52 Weeks of Fun

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Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium


The Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium is a natural history museum offering interactive exhibits that explore local habitats and wildlife found in the Ocean State. Visitors discover creatures that live in a tidepool, observe marine life from Narragansett Bay, visit with Red-tailed Hawks, and peek inside a 33-foot life-size model of a North Atlantic Right Whale. Situated on the 28-acre Claire D. McIntosh Wildlife Refuge, easy walking trails start in upland meadows and wind to a ΒΌ mile boardwalk through fresh and saltwater marshes to a majestic view of Narragansett Bay. Located along the East Bay Bike Path, the trails allow bikers and walkers access to the refuge's natural beauty. Guided walks, birding classes, lectures, and family programs are offered throughout the year. The facility and trails are handicapped accessible.

The fields, woods, wetlands, and winding boardwalk to the shore of Narragansett Bay present visitors to the Claire D. McIntosh Wildlife Refuge with a wide variety of habitats for nature study and observation. This property is also home to Audubon's award-winning Nature Center and Aquarium, where walks, shore programs, lectures, and family events are offered year-round. Refuge highlights include habitat (fields, forest, fresh and saltwater marshes, rocky shore), wildlife (painted turtle, snapping turtle, frog, muskrat, fox), birds (Osprey, Green Heron, Wild Turkey, Red-tailed Hawk), award-winning Nature Center and Aquarium, boardwalk (through fresh and saltwater marshes leading to Narragansett Bay), and Pollinator Garden.

Since 2012, Audubon and its donors have given thousands of viewers a peek into the world of the Peregrine Falcon. Perched high above the streets of Providence, 30 floors up, they return each spring to raise their young atop of what is perhaps Providence's most recognizable building - the Industrial National Bank Building (often referred to as the Superman Building). The Providence Peregrine Falcon nesting box can be viewed live online due to Audubon's camera trained on these magnificent raptors. Pedestrians in the city have an occasional glimpse at these once-endangered falcons, but the unobtrusive nest cameras allow the public and schoolchildren throughout the state to have a close-up look at their day-to-day lives as eggs hatch and the fluffy-white fledglings grow each year. In February 2020, Audubon added the Common Raven Cam, allowing viewers to tune in to those interesting educational ambassadors located in Bristol, RI at the Nature Center and Aquarium. From playing in the snow to imitating Barred Owls and Wild Turkeys, these intelligent birds are constantly surprising Audubon with their antics.

Audubon conservation staff actively engage in a wide variety of ongoing property management on over 9,500 acres of wildlife refuges and protected land across the state. This includes habitat management, refuge protection, property monitoring, and trail maintenance. The conservationists at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island also lead hundreds of public walks and programs each year in addition to other key conservation projects, including Rare and Endangered Animals and Plants. Birds that nest in grasslands are the fastest declining group of North American birds. Audubon protects native grasslands on our refuges and manages them to enhance these communities, support nesting birds, and nurture pollinators.

Audubon also protects coastal habitats throughout the state. Critical salt marsh habitat is threatened by floods due to higher tides, coastal storms, and sea-level rise. Furthermore, runoff from streets and developed areas brings pollutants to these fragile habitats. Saltmarsh species, such as the salt marsh sparrow, are increasingly vulnerable. Audubon and its partners are tracking this threatened species in Rhode Island and monitoring salt marsh plants as well. Audubon refuges are also home to rare and endangered insects, freshwater mussels, and many species of plants, some of which are globally rare.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium

John James Audubon, born Jean Rabin in April 1785 in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), immigrated to America to avoid serving in Napoleon Bonaparte's army.

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  • Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium
  • Bristol
  • (401) 949-5454