In the summer of 2002 we began a study of saltmarsh sparrows along the Connecticut coast. The study
is based out of Dr. Margaret Rubega's lab and is conducted in collaboration with Patrick Comins
(Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon - Connecticut). Funding has been provided by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's
Long Island Sound Study,
the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection's Endangered Species Tax Check-Off Fund, and the DEP's
Office of Long Island Sound Programs, through the
Long Island Sound License
Plate Program, and Connecticut Sea Grant.
The project has also recieved support from all the major bird conservation groups in the state.
The project has a various goals relating to the conservation of breeding populations of saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows (Ammodramus cauducatus, pictured far left) and seaside sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus, left), both of which are very high conservation priorities in southern New England. In particular we are trying to develop better ways to monitor these species, and to determine exactly how abundant they are. We also are interested in learning more about movement patterns, both within and between marshes, during late summer and fall. Finally, we hope to learn more about the migration timing and distribution of a third species, Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrow, which only occurs in Connecticut during migration.
Use of these photos kindly provided by A. J. Hand and Paul Fusco.
For more information about our research click here.
For information on how you can help us with this project, please
To report sightings of color-banded birds or to provide information on saltmarsh sparrow distribution or migration, please contact Chris Elphick.