Spring into spring at Bent of the River Audubon

Bent of the River Audubon located on 185 East Flat Hill Road in Southbury is celebrating the return of spring migratory birds this April with several programs that are sure to help you enjoy this annual migration.

Bluebirds
Bluebirds

On April 4 for example at 6:30 p.m., Bent of the River is hosting a program called “Timberdoodling”! Participants will meet in the Bent of the River Parking Lot (members free, non-members $5) to observe one of North America’s most intriguing mating displays as the male American Woodcock struts, peents, flies, and whistles his way into the females favor. Past walks have proven very successful in witnessing this impressive display. In addition, we are also likely to see the courtship flight of Mourning Doves, and hear the classic “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all” call from our resident Barred Owls, all with a background symphony of Spring peepers. This is a very popular program and registration is limited so register soon. Rain cancels this event. Registration is required. Please email Jim Drennan at jdrennan@audubon.org or call (203)264-5098 ext. 303.

On Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. the Land Management Staff of Bent of the River will present information on how Audubon manages sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife at the Kingsley Room in the Southbury Public Library on 100 Poverty Rd. in Southbury. This free event will include information on how to improve landscapes at home to provide better habitats for birds and other wildlife. The focus of this evening will be on shrub and grassland habitat species including butterflies, dragon flies and the plants they need to survive and thrive. This presentation is perfect for gardeners interested in improving their gardens and landscape while spending less maintenance time! The meeting is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Please email Jim Drennan at jdrennan@audubon.org or call (203)264-5098 ext. 303.

Jewels of the Blue — Eastern Bluebird management will be the topic of discussion on Thursday, April 17 at 7 pm at the historic barn at Bent of the River Audubon Center. The cost for this program is $3 for members and $5 for non-members. It has been estimated that the Eastern Bluebird population has decreased 90% since the mid 1800’s due to the introduction of the starling and house sparrow from Europe. These species are more aggressive than the bluebird and will kill both adults and eggs to take over the nesting location. However, since the late 1960’s, populations have been recovering due in large part to the popularity of constructing bluebird nest boxes designed to keep starlings out and educating the public about how to deal with house sparrows. Bent of the River land manager, Jim Drennan, will lead a discussion on how best to attract, care for, and manage your bluebirds, and relate the challenges Audubon faces caring for their 25 Bluebird nest boxes. If time permits, there will be a walk into the meadow to observe bluebird habitat.
Registration is required. Please email Jim Drennan at jdrennan@audubon.org or call (203)264-5098 ext. 303.

For more information about Bent of the River visit http://bentoftheriver.audubon.org. For information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com.

CHOCOLATE DINNER TO BENEFIT AUDUBON CENTER, SATURDAY, MARCH 3, HERITAGE HOTEL SOUTHBURY

New Morning

Let the Bent of the River take you on a Chocolate Holiday! New Morning’s The Provender will transport you to Mexico through Chef Carol Byer-Alcorace’s Mexican Antojito inspired menu. Your palate will take you to the winter destination of the beautiful birds that summer here in Southbury CT and the Bent of the River.

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Chocolate Dinner being held on Saturday, March 3rd at the Heritage Hotel in Southbury, to benefit Southbury’s very own Audubon Center at Bent of the River. Tickets are $85 per person. EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Tickets only $70 if purchased by February 17th. Visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/219802 or stop in at New Morning Market on Rte. 6 in Woodbury CT to purchase tickets.

The evening will begin with a ‘Cocktail Hour and a Half’, where guests can mingle, visit the live Birds of Prey exhibit, enjoy creative, Mexican inspired appetizers like Chocolate, Spinach and Cheese Quesadillas and taste wines from local vineyards; White Silo, Walker Road and Hopkins.

During the dinner hour, Laura Volpintesta, originally from Mexico City, and the Sol Shine Band will be performing live suave ensembles. Latin dance demonstrations and lessons are being provided by Fred Astaire Studios.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the dishes crafted by Chef Carol: Mole Chicken, Coconut and Shrimp Seviche, and Chocolate Chili Cake, just to name a few. Woodbury’s own Winding Drive Jams will also be serving a spicy, sweet chocolate brownie dessert.

Why Audubon & Chocolate? Each year, the menu draws from a locale where cacao is grown. The Audubon’s dedication to the preservation of habitats for birds and wildlife is well known. As the snow flies in New England, so fly the birds- to warmer climate and, to the lands where chocolate originated. Bird migration, habitat protection and community engagement are integral to Audubon’s mission. The Atlantic Flyway Initiative (AFI) is a strategic Audubon initiative that targets bird habitats needing preservation from South America to Canada. The Flyway is the migration route for millions of birds each season.

About The Bent of the River

Bent of the River

The Audubon Center at Bent of the River lies on 660 acres in Southbury, Connecticut, near the historic village of South Britain. It’s an inviting, outdoor sanctuary with 15 miles of walking trails and an environmental education center with inspiring programs. Please come and enjoy yourself, learn more about the important work of the Bent, and discover the value you’ll gain from a relationship with the Bent. www.bentoftheriver.audubon.org

About New Morning Market New Morning Market

Located on Rte. 6 in Woodbury Connecticut, New Morining is a purveyor of natural, organic and eco-friendly foods and wellness products. They also offer nutritional counseling and free classes regularly. The 7,500 square foot retail center is currently located at 738 Main Street South in Middle Quarter Mall. Construction is being completed on a brand new, larger facility which will be located two miles north at 129 Main Street North in Woodbury. The move is scheduled for later this year. More information can be found at www.newmorn.com

About Heritage Hotel

Heritage Hotel

Heritage Hotel Golf, Spa, Conference Center, 522 Heritage Road, Southbury, CT 06488. (I-84 Exit 15). (203) 264-8200, (800) 932-3466. Set in the Litchfield Hills, the resort features 163 guestrooms, state-of-the art conference and banquet facilities, indoor and outdoor heated pools, fitness center, racquetball, tennis, sauna, whirlpool, a challenging 9-hole golf course, pub with billiards and wide screen TV, award-winning dining and extensive wine list at Eight Mile Brook, and Tres Jolie Day Spa. Located off I-84, just 90 minutes from New York City. For getaway package information contact us at: 1-(800) 932-3466. www.heritagesouthbury.com.