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Twitchers in the Rye and the Superbowl of Birding 2018

place on the last Saturday in January – but this Superbowl has nothing to do with football. It involves looking for as many bird species as possible in 12 hours and is run by Massachusetts Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. Teams can compete in Essex County, MA and/or Rockingham County, NH.

This is the Twitchers 10th year birding solely in Rye and for the first time there’s actually a town category in the competition. “We wanted to show people how many birds can be seen in just one town,” said Twitchers team captain Becky Suomala, “but now that there’s a category for a single town its especially exciting. Rye has great birding habitat and gives us a great name,” (Twitchers is a British word for avid birders) “but we’ve never had anyone compete in any other town.”

What’s a Chukar doing in New Hampshire? – New Hampshire Bird Records Fall 2016

Chukars are exotic looking birds in the pheasant family that sometimes turn up in people’s yards. You can read about why these non-native birds may appear in the Fall 2016 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records on the web at the NH Bird Records website.

The Fall 2016 issue was dedicated to Rob Woodward in appreciation of all he has done for the New Hampshire birding community. The issue features an article he wrote on the Nighthawk Migration Watch in Concord, and well as many other articles including the first sighting of a White Wagtail in New Hampshire, how plastics are affecting seabirds in our area, the annual raptor migration report, and the regular features of the Photo Quiz, Field Trip Reports, Field Notes, Photo Quiz, and Fall 2016 report. Check the table of contents at the link above.

eBirding your Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season is upon us again! This is a great time to join others and cooperate in a massive effort across the Western Hemisphere to take a snapshot of bird occurrence around the holidays. For three weeks each year (14 December to 5 January) tens of thousands of birders head out to conduct the Audubon CBC. These counts are cooperative efforts to get the best count of birds in a single 15-mile diameter circle. They depend upon the efforts of multiple parties of observers each checking different parts of the count circle. Compilers add the efforts of the various teams together and assemble a final count total, which can be compared to totals for the past 117 years to understand changes in bird populations. eBird collects data at a finer scale and from single parties of birders, and eBird Mobile makes it easy to keep your tallies through the day. We invite each group to submit their single-party lists to eBird. For guidance on best practices for submitting your CBC to eBird, click on this story.

Separating Snowy Egrets from Immature Little Blue Herons – New Hampshire Bird Records Summer 2016

Immature Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons are both small, white herons that can be very difficult to tell apart in late summer and fall. The Summer 2016 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records features a Photo Quiz by David Donsker that focusses on separating these two confusing species. It’s now available on the New Hampshire Bird Records website.

This issue features numerous articles including a Spotlight on Cory’s Shearwater by Steve Mirick, showing the changing status of this species that was once a rarity in New Hampshire waters, requiring full documentation for any sighting! Now they can be more common than Great Shearwaters. You can also read about Len Reitsma’s research on Canada Warblers in Canaan, NH, find out about what Pam Hunt learned about the status of Olive-sided Flycatchers in New Hampshire, and find out where to bird in Durham from Kurk Dorsey and Robbie Prieto. There are too many articles to list, so check the table of contents at the link above.

New Issue of New Hampshire Bird Records – Spring 2016

Blue Grosbeaks are rare in New Hampshire and they are easy to confuse with Indigo Buntings. The Spring 2016 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records features an article by David Donsker on when and where they are most likely to be seen. It’s now available at the NH Bird Records website.

The Spring of 2016 had four new state records including the amazing Redwing that appeared in Hollis. The New Hampshire Bird Records team also predicted the species they thought most likely to be the next first state record and guess what was at the top – Brown Booby! Of course we’ll be talking about that species’ appearance in Windham in the Summer 2017 issue.

You can read about the other species they predicted and the discovery of the other state records in the Spring 2016 issue along with articles on Birding Mink Brook in Hanover, Hummingbird Courtship, Birds and Aledgids, Field Trips to Everett Dam for the Birdathon and Star Island with a Chuck-wills-widow, the NH Rare Birds Committee Report, and the usual Filed Notes, Photo Quiz, and Spring Season Analysis. This issue was also sponsored in honor of Davis Finch, recipient of the 2016 Goodhue-Elkins Award.

New Hampshire Bird Records – Owl Harassment and What to Do

Everyone loves to see an owl but how do we do so responsibly? Many of us are asking that question, especially during Snowy Owl winters or when we find an owl roosting in a tree. We collected examples of owl harassment and discuss safe owl-viewing in the Winter 2015-16 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records. Send the link to others who might want to know!

This Winter 2015-16 issue is a tribute to retiring Winter Season Editor, Pam Hunt. Be sure to read her last season summary with all the highlights from last winter.

You can also read about how much fun participants had in the 2016 Superbowl of Birding, as well as a summary of the Christmas Bird Survey by David Deifik. Learn something new about trail cameras and birds in an article by Eric Aldrich. Have you wondered why you aren’t seeing as many Evening Grosbeaks these days? Find out what we know about their decline. Local expert Chris McPherson (discovered of the Redwing) describes where to bird in Hollis. Does the term “foot quivering” make you curious? See what Brenda Sens was able to find out about this odd behavior.

And don’t forget other enjoyable features such as the Photo Quiz, Field Notes, Photo Gallery, and an update by the NH Rare Birds Committee.

The 2017 Superbowl of Birding with The Twitchers

The Twitchers in the Rye had great weather for a fun day in the Superbowl of Birding Saturday, January 28, 2017.

The team had a total of 59 species and 93 points, right on average. Highlights included two species that were new for the Twitchers, a Barred Owl and a Common Merganser. A Snowy Owl greeted them at dawn at Rye Harbor State Park where photographers were already on site.

Despite some wind, the sea watching was good and they had no major misses in the expected sea birds, but landbirds quieted as the wind picked up in the late morning. Pledges of support helped encourage the team in the afternoon and they are grateful to all of their sponsors. Celebratory donations are still welcome.

NH Audubon Birding Team to Compete in Rye on Saturday, January 28

New Hampshire Audubon’s “Twitchers in the Rye” will be taking part in the Superbowl of Birding on January 28, 2017 and spending the entire day in Rye, NH.

The Superbowl is a competition that takes place on the last Saturday in January – but this Superbowl has nothing to do with football. It involves looking for as many bird species as possible in 12 hours and is run by Massachusetts Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. Teams can compete in Essex County, MA and/or Rockingham County, NH.

Twitchers is also raising money to support New Hampshire Audubon and accepting pledges to support New Hampshire Bird Records and NH eBird (both programs of New Hampshire Audubon’s Conservation Department). Help spur the Twitchers on by pledging an amount per species or per point – and support the collection of bird data for conservation at the same time.

If you’d like to pledge, please contact Becky Suomala at rsuomala@nhaudubon.org, 603-224-9909 x309 or pledge on-line at www.nhbirdrecords.org where you can also read last year’s
results.

Fall Issue of New Hampshire Bird Records – Just Published

If you struggle to identify shorebirds, the Fall 2015 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records has an article by Steve Mirick that will help. It’s now available for free on the web at:
http://nhbirdrecords.org/our-journal-new-hampshire-bird-records/current-issue-of-nh-bird-records/.

The issue also has the annual Raptor Migration Report by Iain MacLeod, an update on the 2015 Concord Nighthawk Migration, and highlights from the Fall 2015 field season including Brown Pelican, Lazuli Bunting, Swainson’s Hawk, Western Meadowlark, Franklin’s Gull, and Townsend’s Warbler (yes, we do mean 2015 – we’re working to catch up).

You can also read about the shorebirds found during the Powder Mill Pond drawdown, the more recent phenomenon of large Ruddy Duck flocks in fall, and the two races of Palm Warbler in New England. Matt Tarr reports on the results of his research into exotic shrubs and Common Yellowthroat breeding success, and Dylan Jackson provides details on birding Lake Sunapee.

There are the usual Field Trip reports and the popular Photo Quiz.

New Issue of New Hampshire Bird Records – Don’t Miss Out!

The Summer 2015 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records is packed full of fun and helpful articles for birders. Find out how to bird Hampton Harbor in a kayak from Scott Heron. Test your knowledge of old bird names with a quiz by Bob Quinn. Learn about nest finding in Concord from Rob Woodward who has made a study of it. Steve Mirick has an article about when and where to find Acadian Flycatchers in the state – an unusual bird for New Hampshire. Read an interesting note about protecting birds from the 1930s. There are also articles about cross-species feeding, the mystery of cuckoos, Common Nighthawk nesting, and Chimney Swift twigging. You’ll also find the usual write-up of the Summer 2015 season, Field Trips, Field Notes including a Merlin chick rescue, Field Trip reports, and the popular Photo Quiz.

Have you wondered about how to identify Saltmarsh and Nelson’s Sparrows? They used to be one species and researchers have found they hybridize in the state. Read the latest at the NH Bird Records website.

Become a subscriber so you won’t miss out! For subscription information, click here.

or go directly to the on-line subscription page at the NH Audubon website.