The Great Migration: Seasonal Birds Arrive in New England


Spring heralds the arrival of millions of birds who have been wintering in southern climes, back to our Connecticut landscape. This vast migration of dozens of species takes place largely out of sight and awareness by those of us who count ourselves as their earth-bound neighbors. Yet, knowing what to look for—and where—can unlock a trove of understanding about these colorful and often noisy treetop travelers. Raising our eyes and ears skyward can reveal a complex narrative about bird migration, their patterns of travel, and their choice of habitat, once they have arrived at their new summer residence. This course includes classroom time with our Audubon expert, Ken Elkins, and a field trip to New Haven’s East Rock, to witness this miracle of nature as it unfolds.

Due to the popularity of the topic and instructor, class size is limited.

Instructor: Ken Elkins

Dates: Wednesdays – April 15, 22, 29; May 6

            Saturday – May 9 (10:00 a.m. field trip to East Rock)

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $145

KEN ELKINS first took an interest in birds when he was 10 years old, while watching the birds at his grandmother’s feeders in Vermont. He has been obsessed ever since. Elkins started his career in conservation education at Westmoor Park and quickly moved on to the Connecticut Audubon Society, leading many eco-travel trips, competing in the World Series of Birding, and directing the education programs for all five centers. In 2008, Elkins joined National Audubon, where he is the education program manager at the Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury. In the past few years, he has tripled the enrollment in their summer camps and created a nationally recognized therapeutic program called “Bird Tales,” which uses birds to engage people with dementia. Elkins is a former president of the Connecticut Ornithological Association. He has served as the Christmas Bird Count compiler for the Woodbury-Roxbury CBC since 2012 and is the West-Central regional coordinator for the 2018–2020 Connecticut Bird Atlas project.

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