[CT Birds] New Haven Bird Club February Activities

Larry Bausher lpbausher at comcast.net
Sun Jan 29 10:48:31 EST 2012


Here is the New Haven Bird Club's schedule of activities for February:

Indoor Meeting:

February 9, 7:00 p.m. Dr. Sylvia Halkin - Squirrels: Birders’ Enemy  
#1? Or Intriguing Survivors?  Jones Auditorium of the Connecticut  
Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington St., New Haven.  Free  
and open to the public.
For just one evening, let’s give equal time to the clever non-avian  
creatures that we might as well admit will always be with us. Dr.  
Sylvia Halkin will tell us about the complex nut-storing behavior of  
these extremely familiar but not always welcome backyard visitors.  
Her biology students at CCSU have gotten not only to learn scientific  
methodology but have had some good fun too in their research on  
Eastern Gray Squirrels. These animals depend on the nuts that  they   
store for  food over the winter and have a remarkable diversity of  
strategies to protect their stashes from potential thieves. The  
shrewd tacticians even change their nut-storing behavior in response  
to recent theft. Enjoy a presentation about the resourceful animals  
that at times outwit even the professor and her students. Dr. Halkin  
has published in major science journals on her research on song  
repertoire use by Northern Cardinals and Black-capped Chickadees and  
bill-tucking orientation of birds resting in groups, as well as on  
her work on squirrels. She and her students have appeared on Animal  
Planet network’s Most Extreme Pirates.  Social half-hour at 7:00,  
program begins at 7:30.  For more information:  
www.newhavenbirdclub.org or call 203-230-1697.

Field Trips:

First Wednesday Walk: Hammonasset State Park, Madison.  Wednesday,  
February 1, 8:00 a.m. Free and open to the public. Join us on this  
mid-week field trip to one of the area’s best birding locations. We  
will look for sea ducks, grassland species, and rarities. Last year  
the first ever sighting of a Common Murre in CT occurred right around  
the time of this trip. Meet at the park entrance (I-95, Exit 62).   
Leader—Tina Green: 203.247.2660, tina at renaissancestudios.com.

Hammonasset State Park, Madison.   Saturday, February 4, 8:00 a.m.    
Free and open to the public. Join us as we visit this premier CT  
birding location for a mid-winter excursion. We will be looking for  
sea ducks, shorebirds, grassland species, and winter finches. Notable  
sightings on last year’s trip included Common Eider, Surf Scoter,  
Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Merlin, Snow Bunting, and  
Horned Lark. We’ll check out the entire park, including the  
campgrounds area. Meet at the Nature Center parking lot at Meig’s Point.
Leader—Chris Loscalzo:  203.389.6508, closcalz at optonline.net

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and Rhode Island Coast.   
Saturday, February 25, 7:00 a.m.  Free and open to the public.  This  
all-day trip includes stops at Sachuest Point, Beavertail State Park,  
Moonstone Beach and Trustum Pond, all outstanding Rhode Island  
birding locations.  We should see grebes, loons, scoters, scaup,  
Purple Sandpipers, and lots of Harlequin Ducks. Highlights on last  
year’s trip included Black Guillemot, Red-necked Grebe, and Eurasian  
Widgeon. Dress warmly—it’s cold and windy on the coast. The hiking is  
a bit strenuous in places. Bring lunch and a spotting scope if you  
have one. Meet at the Branford commuter lot at Exit 55, I-95. We  
carpool from there.  Leader: Chris Loscalzo: 203 389-6508 or  
closcalz at optonline.

Larry Bausher, West Haven
NHBC Publicity Director

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