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State of Connecticut

American Robin
American Robin Turdus migratorius ©Doug Rodda Website

For the third smallest state in the US, Connecticut has a wide variety of habitat, and subsequently, birds. A really dedicated and lucky birder could find up to 290 species in one year in a state that lists 406 as the total number of species. Coastal lowlands border the Long Island Sound, a large salt water estuary that is fed fresh water from large rivers such as the Connecticut, Housatonic and Thames. These coastal areas are rest stops for a great number of shorebirds as they wend their way up to their breeding grounds and down their winter homes. There are well over 250 species of regularly occurring birds that can be seen along the coast. Nesters in this group include the endangered Piping Plover, Least Tern, and, on Falkner's Island right off the coast, Roseate Terns.

In the spring, around mid May, migration is in full swing and birds ascend upon this state with great fervour. Thirty-six species of warbler have been recorded, and 33 drop in typically, twenty-five of them staying to breed. The Northwest Hills of the state are home to a number of rarities at this time and are included in every birder's big day. River Road in Kent, is one of the best places to catch the land birds, representing a good variety of flycatchers, thrushes, and warblers. The Northeast corner is also home to some of the more northern-driven birds.

Connecticut was largely an agricultural state up to the late 1880s. But as farming waned, many of the fields reverted to woodland. Evidence of this history is found in the countless stone walls running throughout the state's wooded lands. Hardwood trees such as the black, red and white oaks dominate. The drumming of any one of 6 of the 7 woodpeckers that make these woods their home can be heard, occasionally joined by the pee-a-weee of the Eastern Wood Pewee, the nasal anking of White-breasted Nuthatches, and the scolding of Tufted Titmice.

Winter is the ideal time for seeing waterfowl off the coast. As the inland waters in the surrounding areas freeze, scores of ducks, loons, grebes, and geese make their way to the open sound. One of the big winter shows occurs along the southern end of the Connecticut River, where Bald Eagles, also driven Southeast by frozen water, can be found all along the shores of the waterway.

Birding is a very popular pastime in Connecticut, with at least four local bird clubs (including New Haven Bird Club, Western Connecticut Bird Club, Nachaug Ornithological Society & Hartford Audubon Society - not a branch of National Society - which is one of themost active clubs in the state, having the most field trips); and the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA). The COA maintains the rare bird alert (203-254-3665) and publishes the quarterly The Connecticut Warbler, a journal of Connecticut ornithology. The New Haven Bird Club created and sponsors the BIG SIT!, a world-wide sedentary birding competition. There are also 14 local branches of the National Audubon society, a number of nature centres, and the Connecticut Audubon Society.

Contributor

John Himmelman

Killingworth, CT USA

jhimmel@comcast.net

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 438

As of July 2016

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Birds of Connecticut Field Guide

by Stan Tekiela - Adventure Publications (January 1, 2000)

ISBN: 9781885061935

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Connecticut Birds

by Joseph D Zeranski & Thomas R Baptist University Press of New England 1990

ISBN: 0874515130

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Connecticut Birds : An Introduction to Familiar Species

(Pocket Naturalist) Waterford Press Paperback (March 1999) Waterford Press

ISBN: 1889903795

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Finding Birds in Connecticut

- A Habitat based Guide to 450 sites by Dave Rosgen & Gene Billings (Publisher) 1996 - Arranged by counties ISBN: 0965270807 Out of Print

The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Connecticut

Edited by LR Bevier 461 pages, illus, maps. Connecticut Dept of Environmental Protection 1994

ISBN: 0942081056

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

State Bird

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Forums & Mailing Lists

C T Birding

Mailing List

The CTDailyReport Archives

CTDailyReport

Mailing List

Daily Connecticut Rare Bird Report - This CTDailyReport list is used to distribute summaries of rare and uncommon bird sightings reported in Connecticut. Reports are generally sent daily, though a more timely report is sometimes sent for particularly good birds… Managed by Roy Harvey

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2011 [06 June] - Ronnie Lindqvist - New England

Report PDF

Organisations

Audubon Society in Connecticut

Website

Basically just a series of links to chapters.

Audubon Greenwich

Website

The Greenwich Audubon Society is a leading environmental organization in Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut, and in the adjacent towns of Rye, Rye Brook, and Port Chester, New York. It sponsors educational projects, lectures and field trips, operates bird counts, an extensive bluebird trail and an annual hawk watch, monitors over 160 acres of its own local sanctuaries, and is actively involved in local, state and national environmental issues.

Avian Records Committee of Connecticut

Webpage

The committee maintains the official Connecticut State list of bird species acceptably documented as occurring, or having occurred, in Connecticut. It also maintains and publishes a Review List of species of rare annual occurrence, rare historical occurrence, or no previously documented occurrence in Connecticut. Most species on the list average fewer than five occurrences annually, but some difficult to identify species are included even if they occur more frequently. The committee reviews submitted reports and votes to either accept or not accept them.

Connecticut Audubon Society

Website

It was through the vision and energies of pioneering conservationist Mabel Osgood Wright that the Connecticut Audubon Society was founded in 1898. What began as a small group of concerned citizens organized to protect birds has evolved into a statewide Society that expands and enhances appreciation of all things that interact to form the great web of life.

Connecticut Ornithological Association

Website

The Connecticut Ornithological Association is the only statewide organization devoted to birds and birding in Connecticut. Since its founding in 1981, its membership has grown to well over 500 people who range from beginning birders to professional ornithologists. COA is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization which strives to promote interest in Connecticut birds and to publish scientifically accurate information about them. COA looks to the future and works closely with other conservation organizations to protect the state`s birds.

Darien Audubon Society

Website

The Darien Audubon Society is committed to protecting the environment and preserving all wildlife with particular interest in birds as well as promoting enjoyment of nature and offering education and informational programs to the community. The Society's meetings feature knowledgeable speakers and are open to the public.

Hartford Audubon Society

Website

The Hartford Audubon Society was founded in 1909 as a non profit organization. The purpose of the Society is to foster and promote public interest in conservation of our wildlife and other natural resources, and the study and protection of birds. It may hold title to land for use as wildlife sanctuaries.

Housatonic Audubon Society

A Connecticut Chapter of the National Audubon Society Serving Communities in Litchfield County, CT and Dutchess County, NY…

Litchfield Hills Audubon Society

Website

The home of the Litchfield Hills Audubon Society. Here you will find information about the chapter, its newsletter, upcoming events, and highlights from past events. Also included is information on their two beautiful refuges, Kalmia and Boyd.

Mattabeseck Audubon Society

Website

The Mattabeseck Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, is committed to environmental leadership and education for the benefit of the community and the earth`s biodiversity.

Menunkatuck Audubon Society, Inc.

Website

Menunkatuck Audubon Society is a chapter of National Audubon Society. The newsletter is published bi-monthly by Menunkatuck Audubon Society.

Natchaug Ornithological Society

Website

The idea for a local bird club originated with a subgroup of the Storrs Women`s Club. After a few years there was so much interest that a separate group, open to all, was formed. The first meeting was held June 26, 1956. Subsequent meetings resulted in the formation of the Natchaug Ornithological Society. Since its beginning, the Society has remained active in the local birding community, providing a venue for both novice and expert birders.

Nature Conservancy in Connecticut

Website

Welcome to the The Nature Conservancy's Connecticut Chapter home page! Here you'll find information on the many ways we're working with the people of the state and the nation to help preserve the diversity of living things by protecting the habitats - land, water, and air - in which they live…

Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society

Website

Our Mission: Promote the appreciation, conservation and restoration of ecosystems; focusing locally on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, science, stewardship and advocacy.…

New Canaan Audubon Society

Information

New Haven Bird Club

Website

The New Haven Bird Club was organized on April 3, 1907, the seventieth anniversary of the birth of John Burroughs (1837-1921); naturalist and author. The NHBC is one of the oldest birding groups in the US and is affiliated with the National Audubon Society and the Audubon Council of Connecticut. The stated aim of the NHBC is to make available to members and the general public more opportunities for recreation and education in bird watching. The NHBC is dedicated to the conservation of natural resources in New Haven and surrounding areas. It works with other regional groups on conservation issues including the preservation of Long Wharf and Milford Point, areas noted for shorebirds…

Potapaug Audubon

Website

Essex, lower Conn. River valley, and nearby shoreline. Sponsors trips. P.O. Box 591, Old Lyme, CT 06371. Potapaug Audubon was founded in March of 1978. The founding members were, and still are, people who have a great love for nature and the preservation of mother earth…

Quinnipiac Valley Audubon Society

Facebook Page

A chapter of the National Audubon Society serving the towns of Meriden, Wallingford, Cheshire, Hamden, North Haven, North Branford and Northford.

Sharon Audubon Centre

Website

The Sharon Audubon Center is a nature center and wildlife sanctuary owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. The nature center is located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, in the town of Sharon. The Sharon Audubon Center has over eleven miles of scenic hiking trails, and includes 758 acres of mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, ponds and streams…

Museums

Birds of Connecticut Exhibition

Information

Of the approximately 10,000 species of birds in the world, 957 have been recorded in North America north of Mexico, and 421 in Connecticut…

Museum - Peabody Museum - Yale

http://www.peabody.yale.edu/

The Ornithology collection at the Peabody Museum is among the most comprehensive in North America, and has international significance in several areas including skeletal and pickled (wet preserves) specimens. Overall, the collection contains material for more than 6,500 species, over 70 percent of the birds of the world. The old Yale University collection of some 6,000 to 8,000 skins has grown to over 100,000 since 1950. There is excellent taxonomic coverage and good geographic coverage. The skeleton collection contains just over 9,000 specimens representing about 1,900 species. The collection of wet preserves contains approximately 13,000 specimens. Ornithology Library: the ornithology collection also has an extensive affiliated library containing books and journals…

University of Connecticut Bird Collection

Information

The collection began with the donation of study skins, (dated between 1875 to 1925) from the private collections of J.H. Sage and W.E. Treat, and emphasizes the fauna of Connecticut and the northeastern U.S. There are also specimens from the Aleutian islands, Paraguay, and other areas. The study skin collection holds more Connecticut specimens than any other in the world…

Reserves

Devil's Den Preserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Devil's Den is Connecticut Chapter's largest continuous preserve and ideal for outdoor recreation.

Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary

Facebook Page

Satellite View

The bog is owned and maintained by the Mattabeseck Audubon Society. Observe the natural diversity of this unique site and sign the register in the booth at the head of the trail.

Long Wharf Nature Preserve

Webpage

Satellite View

...this preserve is the result of human disturbance and the resilience of nature. The upland, created by filling, evolved into a grassland and a small woodland dominated by tall cottonwood trees, almost all the result of natural seed dispersion. The tidal wetland and dune area accreted over the 50 years since I-95 was constructed.

National Parks - Connecticut

Website

Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This 2,158-mile footpath runs from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, traversing 14 states…

Trout Brook Valley Preserve

Information

Satellite View

Trout Brook Valley State Park Reserve is a public recreation area covering 300 acres (120 ha) in the New England town of Easton, Connecticut.

Blogs

Avian Musings

BLOG

Avian Musings: "going beyond the field mark" a BLOG by Paul Cianfaglione

Bird Life

Blog

Observations on birding and life, from a novice at both…

Kymry - A look in Time

Blog

Mardi Welch Dickinson's Journal Blog on Photography, Birding, Technology and the Great Outdoors. Photojournalist; BirdCallsRadio Producer & Co-Host; CEO, KymryGroup™ Media & Photo Firm; Lecturer; Blogger…

Larry - The Brownstone Birding BLOG

Blog

A Connecticut native with an interest in birding shares his adventures of the outdoors…

Long-tails

Blog

I'm still in love with nature and the Norwalk Islands, CT in particular, from it's nor'easters; to it's most picturesque sunrises; sunsets, and full moon glowing over it's water. It's Birds; migrating through this area and sometimes even a few thousand nesting in the island chain…

Look-A-Seagull

Blog

A Beginner's Blog about birds in the NE USA…

Shorebirder

Blog

Nick Bonomo - Orange, CT, United States - I am currently attending the Yale School of Medicine's Physician Associate (PA) Program. When I'm not roaming the halls of a Connecticut hospital (unlikely as of late!), I can be found birding the coast of New Haven County…

Other Links

Birds of New England

Website

Some excellent photographs… Over 200 species of birds either breed, are resident, or winter in New England. This includes both inland birds and coastal birds. Some of these birds have a small New England range (for example, the Acadian Flycatcher) and other birds are found throughout the region…

Birds of the Connecticut River

Website

Profiles of some typical birds…

Connecticut Birding

Website

ConnecticutBirding.com has been established to provide those interested in birding in Connecticut with information to assist them in making their birding time more fun and productive.

Connecticut Birding

Webpage

Discover the top birding locations in Connecticut. Find out more about Connecticut Bird Clubs and Birding Organizations in Connecticut.

Connecticut Birds

Website

Connecticutbirds.com serves the backyard bird enthusiast of Connecticut. If you enjoy feeding and watching birds in your yard or local park then we hope to provide you with information to enhance the enjoyment of your hobby…

Connecticut RARE and FYI

Website

RARE Sightings: Updates of rare to good sightings - sent daily or as we are called or e-mailed about true rarities. Rare sightings from surrounding state email hotlines are also passed on. FYI (For Your Information): The FYI List functions as a forum to post actions, events and issues important to the Connecticut birding community at large. We will soon be posting outdoor and indoor programs for CT based organizations. Examples of other kinds of items that will be posted are: the encephalitis break out, volunteer and job opportunities, political action alerts pertinent to birds and habitat protection, COA field trips, COA workshops, etc. General postings will be issued once a week. Alerts such as the encephalitis/crow survey or timely political action alerts will be issued as needed

The Audubon Shop

Website

Entering our 24th year of business in 2010, The Audubon Shop is the original birding store in Connecticut. Owned and operated by Janet and Jerry Connolly, we are located in a historic home on the Post Road in Madison, a town situated on Long Island Sound…

The Fat Robin - Wild Bird & Nature Shop

Website

The Fat Robin is a family owned and operated business now in its 15th year! We specialize in providing quality products for bird feeding and birding as well as unique gifts for those who love nature…

This list of Connecticut birds

Website

This list of Connecticut birds is a comprehensive listing of all the bird species recorded from the U.S. state of Connecticut. This list is based on a checklist used by the Avian Records Committee of Connecticut, the list used by most birders to objectively evaluate species recorded in the state. This list is based on the committee's revision from 2007…

Vincent Mistretta's Blog

Website

A Photographic Journal about Wildlife, Nature, Travel and People…

Wild Bird Center

Website

The Wild Bird Center is your resource for backyard bird watching and feeding. The Wild Bird Center is a specialty retail shop that offers a complete line of products to help you enjoy wild birds, have a thriving lawn and garden, and foster a healthy backyard habitat…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - David Goodnow - How Birds Fly

Gallery

David Goodnow is a naturalist, licensed bird-bander and wildlife photographer whose photos have appeared in National Geographic, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Sports Illustrated, Time-Life Books and other leading publications. The author raised many of the birds he photographed for this book at his home in Connecticut. These images are from his book… How Birds Fly.

Photographer - Jim Zipp

Gallery

Jim's award winning photography is published regularly and has been featured in hundreds of publications from National Geographic, Time Magazine, GEO and Audubon to Birder's World, Wildbird, Discovery, Nature Conservancy and ABA's Birding Magazine to name a few…

Photographer - T D Rodda

Gallery

Some very fine bird pictures from Connecticut and beyond…