- Joel Greenberg on Passenger Pigeon
- Six Giant Wind Turbines Threaten Great Lakes Bird Migration Corridor
- Audubon Greenwich Educator Receives National Award
- Happy New Year 2014!
- Hoo Hoo Hoo Merry Christmas!
- Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Recognized by USFWS
- Bird Food For People™ ~ Hadlyme Country Market
- Hadlyme, CT Fork-tailed Flycatcher; A Wrong Way Corrigan?
- Fork-Tailed Flycatcher Hadlyme Ferry CT Directions
- Happy Thanksgiving 2013
- Christmas Bird Count Attire
- Backyard Birds Feeder Form 2013
- Westport CT Christmas Bird Count 2013
- Golden Eagle at Sherwood Island
- Veterans Day
- Goodbye Summer Tomatoes
- Urban Wildlife Oases in New Haven CT
- September Rabbit Rabbit
- Bird Food For People™ ~ Old Blue Bird Inn
- Festival of Shorebirds at Jamaica Bay
Official Connecticut Regional Coordinator
I am very disturbed by what continues to develop in one of my beloved areas of the birding world. It is my deep concern that lead me to post this press release. We can all spread the word loudly and help our friends in NW Ohio fight this serious problem.
Northwest Ohio is an important bird migration flyway that is a crucial stop over for millions of migrating birds to feed, rest and refuel to continue there long journey to their nesting grounds or the reverse commute back home for the winter. If this problem on WRONG LOCATION of Wind Turbines in Northwest Ohio continues to be ignored, we may never see any migrating birds ever again. This would be a monumental disaster! ~ Mardi Welch Dickinson
Bird Groups Raise Alarms over Wind Industry Installation of Six Giant Wind Turbines in Critical Great Lakes Bird Migration Corridor. Letter to Feds Charges Wind Industry with Ignoring Voluntary Federal Guidelines.
Washington, D.C., (March 3, 2014) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) charge that millions of migrating and federally protected birds, including an active Bald Eagle nest, will be threatened by an Ohio wind development currently under construction. The concern was raised in a letter sent this week to federal officials.
The groups say that a local business park is attempting to install six massive, 300-foot-tall wind turbines in the same area of Ohio that saw a single large Air National Guard-proposed wind turbine project shelved just last month by federal officials because that project did not comply with major wildlife conservation laws. The site for both projects is Port Clinton, Ohio, on the southern shore of Lake Erie.
According to the February 26 letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, “… this wind energy project is being built by the developer, SUREnergy, with no Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) ever being conducted, and with no consultation whatsoever with any state or federal natural resource agency. ABC and BSBO are concerned that this project represents an even greater threat to our public trust resources than the turbine that was planned for Camp Perry, and encourages the Service to look into this project in more detail, and take decisive action as appropriate.”
The letter says further that, “If this poorly sited facility is being built in the absence of any EA, any permitting process, or any consultation with state or federal wildlife authorities, then it clearly represents another failure of the current voluntary permitting guidelines to protect our public trust resources. Whether on public or private land, our native birds and bats are not owned by the for-profit wind industry, but are owned by the American people and held in trust for current and future generations.”
According to Dr. Michael Hutchins, Coordinator of ABC’s national Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign, “We support wind energy development in places where impacts to birds and other wildlife can be minimized. However, these turbines are being built in one of the top five most important bird migration corridors in all of North America. The area is also home to the highest concentration of nesting Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. It is likely not possible to dream up a worse scenario for birds, including threatened, endangered, and other protected species.”
“The geography of the region and the reluctance of migrating birds to cross Lake Erie before resting and feeding create a funneling effect for millions of North, Central, and South American migrating birds,” said Kimberly Kaufman, Executive Director of BSBO. “It is appalling to think that massive wind turbines can be constructed in these globally important bird areas without any wildlife review whatsoever. Projects like these are an example of the failure of our country’s voluntary guidelines to protect birds even in the most sensitive areas.”
ABC has created a Wind Development Bird Risk Map that shows the Lake Erie shoreline in Ohio is among the worst possible locations for a wind power project. “Once again, it is hard to reconcile the wind industry’s claims to being ‘green’ when we see that the clear intent of some developers is to carry on without regard to impacts to wildlife and the environment,” said Hutchins.
ABC and BSBO led a petition campaign that acquired over 5,000 signatures in opposition to the earlier wind turbine project at Camp Perry. Together, they filed on January 8, 2014, a formal Notice of Intent to Sue the Air National Guard (ANG), charging that a proposed turbine in the area was being built in violation of several major conservation and wildlife protection laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
A letter from the ANG Director of Installations and Mission Support agreed, stating that: “After carefully considering your objections … I have decided to withdraw the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for the project effective immediately. … Since the FONSI has been withdrawn, the project will not go forward at this time.” The letter was dated Jan. 28 and was signed by Colonel Peter A. Sartori, Director, Installations and Mission Support.
ABC and BSBO asserted that the placement of the project at the Camp Perry facility—and those proposed for the surrounding areas—presents an extremely high risk to migrating songbirds, especially the federally endangered Kirtland’s Warbler. This imperiled species was nearly extinct less than 40 years ago and, while rebounding due to costly and intensive management efforts, still numbers only in the low thousands. Additional birds at risk include other migrating songbirds, raptors such as Bald Eagles, Piping Plovers, and waterfowl. Also of concern to local residents is the possibility that projects like these may discourage birding tourism. Currently, more than 50,000 visiting birders inject $37 million into the local economy every spring.
ABC’s efforts to establish Bird-Smart wind energy in the U.S. are made possible in part by the generous support of the Leon Levy Foundation.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.
Black Swamp Bird Observatory is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit whose mission is to inspire the appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research, education, and outreach.
Long standing and good friend Ted Gilman, senior naturalist and education specialist at Audubon Greenwich, is the 2013 recipient of the Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year award.
This award couldn’t of been given to a more deserving and dedicated person in education and wildlife conservation. Congratulations Ted! ~ Mardi & Townsend Dickinson.
Immediate Release below:
GREENWICH, Conn. (February 21, 2014) – The National Audubon Society announced that Ted Gilman, senior naturalist and education specialist at Audubon Greenwich, is the 2014 recipient of the Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year award. The surprise announcement took place at a banquet at the Grange Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio, where Gilman was celebrated by his colleagues from around the country.
The Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year, bestowed since 2006, is named in honor of a pioneer of Audubon’s conservation education programs. Tamar Chotzen, Audubon’s Vice President of Centers and Education from 1999-2005, led the organization’s efforts to grow its network of centers across the country. The endowment that provides the funding for this annual award was created through a gift donated in her name in 2005.
Gilman was first hired in 1974, as a birdlife instructor at Audubon’s Camp on Hog Island in Maine, where he continues to teach ornithology. While working on his master’s degree in environmental education at Cornell University –where he was roommates with Stephen Kress, founder of “Project Puffin” and Vice President of Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society– he received an invitation to apply for a staff naturalist position with Audubon Greenwich. He left Ithaca to pursue what he hoped would be his dream job and he has been living that dream for 37 years.
Today, there is nothing Gilman finds more satisfying than when he recognizes in a child that same “bug,” as he calls it, for birds that he experienced as a young naturalist. Many of his students from his early years now return with their children to experience walks with Ted. One such student is Michelle Frankel, now center director at Audubon Greenwich, who participated as a teenager in the Audubon Greenwich Summer Ecology Workshop for Educators; a program that was under Gilman’s leadership for over two decades and influenced hundreds of educators around the country.
“Though I was not a teacher and by far the youngest participant, it was a formative experience for me that led the way for me to devote my life to wildlife conservation. I had never before encountered someone so deeply knowledgeable — and passionate — about nature as Ted. It is my great, good fortune to be able to continue to learn from Ted as a colleague each and every day,” says Frankel.
If you would like to have the opportunity to meet Ted Gilman or book a special private “Ted Walk” nature tour, visit Audubon Greenwich or check the online calendar at http://greenwich.audubon.org.
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Wishing everyone Happy New Year 2014!
Mardi & Townsend Dickinson
Auld Lang Syne by Mairi Cambell and Dave Francis
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Mardi & Townsend Dickinson
O Come All Ye Faithful Click here
Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases partners gathered at West River Memorial Park in New Haven Connecticut, to celebrate the honor of seeing the Urban Oases project in the New Haven Harbor Watershed, designated as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service., and to be recognized as a national model for community-based conservation on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Director, Dan Ashe, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5 Director, Wendi Weber; came to town for this ceremony, designating Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program in New Haven as one of only eight Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships in the country!
Per Dan Ashe, Director, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Services “National wildlife refuges are the best of America’s wild places, but many are not near major metropolitan areas. Most Americans have grown up without a real connection to the outdoors and wildlife, and the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative gives us a chance to change that. We believe these unique urban partnerships can inspire the imagination and create a connected conservation constituency of people who are aware, understand and support fish and wildlife conservation.”
Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director, Audubon Connecticut said “Audubon believes that where birds thrive, so do people. Through land stewardship, habitat creation, citizen science, youth employment, green jobs training, innovative education programs and natural history interpretation, the partners in our New Haven Urban Oases program are working to create a network of wildlife-and people_ friendly natural refuges in parks, school yards, and front yards throughout the City.”
The Service’s Urban Refuge Initiative was launched to increase awareness, understanding, and support of the USFWS, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and natural resource conservation. In keeping with those goals, Audubon Connecticut’s New Haven Urban Oases program is a collaborative effort to create a matrix of high quality habitats for birds and wildlife, engage children and youth in hands on conservation while providing new educational opportunities, and enhancing public and private spaces throughout the City.
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe elaborates, “We must reach out into our cites to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to develop a true connection with wild things and wild places. Our Urban Wildlife Refugee Partnership will help us engage communities where we haven’t had much of a presence.”
Common Ground High School students listen in to fellow student, Michael Bruno.
In May 2013 the New Haven Harbor Watershed partnership competed nationally for recognition under the Fish and Wildlife Services’ Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative. The designation is a formal recognition of excellence. It took a virtual army of volunteers from at least seven regional and national organizations. Their work is ongoing and the funding secured so far enables the partnership to continue with plans to expand their efforts.
New Haven Harbor Watershed Program partners include: Audubon Connecticut, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (with Director Dan Ashe and Region 5 Director Wendi Weber), EPA Long Island Sound Study, City of New Haven Public Schools and Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees, New Haven Park Friends Groups, Common Ground High School and Environmental Education Center, New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and community partners.
Students from Common Ground High School and Hill House High School help plant trees and maintain gardens at schools, park, vacant lots and public and private front yards.
National recognition of a promising partnership brings smiles to the faces of some of the key partners and all who attended this celebration could sense the pride of achievement for all those who worked so hard to make this happen.
Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director, Audubon Connecticut congratulates local New Haven students who each read a short piece of creative writing on what the Urban Oases means to them. It is evident that Mr. Hudson and Audubon Connecticut are deeply committed to the partnership and the promise of the future. Audubon Connecticut has brought lofty conservation ideas and is implementing them on the local level in a big way. If the considerable efforts expended so far are any indication, the New Haven Harbor Watershed, Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be in the national eye for years to come. We all have something to gain from efforts like these.
If your intertested in Part 1 Click here. Urban Wildlife Oases in New Haven CT.