Feb 9th Indoor Program at Whitney Center is Canceled due to Weather

We will try to reschedule this event.  Keep an eye on the website for further details.

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; Horned Lark, 45; Black-capped Chickadee, 280; Tufted Titmouse, 212; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 9; White-breasted Nuthatch, 78; Brown Creeper, 2; Carolina Wren, 35; Winter Wren, 2; Marsh Wren, CW; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 7; Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2; Eastern Bluebird, 10; Hermit Thrush, 2; American Robin, 934; Gray Catbird, 1; Northern Mockingbird, 68; Brown Thrasher, 1; European Starling, 6430; American Pipit, 5; Cedar Waxwing, 24; Orange-crowned Warbler, CW; Nashville Warbler, 3; Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1; Palm Warbler, 2; Yellow-breasted Chat, 1; Eastern Towhee, 8; American Tree Sparrow, 76; Field Sparrow, 11; Savannah Sparrow, 7; Fox Sparrow, 25; Song Sparrow, 354; Swamp Sparrow, 43; White-throated Sparrow, 844; Dark-eyed Junco, 1060; Lapland Longspur, 1; Snow Bunting, 7; Northern Cardinal, 243; Red-winged Blackbird, 746; Rusty Blackbird, 15; Common Grackle, 3670; Baltimore Oriole, 1; Purple Finch, 9; House Finch, 119; Pine Siskin, 3; American Goldfinch, 210; and House Sparrow, 783.
The participants were: Marion Aimesbury, Dewitt Allen, Ross Allen, Ralph Amodei, Mark Aronson, Daniel Barvir, William Batsford, Larry Bausher, Steven Bird, Katherine Blake, Andrew Brand, Steven Broker, Lauren Brown, Dana Campbell, Michael Carpenter, Emily Cosenza, Louisa Cunningham, Michael Ferrari, Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, Frank Gallo, Stacy Hanks, Christine Howe, Michael and Patricia Horn, James Hunter, Lynn James, Kris Johnson, Lynn Jones, Patrick Leahy, Carol and Gary Lemmon, Donna Lorello, Chris Loscalzo, Frank Mantlik, Seven Mayo, Florence McBride, Judy Moore, Gina Nichol, Michael O’Brien, John Oshlick, Paula Pene, Beverly Propen, Laurie Reynolds, William Root, Nancy Rosenbaum, Lee Schlesinger, Paul Smith, Nancy Specht, Charla and Steven Spector, Howard Sternberg, Deborah Tenney, Elizabeth and John Triana, Marianne Vahey, Chris Woerner, Paul Wolter, Kathryn Wood, and George Zepko.

The Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County!

The Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County!
Held on Super Bowl Sunday!!!
Come join in on a fun and friendly event! Compete with other birders and win prizes and get your team’s name inscribed on the prestigious Mega Bowl Trophy!
When:  Sunday, February 5th, 2017 from 6 am to 4 pm.  (Dinner from 4:30 pm to 6 pm)
Where: New Haven County from Milford to Madison (and north to Waterbury and Meriden), CT
Why: to have fun birding, socialize with other birders, and raise money for the New Haven Bird Club (the event host) and other environmental organizations of your choice
How it works:
Birders join together in groups of 3 or 4 people and go birding wherever they like within New Haven County on the day of the event.  They record the birds they observe and earn points for each species recorded.  Each species has a point value from 1 to 5 with 1 point for the most common species and 5 points for the rarest species.  The point values are determined by how common or rare the species is in New Haven County in February.  If a team is the first team of the day to find a rare (5-point) bird, they will be awarded an additional 3 points for calling it in right away so that other teams will have the opportunity to observe it.
The teams will meet at the end of the event and have dinner and share stories. The meeting will be at the Kellogg Environmental Center at 500 Hawthorne Avenue, Derby.  A delicious dinner will be served.  The results will be tabulated and a winning team will be determined. The winning team will get its name inscribed on the Mega Bowl Trophy! Prizes will be awarded to every participant. Special prizes will be awarded to the teams with the highest point total, the highest species total, and other accomplishments to be determined.  Some prizes will be obtained through the generous support of The Fat Robin in Hamden and The Audubon Shop in Madison.
Teams will have to strategize where to go to get the most points. Some teams might start along the coast and then go inland, while others might do the opposite. Birders could choose to go to local birding spots that they know well, or to other areas to see specific species that are typically found there.  They can visit any public site (such as a state or town park), but they must obey standard birding etiquette rules and obey all property signs and rules of the road.
Participants have the opportunity, but not the obligation, to raise money for the event by having friends, family members, or employees pledge a certain amount of money for each point their team earns. A voluntary donation is an option, as well.  The money raised will go to the New Haven Bird Club and any other environmental organization of the team’s choosing.
The Mega Bowl is inspired by the Superbowl of Birding held each January in Northeast New England by Mass Audubon. The organizers of that event have generously given their consent for us to hold our own, similar event.
Anyone interested in participating in the Mega Bowl will need to register in advance.  The deadline for registration is Tuesday, January 31st.  Participants may sign up as a team, or individuals can submit their names and they will be put in contact with other individuals looking to become members of a team.  The participants are encouraged to be creative in coming up with a name for their team.
In the event of inclement weather on the 5th, the event may be held on Saturday, February 11th.
The official rules for the event and the Mega Bowl Checklist of bird species will be posted in the near future.
Chris Loscalzo                                                   1/23/17
Mega Bowl Coordinator
Contact information:
203 389-6508 or closcalz@optonline.net






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
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 11/5/2016fargeorge

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


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 at the site, record the date and time.
  • Mornings, particularly in April – May and August – October when migrating songbirds are passing through Connecticut, are recommended.
  • Plan on spending at least five minutes at the site, giving birds’ time to adjust to your presence.
  • Records the number of birds of each species that you see. Make a note if a bird is flying over (f/o) the site versus foraging in the vegetation.
  • You can count birds at just one or several Urban Oases and make as many visits as time permits.

Entering Your Observations into eBird:

  1. Go to: org and click on Submit Observations.
  2. You will need to set up an account if you do not already have one.
  3. The first time you enter data for an Urban Oases you will need to Find it on a Map. After that, the site will appear under: Choose from your Locations.
  4. Enter: New Haven in the box beneath Find it on a Map. Then enter the name of the park in the Zoom to box and hit return.
  5. You will see a map of the park. Click on the icons until you find the Urban Oases, then click: Continue.
  6. Select: Stationary as the Observation Type, then fill out the date, time, duration, and party size for your visit to the Urban Oases. Click: Continue.
  7. Now you will enter the number of birds that you saw of each species. If you saw a sparrow, woodpecker, warbler, or blackbird, but were unable to identify it, you can enter a number under sparrow sp., woodpecker sp., etc.
  8. If a bird flew over the site, click add details and write: flyover.
  9. If you feel that you identified all the birds that you saw at the Urban Oases, click “Yes” indicating that you are submitting a complete checklist. Then click Submit.


  • Help with a bird survey.

There are two more survey dates Sep 21 and Oct 05. These dates fall in the middle the warbler and sparrow migrations and expertise is needed.

Please contact Craig Repasz 203-745-6683 crepasz@hotmail.com

What else can we do?

Many of the Urban Oases sites have local neighborhood support groups like the Friends of Beaver Ponds Park that will fight invasives, water new plantings, and work on trails. However West River Memorial Park Urban Oases site is not receiving any such love except from one stalwart volunteer from Menunkatuck Audubon Society and he needs help.

The area has new planting of native shrubs, flowers, and grasses. The area of has now been inundated with mungwort that has choked out meadow flowers (yes the area is great for butterflies) and fruit bearing shrubs. If we can get a group of five to ten people to spend a few hours with volunteers from Menukatuck Chapter and with the support of New Haven Parks and Recreation, we can clean the area of the mugwort and give these new plantings a fighting chance. We may need volunteers to monitor the site in the spring.

bayberry-and-mugwort plantings

We would like to set this work party sometime in October. Please contact Craig Repasz (crepasz@hotmail.com)







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.