From Buildings To Harbors, High-Profile Birds Return To Connecticut Cities | Connecticut Public Radio

From Buildings To Harbors, High-Profile Birds Return To Connecticut Cities

Dec 4, 2018

Nearly 60 percent of Connecticut is forest. But the state is also one of the most densely-populated in the country. And now, a new report says that provides unique opportunities for animals and people to co-exist.

Whether you live, work, or play in a city, increasingly, you’re likely to see some really cool birds.

“For example, peregrine falcon used to be wiped out from this area. And it used to be a huge deal to see a peregrine falcon,” said Patrick Comins, executive director for the Connecticut Audubon Society.

Comins’ group just issued its annual “State of the Birds” report.

“I remember when I was growing up - it was almost this mythical beast. They’re the fastest animal on earth.,” Comins said. “Today, peregrine falcons are found nesting in Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport.”

Bald eagles are returning to Connecticut in record numbers. And ospreys, once almost eliminated from Connecticut, have returned to cities and urban harbors.

For these trends to continue, Comins said cities and the federal government need to step up.

His organization’s report urges Congress pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a $1.3 billion proposal, which has languished over the years.

An excerpt from the 2018 State of the Birds Report.
Credit Julian Hough / Connecticut Audubon

If approved, it would inject millions into state wildlife efforts through fees that are already collected from energy suppliers drilling in federal waters.

In 2016, Connecticut received around $482,000 from the federal government for implementation of its state wildlife plan, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

If the Act were passed, the state would receive more than $12 million annually. “It would be a total game changer,” Comins said.