Spring 2024

The Urban Bird Treaty is a unique program through US Fish & Wildlife Service, that brings together partners from a spectrum of federal, state, municipal, non-profit, and educational organizations to create bird-friendly habitats that connect citizens to nature through birding and conservation in cities. Park Watershed and Connecticut Audubon Society are partners with the City of Hartford other local conservation groups, including Hartford Audubon Society to fulfill the goals of the Hartford Urban Bird Treaty.

Thirty-four signatory partners renewed the Hartford Urban Bird Treaty on May 19, 2023!

For a summary of previous work, see: ‘Hartford’s Birds – Park Habitat Revitalization and Conservation’  a Municipal Conservation Reference of lessons drawn from the original Urban Bird Treaty program. An updated Hartford Bird Agenda will align with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Urban Bird Treaty Program Guidebook V.3 – Making Cities Healthier Places for Birds and People. It’s great to participate in this national network, given the history of Hartford Audubon Society and Connecticut Audubon Society.

Lights Out CT an initiative of the Connecticut Ornithological Association is developing a research team and network of participants to expand awareness surrounding the impact of night light pollution on migratory birds, and our health. The International Dark-Sky Association is hosting a Global Conference (24 hour virtual event) on Nov 11-12th 2022.

Hoping to learn more about birds in your neighborhood?  Download the Merlin app for quick, easy online bird identification. The Merlin app is available from the Cornell Lab, or the Audubon Bird Guide app.

Raising awareness of science is a way to share magnificent sightings, see
Harlem murals of endangered birds, featured in Orion Magazine, “Spark Bird”
a Spring 2021 | February 19, 2021 article by Emily Raboteau, Stuart Z. Katz Professor in the Humanities and the Arts at City College of New York

The Ct Bird Atlas
The Connecticut Bird Atlas aims to provide comprehensive information about the distributions of all species that occur in the state. With the help of the state’s birding community, we will conduct field work during both breeding and non-breeding periods, with data collection focused on describing both where each species occurs and how abundance varies across the state. To learn more or volunteer, see Connecticut Bird Atlas.

Hoping to learn more about birds in your neighborhood?  Download the Merlin app for quick, easy online bird identification. The Merlin app is available from the Cornell Lab, or the Audubon Bird Guide app.

flew by –

Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Science on Screen at Real Art Ways,
brings the world of science alive, pairing films with a discussion led by area scientists
6pm birder’s reception
6:30 PM | Pre Film Talk: Bird Migrations
Dr. Matthew Kamm, a Boston-based wildlife biologist who specializes in ornithology. Matt has studied the natural history of wild birds while working for Mass Audubon and during his Ph.D work at Tufts University, with a focus on understanding songbird migration and the life history of American kestrels. He currently works as the Conservation Outreach Coordinator for Zoo New England.

pre film talk followed by Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”

With Friends of Keney Park and Ct Audubon Society, we are continuing to develop a new ‘Bird Agenda’ to advance Hartford’s participation as an Urban Bird Treaty City, a program of US Fish & Wildlife Service. This process is thanks to the generosity of The Richard P. Garmany Fund, which is administered through the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Contact us if you are interested in being involved in this process.

take a walk, or . . . science on screen,
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
at Real Art Ways, 6:30 Wednesday, July 21st

what happened in spring 2020?
#BlackBirdersWeek: On the Wing: The Increased Popularity of Birdwatching, WAMU radio conversation with Dr. Drew Lanham, a professor at Clemson University and the author of “Birding While Black“.
7 Tips for Watching Birds During the Spring Lockdown, by David Sibley

Shade Grown Coffee – why? Coffee grown organically in bio-diverse forests host more birds!Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 3143 (2018)
sourceBirds & Beans Coffee

Throughout the month of May, Park Watershed will celebrate ‘Birds Connect Our World’ the 2020 theme of World Migratory Bird Day. by posting a wide array of local, regional and international birds references. As emphasized by David Allen Sibley and Jennifer Ackerman, our knowledge of birds is growing.

On Saturday, May 9th  begin with a 7am Dawn Chorus livestream from Audubon Connecticut at Stratford Point. The 2020 Birds Connect Our World’ online live program begins at 8am, with a “Get outdoors with Rafael in Cozumel Mexico” session in Spanish. See the World Bird Day Virtual Festival for the full program of speakers and sessions from around the world, as well as the history of this international event.

US Fish & Wildlife Service has released the Urban Bird Treaty Program Guidebook: Making Cities Healthier Places for Birds and People.  The City of Hartford, is recognized as an active Urban Bird Treaty city. See descriptions of Hartford’s accomplishments, such as habitat conservation, community engagement and reducing night light pollution, along with thirty other cities in the Urban Bird Treaty Program Story Map. We are currently updating the city’s implementation plan, contact us to learn more.

Park Watershed recognizes why birds matter, 2018 was the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and so an opportunity to extend inter-disciplinary research and project initiatives. This treaty was one of the first environmental laws between two nations. The Act, signed as an agreement with Great Britain (for Canada) on Aug. 16, 1916, was approved as U.S. federal law in 1918. Subsequent international agreements that protect migratory birds followed with Mexico (1936), Japan (1972) and Russia (1976). The centennial of the 1916 Migratory Bird Treaty is the beginning of series of significant advances in environmental protection.

Now is the time to look forward and establish quality of life goals for the next 100 years. What conservation measures are needed to protect migratory bird populations for another century through to 2116? Given climate change, irregular temperatures, storms and drought are projected to intensify, how can Hartford parks and riparian corridors be managed to sustain abundant habitat and regenerative natural resources for future generations?

Now available online: ‘Hartford’s Birds – Park Habitat Revitalization and Conservation’  a Municipal Conservation Reference of lessons drawn from the Urban Bird Treaty. Print the Hartford Urban Bird Plant Palette digital file  (11′ X 17″). Simply click to open the illustration of Seasonal Urban Bird Foods and the corresponding Native Plant List.

Hartford’s Birds – Park Habitat Revitalization and Conservation City of Hartford, situated mid-state at the confluence of the Park River regional watershed with the Connecticut River, includes historic parkland that serve as essential bird havens for urban-adaptive migratory birds that travel along the Atlantic flyway. Working with Trinity College and Park Watershed, City of Hartford has developed a series of habitat enhancement maintenance and design practices and public education programs.

A limited number of Plant Palettes folded reference and posters are available
Contact Mary

Hartford’s Birds – Park Habitat Revitalization and Conservation’

The three key goals of this project are to enhance habitat; provide the public with information specific to local bird habitat; and to reduce urban migratory bird hazards. Habitat enhancement projects have been implemented around the ponds of Keney Park and Pope Park with community groups, Friends Keney Park and Friends of Pope Park. This work included planting native trees, shrubs, and wildflower as well as the removal of trash and invasive non-native plants. Maps and signage of the habitat enhancement projects are being prepared for installation (2014).

A ‘Plant Palette’ developed through project field research and habitat enhancement projects is being distributed in print and digital format to educate the community about vegetation that provides habitat for migratory birds traveling through Hartford.

Urban conditions hazardous to birds, such as strikes against glass curtain walls, have been studied. Materials and products that can reduce the impact of hazardous conditions will be tested.

A memorandum of recommendations will review ways to strengthen existing bird habitat, such as reducing night light pollution. We aim to fulfill the purpose of the US Fish and Wildlife’s Urban Bird Treaty Program, which “works with cities and partners to conserve migratory birds through education, hazard reductions, citizen science, conservation actions, and conservation and habitat improvement strategiesin urban/suburban areas”  more about the program is available through this weblink: Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds.

‘Hartford’s Birds – Park Habitat Revitalization and Conservation’ 
was formally announced on May 19th 2012, at Keney Park Pond. To celebrate Hartford’s Urban Bird Treaty, the  WOW Express, was featured at the Ebony Horsewomen Spring Festival. The “WOW” or Watershed on Wheels, is the mobile visitor center of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

The celebration of Hartford’s Birds began with a morning bird walk, lead by Dr. Joan Morrison around Keney Park Pond. During the month of May, International Migratory Bird events are happening throughout North America. The 2012 theme is ‘Connecting People to Bird Conservation’, that is ” highlighted in the 2012 art created by Rafael Lopez.  The lively piece reflects the joy, curiosity, and beauty of birds, while sharing the importance of community in bird conservation.”

Let us know if you would like to learn more, share your urban bird observations, or participate in the bird habitat enhancement project.