Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Walk in the Woods

Beauty and Conservation at CT Audubon



Milan Bull, senior director of science and conservation, leads a trail walk in the Sanctuary.

Photo by Abigail Ray Kozel

If you were to walk with a fellow named Milan Bull through the Connecticut Audubon’s 152-acre Wildlife Center in Fairfield on its seven miles of trails and hear the thwack-thwack-thwack of a distant woodpecker you might think to yourself, “Woodpecker must be getting food out of an old tree.” That is, until Bull in the next second announces—bird unseen–“that’s a Pileated woodpecker. And he’s not looking for food yet; he’s warning off other birds that the tree is his, for the moment at least.” Bull is director of science and conservation for the Audubon society and has dedicated himself to a knowledge of wildlife, and especially birds, ever since his father said something to him as a kid he found disturbing. 

“We were fishing one day in Milford, and a large bird flew over us. It was magnificent. My father said, that’s an Osprey, which will be extinct in your lifetime.’ ” Bull went home and found the Osprey in a bird book he had and remembered his father’s words. And indeed, his father was nearly and tragically right. Fortunately, the pesticide DDT that compromised bird eggs was banned in the United States in 1972, ten years after Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. The Osprey began its comeback. Among the other beneficiaries were the Peregrine Falcon and the Bald Eagle. Now, you can see Ospreys raising their young on the Audubon’s website camera, which puts you pretty much right in their nest.

Walking through the Sanctuary today everything seems as original as Eden. The variety of wildlife is astonishing—all manner of birds, turtles, frogs, snakes, and mammals (bobcats, but not bears) live there. And rabbits. Bull gets excited about rabbits. Specifically, he is interested in the New England Cottontail, similar to “Peter” in your garden, but just a little different. These fairly rare (but not yet officially endangered) Yankee rabbits prefer the shrub and scrub that are the building materials of new forests, which are scarce. It turns out that there are birds like the Brown Thrasher and Prairie Warbler, among others, who need the same environment as this rabbit. So the existence of the rabbit is encouraging the effort for new forests and hence the improved survival chances of the birds who need that habitat. 

And as naturalists never tire of pointing out to people who seem not to mind the extinction of this or that creature, everything is connected. Birds point the way and those who live in Connecticut are acutely aware of this. Those saltwater marshes that still exist by our shoreline support hundreds of birds like the Saltmarsh Sparrow and the beautiful Clapper Rail (but you might not see one— there are only 150 of them left in Connecticut). As oceans rise, the salt marshes will disappear and so will the birds and so will...well, you get the idea. 

Nelson North is executive director of the CT’s Audubon Society. Understanding the natural world, he also knows the importance of public funding for environmental protection, both at the federal and state level, and makes the Audubon’s well-researched positions known to both Washington and Hartford. In addition, he’s always encouraging land donations like the one by Roy and Margot Larsen in the 1960s that created the current Bull Street Sanctuary. There’s another plot of Audubon land in Fairfield, Birdcaft—six acres off Unquowa Road—that also has protected land and trails. “We are always interested in contiguous parcels that could expand the sanctuaries,” he says. Everyone has a part to play. 

Many of the bridges you encounter while walking in Audubon’s forest are built by prospective Eagle Scouts and enjoyed by families and, from time to time, over 400 fourth graders from urban Bridgeport, much to their delight. The injured raptors in captivity at the site are especially popular as is Rosalind, the white rat snake in the main building, which also features a store. Store manager Jane Guenther testifies to the tremendous interest of Fairfield homeowners in maintaining “Audubons” in their own backyards. “We sell all things birding, from nesting boxes to feeders to field guides and of course, tons of birdseed. You can even buy housing for those mosquito hungry bats.” 


GET INVOLVED  The CT Audubon http://ctaudubon.orgoffers teens the opportunity to experience animal husbandry first hand with its Animal Care Program. Volunteers assist with daily feeding, habitat cleaning, and general animal care, as well as handling animals under direct supervision. Visit ctaudubon.org for an application. 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Animal Bonding

Beardsley Zoo and Fairfield University’s Behavioral Study Program

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

Celebrate the 100th birthday of the legendary musician, composer, and activist Leonard Bernstein with his oldest daughter, Jamie Bernstein, as she discusses her deeply intimate and broadly...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
Website »

More information

YES AND COMPANY Website   Facebook Improv is all about saying yes, and... to whatever life throws at you. We can give you the tools to use your brain in a new way. Our classes are perfect...

Cost: $20.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: 877-987-8764
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

It's a tradition now, eight years running! Winners of the Independent Music Awards “Best Live Performance” Category, BroJo is on a mission to make the world a more righteous...

Cost: $28 Members Save:$3 /tckt

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company StageOne
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

For over a half-decade, Mullett has proven themselves to be the Premier Rockers for Hair Band fanatics and lovers of rock n roll. By delivering the best of the 1980’s in Big...

Cost: $22

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company The Warehouse
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

For over a half-decade, Mullett has proven themselves to be the Premier Rockers for Hair Band fanatics and lovers of rock n roll. By delivering the best of the 1980’s in Big Hair and faithful...

Cost: $25/ticket; No Member Discount; tanding Room Only; Limited Seating Available

Where:
The Warehouse at FTC
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

  The Garcia Project’s performances are based on actual set lists performed by The Jerry Garcia Band. All of their shows are classic recreations of a Jerry Garcia Band set list from the 1976 to...

Cost: $20.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: 877-987-8764
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Pequot Library’s cozy Book Sale: Come to relax, browse, and buy. Plenty of free parking! Admission is free and all items are priced as marked. All Sale proceeds support Pequot Library’s annual...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

A Thanksgiving weekend tradition continues at FTC! Come and sing-along to the most popular animated film of all time. When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna joins...

Cost: 5

Where:
The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Santa Visits Fairfield – a Fairfield Tradition November 24, 2018    LOCATION CHANGE FOR 2018: OLD TOWN HALL GREEN (611 Old Post Road, Fairfield) Santa is arriving and visiting Fairfield on...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Old Town Hall Green
611 Old Post Road
Corner of Old Post Rd & Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-255-1011
Contact Name: Krista McCormack
Website »

More information

Everyone's favorite holiday classic comes to life in the all-new touring production A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage! Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as...

Cost: $59

Where:
Stamford Center For The Arts - Palace Theatre
61 Atlantic St.
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Telephone: 802-255-1826
Contact Name: Emily Carter
Website »

More information

Pequot Library’s cozy Book Sale: Come to relax, browse, and buy. Plenty of free parking! Admission is free and all items are priced as marked. All Sale proceeds support Pequot Library’s annual...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Shoplifting Saturday's are coming to PET PANTRY in Fairfield, CT!  Your pup is approved to sniff, seek and swipe ONE Earth Animal No-Hide Chew for their chomping pleasure! And they will receive a...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Pet Pantry
1876 Black Rock Turnpike
Earth Animal
Fairfield, CT  06825
View map »


Sponsor: Earth Animal
Telephone: 203-557-3322
Contact Name: Brooke Valenti
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags