IBA News: Connecticut Sites Increase
Birders e-Bulletin July 2016
Last month, Audubon Connecticut announced five new Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the Nutmeg State, three held by municipalities and two by land conservation organizations. According to Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, Audubon Connecticut’s IBA Coordinator, “These areas are important to bird species of conservation concern. They are also places where the municipality or land conservation organization is actively managing or working to improve habitat for birds.”
The three municipal properties are 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 and regularly host Rusty Blackbirds in the winter. In the District of Willimantic, large chimneys, including that of the Windham Town Hall, are used by upwards of 250 roosting Chimney Swifts in the summer, and many more birds make use of the chimneys as nocturnal roosts during migration. Couch Hill Preserve is a crucial nesting sites for nesting Bobolinks in Fairfield County.
Aton Forest Inc. in Norfolk, Connecticut, and Naromi Land Trust’s Wimisink Marsh in Sherman are the other two new IBAs. Aton Forest supports a wide diversity and high numbers of woodland nesting birds, and has also seen quite a bit of recent activity by Sandhill Cranes. Wimisink Marsh is a fine example of a healthy freshwater wetland and hosts several species restricted to this habitat type (e.g., American Bittern).
View details on these sites, including how the chimneys were protected for the swifts and how a mowing regime employed by the Town of Redding to maintain Couch Hill gives Bobolinks adequate time to nest.
View additional information about worldwide IBA programs, including those in the U.S., on the National Audubon Society’s Important Bird Area program web site.