DEEP: Wildlife


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{Connecticut Wildlife magazine cover}   Connecticut Wildlife magazine
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NEW! Avian Influenza Update: What You Need to Know
{BNR 150th Anniversary Logo} NEW! Join us in celebrating 150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation in Connecticut! Throughout 2016, we will look back at our history and also look ahead to the future of natural resources in our state. Follow along with the celebration and participate in special events to be held year-long. Check out our historical timeline: Connecticut Bureau of Natural Resources Through the Years.
{image of deer feeding in winter} NEW! Deer Adaptations to Winter and the Effects of Feeding Deer
Learn about how deer can survive harsh winters, why you should never feed deer during winter, and the difference between feeding and baiting deer.
You may be familiar with the pollinating habits of bees and butterflies, but there are many others to explore such as flies, beetles, moths, and wasps. All are necessary for the variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables that we enjoy every day.
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Last updated in 2010, DEEP is required to review and update the Connecticut list every five years. The revision is now complete and became effective on August 5, 2015.
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NEW! Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan
The final version of the 2015 Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan was submitted to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as of October 2015.
{2016 Connecticut Duck Stamp}
NEW! Connecticut Duck Stamp Art Contest
Wildlife artists are encouraged to enter artwork that depicts a waterfowl species (duck or goose) that occurs in Connecticut. The winning artwork will be featured on the 2017 Connecticut Duck Stamp.
The Connecticut Duck Stamp print from the 2014-2015 art contest (northern shovelers painted by Guy Crittenden) is available now from Crittenden Studio. For more information and to order, visit
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Connecticut Purple Martin Newsletter
May 2015 issue, Dec 2014 issue, April 2014 issue
This newsletter provides updates, an index of chick health, and dispersal patterns.
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WANTED -- Sightings of color-banded purple martins! If you see a purple martin with colored leg bands, please report it to and let us know 1) where you saw it; 2) when you saw it; and 3) the color of the legs bands. More information (PDF)
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Learn about this unique Connecticut bird and how you can help its declining population. Find out how to become a volunteer Chimney Swift Monitor or a Swiftlord. A curriculum on chimney swifts is available for elementary school students in grades 1-2, as well as a Chimney Swift Ambassador program for high school students.
{shrubland} Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative
The Wildlife Division in cooperation with other partners has initiated the Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative to help restore important habitats. Projects associated with this initiative include: 1) New England cottontail restoration, 2) upland shrubland bird monitoring, and 3) American woodcock habitat use and survival.
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Help prevent disturbance to nesting ospreys! Private landowners, towns, organizations, and others can print or download a "Stay Away from Nesting Area" sign to post near osprey nesting platforms. Use your printer menu to scale the sign to whatever size is needed. Signs should be laminated to prevent weather damage.
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Common Shorebirds of Connecticut (PDF 3.4 mb)
An identification guide to shorebirds observed in Connecticut.
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Volunteer Opportunities
Find out how you can help the DEEP Wildlife Division with a variety of monitoring and research projects. Projects include Chimney Swift Watch, Summer Night Bird Callback Survey, Wild Turkey Brood Survey, and other bird surveys.
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Be Bear Aware
Print or download an informational poster that gives advice on preventing conflicts with bears and on what to do if you encounter a bear. Three different sizes are available: small-8 ˝”x 11”, medium-8 ˝”x14”, and large-11”x17”. The posters can be displayed at town halls, visitor centers, parks, schools, and other public buildings/locations.
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Continuing Ruffed Grouse Research: To obtain distribution and harvest information, the Wildlife Division is asking the public for ruffed grouse sighting and grouse parts. Grouse sightings may consist of actual bird observations or drumming activity. Individuals are also asked to send in grouse wings and tails from hunter harvested or road-killed birds. These items are used to determine the age and sex of grouse, which will assist in assessing productivity and harvest composition. To report grouse sightings and/or donate grouse parts, please contact Michael Gregonis at or 860-642-7239.
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Bats in Connecticut
Find out how you can help the DEEP Wildlife Division monitor Connecticut's bat populations. Report your observations of bats around your home and neighborhood by submitting a Public Bat Sightings Form (Word Form / PDF).
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Wanted: Color Banded American Kestrel Sightings! Tom Sayers, a kestrel researcher from eastern Connecticut, initiated a project in spring 2012 that uses colored leg bands to identify American kestrels that nested or hatched in Connecticut. So far, he has banded 18 adult kestrels and over 100 young birds. The color bands, depending on the pattern, can be found either on the right leg, left leg, or both legs. Each color combination represents a unique nest box in his study area. If you see a kestrel with color bands on its legs, please email Tom at Include the date and time of your observation, the location (closest road junction or GPS coordinates), the color scheme of the bands, as well as your contact information. Observations of these raptors are an important part of this study to determine where the birds travel and to identify which birds return to Connecticut next spring to breed.
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Federal Funding for Fish and Wildlife

Content last updated on December 29, 2015