There is nothing that says summer like a birding safari with the <a href="http://There is nothing that says summer like a birding safari with the Norwalk Seaport Association. Birding cruises are one of the most popular excursions operated by the Seaport Association because it brings adults and children up close to birds in their maritime natural habitat. Adding to the fun is the fact that Long Island Sound is a birding hot spot in Connecticut, a state that is rich in birdlife with more than 430 different species to spot.
Regardless if you are a veteran or novice birding enthusiast this cruise is an ideal way to add seabirds to your list. This year, the Seaport’s vessel, the C.J. Toth, a 49- passenger vessel will head out at 8 a.m. and return to the dock at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 28, and Sunday, June 4, 11, and 18. This guided bird cruise is ideal for adults and children because it is a fun and educational way to experience nature.
Passengers on this eco-styled guided bird cruise are being led by birding enthusiast, James Leone, who has been birding for six-plus years. Leone is extremely knowledgeable about the identification status and distribution of birds in Connecticut and, specifically in Long Island Sound. “I am looking forward to helping people spot as many birds as they can and sharing my knowledge about their habitat, needs, and importance to the eco-system. I have identified 330 species of birds in Connecticut, and 300 birds in Fairfield County alone,” says Leone. It is exciting to be out on the water this time of year because you never know what will fly by – which makes every cruise different and exciting at the same time,” Leone added. In addition to birding in Connecticut, Leone has birded in Thailand and Costa Rica as well as all over the United States, spotting more than 1,200 birds. He has attended the prestigious birding program at Arizona’s Camp Chiricahua, where he developed a greater understanding of birds and their habitat, which he will be sharing with the lucky passengers on this cruise.
A special highlight of this cruise is the chance to spot birds at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge on Sheffield Island. Because of the shape of the boat, you can really get close to the shoreline. 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.
Passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the 8 a.m. departure. The vessel leaves from the Seaport Dock located on 4 North Water Street 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 by clicking here and are $25 for children and $35 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.
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.”>Norwalk Seaport Association. Birding cruises are one of the most popular excursions operated by the Seaport Association because it brings adults and children up close to birds in their maritime natural habitat. Adding to the fun is the fact that Long Island Sound is a birding hot spot in Connecticut, a state that is rich in birdlife with more than 430 different species to spot.