[CT Birds] Five new Important Bird Areas recognized by Audubon Connecticut

Folsom-O'Keefe, Corrie cfolsom-okeefe at audubon.org
Fri Jun 3 14:55:38 EDT 2016

Dear Ct Birders,

Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society, has recognized areas held by three municipalities and two land conservation organizations as Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

Municipal properties include New Haven's West River Memorial and Edgewood Parks, the District of Willimantic, and Redding's Couch Hill Preserve. The New Haven parks are important to migrating songbirds, host Rusty Blackbirds-a species of global concern-in the winter, and most recently support a nesting pair of Bald Eagles. In the District of Willimantic, large chimneys, including that of the Windham Town Hall, are used by upwards of 250 Chimney Swifts-another species of global concern-in the summer and many more birds make use of the chimneys as nocturnal roosts during spring migration. Couch Hill Preserve is one of the most important nesting sites for the grassland nesting Bobolink in Fairfield County.

Aton Forest Inc. in Norfolk, Connecticut and Naromi Land Trust's Wimisink Preserve in Sherman have also been recognized as IBAs. Aton Forest supports a wide diversity and high numbers of woodland nesting birds and has also seen quite a bit of activity by Sandhill Cranes, which would be added to Connecticut's Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species list if a nest were discovered. At Wimisink Marsh, a pair of American Bittern, an endangered species in Connecticut, produced three offspring in 2014. Wimisink is also an excellent example of a healthy freshwater wetland and hosts species restricted to this habitat type.

The overall goal of Audubon Connecticut's IBA program is to identify a network of key areas in the state that support sustainable populations of birds in greatest need of conservation. Once an area is identified, Audubon Connecticut works with the landowner, other conservation partners, and the public to increase awareness about birds and the importance of the area to greatest conservation need species, improve habitat in the area, and find funding to support these efforts.   Connecticut's IBA program is part of a global effort led by BirdLife International to identify the areas most important to birds and to focus conservation efforts where they will do the most good.

To view the full story, visit ct.audubon.org/news/five-new-ibas-in-ct. 

Have a good weekend!

Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe

IBA Program Coordinator
Audubon Connecticut
Cfolsom-okeefe at audubon.org

More information about the CTBirds mailing list