Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking a private tour of the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy in Litchfield Connecticut. The LRWC began it's life as a lifelong private waterfowl collection of the late S. Dillon Ripley, an orinthologist and professor at Yale University who later became the secretary at the Smithsonian. Along with his impressive backround an a passion for waterfowl the LRWC was born. Mr. Ripley is credited as the first person to propagate some of the most endagered species of waterfowl in the world such as the NeNe goose of Hawaii and the Red Breasted goose of Siberia.
NeNe Geese from Hawaii.
Today the Conservancy is dedicated to waterfowl research and preservation of wetlands. Our guide (and fellow waterfowler) Ian Gereg is the Director of Aviculture and Education at the center. Ian walked us through the many enclosures and around the ponds of the center and educated us on the many worldwide species of waterfowl in the Conservancy's collection.
Note the antenna on the mallard. The center is testing solar powered GPS tracking harnesses. Several LRWC ducks are currently being tracked. One is currently on the Connecticut shore while another is hanging out in Belfast, Maine
This Woody was hand raised for educational purposes. He is brought to classrooms all over to teach children about waterfowl
The center is currently researching the unusual mating habits of the Ruddy Duck
This King Eider resides in the recently completed sea duck habitat. Little is known about sea duck habits due to their remote summer locations
If you ever decide to vacation in Connecticut. The Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy is a must see place for the avid waterfowler. They have ducks and geese from all over the world in a very impressive facility nestled in the hills of Litchfield Connecticut. Check them out at http://www.lrwc.net/