April Fun at Audubon Greenwich

Spring gets into full swing in April at Audubon Greenwich. There are many family fun events taking place here that will provide fun for the whole family.

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On Saturday, April 12, for example,two exciting walks are planned. The Ponds and Vernal Pools walk will teach you how to search for salamanders, frogs and more and will take place from 2 p.m. – 3:30. All ages are welcome on this walk. RSVP is required so call Ted Gilman at 203-869-5272 x230 to reserve your spot.

There is also a springtime sunset and moonlight walk from 7:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Participants will seek out the sights, sounds, and smells of a spring evening visiting field, pond, forest, and lake in search of wildlife. Participants will also listen overhead and look up at the moon in search of silhouettes of night-flying springtime bird migrants. This walk is good for kids Ages 7 and up. Space is limited and an RSVP is required to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230.

greenwich audubon hike

The month of April is ends with two events. The first is a documentary film, called Unacceptable Levels from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday April 26. Learn more about common chemicals, how their effects can be more profound on children than on adults, and how the Conn. General Assembly’s Children’s Committee has proposed legislation, “An Act Concerning Children’s Products and Chemicals of High Concern,” which, if passed, could authorize studies that will guide recommendations to protect children. This event is suitable for adults and interested youth. Location: Cole Auditorium, Greenwich Library (101 W Putnam Ave). Call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239 with questions and RSVPs are appreciated to greenwichcenter@audubon.org.

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On Sunday, April 27, there will be a Nature Art Class with Adriana Rostovsky from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This class will show participants how to create textures and collages with nature’s treasures found outdoors. These sessions will focus on using natural items like cones, pods and seed heads to create nature-themed decorations. All ages’ welcome. $25 for first two people; $5 per additional participant. RSVP and advance payment required to greenwichcenter@audubon.org or Jeff at 203-869-5272 x239.

The Audubon Greenwich is located on 613 Riversville Rd. For more information greenwichcenter@audubon.org

Sharon Audubon Enchanted Forest and Kids’ Day in Litchfield Hills

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Family fun is in the works at the Sharon Audubon Center the last two weekends in October. Both events are “non scary” and geared toward families with children pre-K through 2nd grade.

The Audubon’s popular Enchanted Forest will be held on Saturday, October 19. Guided groups will meet friendly costumed animal characters along a candlelit trail and hear how the animals live their lives on the Audubon grounds. After the tour, which lasts approximately 45 minutes, participants can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate inside the Center building before taking a hayride back to the parking area. This non-scary program is ideal for children up to 8 years old and their families. Tours begin every 10-15 minutes between the hours of 6:00 and 7:30 p.m.. Participants should bring an extra flashlight. Admission is $4 per person. Children under 2 are free.

enchanted forest

Audubon Kids’ Day is taking place on Sunday, October 27 from 12-3 p.m. This is a fun, autumn afternoon for young children and their families that features carnival-type games, kids’ crafts, a hay bale maze, hay wagon shuttles, and food to name a few of the fun activities. Children are encouraged to come in costume and join in the costume parade that will be lead by a real life marching band around the Center grounds at 2:30. The event is held rain or shine. Admission is $7.00 per carload.

The Sharon Audubon Center is located on Route 4 in Sharon, for more information, contact the Audubon Center at (860) 364-0520 or visit http://sharon.audubon.org.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Creating Habitat Oases for Migrating Songbirds

Join Audubon’s Patrick Comins and Michelle Frankelon April 28 at the Garden Education Center of Greenwich on 1 Bible Street in Cos Cob for a special presentation and walk through Greenwich’s Montgomery Pinetum to learn about simple ways to enhance backyards, school grounds and public parks to provide quality habitat for migrating songbirds. This event is co-sponsored by Audubon Connecticut, Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Bruce Museum and Garden Education Center. An RSVP is suggested to the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at 203- 869-1464. The program takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Garden Education Center of Greenwich
Garden Education Center of Greenwich

The Audubon’s Habitat Oases program identifies, improves and conserves important stop-over habitat for migrating songbirds all along the Atlantic migratory flyway, focusing on urban and suburban areas and other landscapes where there is limited quality habitat. The program, performed in collaboration with Audubon chapters, state and municipal parks departments, and other groups, engages volunteer birdwatchers – citizen scientists – in migratory songbird surveys of urban/suburban green spaces. The surveys help to determine the characteristics of high quality stop-over habitat and which species of plants are most beneficial as food sources for migrating songbirds.

Audubon and its partners are using the results of this study to promote the protection of critical stop-over habitats by helping government agencies, corporations, land trusts, and other landowners make informed land use and land protection decisions
They also work to improve the quality of public and private lands as stop-over habitat for migrating birds by guiding the management and landscaping practices of natural resource managers, private landowners and professional landscapers
and strive to develop regionally-specific lists of “bird-friendly” native plants that may be used to guide landscaping practices in parks, gardens and backyards.

Patrick Comins is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, and has worked in the bird conservation arena for the last 15 years. Patrick began his career with the Connecticut Audubon Society, doing bird surveys on the coast at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge and then worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a biological technician at the refuge. He has been with Audubon Connecticut as the Director of Bird Conservation for Connecticut since 2000, overseeing Connecticut’s Important Bird Areas and other conservation programs. He is the principal author of Protecting Connecticut’s Grassland Heritage. Patrick is a past resident of the Connecticut Ornithological Association and was the 2007 recipient of their Mabel Osgood Wright Award. He has written several articles on bird conservation and identification for the Connecticut Warbler and is currently chairman and vice president of the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Michelle Frankel, Ph.D., is a Conservation Biologist with Audubon Connecticut and is coordinating the Habitat Oases program in CT, and facilitating the implementation of the program in a number of other states along the Atlantic migratory flyway. Michelle previously worked with Audubon of Florida, where she originally piloted the Habitat Oases program. Prior to her work with Audubon, she was Education Director for Earthspan, a nonprofit that develops and applies advanced technologies for wildlife conservation. Michelle received her Ph.D. in behavioral ecology from Boston University, focusing on forest fragmentation effects on migratory songbirds. She subsequently pursued a post-doctoral fellowship with Tel Aviv University and the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration in Israel, where she studied the impacts of urbanization on the globally-threatened Lesser Kestrel.

Audubon Greenwich celebrates spring

If you are looking for signs of spring, don’t miss the April events at Audubon Greenwich, http://greenwich.audubon.org located on 613 Riversville Rd. in Greenwich.

Go on a bird walk this spring
Go on a bird walk this spring

On Wednesday, April 17 from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. visitors are invited on a morning bird walk at the Fairchild Wildflower Garden area on North Porchuck Rd.

Benjamin T. Fairchild developed the Fairchild Garden as a wildflower sanctuary on abandoned farmland he purchased in 1890. After his death in 1939, Mrs. Elon Huntington Hooker, with the help of local garden clubs, raised the money to purchase the sanctuary. It was donated to the National Audubon Society in 1945. It is not a formal garden, but a natural area, with introduced wildflower species and some interesting rocks into the landscape. The unique feature of this 135-acre sanctuary is its variety of wetland habitats. These include a stream, pond, wetland meadow, red maple swamp, hillside wetland, emergent freshwater marsh and a wetland scrub thicket. The sanctuary also boasts eight miles of trails winding through deep shady gorges under cover of mature deciduous forest, and a grove of white pines. The Fairchild Wildflower Garden becomes a birding hot spot in the late spring and early summer seasons.

To continue the spring birding tradition, the Audubon is offering a Bird Walk on the trails at their main sanctuary located on Riversville Road from 7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Later in the day, the Audubon will host a spring flower walk lead by a naturalist that will explain the histories, ecological niches and insect pollination partners
Of the various spring flowers found here. This walk is good for ages 5 and up.

Rounding out a month of walks, on April 24 the Audubon will host a springtime sunset and moonlight walk from 7:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Participants will seek out the sights, sounds, and smells of a spring evening visiting field, pond, forest, and lake in search of wildlife. Hikers will also listen overhead and look up at the moon in search of silhouettes of night-flying springtime bird migrants. This event is good for ages 7 & up. Please note that space limited & RSVP required.

For questions and reservations to the events sponsored by the Audubon Greenwich call Ted Gilman at 203-869-5272 x230. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Signs of Spring at Audubon Greenwich

Slowly in March winter begins to withdraw and signs of spring slowly show themselves. There is no better place than to experience the signs of spring than at the Greenwich Audubon Center in Greenwich Connecticut.

Winter Break Adventures ~ Join the fun in February

On Saturday, March 2 from 10 a.m. – 11 a., the Audubon is hosting a program on Wheat and Gluten. Rachel Khanna will return to Audubon Greenwich to talk about what’s going on with wheat and gluten in our foods and how it affects our health. Join her for a one-hour session to learn about these ingredients and get the right information. $10. Space limited. RSVP toRakhanna@optonline.net. Also on March 2 there is a program on the Early Signs of Spring from 1:30- 3 p.m. Join Ted Gilman for fun and early spring natural history during a hike down the Discovery Trail, up to Mead Lake and back to the Center. This is for ages 5 & up. The walk is on easy to moderate terrain. RSVP to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230.

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On Saturday, March 9th from 1 – 2 p.m. there is a family bird watching event where participants will review winter birds, bird feeding and first returning migrants. Help conduct our weekly ‘Project FeederWatch’ bird count and help report these results via the Internet to Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. For ages 5 & up. RSVP to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230. Also on the 9th there will be a new art gallery exhibit titled New England Bird Watercolors by J. J. Audubon. Join art expert Joel Oppenheimer and other guest speakers from 6:00-8:00 pm to learn about Audubon’s field work in New England and to learn natural history notes about the species on display. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9-00 am-5:00 pm and Noon to 5:00 pm on Sunday. There is no charge for the reception but donations accepted at the door. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. RSVP requested to greenwichcenter@audubon.org or 203-869-5272 x239.

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On Saturday March 16 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. families can learn how to make a nestbox in order to host bird families in your own yard or neighborhood by providing nestboxes for various species of birds. Ted Gilman will show a variety of nestboxes and the birds, which use them, as well as discuss their placement and maintenance. Families wishing to build their own nest box can pre-order a kit through the Audubon Nature Store or select from a variety of pre-assembled boxes in the store. For ages 5 & up. RSVP to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230 to attend and/or order nestbox kits. Also on March 16 there is a Woodcock watch from 6:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Participants will help staff search for one of the rites of spring as we watch and listen for the crepuscular calls and aerial performance of these woodland sandpiper relatives. Participants will also listen for any newly emerged Spring Peeper tree frogs. Event for ages 6 & up. RSVP to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230.

On March 30 from 1 p.m. – 3:30 there is a Birding 101 Workshop: Bird Watching Basics for Adults. This is an introduction to ornithology and the tools/skills used in bird study. Enjoy a walk; learn how to use binoculars, guides, and other resources that make birding so much fun. Ideal for adults and interested youth. $12 adults; No Charge for youth. RSVP required to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230.

Audubon Connecticut and Audubon Greenwich is located on 613 Riversville Rd. in Greenwich and can be reached by calling 203-869-5272 or visiting http://greenwich.audubon.org.

For area information www.visitfairfieldct.com

Sharon Audubon Festival August 11th and 12th

Wendy with Sophia

The 45th annual Sharon Audubon Festival will be taking place at the Sharon Audubon Center, located on Route 4 in Sharon, CT on Saturday and Sunday, August 11th and 12th. The Audubon Festival is an event where people of all ages can learn about nature in a fun and interactive way, and features two full days of nature walks and programs, live animal presentations, children’s activities, food, music, exhibits, vendors and more. Whether one is a seasoned naturalist or a young explorer, there are activities for all ages and experience levels.

Erin with a Red Hawk

Two keynote presentations will also take place each day. At 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm on Saturday, Talons will engage visitors with a falconry demonstration. These amazing birds of prey will also be on display throughout the day on Saturday. A live animal show presnted by Rainforest Reptiles known for their dynamic educational programs will take place at 1:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. The festivities will close on Sunday with Flight of the Raptor, another exciting falconry demonstration back by popular demand.

Scheduled programs take place at 10:00, 10:30, 11:00 and 2:15 each day. Examples of programs include Exploring Bog Meadow by Canoe, Porcupines, Tree Identification Walk, Swarming Behavior of Honey Bees, Bird Banding, Orienteering, Reptiles, Bears, Pressed Flower Bookmarks and much more. Ongoing activities such as a live animal exhibits from the Beardsley Zoo and Wonders on Wheels and the children’s Merry Marsh Activity Tent, as well as various vendors, will be on hand throughout each day. Food is also available for purchase.

Gates are open from 9:30am-5: 30pm each day. No pets are allowed inside the gates. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. A complete schedule and description of programs can be found at www.sharon.audubon.org or by calling 860-364-0520 for more information.