Birds Steal the Show at Signing of the Hartford Urban Bird Treaty
A crowd of people representing over 30 organizations gathered beside the pond at Keney Park in Hartford on May 19 for the signing of the Hartford Urban Bird Treaty. It was an impressive gathering, but the birds stole the show.
As if staged for the moment, an osprey swooped down and snatched a trout from the water. Then, with the ill-fated fish firmly in its talons, the osprey made several fly-bys for the crowd before selecting a branch above the gathering to perch. While the osprey feasted above us, other birds made their way onto and through the bucolic scene. During the event, I spotted several mallards, tree swallows, robins, an oriole, and a great blue heron.
Millions of native birds migrate through the Atlantic Flyway, and Hartford is within this migratory pathway. Migratory birds face threats from a variety of causes including habitat loss, light pollution, and pesticides. An alarming study shows a loss of 30% – almost 3 billion – of North American birds since 1970.
The Hartford Urban Bird Treaty aims to implement protective practices in Hartford including increased migratory bird habitat throughout parks and open spaces, low mow meadow
areas, minimizing night light pollution, and educational programs that increase awareness of resident and migratory bird habitat. Lead partners on the treaty are the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the Department of Interior, City of Hartford, and Connecticut Audubon Society. Over 30 organizations, including Sierra Club Connecticut, are signatory partners.
Samantha Dynowski is State Director of Sierra Club Connecticut.
If you are interested in how you can help us protect more birds in Connecticut, check out Grasslands.