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Let the Eagle Nesting Season Begin!
In the past decade, the number of bald eagle nesting territories in Connecticut has more than tripled! Almost all information about new nests and the status of existing nests comes from a dedicated group of volunteers. This information is critical to allow the Wildlife Division to protect individual nests and Connecticut's bald eagle population. At this time, eagle pairs are fixing and enlarging their nest. Nest construction, joint defense of the nesting territory, and mating all help strengthen the pair bond prior to egg laying.

Winter Waterfalls and Wildlife Viewing
Enders State Forest
During 2020's summer drought, many local waterfalls slowed to a trickle or dried out completely, but recent rains and snow melt have created great opportunities to enjoy the many waterfalls found around Connecticut. State Parks like Wadsworth Falls and Kent Falls, as well as the recently reopened Enders State Forest boardwalk, offer excellent winter waterfall viewing without strenuous hiking. Parking may be limited at these areas, but waterfall viewing opportunities exist across the state at many lesser-known places. If you want to head out for winter waterfall viewing, dress warmly and bring good footwear, as walkways may be slippery. Take note of what wildlife is active in the area. The moving water around waterfalls often attracts a variety of wildlife year-round.

Snow Tracks Reveal How Wildlife Moves About
Bobcat track
Getting outside after a recent snowfall can be a very peaceful experience. It is also a great way to observe wildlife and study the tracks and signs animals leave behind. Identifying tracks is a fun way to learn about the wildlife around you and also provide insight into the lives of the animals in your area. By studying tracks, you can learn where wild animals are going, what they are doing, and sometimes even what they are eating! 


Connecticut Ornithological Society's Big January
Tufted titmouse
Every January, the Connecticut Ornithological Society (COA) has a friendly competition among birders to find as many species as possible before the month ends. This year, however, the COA is changing the competition to encourage participation in the Connecticut Bird Atlas Project. The Connecticut Bird Atlas aims to provide comprehensive information about the distributions of all bird species that occur in the state through extensive field work during both breeding and non-breeding periods. This year's competition offers some major prizes! 
Please note: You do not have to already be involved in the CT Bird Atlas Project to participate. All you have to do is follow the outlined protocols.

When It's Cold Outside, Let the Camera Do the Work
Photo courtesy of Marilyn Lattanzi/West Hartford
The cold weather may excite some people to get outdoors as much as possible, but sometimes it is nice to stay inside and let nature go on without you having to be there watching. A great way to keep an eye out in your backyard 24 hours a day is to set up an automatically triggered camera. These "game cameras" passively monitor and take a photo or video whenever there is motion or infrared changes in front of the camera. Using a camera like this can reveal a lot more about the wildlife that is using your yard day and night. If you found some interesting tracks in the snow, you might want to set up the camera where it might detect that animal if it comes through using the same route.

2021 CT Duck Stamp Reproductions Available Now
Reproductions of the artwork displayed on the 2021 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp are available for purchase. The 2021 Duck Stamp features a painting of a Canada goose by local artist Julia Phillips. Julia's artwork marks the first painting to grace the State Duck Stamp that also took top honors in the Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Contest. A limited number of Conservation Prints, signed and uniquely remarqued by the artist, are available for $225 each. All proceeds from the sale of Conservation Prints go towards the enhancement of wetlands and associated upland habitats in Connecticut. For more information, please contact DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist Min Huang at min.huang@ct.gov.
Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Competition
Young Connecticut artists in kindergarten through grade twelve are encouraged to submit their artwork of a waterfowl species in the Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp competition sponsored by the Connecticut Waterfowl Association (CWA). The "Best of Show" winner for the 2021 Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Competition will be featured on the 2022 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp. Stay tuned to the DEEP website for details on how students and teachers can participate in the competition. 
Please note: The deadline to submit artwork will be March 15, 2021.
Give Your Christmas Tree a Forever Home
When the holiday celebrations have finished this season, there is one more thing you can do with your tree to appreciate its beauty all year. Instead of dragging your once proud tree to the curb, turn it into a home for wildlife. Old Christmas trees make a great foundation for brush piles, which are used by birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects throughout the year. You can also use wreaths or cut your tree into sections to lay down on top of existing brush piles.

Species of the Month: Red-breasted Nuthatch
Many Connecticut residents are familiar with the white-breasted nuthatch, a common winter visitor to suet feeders. Nuthatches are known for their unique ability of being able to climb down the trunk of a tree headfirst! Unlike the white-breasted nuthatch, the red-breasted nuthatch is often found in coniferous forests of cedar, hemlock, and pine (to name a few). During summer, the red-breasted nuthatch feeds on a variety of insects and arthropods and will even cache conifer seeds for later consumption during winter. Although nuthatches will occasionally use an existing tree cavity for their nest, they are one of the few non-woodpeckers that excavate their own nest cavity!

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The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact Barbara Viadella or Cenit Mirabal, DEEP Office of Diversity and Equity at 860-418-5910 or by email at deep.accommodations@ct.gov if you are requesting a communication aid or service, have limited proficiency in English, need some other type of accommodation, or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint. In order to facilitate efforts to provide an accommodation, please request all accommodations as soon as possible following notice of any agency hearing, meeting, program or event.