NHBC Indoor Programs

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Meetings are held at Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden.  The facility is wheelchair accessible.

Directions to Whitney Center (200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden)

From I-95 North or South: Exit onto I-91 North in New Haven. Take Exit 6 (Willow St.). Continue with directions from I-91 (next).

From I-91 North or South: Take Exit 6 (Willow St.) in New Haven. At end of ramp, turn right onto Willow and proceed to the end (Whitney Ave.). Turn right onto Whitney. Drive 1.6 miles then turn left onto Putnam Ave. (Note: Playwright Restaurant is on the left).  Then follow starred directions (**) below.

From Wilbur Cross (Rte. 15) North or South: Take Exit 61 (Whitney Ave). If southbound, turn right at end of ramp onto Whitney Ave. If northbound, turn left at end of ramp. Drive 2.4 mi., then turn right onto Putnam Ave. (Note: Playwright Restaurant is on the corner).  Continue as follows:

**On Putnam, go approximately 0.7 mi, and at the third traffic light turn right onto Leeder Hill Dr. (Note: AT&T bldg at intersection). Go 0.6 mi. on Leeder Hill to Whitney Center on the left. Turn left at the first entrance, which has a big sign “South Entrance.” After turning in, take an immediate left onto a raised parking area.

The meeting is in Whitney Center’s South Building. Enter the main door, which is under the portico that is in view from the parking lot. Turn right down the hallway. The Cultural Arts Center is a short distance on the left

New since 2008 - Birds in Words - Bird Book Discussion Group

Cancellation Policy

Inclement weather or another emergency may cancel a meeting. For cancellation notices, check TV channels WTNH (New Haven) and WFSB (Hartford.) Cancellation notices will also be posted online on ctbird.


Thursday, September 12, 2013 - Frank Mantlik
"Confusing Fall Warblers"

This month we're offering a two-part remedy for the "Fall Warbler Blues." These beloved birds awe us in the spring with their thrill- ing colors and songs, but identifying them can be a very different story in fall migration when these very same species seem like different birds altogether. But help is at hand! Our speaker to- night is Frank Mantlik, one of CT's top birders and skilled bird trip leaders, including many trips led for NHBC. He'll give lessons and tips on handling IDs of these confusing fall birds. A UConn grad, Frank is a widely-published bird photographer, a past president of the COA, and is on its board and Avian Records Committee. He has worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service and recently retired from the US Postal Service. He now happily has time to bird nearly full-time and leads US and international bird tours for Sunrise Birding (www.sunrisebirding.com). Plus a BONUS! After tonight's instructional lecture, you can further hone your fall warbler skills on a field trip just 2 days later. (See Outdoor Trip description for Sat., Sept. 14)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - Audubon Connecticut Staff
"New Haven as an Urban Refuge for Birds and People"

Four New Haven Parks are getting a makeover, thanks to the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. In partnership with other groups, the NWR has received funding to promote and enhance these parks and other sites deemed Urban Refuges, places the public can go to enjoy and learn about the great outdoors. The areas also provide essential habitat for wildlife. During this evening's program, Audubon Connecticut staff members Michelle Frankel (Conservation Biologist) and Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe (Important Bird Area Program Coordi- nator) will share details on project activities including habitat improvements, planting of wildlife-attracting gardens at four area schools, developing and training teachers to implement School- yard Habitat lesson plans, and engaging the public through interpretive walks, festivals, and citizen science. So keep an eye on the transformation of the 4 local parks: Beaver Pond Park, West River Memorial Park, Dover Beach, and East Shore Park.

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - Barry Van Dusen
"Travels of a Nature Artist: New England and Beyond"

In this richly illustrated talk, nature artist Barry Van Dusen will take us on trips near and far. You'll see spectacular scenery, meet interesting people, and, of course, see some great birds! Barry will share stories and images of his travels to Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine and report on a field painting trip to Acadia National Park. Then he'll introduce us to destinations as diverse as the fenlands of England, the coastal forests of Peru, and a bird migration hotspot in Israel. Barry is an internationally recognized wildlife artist whose articles and paintings have been featured in a wide array of magazines as well as natural history books and pocket guides. Elected a full member of London's Society of Wildlife Artists, his work has been exhibited in many European and US galleries. At the invitation of the Artists for Nature Foundation, he has traveled to Europe, South America, and Asia, working alongside other wildlife artists to raise money for conservation of threatened habitats. He will offer some items for sale, including original watercolors, note cards, and prints.

The Bird Book Tag Sale - November Meeting
Don't forget to bring money to buy some great books that will be offered at bargain prices. This is the perfect chance to beef up your bird book library with some new, fascinating, or just plain surprise titles. And how about Christmas shopping? And best of all: Sale proceeds go to NHBC's Conservation Fund!

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - Gina Nichol
"How to Get Close to the Bird"

One of the most satisfying aspects of birding is getting a good close view of a wild bird, a look that allows us to study plumage features, observe behavior, or simply enjoy the aesthetic experi- ence. Yet getting close to birds is not so easy. Binoculars and spotting scopes help and most birders know not to wear white in the field but what are some other ways to improve our chances of getting a satisfying view of a bird? This program will focus on "fieldcraft," the field practices and specialist skills for observing birds at close range. With the goal of raising gratification and lowering the frustration that sometimes comes in birding, Gina will discuss techniques that advance birding proficiency and get those killer views. Gina is more than qualified to dispense good birding tips. A career as a naturalist and a passion for birds have taken her to all seven continents. She operates Sunrise Birding, which offers personalized and affordable small group birding and wildlife tours to destinations around the world.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - Deborah Allen
"Birding Central Park"

Explore the birds of Central Park with wildlife photographer and researcher Deborah Allen. New York City's Central Park is inter- nationally recognized as one of the best places to observe mig- ratory birds in spring and fall. More than 280 species of birds have been recorded for Central Park, with more than 200 expected annually. We'll take a look at some of the park's avian visitors, everything from warblers and tanagers to hawks and owls, as well as some nesting birds, including Red-eyed Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Wood Thrush, and American Kestrel. The talk will include tips on when and where to find birds in Central Park. Deborah, a photographer who specializes in the birds of New York City, has had her bird photos published in numerous publi- cations. A bird tour leader and former president of The Linnaean Society of NY, she is author of Let's Investigate Puffins, a child-ren's book. She now is working on a bird guide for Central Park.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - Theresa Feo
"Feather Development and Differentiation"

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. Yale PhD candidate Teresa Feo will present her ongoing re- search to uncover how feathers grow into different shapes.  She is a 4th year PhD candidate in Richard Prum's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale. Her focus is feather development and she has worked extensively with Chris Clark (a previous speaker for the NHBC) on a project to document hummingbird courtship displays and feather sounds.

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.

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.

Annual Banquet
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 6:00 pm
Amarante's Restaurant, New Haven

Don't miss this great event-always great company, great food, and a great program. Reservations required; watch the spring newsletter, Club emails, and the Club website for details and reservation forms. Early reservations are greatly appreciated!  Please remember to bring cash to the banquet to pay for your drinks at the cash bar and to buy tickets for the always-fun raffle of interesting, exciting, and worthwhile prizes!

Speaker: Richard Crossley, author of The Crossley ID Guide series
Topic: "Past, Present, and Future"

Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, award winning author and photographer, and great story teller. "Crazy," "wildly passionate," "driven," and "single-minded" are just a few of the words that have been used to describe his love of birding and the outdoors. Tonight you'll be sumptuously regaled with tales of lessons Richard learned while growing up in the wild British birding scene-instructive and amusing tales from his travels around the world up to his life today as a resident of Cape May, NJ. It will be a fast-paced story, too, told in a Yorkshire brogue through a camera lens that definitely loves color and art. With humor and depth Richard will highlight the thoughts behind his revolutionary The Crossley ID Guide series. But is changing how we look at books and birds enough? 'Heck, no!" says Richard. After you hear some of the stories of his past and present, you just might change or at least reconsider your outlook on the future of birding, lifestyles, and nature. Richard started birding at the age of 7; by his late teens he was hitchhiking all over Europe in his bird quest, and by 21 he had visited and fallen in love with Cape May, NJ. A few years later he moved there for good, getting a Green Card as an "Alien of Exceptional Ability" for his work on bird identification. He certainly has been following through. Though at first juggling the business world and raising a family, he wanted to leave at least a small thumb-print in birding and became involved in The Shorebird Guide. That led to a new passion for photography which he used to help inspire people to see wildlife through new eyes. His goal of popularizing birding and the outdoors took a giant leap with his committing to the bird world full-time and with his publication of The Crossley ID Guide, a fresh new approach in showing birds in more lifelike and comprehensive views-the way we see them in real life in their customary habitats. More guides in his series are forthcoming on subjects including warblers, waterfowl, raptors, and the birds of Britain. One of the co-founders of 'The Pledge to Fledge' campaign, a grassroots movement to popularize birding in the US and globally, Richard is a huge advocate of kids birding because they are the future. His enthusiasm is infectious, his passion for birds palpable. Don't miss a thrilling evening!

"Birds in Words" Flies Again!

A Bird Book Discussion Group

Join in on "Birds in Words," NHBC's gathering of people who like reading books on their favorite hobby. Since the group began, we've read 17 books on just about every aspect of birds, birding, and birders and had some lively discussions Share in the fun. We meet at 7 pm at Whitney Center.

For more information, contact Kris Johnson: kriswaxwing99@snet.net, 203-288-3087

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