COA news, workshops, activities and announcements.
Be sure to visit the Connecticut Birding Events Calendar
A calendar of CT birding events sponsored by COA.
Learn how to identify the flycatchers of CT by sight and song. We will review the songs of the empidonax flycatcher group, as well as the common flycatcher species such as Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, and Great Crested Flycatcher. We will begin with a sit down session at the picnic area where we will review the field marks and songs of the flycatchers, then we will hike the trails to see what we can find. We will visit nearby Nehantic State Forest and perhaps another location or two. Leader: Dave Provencher. Contact person: Chris Loscalzo, at 203 389-6508 or email@example.com.
Join us as we learn how to use the Birdlog app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android. BirdLog allows birders to enter their observations directly from the field. You can keep track of the birds as you go, and then submit the checklist to eBird with one click. BirdLog is fully integrated with your eBird account, allowing access to your personal locations for data entry, as well as the full suite of eBird hotspots, and it allows you to create new locations using your smartphone's location services. If you want to record what you see in the field, this is the app to do it. After we’ve reviewed how to use the app, we’ll go onto to the trails to practice what we learned. Leaders: Ken Elkins and John Marshall. Contact person: Chris Loscalzo, at 203 389-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn how to identify herons, egrets, and ibis. Learn how to differentiate between similar species, such as juvenile Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Learn about their feeding and nesting habits and where to find them in Connecticut. The workshop will be geared towards beginner and intermediate birders. Meet at the gravel parking lot opposite the Marsh Viewing area, just north of the boat launch. We’ll spend some time discussing the different waders, then go out on the trail to see what we can find. Barn Island WMA is located at the end of Palmer Neck Road in Stonington. Bring bug spray, sunscreen and water. Leader and contact person: Chris Loscalzo at 203 389-6508 or email@example.com.
Learn how to identify the many shorebirds that nest along our coast or stop by during fall migration. Learn how to differentiate between Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied and Golden Plover, Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitcher, the various “peeps” and other shorebird species. The workshop will begin indoors, in the meeting room at the center. Then, the group will go to the beach and marsh to see what they can identify. The trip is organized so that the outdoor session coincides with high tide. Leaders: TBD. Contact person: Chris Loscalzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203 389-6508.
Learn how to identify raptors, including eagles, vultures, buteos, accipiters, and falcons. Watch for raptors in flight as they pass over an excellent CT hawk watch site on their fall migration.Boothe Memorial Park is on Main Street in Stratford, off Route 110, just south of the Wilbur Cross Parkway at Exit 53. Meet at the hawk watch site, between the clock tower and rose garden. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Leader: Scott Kruitbosch. Contact person: Chris Loscalzo at email@example.com or 203-389-6508.
Learn how to identify the sparrows of CT. We will review the important field characteristics of many of the sparrows seen during fall migration, including American Tree, Chipping, Clay-colored, Fox, Lincoln’s, Savannah, Song, Swamp, Vesper, White-throated, and White-crowned. We may discuss how to differentiate between Nelson’s and Saltmarsh Sparrows also. After a discussion period, we’ll go out onto the trails to see what we can find. Meet at the nature center parking lot at Sherwood Island State Park. Leaders: TBD. Contact person: Chris Loscalzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-389-6508.
Learn how to identify the common and uncommon sea ducks that visit the CT coast in fall and winter. Learn how to differentiate between Common and Red-throated Loon, Horned and Red-necked Grebe, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Common and King Eider, and the three scoter species. Meet at the Stratford Point Audubon Center at 1207 Prospect Drive. We’ll have a discussion period and then look out into the sound to see what we can find. The workshop is free and open to the public. Leaders: Scott Kruitbosch and Chris Loscalzo. Contact person: Chris Loscalzo at email@example.com or 203-389-6508.
In keeping with its mission of "disseminating the best available scientific information on the status of Connecticut birds and their habitat” the COA Board of Directors has researched and discussed the loss of migratory songbird habitat due to the intensive farming methods and use of pesticides by some Central and South American coffee plantations. At its August 2012 meeting, the Directors voted to approve the following statement endorsing bird-friendly coffee that meets the stringent certification requirements of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the USDA:
In support of its mission to protect birds and their habitat, the Connecticut Ornithological Association recommends shade-grown coffees bearing the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's "Bird-Friendly ®" certification. This certification is given only to coffee which is also certified as "organic" by the USDA and which is grown on coffee farms which meet comprehensive standards for shade cover, thereby sustaining wintering habitat for North American migratory birds including thrushes, tanagers, warblers and vireos.
Most coffee is grown in the sun on lands which have been stripped of their forest cover and which provide no meaningful bird habitat for migrant birds. In contrast, shade-grown coffee is grown under varying degrees of shade. Coffees bearing the "Bird-Friendly®" certification must be 100% shade-grown and must be grown on farms which meet the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's requirements for canopy height, foliage cover, diversity of trees and shrubs in the cover, and structure of the various foliage layers. These standards for habitat protection are recognized as more comprehensive than those applicable to other shade-grown coffees.
In its 2011 recommendation of the "Bird-Friendly®" certification, the American Ornithologists Union stated; "the certificate is science based and independent, and enhances conservation by coffee growers to provide habitat critical to birds."
Visit the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center for a listing of locations where coffee having the "Bird-Friendly®" certification can be purchased in Connecticut.
The site gives good information on dealing with birds and other wildlife in distress.
February 19, 2010 -- Gull Workshop at Windsor Landfill
Photos © 2010 Denise Jernigan
June 2008 - COA Birding By Ear Workshop
Photo © 2008 David Gropper
COA Shorebird Workshop at Sandy Point, West Haven.
August 2005 © Gina Nichol