The NewCanaanite.com Summer Internship Program is sponsored by Carriage Barn Arts Center. A New Canaan High School student’s recent analysis of bird population data shows an increase in recent years of two species. According to an analysis by rising senior Avery Cotton, New Canaan has seen a sharp rise in the number of turkey vultures and fish crows sighted here. “The hypothesis behind this steep increase was that these species which had previously been accustomed to different climates, or southern warmer weather,” Cotton told members of the Conservation Commission at their July 13 meeting, held in Town Hall and via videoconference. “They were expanding their ranges northboard because temperatures were warming around here, and that accommodated their specific needs.”
Cotton—an avid birdwatcher and member of the University of Connecticut’s Conservation Ambassador program, part of Uconn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy—based his analysis on more than 1,200 individual handwritten checklists found at the New Canaan Nature Center, spanning 1977 to 1992, all compiled on a monthly basis.