Public programs are held at the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT (map) from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments are served.



May 10, 2017
All About Ducks
Ben Sonnenberg

Come meet the ducks! 

Black-bellied Whistling Dusk. Photo: LRWC Facebook page

Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of waterfowl and wetlands through research, education, and conservation action. Located in Litchfield, Connecticut, the Conservancy is home to over 500 birds representing over 80 different species. Primarily a breeding facility for rare and endangered species, the Conservancy raises hundreds of birds a year. During the talk, you’ll have the chance to meet some of LRWC’s Avian Ambassadors and get a glimpse of the diversity and natural history of the world of waterfowl. Along the way, we will discuss LRWC’s current research projects, species survival programs, and some of the most potent threats to waterfowl including habitat destruction and climate change. The Conservancy is fighting hard to preserve the many endangered species of waterfowl from around the world. 

Ben Sonnenberg is the Director of Environmental Education at LRWC. Ben has a BS in Biology, a love for birds, and an enthusiasm for teaching. A Montana native, Ben has a background in field research studying Red Crossbill vocalizations in Washington State as well as sea duck aviculture in Alaska. Ben designs and presents education programs for preschoolers to college students to adults. As the Assistant Aviculturist, he also helps manage and perform daily bird care for the LRWC flock.


June 14, 2017
For the Love of Nature
Donna Lorello

A Red Admiral butterfly peers down from a branch almost as if it were staring curiously at the lens focused on it. A Humpback Whale dives and begins to circle while exhaling under water creating a ‘net’ of bubbles to allow for its pod mates to feed on the trapped sand lance fish. The petal of a Black-eyed Susan seems to curl delicately downward creating a unique perspective. A multitude of colored scales come together to create the patterns of a butterfly’s wing. From blue hour to daybreak, the colors created by the rising sun create a beautiful ‘painting’ in the sky.

With a passion for all things wild that began at a very early age, nature enthusiast and photographer, Donna Lorello, will share some of her experiences in how she captures anything nature has to offer. From birds and mammals, insects and flowers, water drops and sunrises, anything natural is fair game for her lens.

Join us on June 14 as Donna shares some of her experiences in how she photographs her subjects.