Sunday, November 13, 2011

Western Kingbird at H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve

A Western Kingbird was reported to eBird late yesterday by an unknown observer who I will give credit to when I learn their name(s) at the Connecticut Audubon Society H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve and Christmas Tree Farm. Our thanks go out to them. I was there early this morning and sure enough, here it is!


Our sanctuary is on Sasco Creek Road in Westport. You can read about it in more detail on our website here - these are directions to the property:

Directions: FROM I-95 Eastbound: Take Exit 19 – Southport. Go left off exit and proceed to traffic light at Rt. 1. Turn left onto Rt. 1 (Post Rd.) and go to second traffic light. Take a left and follow from * below.

FROM I-95 Westbound: Take Exit 19 – Southport. Stay straight off exit to traffic light at Route 1 – Post Road intersection. Take a right onto Rt. 1 and at third traffic light, take a left. Follow directions from * below.

* At fork, take right and proceed straight on Green Farms Rd. Take a left onto Sasco Creek Rd. Preserve and Tree Farm are 0.1 mile on left.

The sanctuary consists of three parcels: a 24-acre Christmas tree farm, a 14-acre field habitat, and a 36-acre evergreen plantation that has remained virtually undisturbed for the last 30 years. The Western Kingbird is in the field habitat across the street from the Christmas tree farm. It was flycatching from tree to tree while I was there, snacking on some rather large insects, and even chasing a few Eastern Bluebirds angrily. It called with an upset tone after flushing one from a branch near it, probably not wanting them to take any of the insects it has its eyes on. We have worked hard to rid the property of mile-a-minute vine, and the planted grasses that now fill the field have been very productive this year, this bird being the highlight.

A Connecticut Audubon Society property snags yet another awesome rarity - keep them coming, please! Connecticut was due for a western rarity as many have been spotted in other states in the northeast. What's next?

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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