News Flash

West Haven News

Posted on: July 25, 2019

Meet West Haven’s Audubon WildLife Guards

Audubon Connecticut Logo

WEST HAVEN, July 25, 2019 — Starting in 2017, a group of eight West Haven High School students has helped monitor and protect the beach-nesting birds at the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary.

Thanks to a grant from Audubon Connecticut, students in the paid seven-week program record the nesting and survival of piping plovers, American oystercatchers, least terns and common terns, keeping track of other birds species along the way.

Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, program coordinator of the Audubon “Important Bird Area,” manages the Audubon WildLife Guards Program, and Genevieve Nuttall is the Audubon staff member assigned to the Sandy Point effort.

This year, under the leadership of Alfred Green and Victor Sieh, a West Haven High graduate and former WildLife Guard, the crew includes two graduating seniors, Daniela Morales and Mathew Wahl; two seniors, Noah Anderson and Samiyah Sutherland; and four juniors. Three of the juniors — Kyle Burt, James Weber and Anthony Pacheco — owe their participation to classmate Rianne Mustafa, who participated in the program last year thanks to the encouragement of a friend.

The guards not only keep track of nesting sites, they also help make information at Sandy Point more accessible to visitors. Although the students were aware of the area before working with Audubon, all agree the job has given them a new appreciation for birdlife and West Haven’s connection to one of its most valuable resources.

Be sure to follow their weekly reports at Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary.

Learn more about the WildLife Guards Program at WildLife Guards and on Facebook.

Audubon WildLife Guards I (Small)Audubon WildLife Guards II (Small)

Audubon Connecticut WildLife Guards educate the public about the beach-nesting birds at the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary. The group of West Haven High School students helps monitor and protect the “Important Bird Area” as part of the WildLife Guards Program, a paid seven-week program made possible by an Audubon grant. (Contributed Photos)

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