CT Audubon Society hosts Migration Madness weekend

The Connecticut Audubon Society hosts its second annual Migration Madness Big Weekend, a statewide celebration of the state’s birds, May 17-19.
Connecticut Audubon will offer dozens of activities around the state, timed to coincide with peak migration, when tens of thousands of birds return to Connecticut for the spring. Family-friendly events include bird walks, bird banding, exhibitions, nature photography lessons, and birds of prey up close, culminating in the weekend’s signature event, a birding competition called Birdathon.
Programs are designed for everyone from skilled birders to people who simply want to learn more about the state’s birds, all while supporting Connecticut Audubon’s conservation programs.
Participants of all skill levels may compete in the Birdathon to see the most species from Friday through Sunday. Teams and individuals will collect pledges, then spend as much time in the field as they can (or as much time as they want) over the weekend.
Birdathon participants can look for birds anywhere in Connecticut, including at any of Connecticut Audubon’s centers and sanctuaries.
At registration, participants can set up their own fundraising pages to collect donations that directly benefit Connecticut’s Audubon’s conservation work at centers and sanctuaries around the state. Top fundraisers and species-spotters are eligible for prizes including birding gear, a full day of birding with Connecticut Audubon experts, and original bird-themed artwork.
Migration Madness kicks off the weekend early on Thursday, May 16, with a lecture by science writer and artist Erica Cirino at Birdcraft Museum in Fairfield. Cirino, whose work explores the human connection to nature, will give a talk called “Trashed Nests, Poisoned Bellies and Entangled Wings: A Bird’s Eye View of Plastic Pollution.” Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for Connecticut Audubon members, and $15 for the general public.

Sampling of events includes:

  • A free bird walk for beginners at 7:30 a.m. on May 17 at the Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury;

  • A bird walk at 9 a.m. May 17 in Old Lyme organized by the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center. Cost is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers;

  • Eagles at Sunset, in which Horizon Wings Wildlife Rehabilitation will introduce bald and golden eagles for viewers to see up close, 6:30 p.m. on May 17 at the Connecticut Audubon Center at Pomfret, free;

  • An early bird walk with conservation biologist Jim Arrigoni and expert birder Angela Dimmitt from 6 to 8 a.m. on May 18 at Connecticut Audubon’s Deer Pond Farm in Sherman, Cost is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers, or $20 for families;

  • A spring bird walk led by Frank Mantlik, who has given tours with birding groups around the world, 7 to 9 a.m. on May 18 at the Coastal Center at Milford Point. Cost is $7 for members, $10 for non-members;

  • A bird banding demonstration, in which viewers learn about one of the oldest methods for tracking migratory birds, at 8 a.m. on May 18 at Birdcraft Museum in Fairfield;

  • An introductory backyard birding workshop, 10:30 a.m. to noon on May 18 at the Center at Fairfield. Cost is $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers, adults only.

For complete Migration Madness information and a full event schedule visit ctaudubon.org/migrationmadness2019 . To register for the Birdathon, visit migrationmadness.ctaudubon.org .