Great Stratford Bird Festival
By Patrick Comins on October 3, 2012, 9:23pm
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Columbus Day Weekend is always a great time for birding in Connecticut. Warblers, shorebirds and hawks are still on the move and sparrows, finches and waterfowl are beginning to show up. If you want to see some great birds, you don’t have to go it alone this weekend, as it is time for the annual Great Stratford Bird Festival!
Stratford’s wide variety of high quality habitats and location on the west side of the mouth of the Housatonic River makes it one of the best towns in which to see birds in the whole state. Well over 300 different kinds of birds have been seen within its boundaries. Each October the town celebrates their tremendous avian resources and great birding spots like Stratford Point, the Great Meadows Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Long Beach, Boothe Memorial Park, Roosevelt Forest and the Stratford Greenway with the Great Stratford Bird Festival.
Stratford also has a long history of bird art and is considered the birthplace of the uniquely American art form of decoy carving, which is celebrated at the festival with displays of historic and modern decoys and other bird-related art at Stratford Point. While some showers are predicted for this weekend, it isn’t likely to be a total washout and some of the best birding can be on showery days when the rain isn’t coming down too hard, as migrants that would be normally just passing through or resting during the day tend to be more active and readily observable than on bright sunny days. Whether you’re a veteran birder or someone just curious to find out what the fuss is all about, the Great Stratford Bird Festival is a great way to spend the weekend and get outdoors or enjoy all-weather activities at Stratford Point if the rain picks up during your visit. Live birds of prey shows are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday.
For a complete schedule of events and to find out more about the festival, please see:
Brian Bradley, from Skyhunters in Flight, pictured above with his Snowy Owl, will perform at Stratford Point on Saturday at 3 p.m.