Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Help conserve threatened beach nesting birds in Connecticut

Connecticut's shoreline provides critical habitat for the federally threatened Piping Plover. You can help us conserve this threatened beach-nesting species:

  • Do you have an interest in wildlife?
  • Do you enjoy walking along the beaches of Long Island Sound?
  • Can you spare at least two hours a month to help threatened birds in our state?

Please consider volunteering as a Piping Plover monitor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!

For the last several years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Audubon Society, Audubon Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy and The Friends of Milford Point/Stratford Great Meadows NWR have partnered together to monitor beaches between West Haven and Stratford for nesting Piping Plovers.

These migratory birds return to the Connecticut coast each March from their wintering grounds on the Gulf Coast and stay here up to five months to nest and raise their young.  Located on the beach, their nests are extremely susceptible to human disturbance, destruction by predators, and tidal wash outs. Volunteer monitors make a big difference, enhancing the survival and productivity of plovers and terns in our state.

As a monitors, you will observe and record data about various beach nesting birds and their chicks at one of four locations: Milford Point near the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center; Silver Sands State Park in Milford; Long Beach in Stratford; and Sandy Point in West Haven. The primary duties involve assisting the USFWS with observation and data collection about nesting Piping Plovers, and helping to educate the public about these species. Volunteers work 2-hour shifts from April until the end of the breeding season (usually in August) and must donate a minimum of 2 hours per month.

If you are interested, please attend the training and orientation session held Saturday, March 10, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at Milford Point.

The session will include piping plover natural history, the state of plovers in Connecticut, volunteer organization and logistics, reporting responsibilities, and beach training with simulated plovers and eggs.

For more information on the training session, directions to the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center, or to make reservations, please call USFWS Ranger Shaun Roche at (860) 399-2513 or email

Thank you!

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbird Conservation, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

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