New this year, the Norwalk Seaport Association has just announced that they will be starting their popular bird cruises on Sunday, May 1 and May 15, and on Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29th from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Regardless of whether you are a veteran bird enthusiast or a beginner, this on the water avian adventure will give your birding routine a new perspective. This cruise is ideal for adults as well as children because it gives participants a sense of connection with the beauty of Long Island Sound resulting in the joyful feeling of being ‘one with nature.’
As the old saying goes, the early bird catches the worm, which is why many bird enthusiasts head outdoors in the early morning. With this in mind, the Seaport Association’s Bird Cruise will leave the dock on 4 North Water Street in Norwalk at 8 a.m. “Birds sleep at night and are hungry in the morning, so they have to go out and eat,” says Will Schneck, a passionate bird enthusiast that will be leading the cruise. “We are leaving at 8 a.m. because this is the time of day when birds are most active, particularly in the spring and early summer. Just like humans have daily schedules, birds also have daily patterns for feeding, roosting, and other activities.”
On this guided tour with Schneck, a member of the esteemed Connecticut Young Birders Club, passengers will learn about local bird behavior and biology and, most importantly how to spot them. Every cruise is different because you never know what bird species might fly your way, making this excursion an adventure in itself! A highlight of this eco-styled bird cruise is the chance to spot birds close up in their natural habitat in a way, you would never see from shore. Among the types of birds, you may see on this eco-adventure cruise are nest sites and nest colonies of ospreys, and long-legged egrets with their graceful S-curved necks and long dagger-like bills, as well as playful American oystercatchers, herons, terns, gulls, and cormorants to name a few.
A special feature of this cruise is the chance to spot birds at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge on Sheffield Island. Here you will see a variety of habitats that support nesting and wading birds. This spot is known for its small population of herring and great black-backed gulls that nest along Sheffield Island’s rocky shoreline. The importance of the Norwalk Islands to wildlife, especially migratory birds is enormous, and the special Bird Cruises hosted by the Norwalk Seaport Association give nature enthusiasts the chance to spot these magnificent seabirds up close with the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide.
Bird Cruise Details
Passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the 8 a.m. departure. The vessel leaves from the Seaport Dock that is adjacent to the Stroffolino Bridge at the corner of Washington and Water Streets in South Norwalk. Parking is available at the adjacent lot or at the Maritime Center Parking Garage. Tickets are available online in advance HTTP://www.seaport.org , tickets are $25 for children and $30 for adults. The Seaport Association advises reserving your Bird Cruise early because these popular excursions sell out. Make sure you include your email when reserving your ticket. If the tour is canceled due to inclement weather the Norwalk Seaport Association will contact you via your email.
Before embarking on this cruise, be sure to pack sunscreen, your camera, binoculars, water and snacks, and your sense of adventure!
About the Norwalk Seaport Association
The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage. The Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for the environment and how the preservation of historic buildings contributes to our quality of life. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment, and our maritime heritage.