Birding in Stratford

Stratford Bird Festival

Saturday, September 24th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stratford Point, 1275 Prospect Drive

Source: Audubon; Karin Doyle, Community Development Administrator, Town of Stratford; CTVisit

After a 10 year hiatus the Stratford Bird Festival is returning to celebrate Stratford Great Meadows, which Audubon lists as an “Important Bird Area”.

The event will take place on Saturday, September 24th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature a series of walking tours hosted by professional birders and educators with the Connecticut Audubon Society, a Fairfield-based nonprofit that works to protect the state’s wild birds.

Two of the tours will take place at Stratford Point, while one will be held on Long Beach. Festival-goers interested in a walking tour should pre-register for a tour online. Each tour is capped at 25 participants.

Experienced and well-seasoned birders will host the guided walking tours throughout the day; pre-registration is required for tours. Information on walking tour registration and a complete schedule of the day’s events can be found at:

The Bird Festival is a family-centric event inviting beginner and experienced birders to enjoy a unique opportunity to view a varied number of bird species. With miles of riverfront, several hundred acres of tidal marsh, Connecticut’s longest barrier beach, and a beautiful shorefront on Long Island Sound, Stratford has been coined one of the best birding locations in Connecticut.

The festival will also include a children’s craft tent, food truck and presentations by Skyhunters in Flight, a showcase demonstrating the power of hawks and falcons, and a Secret Life of Owls, which promises to offer a closer look at the life of owls. There will be a series of backyard bird presentations, Beardsley Zoo exhibits, a children’s craft tent and the Down South Dawgs food truck. Parking is available on the Audubon CT property.

“With miles of riverfront, several hundred acres of tidal marsh, Connecticut’s longest barrier beach, and a beautiful shorefront on Long Island Sound, Stratford has been coined one of the best birding locations in Connecticut,” Karin Doyle said in a statement.

David Wright, the town’s historian and an experienced birdwatcher who is helping organize the festival, said officials began considering reviving the event after a rare juvenile snowy owl was spotted on a town beach last fall.

Crowds quickly flocked to the shore for a chance to catch a glimpse of the creature, which concerned environmentalists that the birdwatchers might disturb the vulnerable animal, but it also convinced the town there might be enough interest in a new bird festival.

Wright described the upcoming festival as a kind of experiment that will feature an array of family-centered activities, including a presentation he will host about the safest methods to feed birds.

According to Wright, about 300 different species of birds either live in or pass through Stratford in any given year. The list is made up of common birds like house sparrows, starlings and pigeons, but it also includes more interesting animals such as cardinals, blue jays, northern flickers and red-bellied woodpeckers.

He said Stratford’s wide variety of birds is largely due to its uncommon geographical features which allow for a diverse number of habitats that can support different species.

“Because Stratford is a very long and narrow town, you have shoreline birds that you would see in Lordship that you wouldn’t necessarily see in the north end,” he said. “It really is unique.”

Ornithological Summary of Stratford’s “Crown Jewel”

Great Meadows Marsh is a significant over-wintering area for waterfowl, especially Black Ducks. The rare Snowy Owl, threatened Short-eared Owl, and special concern Ipswich Sparrow, can also be found wintering here. It is a critical nesting habitat for special concern species Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed and Seaside Sparrow, Willet, and the threatened Least Tern and Piping Plover.

The site is also an important feeding area for wading birds such as the threatened Great and Snowy Egrets, after the young have fledged. Endangered raptors, such as Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, and Peregrine Falcons, use this area as a feeding ground during migration and winter. The nearby airport lawns support breeding areas for the endangered Upland Sandpiper and the threatened Horned Lark. The site is a migratory stopover for the endangered Pied-billed Grebe.

Conservation Issues

Serious: Introduced animals, predators, habitat conversion, development, disturbance to birds or habitat, marine sand and gravel mining. Minor: Invasive or non-native plants, pollution. Potential: Hydrologic changes.


US Fish and Wildlife Service, Town of Stratford, City of Bridgeport, Sikorsky Memorial Airport, private.


Primary: Saltmarsh with barrier beach. Secondary: Non-tidal freshwater marsh (near airport), pond/lake (Frash Pond), estuary, marine, some forest.

Land Use

Primary: Nature and wildlife conservation, undeveloped. Secondary: Hunting/fishing, suburban/residential, urban/ commercial.

Other: Before the construction of Sikorsky Memorial Airport and other industrial and commercial developments, this marsh system was four times as large as it is today,
covering as much as five square miles.

The site is an important breeding area for the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab, and nesting site for a population of Diamond-backed Terrapins.

The tidal flats and offshore waters are also important for foraging and breeding finfish populations.

A large oyster seed bed is found between the marsh and Long Beach which serves as an economically important component of the Long Island Sound fisheries.

Several rare plant species, such as prickly pear, marsh pink, and coast violet occur

The site has tremendous potential as one of the primary bird watching areas in Connecticut

Flu and Covid-19 Vaccines Now Available

Stratford Health Department
September 28th – October 26th

Appointments Needed

The Stratford Health Department is hosting a series of vaccination clinics for Stratford residents in September and October. The clinics will be offered, by appointment only, at the Birdseye Municipal Complex, located at 468 Birdseye Street in Stratford.  


  • Wednesday, September 28th        3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.(Flu and Covid-19 shots)
  • Wednesday, October 5th              10:00 A.M.– 2:00 P.M. (Flu and Covid-19 shots)
  • Wednesday, October 12th            3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. (Flu vaccine only).  

This is a Minions-themed clinic so please bring your children for flu shots and free giveaways. 

  • Wednesday, October 26th              3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.(Flu and Covid-19 shots)


The CDC urges the public keep up-to-date with routine vaccinations. “Keeping up with vaccinations against these viruses is the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe” says Bernice Bova, Public Health Nurse.

The Stratford Health Department is taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of visitors coming in for an appointment. Masks will be required when inside the office.

Vaccinations are by appointment only. Available vaccines include Influenza vaccine and Covid-19 Vaccine. We have the new Bivalent Moderna Booster. Insurance is needed for all flu vaccines. We accept the following insurance: Blue Cross, Cigna, Aetna, Medicare Part B, and Connecticare. We do not accept United Healthcare Insurance.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call the Stratford Health Department at 203-385-4090 or follow this link

Walk N’ Talk

Friday, September 30th from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Roosevelt Forest

New Moms, Infant Caregivers, Toddlers
3 Week Program Sponsored by Stratford Health Department, Parents Place and YMCA

Books Over Coffee Fall/Winter Lineup

Zoom & In-Person Formats thru December 2022

First Feature: Wednesday, September 28 beginning at 12 noon
Lauren Groff’s Matrix

The Stratford Library has announced that its “Books Over Coffee” program will return to a live, in-person format in the Lovell Room while also continuing on Zoom through December 2022.  The monthly book discussion program has been a popular staple at the library for over 40 years.   It is free and open to the public.

The library continues to offer the latest in current titles and topics and on Wednesday, September 28th Lauren Groff’s Matrix will kick-off the series.  The popular author’s latest novel is full of surprises.  Its premise is simple: the life of a medieval nun and the story of a rebellious teenager’s transformation into a respected spiritual leader.  The talk will begin at 12 noon in the Library’s Lovell Room while also being offered on Zoom.  To receive a Zoom link register at:

Other titles for the fall/winter “Books Over Coffee” series include: The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig & Karen White (October 26th); Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (November 30th) and Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang (December 28th).

Copies of all books are currently available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk.  The titles are also available for loan on Kindle and Nook eReaders.  Zoom links for each book discussion are found on the website.

For further information, call 203.385.4162 or visit the Stratford Library at 2203 Main Street. Timely information is also available on the library’s website at:

“Talking Transportation”

New Season of Stratford Library “Sunday Afternoon Talks”

Jim Cameron, The Train Guru to Speak
Sunday, October 2nd from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Library Zoom Platform

The Stratford Library begins a new season of “Sunday Afternoon Talks”, the series of informative and entertaining talks featuring prominent local guest speakers, with “Transportation Talk” with Jim Cameron on Sunday, October 2nd. The talk, presented on the Zoom format, is also a hybrid event that allows visitors to attend and watch in the Library’s Lovell Room. It is free and open to the public.

The “Sunday Afternoon Talks” series, is hosted by Charles Lautier of Stratford, is held from 2-3:30 p.m. on the Zoom platform and in the Library Lovell Room.

Long-time commuter advocate and newspaper commentator Jim Cameron offers a lively presentation about Connecticut’s transportation future: Will riders ever return to commuter rail? Who will pay to keep the trains running when Federal money is gone? Where will money be found to repair the highways? How will new residential/workplace trends affect Connecticut’s economy? Cameron explores the options in an engaging, thought-provoking talk followed by a Q&A session.

Jim Cameron has been called “the transportation guru” having spent over 25 years working and reporting on the issue. A former NBC News anchor, Jim Cameron is recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award. A Connecticut resident for over 30 years, he served 19 years on the Metro-North Commuter Council, later founding the Commuter Action Group. He also authors a weekly newspaper column, “Talking Transportation” which runs in the CT Mirror and other online news sites. Cameron is also author of his first book “Off The Record: Confessions of a Media Consultant”.

To register online and receive a Zoom invitation for the October 2nd program visit:
For further information, call the Stratford Library at: 203.385-4162.

“Saving at the Supermarket!”

Shopping Advice on Library Zoom Platform

Tuesday, October 4th from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Speaker Jill Patterson, RDN

The Stratford Library will host a virtual, live program about the spiraling costs of food shopping, “Saving at the Supermarket!”, with guest speaker Jill Patterson, RDN, on Tuesday, October 4th from 12-1 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

Everyone is noticing and talking about skyrocketing grocery prices. The Stratford Library’s informative and engaging workshop will explain strategies to slash grocery bills while eating nutritiously.

Get ready to feel energized with healthy nutrient rich foods and saving money! Specific action strategies, interactive game questions and recipe resources will be included. As a registered dietitian and nutrition expert, Jill Patterson also brings her background of menu planning on a budget for school systems, consulting for grocery store chains, and being a cost-conscious shopper herself.

Jill Patterson, RDN, is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She has been quoted in the Huffington Post, Parents Magazine, and local news outlets, and specializes in providing wellness education programs that inspire individuals to implement healthy habits. She works with community organizations and workplaces and has provided programs for libraries, senior centers, town departments and more. Patterson is passionate about helping people live their happiest healthiest lives!

To register online and receive a Zoom invitation for the program visit:

For further information, call the Stratford Library at: 203.385-4162

Literacy Volunteers of Southern CT

Join a small group of students to learn English

American Culture and Literature:  For intermediate and advanced students Monday — 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  An In person class at Literacy Volunteers of Southern CT (LVSCT)

Conversation Practice: For intermediate and advanced students Thursday — 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  An Online Course

Pronunciation:  For intermediate and advanced students. Third Wednesday of every month — 6:00 p.m. Online

To Register Or Get More Information  About A Class:

Call (203) 878-4800, or email,

Literacy Volunteers of Southern CT

16 Dixon Street in Milford

Become a Tutor

Are you curious, enthusiastic, and empathetic?

Can you commit to two hours of tutoring a week?

Become a volunteer tutor for adult English language learners

You do not need teaching experience or knowledge of a foreign language. Our free 5-week Tutor Training Class will give you the tools and confidence to make a difference in your community.

Tuesday evenings – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 25, and Nov. 1 (no class on Oct. 18)

Stratford Library Board Room

Mark Your Calendars

Saturday Rotary Golf Outing at Short Beach. Shot-gun starts at 8:45 a.m. Breakfast and Lunch by Nikki’s Beach House. Trophies, raffles, fun. $50 per person.

Saturday Clean-up at Roosevelt Forest by Sterling Teens Recognize Opportunities Benefiting Everyone (S.T.R.O.B.E.). STROBE is SHCC’s Teen Volunteer Club open to teens in grades 8-12! Returning and brand new members welcome! Join us on September 17th! STROBE is a Teen Volunteer Club that participates in volunteer opportunities, implementing community projects, and more! We work together to build a more positive community!
Our first project is the Roosevelt Forest Clean-Up on September 17th!

Saturday a Perry Pirate Adventure starts at noon! Children 12 and under will get to act out their inner pirate! There will be scavenger hunts, pirate crafts, trinkets along the way, and photos with Capitan Kidd. Cost is $5 per child. Pre-register at:, or call, 203-377-3779

Saturday Art Classes for youth: Art Classes Session 1: Saturdays starting September 17th (5 weeks)
Beginners | Ages 6-12 | 9:30 – 10:30 am | $65
Advanced | Ages 10 – 12 | 10:30 – 11:45 am | $65
Teens | Ages 13 – 19 | 11:45 am – 12:45 pm | $65
Session 2: Saturdays starting October 22nd (5 weeks)

Sunday 10th Annual Corsair Car Show sponsored by the Connecticut Air and Space Center. Car show at Short Beach from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food, Trophies, Raffle, and Music.

Monday, the Paradise Green Farmer’s Market Back Better Than Ever!! Connecticut Grown and Made.

Grab Your Binoculars! Get ready for the Stratford Bird Festival on September 24th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Lighthouse Point. In depth details and information in next week’s Stratford Crier.

The Stratford Historical Society weekly Wednesday Candlelight Historical Walks are presently completely booked. To be put on the waiting list go to the Stratford Recreations Department or Judson House web site:


Fall Soccer Still Open for Registration

Youth Art Classes Open for Registration

Sterling House Community Center

Art Classes

Beginners | Ages 6-12 | 9:30 – 10:30 am | $65

Advanced | Ages 10 – 12 | 10:30 – 11:45 am | $65

Teens | Ages 13 – 19 | 11:45 am – 12:45 pm | $65

Session 1: Saturdays starting September 17th (5 weeks)

Session 2: Saturdays starting October 22nd (5 weeks)


2022 Fall Soccer for Boys and Girls in grades K-12 at Wooster field.

One practice per week starting early September. Games 1-2 per week on Saturdays and/or Sundays from Sept 24th – Oct 30th . *End date subject to change depending on weather cancellations

Sterling House will provide jerseys. Shin guards are required.  $112 for the season.  Registration ends on August 25th and after August 25th there will be a late fee.


Co-ed: Kindergarten & Grade 1 – 4 v 4 | Co-ed: Grades 1 & 2 – 4 v 4

Boys: Grades 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7-10 | Girls: Grades 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7-12

Players may play up a grade level. Must register for the division you want to play in.


Learn to Play Soccer

For ages 3-5. Learn the basics of soccer while having fun!

6 weeks on Saturdays at 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 a.m. at Sterling House.

Begins Sept 24th, $83 for the session.  Sterling House will provide a t-shirt and a soccer ball. Shin guards are recommended.

Coaches are needed.  Training available!

E-mail Catherine Proto at

“Memory Tips”

Dr. Wendy Hurwitz, M.D.
Wednesday, September 21st from 12-1 p.m.
Stratford Library Zoom Event

Did you know that a recent study from Stanford University suggests that the techniques used by memory athletes can be taught, learned, and create changes in the brain that enhance memory skill? Come learn about the tips and techniques used by memory athletes . Register for free Zoom link:

Dr. Wendy Hurwitz is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, and a nationally recognized expert on stress. A former medical researcher for ABC News, Dr. Hurwitz is an expert in two fields: Mind/Body Medicine and Energy Medicine. She teaches both professionals and students in medicine, psychology, and the allied health professions, and has lectured at Harvard Medical School, Yale University School of Medicine, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, NYU, and Fordham University.

Dr. Hurwitz is the author of the chapter Energy Medicine in the textbook “Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, 2nd Edition. She is a former member of the Medical, Scientific, and Academic Council of the Inter\u0002national Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine; member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine; Fellow of the American Institute of Stress; member of the International Positive Psychology Association; member of the American Counseling Association; and an American Red Cross Local Disaster Volunteer.

She has used energetic assessments for over two decades in her own work with clients. Based in New York City, Dr. Hurwitz offers consultations in person and by phone. Dr. Hurwitz helps organizations and individuals achieve peak performance by enhancing vitality and wellness. She provides individual energetic assessments, personal consultation, training, lectures, seminars, and workshops. She translates the latest and most sophisticated scientific research on stress and energy into practical, easy-to-use techniques people can use to maintain and enhance vitality even under the most trying circumstances. Dr. Hurwitz has provided training for AT&T, Unilever, Lowe Worldwide, the FDNY, and has been an invited guest speaker at the United Nations.