bluebirds

Want to invite more wildlife to your yard? Join a park ranger and a wildlife biologist on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. for a how-to presentation on simple ways to bring birds, butterflies and other colorful creatures to your home. Learn what to feed birds, how to provide nest materials, which flowers to plant for butterflies – plus much more. With spring just around the corner, this is a great time to start planning! Free informational booklets and handouts will be provided to all attendees.

Kris Vagos works at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge as a Wildlife Biologist.  She grew up in southern New Hampshire and attended Boston College for her undergraduate work in Biology and Environmental Studies.  After school, Kris volunteered and worked throughout the United States and other parts of the world.  She was a research assistant at the University of New Hampshire and got her Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management.  Her thesis project focused on what makes non-native shrubs invasive in New England.  Before moving to Connecticut, Kris lived along the southern coast of Maine and worked for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

Shaun Roche is the Visitor Services Manager at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge where he focuses on education and outreach. Shaun grew up in Waterbury and attended Central Connecticut State University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public history. He worked for the National Park Service at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York for more than six year before transferring to the Fish and Wildlife Service and coming back to Connecticut in 2011.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

blackbearBlack bear sightings are increasing every year, even in Connecticut’s shoreline towns, as their preferred habitat expands as farmlands revert to forest. Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn will present an illustrated talk on Tuesday, January 26th at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library. This presentation will focus on the natural history of black bears in CT, an overview of black bear habitat, diet, behavior, and current research efforts.  Colburn will also provide recommendations for optimum coexistence with our black bear population especially as the recent warm weather has delayed hibernation.

Paul Colburn is a graduate of Master Wildlife Conservationist Program which is a Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) adult education program that trains participants in the fields of wildlife management, natural history and interpretation. The purpose of the program is to develop a volunteer corps capable of providing education, outreach, and service for state agencies, environmental organizations, libraries, schools, and the general public. Paul recently retired from a long and successful career in technology.  In addition to his work as a MWC he volunteers for the Red Cross, Wesleyan University Admissions, AARP, The Connecticut Sports Foundation, and A Place Called Hope (raptor recovery and rehab).  Paul holds a BA from Wesleyan University and served honorably in the United States Army.

This talk is free and open to the public. Advance registration is recommended; please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.