Although we are currently closed for self-guided tours, we will be offering Guided Tours, weather-permitting, throughout the winter. The weather may be dismal, but our waterfowl are in their full regalia of brilliant, breeding plumage in the months of January, February, and March. A private, Guided Tour of the Ripley Conservancy is a fabulous way to introduce your friends and family to our incredible collection of waterfowl. Led by one of our experienced aviculturists, your group will be introduced to many of the most colorful and interesting birds in the world while learning about the Conservancy’s history and how we’re working to conserve waterfowl and wetland habitats through research, education and conservation action.
Guided Tours are offered for a $50 fee plus an additional $10 per individual for up to ten people.
Call the Office at: 860-567-2062 for available dates and to book your Guided Tour.
Childrens Owl Prowl
Looking for a fun activity for the whole family this winter? Book a pass for the Children’s Owl Prowl on Saturday, Jan 22. The evening will commence with a gathering around the campfire with a cup of hot cocoa and a reading of Jane Yolen’s book, “Owl Moon”. We’ll then take a short walk down Duck Pond Road with our resident aviculturists who will show you how to summon these nocturnal creatures from the nighttime shadows. This activity is intended for ages 5-12 and their parent(s). Appropriate winter clothing is recommended, as we will be outside for the duration. Owl sightings are not guaranteed because whoooooo can predict that??
Children’s Owl Prowl will be held on Saturday, Jan 22, from 5:30-6:30 PM.
In case of inclement weather, the make-up date will be Saturday, Feb 5 from 5:30-6:30 PM.
This event is FREE to the public and limited to 20 participants. Reservations must be made in advance and they are on a first come – first served basis. Call us at: 860-567-2062 to register!
From January through March of 2022, on selected weekends, Ripley will be bringing back our very popular Photography Mini Pass. A Mini Pass gives you 2-hours of access to our 16-acre aviary during months when we are normally closed to the public. This is an incredible opportunity, as the winter season is the ultimate time to witness and capture photos of our extraordinary waterfowl in their magnificent breeding plumage. These intervals are available on most Saturdays and Sundays and each two-hour timespan is limited to 6 individual slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Offered January through March 2022.
Price per slot is $25 for members and $40 for non-members.
Please call the Office at: 860-567-2062 to schedule your Photography Mini Pass experience!
"Focus on Waterfowl" Photography Workshop
Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy will be holding their first ever "Focus on Waterfowl" Photography Workshop led by Richard Provost, for photographers interested in capturing our numerous exotic and endangered waterfowl in photos. This workshop is for photographers of all levels, as well as all types of cameras. While DSLR mirrorless, and adjustable compact cameras will offer the greatest opportunity for capturing good photos, any type of camera, including cell phones and point and shoot, may be used.
Your day will begin with a short introduction on how to set up your camera to ensure the best shots at various photographic locations on our grounds. If you are using cameras that can be adjusted, all you need to know is how to set your f stop (lens opening), shutter speed, and ISO. If you are using a phone or point and shoot camera, no adjustments are necessary.
Clothing: We’ll be shooting in the winter, so dressing in warm layers is highly recommended. Wear a hat, gloves, warm socks and shoes. It is also a good idea to bring several packets of hand-warmers to keep in your gloves or coat pocket to offset the problem of cold, stiff hands.
January 29th 2022, 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
Workshop Cost: $40 for Members, $50 Non-Members
Please call the Ripley Office at: 860-567-2062 to register!
Richard Provost is the founder and former Chairman of the Classical Guitar Department at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. As an avid photographer, he has taken classes in Photography at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford and workshops with renowned photographers: John Paul Caponigro, Mads Peter Iverson, Joseph Rossbach, Joe Reardon, and Kurt Budlinger. In addition, his photos were selected for exhibition at the Mystic Museum of Art and the West Hartford Art League. Since retirement, Mr. Provost has concentrated on further developing his photography skills and knowledge.
Ducks In Love
Are you looking for a fun and unique way to spend Valentine’s weekend? “Ducks in Love” is the perfect way to spend a mid-winter day, whether you desire a romantic adventure or an enjoyable winter diversion with your special friends and family members. Get a Guided Tour of our world-class aviary and observe our collection of waterfowl in their brilliant breeding plumage during our “Ducks in Love” weekend! Take a brisk walk with our aviculturist, where you will be observing many of the most colorful and interesting birds in the world, while keeping an eye out for their extraordinary breeding behaviors and characteristics. Afterward, you can cozy up to our firepit with a hot cup of mulled cider.
Sign up for a General Tour on Saturday, Feb. 12, or if you would like a more intimate experience, you may reserve a Private Tour on Feb. 13 and receive a box of Thorncrest Farm chocolates to share with your special friend or guest.
Saturday, Feb 12: General Tour: $20 each for Members, $25 each for Non-Members. Includes a Guided Tour and hot cider.
Sunday, Feb 13: Private Tour: $50 plus an additional $20 fee (per individual), for up to ten people.
Includes a Private Tour, complimentary chocolates, and hot cider.
Call the Ripley Office at: 860-567-2062 to reserve your spot!
“Build-It-Yourself" Birdhouse Class:
The number of natural nest sites available for wildlife has drastically declined due to development, agriculture, removal of snags (dead trees), and myriad other circumstances brought on by a growing human population. Many bird species, however, are attracted to man-made nest boxes and these structures have been used successfully in areas where there are no natural nest-site options. Wooden birdhouses have been readily accepted by many natural cavity-nesters, and the placement of these houses in your backyard can be an effective way of attracting a number of resident and migratory birds.
On Saturday, February 26, join us for a brief lecture on the importance of enticing winged wildlife to your backyard, and then roll up your sleeves and construct your own nesting box under the guidance of RWC’s property manager, Bill Nicholson. Participants will be constructing a versatile nesting house that will potentially attract native bluebirds, tree swallows, house wrens, and chickadees. The class is limited to 10 individuals and face-masks must be worn while inside. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent and both must participate in the workshop. Call the Ripley Office at: 860-567-2062 to register!
Bill Nicholson is a native of Litchfield and has been at RWC for the past 25 years. His wood-working skills have been developed since the time he was a young child working alongside his father, a local carpenter and wood craftsman. As property manager, Bill has worked closely with the Ripley collection of birds which has afforded him the opportunity to construct various nesting boxes over the years.
Workshop will be held on Saturday, Feb 26, from 10:00-12:00.
Make-up date will be Sunday, Feb 27, from 10-12:00.
Members: $30, Non-Members: $40
Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens
Raising and caring for chickens can be many things: therapeutic, rewarding, fun, educational, and for beginners maybe even a bit overwhelming. With today’s internet availability there is tons of information regarding chickens, but determining what is right for you or worth your while can be a challenge. Nothing makes learning about keeping animals easier than hearing first-hand from someone who can share their knowledge and experiences. On Friday night, March 25, Ripley is excited to host its first “Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens” seminar presented by aviculturist, Logan Connor. Logan has been raising and showing a variety of chicken breeds for 15 years right here in Northwest Connecticut. This seminar will provide information for first time chicken owners, those who may be interested in keeping chickens, and even those who have been raising chickens for years. Topics will include: choosing the right breeds, caring for both chicks and adults, proper housing, nutrition, and much more. Call the Ripley Office at: 860-567-2062 to reserve your spot!
Logan Connor has been raising chickens for nearly 15 years and is a third-generation poultry exhibitioner. Logan began raising chickens for exhibition in 2006 and has since bred and raised hundreds of birds which have all been used to improve upon his lines. He has worked with many large fowl and Bantam breeds and is currently focusing on his Bantam Rhode Island Reds and standard Blue Laced Red Wyandotte’s for show. Logan serves on the poultry committee of multiple local shows and has competed nationally for poultry production and processing. Besides exhibition, Logan also has a vast knowledge of small-scale egg and meat production.
Workshop will be held on Friday, March 25, from 6:30-7:30 PM.
Make-up date will be Friday, April 1, from 6:30-7:30 PM.
Members: $10, Non-Members: $15