Where To Birdwatch in Connecticut 2022

May 9, 2021 // 11 minute read

Birding Locations » US » Birding in Connecticut

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Check out these great birding in Connecticut locations: hikes, birding clubs, and birdwatching destinations. Here, you’ll find the best places to see your favorite birds. And we share locations, hours of operation, websites, social media pages, YouTube videos, and much more.

Be sure to check out our neighboring state birding resources for New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Also, be sure to check out our in-depth buying guide for birdwatching binoculars under $100 and our birdwatching 101 guide with resources, tips & advice for beginner birders.

Are you aware that the American Robin is Connecticut’s state bird?

Red Robin In Winter
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photo credit: tdfugere from Pixabay

Are you ready to find out more about the best places for bird watching in the area? Keep reading to learn more about our best-kept secrets.

Bird Watching Destinations In Connecticut: Free Destinations

Are you ready to begin bird-watching in Connecticut? There are many great destinations for you to check out and we’ll share further details about them below.

Audubon Center in Greenwich – Free Admittance With Suggested Donation

In Southwest Connecticut, you’ll love the Audubon Center in Greenwich because it has beautiful hiking trails and a first-rate Environmental Education Center. This was established by the National Audubon Society all the way back in the 1940s. They have 7 miles of hiking trails that the public can gladly walkthrough for free. The preserve is located on a 285-acre wildlife sanctuary.

Location:

Greenwich Audubon Center
613 Riversville Road
Greenwich, CT 06831
Phone: 203-869-5272

GPS: 41.0970° N, 73.6879° W

Hours Of Operation:

The Audubon Center building opens daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. But it is currently closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The hiking trails, on the other hand, remain open during the pandemic. They are open every day from sunrise to sunset. Feel free to visit the center, walk along the hiking trails, and enjoy the stunning birds in their natural habitat.

  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Saw-Whet Owl
  • Worm Eating Warbler
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Wood Thrush
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Yellow Throated Vireo
  • Tree Swallow

Hiking Trails:

You’ll discover four amazing hiking trails at the Greenwich Audubon Center. They range from easy to moderate in difficulty and vary in length.

The trails include:

  • Lake Mead Trail – the shortest of the four trails, this easy terrain is only 0.7 miles long. It should only take around 20 minutes to complete the entire trail if you walk continuously without stopping. You might prefer to stop and take in the sights and sounds of nature instead, but we’ll leave that up to you.
  • Lake Mead Loop – this trail is moderately difficult with inclines and obstacles along the path. It will take you around 45 minutes to walk the entire 1.6-mile hiking trail.
  • Old Pasture and Lake Loop – this trail is easy yet longer at 3.1 miles in length. With an average walking speed, you can complete the entire hiking trail in about an hour and a half.
  • Greenwich Audubon Center Trail – this trail is moderately difficult to traverse. It’s 2.3 miles in length and it will take about an hour and five minutes to complete.

Sherwood Island State Park – Free Admittance, Parking Fee for Nonresidents

This state park encompasses more than 235 acres of land in Westport Connecticut in the Green Farms section. Even more interesting, it’s actually the first state park in Connecticut and one of the finest examples they have. You can go bird watching, swim in the Long Island Sound, have a picnic, or check out the area which is teeming with wildlife.

Please note: alcohol is permanently banned in this state park. And pets are not permitted between mid-April until the end of September.

Location:

Sherwood Island Connector
Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 203-226-6983

GPS: 41.1155° N, 73.3331° W

Hours Of Operation:

The park is open from 8 AM to 8:30 PM seven days a week.

Hiking Trails:

Basically, there is only one main trail that goes through Sherwood Island State Park, although there is plenty of room to walk along the beach.

The trail in question is called:

  • Sherwood Island Trail – the terrain is very easy to walk along and simple to navigate. The length of the trail is 2.9 miles, which should take about one hour and 10 minutes to complete.

The Coastal Center at Milford Point – Free Admittance

The Coastal Center is roughly 4 miles in a southwesterly direction from the town of Milford. On the property rests a nature center and the Smith-Hubbell Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary. This location provides the perfect place to discover many amazing birds as you walk along the rolling trails and plains.

Location:

1 Milford Point Rd.
Milford, CT 06460
Phone: 203-878-7440

GPS: 41.1759° N, 73.1016° W

Hours of Operation:

The Coastal Center is currently closed because of the Covid 19 virus, but they are permitting outdoor activities at this time. Please visit their website to find a list of outdoor activities to participate in. 

Regular hours include:

  • Closed on Monday
  • Tuesday-Friday opens between 10 AM and 4 PM
  • Saturday opens between 10 AM and 3:30 PM
  • Sunday opens between 12 noon to 4 PM
  • Saltmarsh Sparrow
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Horned Lark
  • Osprey
  • Black-Crowned Night-Heron
  • Piping Plover
  • Least Tern
  • Black Skimmer

Hiking Trails:

Besides the many miles of beach that you can walk along, you also have the opportunity to walk along the beautiful Boardwalk trail. This trail allows you to get outdoors without getting your feet too muddy. It goes along the shoreline, and provides hikers with beautiful scenery, plenty of gorgeous birds, and a treasured view of the coast of Connecticut.

Lighthouse Point Park – Free Admittance, Paid Parking

Enjoy spending the day looking at beautiful birds in this coastal park in New Haven, CT. This birding location is teeming with birds most often between the months of September and November each year. The raptors and other birds begin migrating during these months, and you’ll also discover some of the most beautiful hawks and other birds on the planet while visiting here.

Location:

2 Lighthouse Rd.
New Haven, CT 06512

  • Lighthouse Park Permits: 203-946-8020
  • Park Administration: 203-946-8019
  • Outdoor Adventure Coordinator: 203-946-6768
  • Camps: 203-946-8027
  • Carousel Rentals: [email protected] 

GPS: 41.2489° N, 72.9035° W 

Hours Of Operation:

The park opens at 7 AM and closes at sunset all year round.

Parking Fees:

  • Vehicles registered in New Haven = free parking
  • Connecticut nonresident vehicles must pay $25 per day or $100 per season 
  • Vehicles with an out-of-state license plate pay $30 per day with no seasonal option
  • Charter buses are allowed on weekdays only and must pay $100 per visit

Hiking Trails:

As far as hiking trails go, you have the opportunity to walk along the beach, walk along the boardwalk, and traverse the grounds of Lighthouse Point Park for many miles.

For their hiking trails, there is only one official trail to traverse and it’s relatively short and easy.

The trail in question is called:

  • Lighthouse Point Loop – this easy trail is only 1.4 miles long and it takes about 35 minutes to complete. You’ll be able to view the lighthouse and other gorgeous natural scenery while traveling along on this trail.

Hammonasset Beach State Park – Free Admittance, Parking Fee For Nonresidents

This is the home of the largest beach park in Connecticut. It is made up of 2 miles of sand and roughly 500 campsites for those who intend to spend time at this location. There are woodlands and expansive marshland, which is perfect for birders because migrant songbirds love to congregate here and you can view them in this natural habitat.

Location:

1288 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Phone: 203-245-2785

GPS: 41.2667° N, 72.5584° W

Hours Of Operation:

During the off-season, the gates unlock at 8 AM and relock at sunset. During the summer season, the park remains open for campers and fishermen, but others are supposed to leave the park at sunset.

  • Clapper Rail
  • Northern Gannet
  • Dovekie
  • Seaside Sparrow
  • Swallow-Tailed Kite
  • Razorbill
  • Western Kingbird
  • American Bittern
  • Marsh Wren
  • Saltmarsh Sparrow

Nonresident Parking Fees:

  • Weekdays – $15, after 4 PM = $7
  • Weekends – $22, after 4 PM = $7

Hiking Trails:

Birdwatchers and hikers will enjoy hitting the trails in this region. There are four main hiking trails that are all relatively easy to traverse and vary in length.

They include:

  • Willards Island Nature Trail – this is an easy trail to walk along because it takes you right along the beach. It’s 1.1 miles in length and takes about 25 minutes to finish.
  • Meig’s Point – this is also a beachfront trail that is very easy to travel along. It’s 1.4 miles in length and takes about 35 minutes to complete the trail.
  • Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk – this is the longest trail in the region, but it’s very easy to travel along because it’s on a man-made boardwalk. It should take you about an hour and 25 minutes to complete the 3.4-mile boardwalk trail.
  • Cedar Island Trail – our final trail is also an easy Boardwalk Trail and it’s the shortest of the bunch. It should take about 15 minutes to complete the 0.6-mile boardwalk adventure.

Bird Watching Destinations In Connecticut: Paid Destinations

White Memorial Conservation Center – Paid Admission

This nature preserve and conservation center is located on 4000 acres of property in Litchfield, Connecticut. You’ll find fields, marshes, lakes, forests, and more.

There are also 40 miles of hiking trails to explore. This place is very popular among birders in the region. If you are an avid bird watcher looking for a new location to check out, you should seriously consider White Memorial Conservation Center as your latest destination.

Location:

80 Whitehall Rd.
PO Box 368
Litchfield, CT 06759
Phone: 860-567-0857

GPS: 41.721°N 73.217°W

Hours Of Operation:

The trails are open to the public during daylight hours. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 12 noon to 5 PM.

Hiking Trails:

The conservation center proclaims to have 40 miles of beautiful hiking trails on its premises. And based on this info, I’d like to share the top 5 with you today. They range from

Easy to moderate in difficulty.

They include:

  • Wheeler Hill – this trail is easy to traverse and it’s only 0.6 miles long. Walking at average speed, you can complete the full trail in about 20 minutes.
  • Mattituck Trail: Webster Road to Bissell Road – this trail is a bit longer than our first recommendation. It’s 4.1 miles at full length, which will take about an hour and 45 minutes to complete.
  • Apple Hill Observation Deck – you’ll enjoy the leisurely pace of this easy trail as you view amazing birds along the way. The total length is 1 mile, which should take about a half an hour to complete.
  • Mallard Marsh and Little Pond Trail – this trail is moderately difficult with some inclines, twists, and turns along the way. The total length of the trail is 3.1 miles, which we estimate to take about an hour and 15 minutes.
  • Beaver Pond Plunge Pool Loop – although a bit on the long side, this trail is very flat and easy to walk along. It’s 3.5 miles long, which should take about an hour and a half to complete in its entirety.

Prices & Fees

  • Adults – $6
  • Children (6-12) – $3
  • Children Under 6 – Free Admittance
  • Individual Membership – $40
  • Family Membership – $60
  • Corporate Membership – $100-$1000
  • Library Membership – $75

Final Thoughts About Birding in Connecticut

We hope you enjoy these wonderful Connecticut birding locations. If you’re visiting any of these wonderful birdwatching spots, be sure to give us your feedback!

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