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2017-2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide Available

The 2017-2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide is now available on the DEEP website. Printed versions can be obtained from town halls and select DEEP offices (Hartford, Sessions Woods, Franklin WMA, Marlborough, Harwinton, Marine Headquarters). The Migratory Bird Guide contains season dates and other important information pertaining to upcoming hunting seasons for waterfowl (including Canada geese), woodcock, snipe, rails, and crows.

Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Days will be held on Saturday, October 7 and Saturday, November 4, 2017. Participants must be between 12 to 15 years of age, possess a valid small game junior hunting license and a Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp (which includes the HIP permit), and be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age.

SAVE THE DATE!
This FREE event is sponsored by the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources. Lots of fun activities for the whole family are planned.

Annual Canada Goose Banding Project Continues
Click the image to watch a goose banding demonstration video.

In the last 60 years, land use changes in Connecticut have created ideal goose habitat throughout the state. These changes have led to an increased resident Canada goose population, along with an increase in nuisance complaints. 

During the last two weeks of June, Wildlife Division Waterfowl Program biologists gathered a group of well-informed volunteers and staff to band resident Canada geese at locations throughout the state.  Goose banding is done in late June because the geese are molting their feathers and cannot fly. Just over 2,000 geese were captured at 40 sites with a minimum of three sites per county.  The captured geese were fitted with aluminum leg bands, which have an identifying number, and their sex and age (adult or juvenile) are recorded. Some adult geese were also marked with yellow, plastic neck collars. Banding enables biologists to collect information on the movement patterns, survival rates, and the population size of resident Canada geese.
 
More on Canada Geese . . .
ProTip: How To Watch Shorebirds Responsibly
Summer is finally here! That means more opportunities to watch Connecticut's diverse coastal wildlife ... but we must do so responsibly to not threaten the survival of these animals; shorebirds are particularly vulnerable to even the smallest disturbances caused by human activity.

Tips on how to appreciate and watch shorebirds responsibly:
  • It should be the goal of every wildlife watcher to never approach any wildlife so closely that it reacts to your presence. Keep a distance of at least 150 feet when watching shorebirds. 
  • When watching birds. it is important to also keep quiet to avoid disturbing them. The well-being of birds should be your first priority.
  • Remember, your bird watching site is home to many different species. Pick up any litter you see and be sure to carry out EVERYTHING you carry in.
  • A few other quick tips ... leave pets at home, obey ALL posted signs, stay on designated paths or trails, and avoid traveling beyond the high tide line or to beach dunes.
As Summer Heats Up -- Be Sure to Share the Shore
with Shorebirds and Waterbirds
Piping plover and chicks.
While visiting beaches and other coastal locations over the summer, you can help protect birds that nest and raise their young in these areas by staying at least 50 yards away from places where large concentrations of birds are gathered and avoiding areas that are roped off or marked with signs designating nesting locations. Shorebirds and wading birds need special protection throughout their April to September nesting season. Beach-goers are urged to keep fireworks and kites, especially kites that make noise, away from beach areas. Pets should be leashed at all times and kept away from areas cordoned off for nesting birds.

National Moth Week: July 22 - 30
Did you know there are 10 to 15  times more species of moths than butterflies?
 
Don't forget to cel ebrate and  spread a wareness during National Moth Week from  July 22 to July 30 ! We'll be posting interesting facts and information on o ur Facebook page in celebration. 

New Facebook Cover Video!
Click the above image to watch.
Connecticut Fish and Wildlife has joined the Facebook band-wagon and updated the old cover photo to a cover video! We hope this will showcase Connecticut's diverse, beautiful wildlife and their habitats - and hopefully inspire residents and visitors to help us protect these natural gifts. 

We would love to know what you think of our video. Leave us some Facebook comments or email us at  d eep.ctwildlife@ ct.g o so we can improve for the future!

Our Mission:
Connecticut is a state rich with natural resources and a great diversity of habitat, landscapes, plant life, and wildlife. From the coastline of Long Island Sound, to the Litchfield Hills, the Connecticut River Valley, and the Eastern Highlands, DEEP works to protect and preserve the natural resources and scenic beauty that make Connecticut a special place to live, work, or visit.

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Butterfly and Bird Walks at Sessions Woods
Back by popular demand, on July 12
Wildlife Division Natural Resource Educator Laura Rogers-Castro will provide participants with a lesson on the basics to butterfly identification, including tips on distinguishing the various butterfly families. Following a brief indoor program, Laura will guide the group on a walk to identify the local butterfly fauna at Sessions Woods.

On July 22, Join Burlington birder Laura Spitz for a bird walk along the trails at Sessions Woods. Laura will provide insight on easy ways to identify birds as the group visits many habitat types throughout the wildlife management area. Please bring binoculars and meet at the flagpole in front of the Education Center.

 
Learn more about events held at Sessions Woods WMA . . .
Gypsy Moth Update
The gypsy moth population reached outbreak status locally in areas of south-central and eastern Connecticut in 2017. In outbreaks, the larvae, or caterpillars, emerge in great numbers. By the end of June 2017, they had stripped bare a majority of trees in certain areas. Affected forest and yard trees currently look more like they do in January than in July. Besides the harm done to trees, the caterpillars seemed inescapable. They descended from trees and crawled on lawns. Their droppings filled gutters and covered outdoor spaces. The hope was that Connecticut would have a wet spring (compared to dry springs in 2015 and 2016), thus activating a fungus that specifically attacks and kills gypsy moth caterpillars. That's exactly what happened and by the end of June, caterpillars started dying in infested areas. DEEP and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station asked residents via Facebook to report if caterpillars were dying in their towns. The response was overwhelming. This information will be helpful in predicting the potential 2018 gypsy moth outbreak.

DEEP's gypsy moth webpages provide answers to many questions, and follow our Facebook page for updates.

CT Invasive Plants:  Wineberry
Wineberry  (Above) 
Reported as invasive in CT, CO, DC, DE, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, and WV, wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius, meaning "raspberry with purple hairs") can develop widespread, impenetrable thickets. These thickets reduce the amount of light available to low-growing plants, trees, herbs, and shrubs, thus displacing or killing off essential native vegetation.

Introduced to the U.S. from Japan, Korea, and China in 1980, with the intention of breeding
Black raspberry (native to CT)
raspberry hybrids, this multi-stemmed shrub (still used by berry breeders) can grow up to nine feet tall in moist, open habitats. It has white, five-petaled flowers, which appear in spring. Red, raspberry-look-a-like fruits are produced in June and July. Wineberry fruits are edible; however, they are usually only eaten by birds (which spread the seeds) and humans.

Wineberry leaves and flowers
Wineberry also hosts numerous viruses, like raspberry rust (or raspberry yellow rust), which affects native raspberries.





More on wineberry from UConn's CT Invasive Plant Working Group . . .

Additional wineberry information . . .
Species of the Month: Red Spotted Newt
Red spotted newt in its terrestrial juvenile ("eft") stage.
An incredible diversity of wildlife species can be found in our state. Take some time to discover Connecticut's wildlife!

In Connecticut, the red-spotted newt is found statewide, but more prominently west of the Connecticut River. This newt has many subspecies and an extensive range throughout the United States.

The photograph shows a juvenile red-spotted newt; there are four distinct life cycle stages of newts (egg, aquatic larvae, terrestrial juvenile/"eft," and aquatic adult). The aquatic adult is 3 to 5 inches in length and olive green in color, compared to the bright orange red eft.

Red-spotted newts can be indicators of healthy wetlands and forests; therefore, they are an important environmental species. They also help control aquatic insects, including mosquitoes.

The DEEP Wildlife Division strongly discourages the collection of newts or other salamanders as most do not do well in captivity, they may develop diseases or disorders, and collection can negatively affect populations.
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