Restoration of Bird Populations: Woodcock — a Case Study in Connecticut

Center at Pomfret News Release

Restoration of Bird Populations:  Woodcock — a Case Study in Connecticut

Saturday, February 18, 2:00-3:30 PM

MEDIA CONTACT:  Sarah Heminway, Director Northeast Region,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 7, 2023

Pomfret, CONNECTICUT – Dr. Min Huang, who leads the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) migratory bird program, will discuss the American woodcock and protection and restoration of its habitat on Saturday, February 18, at 2:00 p.m. at The Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS) Center at Pomfret, 218 Day Road, Pomfret Center. This program is presented in collaboration with the Eastern Connecticut Forest Landowners Association (ECFLA) and the Wyndham Land Trust (WLT).

In the last fifty years, three billion birds have vanished from the North American landscape. The causes for the drastic declines are numerous, but at the heart of the matter is the loss of suitable habitat on both breeding and wintering grounds. As environmental stewards, there are actions we can take to reverse the downward trends.

The recovery of bird populations will require large scale habitat protection and, in many cases, restoration, throughout the life cycle needs of the species in question. According to one study, the woodcock population specifically has declined at a rate of 1.1% a year for the last 40 years. Using woodcock as an example, Dr. Huang will present a case study of how partners are working to reverse the decline in its numbers.

A sign of spring, the woodcock is a charismatic bird, known for its quirky appearance and male display flights. It spends the winter in the southern United States and returns to Connecticut from February to March. On its breeding grounds, it seeks forest openings or pastures for its twilight courtship performances and early successional/young forests for nesting and raising its young. In the Northeast, recent efforts to restore the latter habitat have been successful, benefiting not only woodcock but also as many as 50 other kinds of wildlife.

At its property in Hampton, Blue Flag Meadow, the ECFLA/Wolf Den Land Trust has worked to restore young forest habitat, resulting in the woodcock becoming a successful breeder there. The Wyndham Land Trust maintains habitat at its Lyon and Duck Marsh Preserves in Pomfret. Each year, Andy Rzeznikiewicz, CAS land manager, leads woodcock watches on these properties. See the CAS website for upcoming trips.

Whether you own acreage and are interested in managing it for wildlife or are a member of ECFLA or WLT or another like-minded organization undertaking or promoting this important conservation work, Dr. Huang’s program will be of interest.

Registration is requested. The attendance fee is $5.00 for CAS, ECFLA, and WLT members, $10.00 for non-members. To attend remotely, register for this program through the CAS website to receive a Zoom link.

218 Day Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259     860-928-4948


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