[CT Birds] New Haven Bird Club Activities in April

Larry Bausher LPBausher at comcast.net
Thu Mar 27 10:28:16 EDT 2014


Here is the New Haven Bird Club’s schedule of activities during April:

Indoor Meeting:

Monthly Meeting, Thursday, April 10. Steve Broker — “Ravens at Their  
Nest”.  Free and open to the public. Whitney Center Cultural Arts  
Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden.
The Common Raven extended its breeding range into CT in the late  
1980s, and it now can be found throughout the state. A breeding pair  
has been observed closely at West Rock Ridge in Woodbridge since  
discovery of the nest in 2003. Tonight Steve will discuss raven life  
history strategies including pair bonding, mating, nest-building, egg- 
laying, hatching, foraging for and caching of food, feeding and  
fledging of young, play behavior, defense of territory, and how they  
get along with their neighboring nesting peregrine falcons. Steve is  
a member and past president of NHBC and is in his 10th year as  
secretary of COA. An avid devotee of bird counts, he has participated  
in 30 Christmas Bird Counts with NHBC, and numerous others in CT and  
other states. He has served as CT Statewide CBC compiler for 26  
years. A devoted participant in Summer Bird Counts too, he was active  
in the CT Breeding Bird Atlas in the 1980s, and as a life-long summer  
resident on Cape Cod, he contributed many hours of field work for the  
recently completed Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas. His birding  
focus in CT is breeding Common Ravens and Peregrine Falcons at West  
Rock Ridge State Park. In Massachusetts, his focus is the marsh birds  
of the Outer Cape. A BONUS! After tonight’s informational lecture,  
you can further expand your experience of ravens on a field trip that  
Steve will lead just 3 days later. Don’t miss this splendid  
opportunity.  (See Outdoor Trip description for Sunday, April 13).   
Social half-hour at 7:00, program begins at 7:30. For more  
information: www.newhavenbirdclub.org. or call 203-230-1697.

Please Note: As per the Club’s by-laws, the April meeting is  
traditionally the Annual Meeting, which includes presentation of a  
slate of officers and their election.

Field Trips:

First Wednesday Walk: CT Audubon Coastal Center, Milford.  Wednesday,  
April 2, 8:00 a.m. Free and open to the public. Join us on this early  
spring trip to one of best local birding spots.  We’ll look out into  
the marsh and along the shore for waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, and  
raptors. Meet at the coastal center parking lot. Leader: Steven  
Spector. Contact person: Tina Green: 203-247-2660 or  
tina at renaissancestudios.com.

East Rock Birding and Trail Maintenance.  Saturday, April 12, 8:00  
a.m. Free and open to the public.  Meet at the Eli Whitney Museum  
parking lot for a bird walk from 8 to 9:30 am.  Then join Park Ranger  
Dan Barvir and help with light trail maintenance along the river from  
9:30 to 12 pm.  Bring work gloves and pruning shears if you have  
them.  Leader: Dan Barvir: 203 946-6086.  East Rock Park is part of  
the New Haven Parks Department.

Beginner’s Bird Walk at Milford Point IBA, Milford.  Saturday, April  
12, 8:30 a.m.Free and open to the public.  The Charles E. Wheeler  
Marsh at the mouth of the Housatonic River provides valuable foraging  
habitat for Great and Snowy Egrets nesting on nearby Charles Island.   
Today we will focus on long-legged waders and their habitat needs.  
This walk is geared   to beginners but birders of all levels are  
invited. Families are welcome. Birders with more advanced skills can  
enjoy a day out and help support and inspire the beginners. Meet at  
CT Audubon Soc. Coastal Center parking lot, 1 Milford Pt.  Rd.   
Leader: Corrie  Folsom-O'Keefe:  203-630-9640 or cfolsom- 
okeefe at audubon.org.

Richard English Memorial Bird Walk.  Sunday April 13, 8:30 a.m. Free  
and open to the public.  Meet in the Lighthouse Point Hawk Watch  
parking lot and bird the harbor for gulls, loons, ducks, and early  
returning shorebirds. We will then proceed to the Richard English  
Bird Sanctuary on Deer Lake in Killingworth and then finish our  
birding tour with a visit to Hammonasset State Park in Madison. This  
is an all-day trip so bring lunch and dress warmly.  Leader—Mike  
Horn: 203.288.1891, mfhorn at att.net

West Rock Ridge State Park:  New Haven, Hamden, & Woodbridge.  “Aves  
Agonistes: The Intertwined Lives of Peregrines and Ravens”.  Sunday,  
April 13, 2014, 8:00 am. Free and open to the public.  We focus on  
just two breeding species for this trip to West Rock Ridge:   
Peregrine Falcon and Common Raven.  A pair of Peregrine Falcons  
selected West Rock as their home base in 1999, thereby becoming one  
of the first breeding pairs in CT in the post-DDT era.  Since then, 5  
different females and 5 different males (tiercels) have occupied the  
ridge in various combinations.  We observe their cliff site from an  
appropriate distance with the expectation of seeing flying, perching,  
preening, feeding, and agonistic interactions with the nearby nesting  
ravens, and incubation of eggs.  Common Ravens were confirmed as  
breeders at West Rock in 2002, and the presumed same pair has nested  
here annually since then, producing 4 to 5 young in most years.  We  
observe them from unusually close range as they soar, perch, bring in  
cached food, fight with the peregrines, and attend young in the cliff  
nest.  Bring binoculars, cameras, and two extra layers of clothing  
(really!).  The wind and cold at cliff top often bear no relation to  
conditions 450 feet below in the West River valley.  Meet at the West  
Rock Nature Center parking  lot  on  Wintergreen St, Hamden/New Haven  
border. Leader: Steve  Broker: 203-272-5192 (cell: 203-747-6843), or  
ls.broker at cox.net.

Ansonia Nature Center, Ansonia.  Saturday, April 19, 8:00 a.m.  Free  
and open to the public. Enjoy a walk at this fine birding location.  
The nature center has a small pond, wetlands, thickets, grassy  
fields, and woods. The woods have had Northern Goshawks and Great  
Horned Owls nesting there and there are often other surprises.  Meet  
at the nature center parking lot on Deerfield Lane (off Benz Road) in  
Ansonia.  Leader—Maria Stockmal: 203 488-3876, m.stockmal at snet.net.

President’s Walk at Lake Chamberlain, Bethany.  Wednesday, April 30,  
8:00 a.m.
Free and open to the public.  Join current club president Bill  
Batsford to check out this excellent birding area. Lake Chamberlain,  
a Regional Water Authority property, is surrounded by coniferous  
forest and it has open fields and thickets. Early spring migrants  
likely to be seen are Palm and Pine Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglet,  
Eastern Phoebe, and Blue-headed Vireo. Bluebirds and Tree Swallows  
nest in bird houses. Meet at RWA parking lot, Sperry Rd.  Leader:  
Bill Batsford: 203-787-1642 or william.batsford at yale.edu.

Larry Bausher, West Haven
NHBC Publicity Director

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