Long Island Sound is a special body of water. The estuary that forms the southern border of Connecticut, the northern border of Long Island (N.Y.), ends up at the East River in NYC to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, is a vital habitat for birds and other wildlife.
I have lived in three cities that border Long Island Sound and have spent countless hours birding the coast and open waters. Each December, I participate in a Christmas Bird Count whose territory includes Long Island Sound. The birdlife is varied and thrilling at all times of the year. The fascinating summer birds are replaced by amazing winter birds.
According to the 2019 State of the Birds report released last week, the Sound is as clean and vibrant as it has been in years. However, it also faces an uncertain future as climate change and rising sea levels threaten to drastically alter its landscape. According to the report, the Sound and its wildlife have already been impacted by changes in climate.
The thoroughly researched and well-written State of the Birds report is issued each year by the Connecticut Audubon Society (@CTAudubon). It includes articles by experts from many other state conservation organizations. When I was a newspaperman, I made it a point to attend the annual release event, at which many of the Report’s authors were present. I still look forward to its release each year.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-crowned Night Heron perches on a railing at a marina along the Norwalk River, Norwalk, Conn., spring 2016.
My last few posts have been about Wood Ducks. It’s not everyday you come across “brave” female Wood Ducks with babies, so why not get some mileage out of it?
We’ll switch gears a bit for this posting with some photos of a Black-crowned Night Heron I saw while walking into work on day last week along the Norwalk River. Black-crowned Night Herons may be seen throughout New England, both Continue reading →
Photo by Chris Bosak A Monk Parakeet seen eating crab apples at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk on Sunday during the annual Christmas Bird Count.
Here are some photos of the annual Christmas Bird Count held locally (Westport, Connecticut, Circle) on Sunday. I did the Count with old friends Frank Mantlik and Larry Flynn. Highlight species included: American Woodcock; Orange-crowned Warbler; Nashville Warbler; Northern Shoveler; Gray Catbird; and Wood Duck (about 12 of them).
The above bird is indeed a New England bird. Well, at least it is now. A group of Monk Parakeets bound for the pet stores were believed to have escaped from JFK airport and established wild populations throughout the coastal regions of Long Island Sound. Some people don’t like them because they are non-native and very noisy. They do make good photo subject on occasion, though.
Here are some more photos from Sunday:
Photo by Chris Bosak A Belted Kingfisher seen near the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Sunday during the annual Christmas Bird Count.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Northern Mockingbird seen Sunday at Taylor Farm in Norwalk during the annual Christmas Bird Count.
Hour photo/Chris Bosak A Belted Kingfisher seen near the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Sunday during the annual Christmas Bird Count.
Hour photo/Chris Bosak A Monk Parakeet seen eating crab apples at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk on Sundayt during the annual Christmas Bird Count.
Photo by Chris Bosak Frank and Larry scan Long Island Sound.
I’ve done a fair amount of birding on Long Island Sound over the years. The waters off the shores of New England are rich in ducks in the winter and shorebirds in the summer. For more than 10 years now, I’ve scoured Long Island Sound (either on a boat or from the shore) for birds during the Christmas Bird Count. In short, Long Island Sound is a vital habitat for for birds and other wildlife.
Long Island Sound lost one of its most passionate championship this week with the passing of Terry Backer, the Soundkeeper. I had the privilege of speaking with Terry several times, including interviews for newspaper stories, as a guest on my former Bird Calls Radio talk show and just shooting the breeze. Terry will be missed by Continue reading →