All indoor programs will be held on the second Thursday of the month. There are no indoor programs in June, July, or August. The social half-hour begins at 7:00 PM; the program at 7:30 PM.

 

To search for an event, change to VIEW AS List. To search for all field trips, enter the word field. For meetings, enter the word indoor.
Loading Events
Find Events

Event Views Navigation

Past Events › Monthly Meetings

Events List Navigation

November 2017

Indoor Program – Dr. Andrea Townsend – How Will Climate Change Affect Warblers?: A Case Study Using Black-throated Blue Warblers

November 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Dr. Townsend will describe general warbler behavior patterns that have been observed linking climate change to their behavior, fitness, and population trends. Based on a 25-year mark and recapture study, and using climate data from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, she will also specifically present results of her own work with Black-throated Blue Warblers, Setophaga caerulescens. Dr. Townsend and her fellow researchers assessed the effects of spring temperature (i.e., local weather) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation index (a global climate cycle) on the fecundity and population growth of Black-throated Blue Warblers. They found that local and global climatic conditions affected warbler populations in different—and sometimes unexpected—ways.

Find out more »
October 2017

Indoor Program – Steve Broker – Return of the Peregrine

October 12 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Steve discusses the five known nest sites of peregrines in Connecticut during the period 1850-1948. He then summarizes his ongoing studies of the peregrines that have been nesting at West Rock Ridge State Park in Woodbridge since his discovery of a pair of falcons there in 1999. Peregrine life history strategies are the focus of these studies: territoriality, behavior, vocalizations, foraging, mating, nest site selection and preparation, egg-laying, care of nestlings, nest success, and the changing local population of adults. In the 2000 breeding season, the West Rock peregrines produced the first egg to be laid on a Connecticut cliff in 60 years. Steve Broker has worked in science education for the past 45 years. He taught high school science in the New Haven Public Schools for 23 years and participated in the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute for many years as a fellow, representative, and a member of the Yale National Initiative. His university teaching as adjunct lecturer included courses in ecology and forest & wetland ecology (University of New Haven), biology (Quinnipiac University), and teaching of science (Yale Teacher Preparation Program). Steve is President of the Connecticut Ornithological Association and a past President of the New Haven Bird Club (1991-1993).

Find out more »
September 2017

Indoor Program – Patrick Lynch – Field Guide to Long Island Sound

September 14 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Patrick J. Lynch is an author, illustrator, photographer, and artist. Lynch retired from Yale University after 45 years as an interactive media designer, medical illustrator, biomedical and scientific photographer, video producer, a director of media and communications departments, and a designer of interactive multimedia teaching, training, and informational software and Web sites. Lynch is the author or co-author of eight books published by Yale University Press, including his latest book, “A Field Guide to Long Island Sound.”

Find out more »
April 2017

Indoor Program – Rebuilding Local Populations of The American Kestrel – One Box at a Time – Tom Sayer

April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Note: the yearbook had the wrong date for this talk. April 20th is the correct date. We changed from the usual date to not conflict with religious holidays.

Ever since the age of 8 years old, Tom Sayers has spent much of his free time wandering the woods and fields fascinated by the complexity and diversity of the natural world. In 2009, his life-long interest in birds led him to experiment with putting up 5 American Kestrel nestboxes in northeast Connecticut as a way of trying to help reverse the dramatic decline of the threatened American Kestrel. Those first boxes produced 7 nestlings in the first year and resulted in the formation of the Northeast Connecticut Kestral Project (www.nectkestrels.com). This presentation will take you from that very first year, with all its mistakes and challenges, up through the 2016 breeding season. Tom’s presentation includes fascinating video clips of both nestlings and adult birds. Some of the topics covered will be the possible reasons for the American Kestrel’s decline, which factors seem to influence the breeding success of the birds, what has been learned about successful nestbox placement, what we have learned from banding, radio telemetry, and geolocator studies with the birds, and the role of the European Starling in the breeding success of kestrels.

Please Note: As stated in the Club’s by-laws, the April meeting is traditionally the Annual Meeting, which includes presentation of a slate of officers and their election.

Find out more »
March 2017

Indoor Program: Member’s Night

March 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

This is always a popular evening. We all love it! It’s so much fun to share our prized photographs, stories of exciting encounters with wild birds, and descriptions of those special places where we always find the unique migrants. And those of us who are too shy to present sure enjoy seeing the photos, listening to those stories and planning visits to the perfect birding locations. Both slide and Power Point capability will be available. Please call Andrea Kerin at 203-331-6067 or email andrea@kerin.com with details of what you’d like to show.

Find out more »
February 2017

Indoor program: Funky Feathered Feet – Shary Siksay, VMD

February 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

This meeting has been canceled due to the Nor’easter Storm. Stay warm and safe!

 

While most bird talks focus on the obvious – gorgeous plumage, the intricacy of mating calls and dances, and other fascinating aspects of birds’ lives, Dr. Shary Siksay’s lecture will focus on the “funky feathered feet”, going through the morphology, form, and function of avian feet. All types of avian feet will be discussed in terms of their evolution, how they help the species to adapt and survive, and why certain species are susceptible to the specific injuries she sees most often. Time permitting, she will also go through some interesting local and recent cases, including a great horned owl with his head “on upside down” and a poisoned bald eagle. Dr. Siksay earned her VMD from University of Pennsylvania and works full time as a small animal and exotics veterinarian as well as with wildlife brought to her by wildlife rehabilitators.

Find out more »
January 2017

Indoor Program: 308: A Photographic Big Year – Patrick Comins

January 12 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Patrick Comins didn’t set out to do a big photo year in 2014, but by mid-January it was game on. The madness didn’t stop until New Year’s Eve 2014 with a trip on a cod boat on a bitterly cold day. By sundown he had captured #308, a Dovekie that landed close to the boat. Along the way Patrick captured some bad photos of common birds, some good photos of uncommon birds, and decent photos of some spectacular rarities such as Whiskered Tern, Northern Wheatear and Cassin’s and Couch’s Kingbirds. Come share the adventure and learn something about bird ID when we hear why some distant or even blurry photos can qualify as identifiable. Patrick is the Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Connecticut since 2000, overseeing Connecticut’s Important Bird Areas and other conservation areas.

Find out more »
December 20162016

Indoor Program: Connecticut’s Owls – Frank Gallo

December 8, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

When the sun retreats, owls awaken to go in search of prey. Some say that owls are wise, others that they sparked legends of ghosts. Naturalist Frank Gallo will help uncover the mysteries of these amazing nocturnal hunters, especially those species that co-exist in our area. It’s a hoot! Frank is a leading expert on where to find birds in Connecticut. Through his birding tours, lectures, and classes he has inspired countless birders to discover and appreciate the region’s rich bird life

Find out more »
November 2016

Indoor Program: Birds, Birders, and Bird Photographers: The Lines Have Blurred – Jim Zipp

November 10, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

See how photographing birds has changed over the years, from film based photography, to digital and now even iPhones! In today’s digital world it’s become a lot easier, with more and more birders photographing birds as well as watching them. Jim will show lots of photographs of birds we all love so much, recorded in U.S. locations ranging from here at home to Alaska, as well as hot spot birding destinations like Mexico and Costa Rica. There will be a few tips and suggestions along the way to help you take better images or simply help you enjoy watching our feathered friends. Jim has been photographing birds for more than 40 years. Thousands of his images have appeared in publications including National Geographic, Time, Audubon, Birdwatching, Wildbird, Discovery, Nature Conservancy and ABA’s Birding, as well as in numerous books, calendars and field guides. For more than 20 years he and his wife Carol have also owned and operated The Fat Robin Wild Bird Shop in Hamden.

Find out more »
October 2016

Indoor Program: The Strength of Bird Nests – Corey O’Hern, Ph. D.

October 13, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Recently, in collaboration with Prof. Eric Brown from the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale and Prof. Rick Prum from the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale, Corey O’Hern has begun investigating the mechanical and structural properties of bird nests. This work was featured in Episode 1 (The Nest) of the PBS Nature documentary, “Animal Homes,” which aired on April 8, 2015. Tonight he’ll describe preliminary studies aimed at characterizing the structural and mechanical properties of several bird nests from the Yale Peabody Museum nest collection. These studies have intrinsic intellectual value as well as technological importance for the design of novel materials with large strength to weight ratios. To date, there have been few quantitative analyses of the physical or mechanical properties of bird nests. We will describe measurements of size, shape, and more for several nests by deconstructing the nests one component at a time and, for other nests, we will perform x-ray micro-computed tomography studies to understand the structure and strength. Who better to tell us what amazing creations those nests are than Dr. O’Hern, Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University with secondary appointments in Applied Physics, Physics, and the Graduate Program in Computational Biology & Bioinformatics!

Find out more »
September 2016

Indoor Program: The Beautiful Art of Birding – Lesley Roy

September 8, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Artist, photographer, entrepreneur, and Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Tourism for the City of New Haven, Lesley Roy will present a beautiful visual story of birds. She’ll share images of her bird artwork, local and migrant birds, compiled from the book Soaring in New Haven and birding trips to Central and South America. She’ll tell the amazing story of growing up in Bethany and loving nature so much she vocally invited a wild Raven out of a neighbor’s tree and it actually flew down and landed on her outstretched arm. The photo her mother ran out of the house and took is as remarkable as the experience and has served as an auspicious guidepost ever since. At first learning about local birds then traveling to other parts of the world, Lesley would return home and paint those birds with an eye toward habitat loss and the global economic strains put on the wildlife and subtly asking the question: What place will birds hold in the future? In addition to her extraordinary bird and nature photos, Lesley will include a sampling of how birds images impact and inform her creative process.

Find out more »
April 2016

Indoor Program – Michele Parrett: Beyond the Scope: The Social Lives of Captive Parrots

April 14, 2016 @ 7:00 am - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Parrots have enchanted us for centuries. We find their plumage breathtaking, their intellectual abilities intriguing, and their antics amusing. Above all, perhaps we’re most fascinated by their ability to talk and by the ways they use words to connect with us. Parrots are highly social by nature, but we usually underestimate their need for attention and interaction when we bring them into our homes. Join us for an inside look at the social and emotional lives and needs of captive parrots. Even if you’ve never owned a parrot, this presentation will shed intriguing light on how wonderfully complex, intelligent, sensitive, and amusing parrots truly are. Our speaker has pursued a lifelong passion and fascination with parrots. A onetime owner of a parrot store, she now is Director of Humane Education with Foster Parrots, Ltd. and The New England Wildlife Sanctuary in Rhode Island, where she works on behalf of parrots that would otherwise have no place to call home. Her other passion is humane education and through numerous programs she works tirelessly to encourage people of all ages to become thoughtful, responsible stewards of the Earth.

Please Note: As stated in the Club’s by-laws, the April meeting is traditionally the Annual Meeting, which includes presentation of a slate of officers and their election.

Find out more »
March 2016

Indoor Program – William Burt: Rare and Elusive Birds of North America

March 10, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Late on a June night, in the middle of a vast Spartina marsh in eastern Maryland, William Burt achieved his longtime goal to photograph the Black Rail, a mythic, red-eyed bird so rare and deftly elusive in the fine grass of its meadow home that few ornithologists had ever even seen it. But the trip was just the first of many photo quests made by this renowned naturalist, photographer and writer, and the first phase of a mission that would occupy him for some 16 years and take him to marshes, bogs, swamps, and other wild lands all over North America. His mission: To photograph all 20 of the most elusive “ghost’ birds” on the continent, and to photograph them as never before, close up and undisturbed in their wild and secret haunts. He spent weeks at a time in the field, using his own hand-built equipment and often visiting sites repeatedly, year after year in certain cases—sometimes in the middle of the night—to get the picture he was after. In tonight’s presentation, we journey with William to the remote places he visited in search of the rails, bitterns, nightjars, and other “mystery birds” birders long to see.

 

Find out more »
February 2016

Indoor Program – Members’ Night

February 11, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Don’t be bashful! Be sure not to miss this opportunity to add another 15 minutes of fame to your birding memoirs. Remember: You’ll be among the best of birding friends. Members’ Night is a chance to share your favorite photos, stories, birding haunts, and memories of birds and bird club activities with an appreciative audience. We will have slide and Power Point capability. Please contact Indoor Program Chair Andrea Kerin: 203-331-6067 or andrea@kerin.com with details of what you would like to show. Members’ Night is always a lot of fun!

Find out more »
January 2016

Indoor Program – Larry Fischer: Owls of Western Connecticut

January 14, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Currently on the Northeast Hawk Watch Board of Directors, Larry is a federally licensed raptor bander who has been banding hawks, falcons, owls, and eagles for more than 30 years, working independently as well as with the CT DEEP and the U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Tonight he talks about owls, those endlessly fascinating birds, and specifically about the owl species found in CT west of the CT River. This program, illustrated with appealing slides of owls and owlets, focuses primarily on the species that breed in our backyards and back woodlots. Larry will talk about how common or how rare each species is and what their habitat requirements are. He’ll also discuss nest site selection and how to encourage some species to nest where they might be easily and safely observed with all-important care taken not to disturb the birds. Larry will also talk about the species of owls that are seen only in winter. You’ll walk away from the meeting armed with tips he’ll share on improving your owl identification skills.

Find out more »
December 20152015

Indoor Program – Brad Winn: Meeting Shorebirds Halfway: Managing Hemispheric Travelers

December 10, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

We have the ability to make things better for shorebirds: We know enough and we are learning more every day, to maintain and rebuild shorebird populations back to healthy numbers. This optimism holds true for shorebirds that nest on our beaches, as well as those that are passing through on their way to and from the Far North. With the recent listing of Red Knot under the Endangered Species Act, public and regulatory attention has been drawn to a shorebird that doesn’t nest here, yet whose survival is heavily dependent upon our stewardship and management practices. Brad, Director of Shorebird Habitat Management at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Plymouth, MA will talk about these long-distance migrants, “wind birds” that rely on finding high quality habitat between the tundra and the tropics. He’ll show photographs of the birds and the landscape these birds need, and will explain some strategies to ensure that these birds are still flying for centuries to come. The shorebirds are strongly in favor of these efforts!

Find out more »
November 2015

Indoor Program — Tom Wessels: Reading the Forested Landscape

November 12, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Based on Tom’s book, Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England, this program introduces us to approaches that we can use to interpret a forest’s history while wandering through it. Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, it is possible to unravel complex stories etched into our forested land-

scape. This process could easily be called forest forensics, since it is quite similar to interpreting a crime scene. In the words of this eminent ecologist and author, emeritus professor of environmental studies, and leader of ecology and sustainability workshops for more than 30 years: “It is wonderful to know nature through one-on-one encounters with other organisms, but it is perhaps more empowering to gain a fuller understanding of the patterns that have shaped its landscapes. Reading the land- scape is not just about identifying landscape patterns; more importantly, it is an interactive narrative that involves humans and nature. For those interested in enhancing their sense of place, I know of no better way than by becoming intimately acquainted with their local forests and the fascinating stories they tell.”

Find out more »
October 2015

Indoor Program — Dave Winston: Love Your Patch!

October 8, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Birders often have a favorite “patch,” a birding spot they love to visit again and again. But how do we take care of those beloved haunts, for our own and others’ future enjoyment? Tonight’s speaker has plenty of suggestions and he’s eminently qualified to deliver them. A lifelong and Master Gardener who spent three years at the NY Botanical Garden, he has been President of the Board as well as Head Steward of Stamford’s 83-acre IBA Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary since its inception in 2006. Basically, it’s all about stewardship, with a long term view being critical. But what exactly does that mean? On our patch, we must look to the protection of the soil biology, plants, insects, invertebrates, small and larger mammals, and the birds that we hold so dear. For example, how do we manage the forces of ecological succession to maintain desired habitat—because plant life changes with the succession and food quality is affected. Some plants provide berries for birds; others, food for insects, which are important food sources for birds. And different plants offer their food at different times of year: some provide berries in winter; others, in June. Ideally, we want to assure bountiful food and shelter during migration times. How do we accomplish all of this? These considerations and questions are just some that Dave will help us ask and answer as we look for ways to provide the richest possible habitats for our wildlife. Dave’s talk, drawing as it does on the manifold lessons he’s learned managing Cove Island’s habitat, will be a veritable classroom for the rest of us.

Find out more »
September 2015

Indoor Program – Daniel Jared Field: From Big Years to Big Eras: Birding through Geological Time

September 10, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Note: the meeting room has been changed for this meeting to the 6th floor room at the Whitney Center. Staff will help you find the new location.

The present is an amazing time to be a birder. For example, Neil Hayward was able to set a new Big Year record in 2013 using modern birding networks, improved taxonomic knowledge, and ubiquitous transportation options. He recorded more than 700 North American species over a period of 12 months. Although the current diversity on the North American continent is im- pressive, the fossil record reveals some truly startling additions to the ABA checklist. While spotting a frogmouth or a mousebird in Wyoming today would incite a major twitch, paleontologists have revealed that these exotic lineages, along with many others, were present on our continent 50 million years ago. And there is surprising evidence of birds that, even further back in time, would have flown above the heads of dinosaurs. Tonight’s talk examines how the structure of North American avifauna has changed dramatically over evolutionary time, and will lead to a discussion of the most fundamental ornithological question of all: Evolutionarily speaking, what is a bird? Who better to entertain this question than Daniel, a Yale Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, where he studies the evolution of birds.

Find out more »
April 2015

Indoor Program – Patrick Comins – Ornithology and Meteorology

April 9, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

No one escapes the weather, least of all birds. Because they basically spend their entire lives outside, weather has a huge influence on their movements and migration. The more that birders understand about the impact of weather on birds, the more productive their birding decisions will be. From something as mundane as knowing to keep feeders full to invite birds during an impending snowstorm to the nearly endless possibilities that a land-falling tropical storm can bring, weather calls the shots. A forecast in autumn for a passing cold front? Watch for south-bound hawks and other migrants heading to their wintering grounds. A warm front that stalls over the coast on a spring morning? That could mean a fallout of warblers. Lakes to the north of us starting to freeze? Get ready for migrant or wintering waterfowl. These are just a few of the numerous kinds of birding scenarios Patrick will discuss as he explores the implications of weather patterns for birds—and for birders who want to use weather as a tool for better birding.

Please note: As stated in the Club’s by-laws, the April meeting is traditionally the Annual Meeting, which includes presentation of a slate of officers and their election

Find out more »
March 2015

Indoor Program – Tom Stephenson & Scott Wittle – The Warbler Guide

March 12, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

The Warbler Guide: A New System for Identifying and Learning Vocalizations Identifying warblers and other species singing in the field is one of the most satisfying aspects of birding, but learning and re- membering the important ID points of bird vocalizations can be a challenge. At this meeting, Tom will cover some new techniques that make it easier to identify singing birds. He will cover how to understand and use sonograms to learn what makes a vocalization unique and how to differentiate similar-sounding species. Based on a system outlined in his new book, The Warbler Guide, Tom will demonstrate how the vocalization ID process can be sped up by understanding a song’s structure, the elements and phrases that make up the song. He’ll also discuss how to make a quick ID using the objective, easy-to-hear qualities of a song and will explain a simple 3-step memorization system he has used many times to memorize 300 or more songs for a trip to a new country. Scott Whittle has 20 years of experience as a professional photographer and educator. He has an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, has held the New York State Big Year record, and has birded throughout the United States. He lives in Cape May, NJ where he leads workshops and pursues his passion for birds and photography. A birder since childhood, Tom Stevenson has lectured widely and led numerous trips in the US and Asia. He’s a veteran of the World Series of Birding and his articles and photos appear in many books and magazines. He’s a musician too, having played concerts and done studio work with several Emmy and Oscar winners.

Find out more »
February 2015

Indoor Program – Kevin Burgio – The History, Biology, and Extinction of the Carolina Parakeet

February 12, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Few would argue that the saddest word in a birder’s ID vocabulary is extinction. Yet that’s been the fate of too many avian species in the past and the threat ever grows. At this meeting, Kevin will discuss what is known about the history, biology, and extinction of one such vanished bird, the splendidly colorful Carolina Parakeet, described by some as possibly having been the most colorful bird in North America. Kevin will explain how his research, using modern research methods, may help shed new light on the extinction of this fascinating and iconic species. His research fo- cuses on the mechanisms of species range limitations and how disturbance (climate change and habitat fragmentation) influ- ences patterns of species distribution and extinction processes. Kevin graduated summa cum laude from UConn in ecology and evolutionary biology and is now a Ph.D. candidate there. He is a Visiting Scientist at Fairfield University and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Find out more »
January 2015

Indoor Program – John Himmelman – Birds: Their Side of the Story

January 8, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

How and why did our best known birds get to be so well known? And what are some of the crazy things they make us do? John will share light-hearted stories of birds and birding, from cuisine to cartoons, ornaments to icons, murmurs to murders. You’ll get a whole new look at the avian friends we so admire (and some, not so much!) An author, illustrator, and naturalist, John is a past president of NHBC and the Killingworth Land Trust. He co-founded the CT Butterfly Assoc. and has lectured and led trips throughout the US in search of various flora and fauna. Some of his books for adults and children on a variety of natural history subjects will be available for sale and signing at the meeting.

Find out more »
December 20142014

Indoor Program – Sean Murtha – Birds and Art of Long Island

December 11, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Artist Sean Murtha is most inspired by the north shore of Long Island Sound where he was raised and still resides. Settling early into the two areas of painting that would remain a lifelong interest—wildlife and landscape—he is dedicated to the land- scapes and birds of the Sound. He sketches birds from life and at tonight’s meeting will describe his working methods and show examples of both field sketches and finished paintings from throughout his development. He will also discuss the relevance of birds as a subject in art, in both the past and modern times. Sean studied painting at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and has worked at the Ame- rican Museum of Natural History where he produced a number of dioramas and became devoted to painting en plein air, or directly from nature. Currently employed at Greenwich’s Bruce Museum, he also maintains a home studio, continues to create dioramas on a freelance basis, and regularly sketches landscapes and birds in the field. Sean is a member of a several art associations, has exhibited widely, and is the recipient of a number of awards

Find out more »
November 2014

Indoor Program – Mark Seth Lender -Bird Whispering: The True Relationship of Humans and Wildlife

November 13, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

While you are watching birds, the birds are very likely watching you. We often misapprehend our relationship with wildlife, igno- ring warnings, mistaking curiosity for aggression, seeing same- ness when there is difference, difference when confronted with sameness. Above all, we are quick to assume that we are the species in control when the opposite is just as likely to be true. Mark Seth Lender, who has spent decades watching—and being watched by—birds and other wildlife, will share his observations, writing, and photographs of birds and other animals. Mark is a producer, essayist, and photographer for Living on Earth, Public Radio’s program about wildlife and the environment. He presents his own material on air, and has covered stories on animals of all kinds from around the world. A CT resident, he is the author of Salt Marsh Diary, A Year on the Connecticut Shore, and he has a column in Shoreline Times.

Find out more »
October 2014

Indoor Program – Theresa Feo – Feather Development and Differentiation

October 9, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Clothes may make the man, but feathers make the bird. Birds sport thousands of feathers that come in myriad shapes and sizes for various uses including flying, attracting a mate, and even carrying water. The diversity of feathers is stunning but it is not always clear how the different feather shapes are produced. Teresa Feo will present her ongoing research to uncover how feathers grow into different shapes. She is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Richard Prum’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale. Through her focus on feather development she has worked extensively with Chris Clark (a previous speaker for the NHBC) on a project to document hummingbird courtship displays and feather sounds

Find out more »
September 2014

Indoor Program – Ken Elkins -Under Cover of Darkness: Observing Nocturnal Bird Migration

September 11, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Note: this meeting will be in the 6th floor conference room at the Whitney Center. There will be people at the normal entrance to show you the way. You don’t need to halt your birding adventures just because it gets dark outside. Discover the wonderful world of nocturnal bird migration. Just after sunset every fall, millions of birds take off to cross North America and head to wintering grounds in the south- ern US and in South and Central America. Tonight’s eminently qualified speaker will cover this amazing phenomenon, which is detectable by sight, sound, and even radar. Then you too can enjoy nighttime birding as you listen for migrants’ calls and search for their silhouettes against the moon. Ken’s lifelong in- terest and career in conservation education and birding inclu- des work for the Connecticut Audubon Society, where he direc- ted their 5 centers’ education programs and led many EcoTravel trips. In 2008, he moved on to National Audubon to the position of Education Program Manager at the Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury. Enthusiastic and versatile Ken has tripled the enrollment in the Bent’s summer camps, and he created a nationally recognized therapeutic program—Bird Tales—in which he uses birds to engage people with dementia.

Find out more »
April 2014

April Monthly Meeting

April 10, 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Steve Broker – “Ravens at Their Nest”

The Common Raven extended its breeding range into CT in the late 1980s, and it now can be found throughout the state. A breeding pair has been observed closely at West Rock Ridge in Woodbridge since discovery of the nest in 2003. Tonight Steve will discuss raven life history strategies including pair bonding, mating, nest-building, egg-laying, hatching, foraging for and caching of food, feeding and fledging of young, play behavior, defense of territory, and how they get along with their neighboring nesting peregrine falcons. Steve is a member and past president of NHBC and is in his 10th year as secretary of COA. An avid devotee of bird counts, he has participated in 30 Christmas Bird Counts with NHBC, and numerous others in CT and other states. He has served as CT Statewide CBC compiler for 26 years. A devoted participant in Summer Bird Counts too, he was active in the CT Breeding Bird Atlas in the 1980s, and as a life-long summer resident on Cape Cod, he contributed many hours of field work for the recently completed Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas. His birding focus in CT is breeding Common Ravens and Peregrine Falcons at West Rock Ridge State Park. In Massachusetts, his focus is the marsh birds of the Outer Cape. A BONUS! After tonight’s informational lecture, you can further expand your experience of ravens on a field trip that Steve will lead just 3 days later. Don’t miss this splendid opportunity. (See Outdoor Trip description for Sunday, April 13).

Please Note: As per the Club’s by-laws, the April meeting is traditionally the Annual Meeting, which includes presentation of a slate of officers and their election.

Find out more »
March 2014

March Monthly Meeting

March 13, 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center,
200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT United States
+ Google Map

Thursday, March 13, 2014- Alejandro Rico-Guevara – “Hummingbird Feeding Mechanics: Implications of Ecology and Evolution”

Every animal on earth faces a great challenge every day: It has to find enough food to survive but also because the amount of energy obtained will determine the outcomes of every task it undertakes, from growing to reproducing. In the wild, resources are limited because different kinds of animals have developed ways to rapidly consume them. Alejandro, a researcher in Margaret Rubega’s ornithology lab at UConn, investigates an extreme example of this specialization to exploit resources in the quickest way possible: hummingbirds drinking nectar. The ultimate goal of his work is to bridge the gap between our knowledge of how feeding works, why that leads to certain foraging decisions, and how ecological and evolutionary patterns emerge from the relationships between feeding mechanisms and behavior. The research is fascinating. To understand the hum-mingbird world one needs to slow them down while they do what they have evolved to do better than any other vertebrate: feeding on flowers. Alejandro has studied their drinking mechanism using high-speed cameras, filming over a thousand frames per second at full resolution, and using different cinematography tricks to achieve top quality research information. He has filmed hummingbirds from California to CT and from Canada to Brazil, pursuing different species with bizarre beak shapes. He has even developed and deployed automated systems to trigger high-speed cameras in high-Andean forests, the habitats with the most species of hummingbirds in the world.

Find out more »