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Bird Watcher: New Leader Takes Reins At Connecticut Audubon Society

Patrick Comins
Patrick Comins Photo Credit: Courtesy of Scott Kruitbosch

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Fairfield-based Connecticut Audubon Society has named a highly respected conservationist as it new executive director.

Patrick Comins is well-known for his abiding passion for birds and the environment. He is a "leading authority on the conservation of the state’s birds and the habitats that support them," the group said.

"He will lead Connecticut Audubon as it focuses on inspiring an ever-greater spirit of conservation statewide, through its education programs, citizen science initiatives, and habitat improvement projects, and at its seven centers and 20 sanctuaries," the group said in a statement.

He started his career by conducting bird surveys for the Connecticut Audubon Society, and is currently director of bird conservation for Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society.

Comins will begin his new position on July 17, replacing Nelson North, who is retiring after 10 years as director of Fairfield operations and executive director.

“Our goal was to find an executive director with an impeccable record of success as a conservationist and a reputation for integrity and leadership throughout the state – and we are confident that we found him in Patrick Comins,” said Peter Kunkel, chairman of Connecticut Audubon’s Board of Directors.

“Our members and the conservation community at large can be assured that with Patrick leading the organization we will build on the record of success that started when Mabel Osgood Wright founded Connecticut Audubon 119 years ago.”

Comins said he would focus on working with the Board, and with the organization’s members, staff, and large network of grassroots volunteers, to continue Wright’s vision of inspiring people to conserve by connecting with the natural world.

The Connecticut Audubon Society has a staff of approximately 30 employees in Milford, Old Lyme, Glastonbury, Pomfret, and Sherman, and at its EcoTravel program based in Essex.

“It is humbling to walk in the footsteps of Mabel Osgood Wright, one of the giants of the early bird conservation movement,” he said. “I intend to keep her original vision of ‘inspiring people to conserve nature’ as a key tenet as we refine a vision for 21st century conservation at the Connecticut Audubon Society.”

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