Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds thanks volunteers

On Monday evening, September 15, the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds held a thank you party for all of the tremendous volunteers who helped us conduct surveys, monitoring, stewardship, education and outreach across Connecticut in 2014. We thank the Town of Stratford and the Stratford Conservation Commission for allowing us to use the pavilion at Short Beach Park in Stratford.

There have been at least 2,200 hours logged by over 379 volunteers in the AAfCW program this year. We have seen 51 species of shorebirds, terns and long-legged waders at nearly 200 important sites in the state. Most importantly our headline species, the federally "threatened" Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), is confirmed to have fledged 97 young in Connecticut in 2014 according to our counts. This is the second highest total ever recorded in the state for a season.

Below is Audubon Connecticut's Director of Bird Conservation Patrick Comins discussing some of these very numbers with party attendees.

Laura Saucier from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also addressed the crowd and thanked them for all of their help in this very successful year.

Here's Audubon Connecticut Important Bird Area Coordinator Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe talking about some of this year's special programs including the Bridgeport WildLife Guards and Manomet's International Shorebird Surveys.

The sun set quickly and the temperature dropped rapidly on this gorgeous September evening as we already eagerly spoke of next season and then said our goodbyes for the night.

While the 2014 nesting season has ended our efforts continue throughout the year - conducting additional surveys, working to protect important habitat and improve critical sites for waterbirds. We will also be working tirelessly to continue to educate the public about why these birds matter and the significant role they play in our coastal ecosystems. Thank you once again to all of our amazing volunteers! If you want to join up as a citizen scientist in Connecticut please email ctwaterbirds@gmail.com and we will find the right spot for you.

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