An invasive plant cleanup will take place at Haddam Meadows State Park, Saturday, April 8, 9:00 am-12:00 pm.
Click here for more details
There will be a couple of programs on March 25 at the Westport Land Trust in Westport, MA. Check out the details at their website
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 New Haven County in February.
We are looking forward to running the Mega Bowl again next year. It will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, the day before the Super Bowl. I hope that many bird club members will participate in this fun and friendly event.
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!
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.
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 = 30F to 45F 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:
American Black Duck
Great Blue Heron
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – See photo below
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
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?
- 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:
- Go to: org and click on Submit Observations.
- You will need to set up an account if you do not already have one.
- 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.
- 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.
- You will see a map of the park. Click on the icons until you find the Urban Oases, then click: Continue.
- 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.
- 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.
- If a bird flew over the site, click add details and write: flyover.
- 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.
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 email@example.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.
We would like to set this work party sometime in October. Please contact Craig Repasz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
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.