Please share this edition of Wildlife Highlights with other outdoor enthusiasts
and help our subscription list grow! 
Making It Last
Osprey, an iconic Connecticut resident, nearly disappeared from our state. From a low of three successful nests in 1973 to nearly 800 nests statewide today, osprey have become one of our greatest wildlife conservation successes. The banning of DDT and creation of diverse partnerships to build and install artificial nest platforms helped this species rebound. Osprey are off Connecticut's Endangered Species List and once again thriving.
2019: Make a Difference for Wildlife
There are plenty of simple ways people can help wildlife, and each month we will highlight an action everyone can take to benefit the species that call Connecticut home.

Carelessly discarded fishing line can seriously harm or kill wildlife. Animals can become entangled in, or ingest, the line, which can cause starvation, strangulation, and deep wounding. Wildlife usually cannot survive the injuries they sustain from entanglements. To prevent such incidents, the DEEP, along with numerous conservation partners, has installed monofilament fishing line recycling receptacles at inland and coastal sites around the state to encourage less waste line in the environment. The disposed fishing line is collected by volunteers and then sent to a company that recycles it to make underwater habitat structures for fish. Please retrieve discarded fishing line and other waste items and discard them appropriately. Thank you for helping protect our wildlife.

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, May 11
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual awareness-raising campaign that highlights the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.

Every year people around the world take action and organize public events, such as bird festivals, education programs, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD. This year, the theme of World Migratory Bird Day is "Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!" and puts the spotlight on the impact of plastic pollution on migratory birds and their habitats.

Turtles and Roads, a Deadly Combination
The months of May through July are the nesting season for many turtles. At this time, egg-bearing females travel across land to find the perfect location to dig a nest and lay eggs. Aquatic turtles also leave the water in search of terrestrial nesting sites. Connecticut's landscape is highly fragmented by busy roads, and many turtles are forced to travel great distances - and across roadways - to find suitable nesting habitat. Helping a turtle move across the road can be the difference between life and death for the animal, and for future generations, BUT YOUR SAFETY COMES FIRST. Be sure to assist a turtle in the road only when it is safe to do so and do not attempt to stop traffic.  

Participate in the Annual Turkey Brood Survey
The Wildlife Division will be conducting its annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey from June 1 to August 31, 2019. During this time, volunteers record all of the hens and poults (young turkeys) observed during normal travel. Each observation is categorized by total number of hens observed, total poults, and total number of hens with poults. Wild turkey brood surveys provide insight into annual productivity of the state's wild turkey population and help assess annual fluctuations in the turkey population.  New this year . . . observations can also be reported through iNaturalist, as well as on the Wild Turkey Observation Form (PDF).

Report Sightings of Bats, Bobcats, Bears, Moose, Ruffed Grouse, and Banded Purple Martins
Help the Wildlife Division monitor certain wildlife populations this summer. Report sightings of black bears, moose, and bobcats.

Report bat colonies to provide biologists with valuable information about where state-listed bats live and raise young in Connecticut.

Sighting reports of ruffed grouse can be sent to Wildlife Division biologist Michael Gregonis at

The Wildlife Division is studying the dispersal patterns of sub-adult purple martins in our state. You can help by letting us know if you have observed any color-banded purple martins (learn more).
Chimney Swift Night 2019
The Town of Willimantic and one of its most successful businesses, Willibrew, celebrates the chimney swift with Chimney Swift Night at the Willimantic Brewing Company/Main St Café on Monday, June 10, 2019. The event is scheduled at the height of the spring arrival for the birds. DEEP and UCONN researchers will be at the Brewing Co. starting at 5:30 PM. "Showtime" for the swifts is typically 20 minutes before sundown to 30 minutes after sundown (8:00 PM). Join us to hopefully witness an incredible spectacle!

Join us for Trails Day at Sessions Woods WMA
The morning hike is scheduled for 9:00 AM on Saturday, June 1 and features a 5-mile hike led by Jan Gatzuras. This moderately difficult hike passes through pretty woodland forests and the Great Wall, a steep rocky escarpment nearly 70 feet high.

The afternoon hike at 1:30 PM will be co-led by Burlington Land Trust member Karen Geitz and DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist Peter Picone. Participants should also bring water and a snack for this approximately 3-hour hike. Registration is not necessary but recommended in case of a cancellation due to severe weather. 

Upcoming Hunter Education Courses for June 2019
Conservation Education/Firearms Safety courses are administered by the Wildlife Division and taught throughout the year by a dedicated corps of certified volunteer instructors. Certifications are offered in the disciplines of firearms hunting, bow hunting, and trapping. Following is a list of upcoming courses for the month of May. These courses post for registration 30 days prior to their start date.  Please note: Courses can be scheduled at any time, and this may not be a complete list of May's  offerings.

Bow Hunting:
- Berlin: Saturday, June 8
- Andover: Sunday, June 23

Basic Trapping:
- Franklin: Saturday, June 15

Sunday, September 15, 2019

at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
Species of the Month: Virginia Rail
The Virginia rail is a secretive bird that often remains hidden in the dense vegetation of freshwater marshes. Special adaptations, including a laterally compressed body and long toes help the Virginia rail navigate its seemingly impassible verdant habitat. As a group, rails have the highest ratio of leg muscles to flight muscles of any bird, and this may explain why they prefer walking over flight. This ground nesting bird will often construct multiple "dummy nests" in an attempt to deter predators from finding the single nest where the female will lay her legs. Their diet includes beetles, spiders, small fish, crayfish, and frogs. Look for this bird in freshwater marshes at dawn or dusk when they are typically most active. You are more likely to hear its grunting call before you are actually able to spot the bird with your own eyes.  

-- Quick Links --
Your Feedback Is Important to Us!
Send your comments or suggestions to deep.ctwildlife@ct.g ov
Hunting and fishing equipment purchases and license fees fund hunting and fishing programs and wildlife conservation.

You are making a difference and we thank you for your support!
Stay Connected!

You'll find each issue packed with information about wildlife, hunting, fishing, and natural resource-related issues in Connecticut.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact us at 860-418-5910 or if you: have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.