Workshop – Introduction to eBird
Tuesday, March 25, 7:00-8:00pm, NH Audubon’s McLane Center, Concord, NH
eBird is an on-line system for reporting bird sightings in New Hampshire and elsewhere. This workshop is designed to help eBird beginners learn how to get started and enter their sightings. There will be a presentation showing the basic step by step process of how to enter sightings using a live on-line example and then hands-on help to enter your own sightings on your own laptop (computers will also be available for participants without laptops).
Class size is limited so please e-mail Becky Suomala to register, email@example.com. A donation of $10 would be appreciated.
The annual tradition continued on the morning of January 25, 2014, with the “Twitchers in the Rye” beginning the “Superbowl of Birding” at 5:00 a.m listening for owls. The weather, although cold to start, moderated during the day and was one of the milder days in recent weeks. Highlights from the day included two five-point species: Brown Thrasher and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a Fox Sparrow and a Great Blue Heron, both new for the Twitchers. A Snowy Owl at Rye Harbor State Park was a treat, although somewhat expected given how many are being seen in New England this winter. The final total was 58 species and 104 points, and the team raised more than $1,000 in pledges for New Hampshire Bird Records and NH eBird (two projects of NH Audubon’s Conservation Department). Many thanks to our sponsors!
Stock up those bird feeders and dig out your binoculars for New Hampshire Audubon’s Backyard Winter Bird Survey. This annual statewide survey will take place on Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9. Biologists need assistance from citizens all over the Granite State to get a clear picture of what’s really happening with our winter birds.
Anyone can participate in the Backyard Winter Bird Survey by counting the birds in their own backyard on the survey weekend and reporting on-line or sending the results on a special reporting
form to NH Audubon. To receive a copy of the reporting form, call New Hampshire Audubon (603-224-9909). Forms are also available at NH Audubon centers in Auburn, Concord and Manchester, and on-line. For more information about the survey, instructions and forms, or to report on-line, click here http://www.nhbirdrecords.org/bird-conservation/backyard-winter-survey.htm.
The “Twitchers in the Rye” will be taking part in the Superbowl of Birding on January 25 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.
“Twitchers” is Pam Hunt, Becky Suomala, Pat Myers and Peg Ackerson in 2014. Help spur them on by pledging – and support the collection of bird data for conservation at the same time.
Warblers are usually a feature of spring, but New Hampshire has occasional sightings each winter, such as the Townsend’s Warbler that was at Odiorne Point State Park in mid-December this year.
Read about which species are most likely to occur in winter in the Species Spotlight feature of the New Hampshire Bird Records Winter 2012-13 issue – now available on the web as a free article by Ben Griffith and Lauren Kras.
Two years ago Snowy Owls staged a massive invasion into the Lower 48, and this year it looks like they are on the move again. In 2011 the invasion was continent-wide, with particularly large numbers in the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains, but numbers in the Northeast U.S. and Atlantic coast not particularly high. This year’s invasion looks quite different, with the center of focus (so far) being the Great Lakes and Northeast. Keep an eye out for these northern owls in open areas while you’re birding, and don’t overlook that white bump in the dunes, or on the peak of the house next door–it just might be a Snowy Owl. eBird is poised to track this invasion and compare it with previous ones, so please make sure to enter all sightings, and suggest that your birding friends do the same!
Changes will be happening over the next week with how eBird users report Rock Pigeons. Most checklists will now contain Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) as an option. Since eBird is a global system it needs to be consistent throughout the world. In the Old World, where Rock Pigeon is native, most observers draw distinctions between Feral Pigeons (city pigeons, typically with non-wild plumage phenotypes) and ‘wild type’ Rock Pigeons. The latter have become quite rare in many areas, so reporting them as “Rock Pigeon (Wild type)” is of interest. In most of the world, however, Rock Pigeons are derived from captive stock and should be reported as “Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)” to make this distinction. This includes all Rock Pigeons in the Americas, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa, many islands, and many other areas where Rock Pigeons are restricted to urban and agrarian areas and where Wild type Rock Pigeons do not occur.
Cave Swallows began appearing in New Hampshire in 2003 and have been seen each fall since then.
You can learn about this phenomenon and when to look for them in the Fall 2012 issue New Hampshire Bird Records – it’s now on the nhbirdrecords.com website with the free article on Cave Swallows by Zeke Cornell.
As days shorten and cooler temperatures descend into North America, it’s time for one of our favorite features of the Autumn — Ron Pittaway’s Winter Finch Forecast. Here it is: This is not an irruption (flight) year for winter finches, but there will be some southward movement of most species into their normal winter ranges. Ontario’s cone crops (except white pine) and deciduous seed/berry crops are generally above average to excellent. Very good to bumper spruce cone crops extend across Canada’s boreal forest from Yukon (bumper) east to Atlantic Canada, with rare exceptions. Cone crops are good to excellent (poor on white pine) in central Ontario and Laurentian Mountains in southern Quebec with heavy crops extending east through the Adirondack Mountains of New York and northern New England States.
American Kestrels and the rest of the falcons have moved in the checklist order and are now after the woodpeckers. For an explanation of why, see Pam Hunt’s article in New Hampshire Bird Records.
The Summer 2012 issue is now on the web site with the free article by Pam Hunt.
The issue also has many other articles including Birding Mount Kearsarge, Spotlight on Breeding Shorebirds of New Hampshire, the return of the MAPS bird banding program to the Massabesic Audubon Center, the Challenges Facing Squam Lake’s Common Loons, Field Notes and other significant observations from Summer 2012 as well as the regular bird summaries and highlights from the season. See the Contents at the link above for a list of all the articles.