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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.

Explore and share your birding with eBird Profile Pages!

320,000 eBirders and growing… You’ve looked through eBird checklists and seen their names: kindred birding spirits whose sightings you may have glimpsed only once, or followed regularly over months and years. Now, you can find out who the people are behind these names by exploring eBird’s new Profile Pages! Whether you’re a backyard birder or a globe-trotting world lister, eBird Profile Pages allow you to share your birding story with friends and the entire eBird community.

This first version of your public eBird dashboard focuses on showcasing your eBird/Macaulay Library activity with tools that visualize all your sightings and highlight your recent media contributions—all updated with each new eBird contribution. We hope these Profile Pages provide a fun new way to visualize the contributions you’ve made to eBird and the Macaulay Library, inspire you to ‘fill in the gaps’ in your profile maps, and allow you to get to know other eBirders by exploring their Profile Pages. Enjoy meeting the global eBird community, and set up your eBird Profile Page today!

Birding Old Cherry Mountain Road in the White Mountains – new issue of NH Bird Records

Find out about the warblers of Old Cherry Mountain Road and the birding there in an article by Charlie Nims at the new issue of New Hampshire Bird Records.

Remember last spring with the LeConte’s Sparrow? Also in the Spring 2015 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records are articles on how to count birds, bluebird mortality early last spring, Osprey satellite tagging, and aging Herring Gulls by plumage, plus the usual features – Photo Quiz, Season Summary of bird highlights, Field Trip Reports, and Field Notes of fascinating bird observations including the “Black Swallows” of Nashua!

Just released – The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks

An ebook on the bird populations of one of the most important birding sites in the Connecticut Valley is now available for free, online. The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs, by Hector Galbraith, addresses in some detail all 244 species that have been recorded there over the last 80+ years. It is 70 pages of text bar charts, maps, and photographs.

With world class birding sites like Odiorne and Parker River only a couple of hours drive away, it is easy for some of us in inland New England to forget the ornithological importance of some of our inland sites. This is definitely the case with Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs in southwest New Hampshire and southeast Vermont. Situated on the Connecticut River, and comprising a rich mixture of habitats, including emergent marsh, open water, and riparian scrub and forest, the Setbacks and Bluffs are one of the most diverse and productive birding sites in inland New England.

Winter 2014/2015 Issue of New Hampshire Bird Records

The invasive insect pest, Emerald Ash Borer, which was initially detected in 2013 in Concord, continues to radiate across southern New Hampshire, decimating ash trees wherever it occurs. Birders and other outdoor enthusiasts are well positioned to help forest ecologists get a handle on the spread of this insect species. Now is the perfect time to detect new infestations in ash trees as woodpeckers feed on the overwintering larvae.

To understand Emerald Ash Borer and its relationship with birds, how to detect it in trees, and find out how YOU can help play a role in its management, see this free article which appears in the latest issue of New Hampshire Bird Records.

The Winter 2014-15 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records also has articles on New Mega-zoom Cameras, last winter’s Gyrfalcon and Smith’s Longspur, Northern Saw-whet Owls, Winter Birding in Manchester, the Christmas Bird Count, and the usual features – Photo Quiz, Season Summary of bird highlights, Field Trip Report, and Field Notes of fascinating bird observations including a Barred Owl caught by a crow!

Counting 102—birds at feeders

A couple years ago we published the Counting 101 and Counting 201 articles, tutorials for how to more effectively and accurately count birds that you’re seeing. Counting 101 focuses on the basics—how to keep track of birds throughout a birding outing, and how to count a flock in parts to estimate the total. Counting 201 takes this a step further, dealing with large numbers and flocks of birds in motion. Counting 102 is intended to take these counting best practices and apply them to feeder birding—a slightly different counting problem, but an important one to address. For anyone who has wondered how best to count and eBird the birds visiting you feeder—this article is for you.