

New Club Events Schedule is on its way

The new yearbook has made it way to your mailbox. All the meetings are loaded and I am in the process of loading up fieldtrip on the website. I am making sure every event has a location with maps on the website to make it easier to find you way to the walks and talks. Just click on the Calendar tab. The bird calendar is a bit different that our seasonal calendar. We begin to see fall migrations in August. We are looking forward to seeing you all at another year of great walks and talks.

Pat Leahy – Webmaster

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.