Our Mission: 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.
deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, Middletown, Connecticut 06457
What’s New at Mattabeseck Audubon
Celebrating MAS 40th Anniversary in 2014
In 2014, the Mattabeseck Audubon Society celebrates its 40th anniversary with a series of field trips and programs.
|MAS 2014 Anniversary Activities|
|Feb. 8||Field Trip||Eagles at Machimoodus|
|Feb. 14-17||Field Trip||Great Backyard Bird Count|
|Mar. 15||Field Trip||Let’s Go a-Ducking|
|Apr. 12||Field Trip||Wildflower Walk, Guiffrida Park, Meriden|
|May 3||Field Trip||David Titus Memorial Warbler Walk|
|May 17||Field Trip||Portland, Spring Migration (w/Htfd Aud.)|
|May 17||Program/Field Trip||Neotropicals at CFPA with Frank Mantlik|
|May 24||Program/Field Trip||Lichens with CT Gravestone Network and CT Botanical Society|
|June 21||Field Trip||Wangunk Plants with CT Botanical Society|
|June||Field Trip||Canoe Trip (musseling)|
|August||Field Trip||Shore Birds Canoe Trip|
|October||Field Trip||Sparrow Crawl|
|November||Field Trip||Owl Prowls|
| ||December||Field Trip||Salmon River Christmas Bird Count|
Mattabeseck Audubon's History Page
May 17, 8 a.m.–12
Program and Field Trip: Neotropicals with Frank Mantlik
Indoor program at deKoven House from 8-12; then field walk at Middletown Nature Gardens on Randolph Road
The program, led by bird and wildlife photographer Frank Mantlik, is free and open to the public.
An avid birder and naturalist for more than 30 years, Frank has been active in many bird and nature organizations in New England including the Connecticut Ornithological Association (past president), and the New Haven Bird Club.
He is a popular field trip leader and has traveled extensively in the pursuit of birds leading trips to Point Pelee, Block Island, Cape Cod and Montauk Point. An accomplished photographer with his own stock-photo business, Avocet Images, Frank uses his wonderful slides to illustrate lectures to various groups. Publication credits include Natural History, Audubon, Field & Stream, and American Birds. He is most in his element when in the field sharing the joys of nature with others. Frank has led our Cape Cod Shorebird Weekend and leads our Costa Rica Special, Honduras and Texas Spring Migration tours.
May 24, 10 a.m. –12
Lichens with Connecticut Gravestone Network and Connecticut Botanical Society
Indoor program at deKoven House from 10–12, followed by field walk at a local cemetery Connecticut Gravestone Network is dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s old burying grounds and preserving their historic significance. CGN provides a communication resource with an emphasis on promoting and encouraging public awareness and safe conservation. We also support those interested in all other aspects of gravestone studies.
Download Winter / Spring Wingbeat issue
The Winter / Spring issue of Wingbeat is now available for download. This .pdf file can be read on iPad, computer, and other devices.
Upcoming Field Trips
Eagles at Machimoodus Park
Great Backyard Bird Count
"Let's Go a-Ducking"
Wildflower Walk, Guiffrida Park, Meriden
Field Trip Reports Link
Area Sightings: December/January 2013-14
Snowy owl invasion
Due to the vole and mouse population crash in the artic, Snowy owls are occurring all over in New England. In Connecticut, they have been sighted at Hammonasset, as well as Brainerd, Silver Sands, and Great Island in Old Lyme. This is a cyclic event, and it is time for the owls to venture further south.
Joe Morin also had a pair of Goshawks on the Old Lyme CBC in Westbrook, near the Great Cedars Preserve at Community Park off Schoolhouse Rd.
Wingbeat Deadline for Next Issue
The deadline for items to be included in the Spring/Summer Issue is Thursday, March 27, 2014. We expect subscribers to receive their copies about April 20. Please send items to Pat Rasch, 24 Elm Road, Cromwell, CT 06416, or email to <email@example.com>. Please add "WINGBEAT" to the message's subject line.
Board of Directors — Next Meeting
The Board of Directors will meet at 7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, Middletown.
Audubon Members' Corner
Not a partridge, but an immature Green heron in a pear tree: that phenomenon took place on a property in the center of old downtown Cromwell. It was the third week of June and the waters of the Connecticut River were receding from the floodplains having been deposited there by an unusually lachrymose month.
The brightness of early summer had returned. The pear tree had finished blossoming and tiny nubs of fruit, pregnant flowers, swelled amongst the bristling branches of the tree. In the foliage the immature Green heron quietly passed the long afternoon. It could have chosen any number of wetland complexes or ponds within a radius of a mile from its perch but it seemed satisfied with the pear tree. From its vantage point the heron could see the garden with its numerous upright tomato stakes, the perennial flowerbeds, and the mulberry tree anxious to distribute its seed through the intestines of birds and squirrels.
Towards early evening before dusk painted the skies with hues of pink and purple an adult Green heron flew at some distance over the pear tree. The immature burst forth from its somnambulism and followed the adult with strong, purposeful wing beats.
This event was repeated every day for about a week. Once, two Green herons were observed in the pear tree. An adult lingered nearby while one of the fledglings came down from its roost and poked about on the ground, thrusting its bill into a dish of water or picking at bugs along the chain link dog enclosure. Skipping and chattering from the walnut tree to the Norway maple, the adult kept an eye on its charges before being discovered by someone below and flying off.
Then suddenly these visits ceased and the herons did not return. The day care nursery had served its purpose and was no longer needed.
Buy Duck Stamps
We urge everyone to buy Duck Stamps. The funds the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the State of Connecticut receive from the sale of Duck Stamps go directly to conservation of habitat that supports not only waterfowl but many other species of birds, other animals, and indigenous plants.
Purchase Federal Duck Stamps at the Post Office or http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/ Purchase State of Connecticut Duck Stamps at your local town hall; stamps bought in January 2014 are valid for one year.
Adam Grimm’s oil painting of canvasbacks (above) will be made into the 2014-2015 Federal Duck Stamp, on sale in late June 2014.
David Titus Memorial
The David Titus Memorial Bird Card is now available for a $3 donation. We will have them at MAS activities or request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to Pat Rasch for putting it all together and to wildlife illustrator, Mike DiGiorgio, for his beautiful illustrations, many of which were painted specifically for this bird card. The card is a very inexpensive way to own some of the best bird art you’ll ever see. It is extra heavy-duty, all-plastic laminate, printed in full color on both sides. Twenty-four birds are identified by their common name and Latin name, along with the length of the bird and the seasons that they are usually seen in our area. In species that have visual differences between the sexes, both sexes are portrayed.
If you find a baby bird...
If you find a baby bird or other animal, it's best to leave it alone.
Chances are the parent is nearby and will take care of the baby when you
leave the area. If not or you have some other wildlife problem, contact the
CT Wildlife Rehabilitators Association at http://www.cwrawildlife.org/ where you can find a rehabilitator in your area or someone to address your problem.