Seacoast Chapter, NH Audubon Programs

In person programs: 7:00 pm refreshments; 7:30 pm meeting 

Seacoast Science Center, Odiorne Point State Park, 570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye.

Zoom programs: 7:00 pm

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 332-4093,


Zoom Program: Wildlife of the White Mountains 

Wednesday, December 13

Please sign up in advance if you plan to attend.

Wildlife viewing is a favorite activity of White Mountain residents and visitors. This illustrated program, by David Govatski, US Forest Service retiree, features the natural history of many of our iconic species that we might see along the trail including black bear, moose, snowshoe hare, bobcat, Canada lynx and American marten. We will also learn about interesting and unusual insects, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that make the White Mountains their home. We will discuss trends in wildlife populations such as range expansion and contraction.

Bio: David Govatski retired from the US Forest Service after a 33-year career as a Forester and Silviculturist. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Silviculture from the US Forest Service. He has a keen interest in forest and wildlife conservation and he co-authored "Forests for the People: The Story of the Eastern National Forests." His articles and photographs have appeared in several magazines and he is a frequent guest speaker and trip leader.

Zoom Program: Caught in the SNOWstorm: 10 Years of Snowy Owl Research

Wednesday, January 10

Please sign up in advance if you plan to attend.

The winter of 2013-2014 saw the largest invasion of Snowy Owls into the eastern United States in perhaps a century and marked an unprecedented opportunity to learn more about these mysterious Arctic hunters. Author and researcher Scott Weidensaul will share the story of Project SNOWstorm - how a huge collaborative effort focused on Snowy Owls came together in a few frantic weeks, funded with the help of people from around the world, and continues to make discoveries and unexpected insights into the life and ecology of this great white raptor.

Bio: Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist "Living on the Wind" and his latest, the New York Times bestseller "A World on the Wing". Weidensaul is a contributing editor for Audubon and writes for a variety of other publications, including Bird Watchers Digest and the Cornell Lab's Living Bird. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society and an active field researcher, studying Northern Saw-whet Owl migration for more than 25 years, as well as winter hummingbirds in the East, bird migration in Alaska, and the winter movements of Snowy Owls through Project SNOWstorm, which he co-founded.

Zoom Program: There's Something About Owls 

Wednesday, February 14

Please sign up in advance if you plan to attend.

Owls are much loved in the bird world and seeing any owl is indeed a thrill. The secretive lives of owls are part of their mystique and can make them very difficult to find in the wild. "There's Something About Owls", presented by Gina Nichol, founder of Sunrise Birding LLC, goes beyond the incredible adaptations of owls and reveals strategies to increase your chances of seeing owls in your backyard, local patch, and beyond. Preparation for your search, ethical field practices, skills, and tactics for success are discussed and illustrated with anecdotes and experiences from the field. Suggestions for what you can do to help owls are also included.

Bio: In 2005, Gina Beebe Nichol founded Sunrise Birding LLC, a company offering personalized, authentic, affordable birding and wildlife tours around the world. A naturalist and birder for more than thirty years, Gina first became fascinated with the natural world in rural upstate New York where she spent most of her childhood exploring the outdoors.

She received her B.S. in Environmental Education from Cornell University and her M.A. in Educational Technology from Fairfield University. She began her career as a Naturalist at the Rye Nature Center in Rye, NY. Gina's interest in human/wildlife interactions then took her to Volunteers for Wildlife in Cold Spring Harbor, NY. There she coordinated the operation of a 24-hour Wildlife Crisis Hotline and developed programs dealing with wildlife rehabilitation.

In 1987, she became Program Director for the National Audubon Society in Greenwich, CT. In that capacity, she led numerous environmental workshops and local field trips. Also while there, Gina also led ecotours for Audubon Nature Odysseys. Destinations included Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, the Pacific Northwest and Baja CA. Upon leaving Audubon, Gina taught biology, chemistry, physical and environmental science, and computer courses for several years at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, CT.

Gina's avid interest in wildlife biology led her to the Yellowstone Institute in Wyoming where she studied animal behavior as well as methods for tracking animal movements. She also worked on a research project on the Isle of Skye in Scotland where she investigated habitat requirements of Eurasian otters. In addition, she participated in an Earthwatch study of mountain lions in the Jim Sage Mountains in Idaho.

Her varied interests and love of the natural world have taken her to all seven continents. She has led wildlife tours to Central and South America, Alaska, Antarctica, China, Kenya and countless countries in between.


Wednesday March 13

Program: Exploring the Wonders of a Pollinator Garden through its Insects

Wednesday April 10

Sometimes, you don't have to leave your backyard to explore the wonders of the natural world. Join Paul Lacourse on his quest to understand the ecology of his pollinator garden through its insects. He will introduce you to the diversity of the plants and insects that inhabit a pollinator garden and the role they play in it. It's a beautiful and sometimes creepy look at an often overlooked world within an arm's reach.

Bio: Paul Lacourse taught Life Science, including a Study of NH Birds course, at Winnicunnet High School for 30 years. He is a former President/Vice President and field trip leader of the Seacoast Chapter of NH Audubon. Over the last 8 years, he has immersed himself in creating and studying a very productive pollinator garden that incorporates many native plants.



Wednesday, May 8


Program: Program: Identification and Role of Native and Non-native Shrubs as Habitat for Birds

Wednesday, June 12 & June 14

Wednesday, June 12 5:30-8:00pm and Friday, June 14 7:30-10:00am at Pickering Ponds trails, Rochester. Each program will be limited to 15 participants with no repeat registrants. This event will be held entirely outdoors and will be held as long as it is not raining. Participants should bring their binoculars and clothing appropriate for the weather conditions at the time of the event.

This program, by Matt Tarr of UNH Cooperative Extension, will teach you how to identify the most common native and non-native shrubs that comprise many bird habitats in NH. We will identify each shrub species, discuss how each species functions as bird habitat, and which shrubs you want to encourage on your land to benefit birds. We will also be looking and listening for birds (of course!) and sharing our tips for how to identify the birds we encounter during the trip.

Bio: Matt Tarr is Extension Professor, State Wildlife Habitat Specialist for the University of NH Cooperative Extension. Much of Matt's research and work is focused on determining how non-native shrubs function as habitat for songbirds and on how birds respond to land-use and habitat management practices at different landscape scales. Matt is an avid birder who enjoys photographing and recording birds.

Missed some of our recent online programs?  You can access them below:

Zoom Program - Birds and Climate Change: The Changes that are Already Happening

Wednesday, February 8

Recording available for a limited time.

Steve Hampton will focus on what changes are already happening in the world of birds: northward range shifts, changes in migration and nesting timing, rapid evolution, and ecological cascades. He'll explore which species are adapting and which are not.

Bio: Steve has been birding since he was 7 years old. He worked for the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife for 25 years where he was involved in oil spill response, natural resource damage assessment, seabird restoration, and partnerships with Native communities. He combines his love of birds with a PhD in resource economics to analyze bird data. In the Dec. 2022 issue of Birding magazine, he summarized the latest research on birds and climate change. He lives in Port Townsend, WA.

Zoom Program: From Finches to Launching of the Finch Research Network
Wednesday, November 10

Irruptions of finches from the north in recent years inspired Matthew Young to launch the Finch Research Network (FiRN) in fall 2020. Join us for his lively presentation about redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks, the distribution and ecology of different Red Crossbill flight calls, and the launching of FiRN and its future.

Recording available for a limited time.

Bio: Matthew A. Young, M.S., President and Founder of the Finch Research Network (FiRN): Matt has been observing and enjoying nature since a very young age. He's lived in Central New York the past 23 years and it was during this time, when he's worked as a social worker for 10 years, that he really started studying everything from birds to orchids, and bogs and fens. Matt received his B.S in Water Resources with a minor in Meteorology from SUNY-Oneonta and his M.S. in Ornithology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry/Syracuse University in 2003. Matt did his masters research on avian diversity in restored wetlands of central New York at the Great Swamp Conservancy. He was a Regional Editor of The Kingbird, the state ornithological journal in New York, for 10 years, was an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Studies at SUNY-Cortland, and currently teaches an Intro to Birding class for Cornell University and is the Board Chair at The Wetland Trust.

He worked at the Cornell Lab across 15+ years where he did extensive field work for the Lab's Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers atlas projects, and was project lead on the Lab's first Finch Irruptive Bird Survey for Bird Source in 1999. He was the Collections Management Leader/Audio Engineer at the Macaulay Library ~12 years where he edited sounds for several Merlin packs around the world in addition to being the lead audio engineer on guides, the Songs of the Warblers of North America, Audubon Society Voices of Hawaii's Birds, and the Cornell Lab's Guides to Bird Sounds, the North America Master and Essential Sets. He's been a tour guide leader for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, written finch species accounts for breeding bird atlases and Birds of the World, has published several papers about the Red Crossbill vocal complex, and is the President and Founder of the Finch Research Network (FiRN). Email: or

Zoom Program: A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds
Wednesday, December 8

Recording available for a limited time.

Even as scientists make astounding discoveries about the navigational and physiological feats that enable migratory birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, go weeks without sleep or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch, humans have brought many migrants to the brink. Based on his newest book, "A World on the Wing," author and researcher Scott Weidensaul takes you around the globe-with researchers in the lab probing the limits of what migrating birds can do, to the shores of the Yellow Sea in China, to the remote mountains of northeastern India where tribal villages saved the greatest gathering of falcons on the planet, and the Mediterranean where activists and police battle bird poachers-to learn how people are fighting to understand and save the world's great bird migrations.

Bio: Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Living on the Wind, Return to Wild America and The First Frontier. His newest book, A World on the Wing about global migration, was released in March 2021. Weidensaul is a contributing editor for National Audubon, a columnist for Bird Watcher's Digest and writes for a variety of other publications, including Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Living Bird. He is also an active field researcher, studying Northern Saw-whet Owl migration for more than two decades, as well as winter hummingbirds, bird migration in Alaska, and the winter movements of Snowy Owls through Project SNOWstorm, which he co-founded.

Zoom Program: New Hampshire's Winter Birds

Recording available for a limited time.

NH Audubon's "Backyard Winter Bird Survey" is a citizen science project that has been collecting data on the state's birds since 1967. In this program, Dr. Pamela Hunt uses the Survey's data to illustrate how populations of our common winter birds have been changing over time. In the process, we'll explore many other aspects of bird biology.

Bio: Pam Hunt has been interested in birds since the tender age of 12, when an uncle took her to Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge in NJ. She went on to earn a B.S. in biology from Cornell University, M.A. in zoology from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1995. Pam came to NH Audubon in 2000 after five years as adjunct faculty at Colby-Sawyer College in New London. In her current position as Avian Conservation Biologist, she works closely with NH Fish and Game to coordinate and prioritize bird research and monitoring in the state, and also authored NH's State of the Birds report. Specific areas of interest include habitat use by early successional birds (particularly whip-poor-wills), conservation of aerial insectivores (e.g., swifts and swallows), and the effects of events outside the breeding season on long-distance migrants. Pam also coordinated the NH Dragonfly Survey, a five-year project that mapped distributions of these insects throughout the state, and remains active in the dragonfly field.

Zoom Program: A Multi-Regional Assessment of Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus) Occupancy Within Managed Forests Using Autonomous Recording Units

Recording available for a limited time.

Over the past half century, many eastern forest birds have experienced significant population declines. These declines have in part been attributed to habitat loss and degradation. State and federal agencies have initiated conservation efforts to improve habitat conditions for several forest dependent wildlife. The recent availability of low-cost autonomous recording units (ARUs) has shown great promise to facilitate monitoring, particularly for species that are logistically difficult to survey (e.g., nocturnal species). A collaborative research project involving research scientists from the University of Massachusetts, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, University of Pittsburgh and University of Maryland deployed ARUs across hundreds of managed forests from North Carolina to Maine to assess whip-poor-will occupancy. In this presentation, project lead Jeffery (JT) Larkin will discuss whip-poor-will ecology and share initial monitoring results.

Bio: JT Larkin is a 2nd year graduate student in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He received his Bachelor's degree in Environmental, Conservation, and Evolutionary Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2020. JT's interest in wildlife and conservation biology began when he was only a few years old tracking radio collared elk with his father in Eastern Kentucky. Since then, his passion for the field has only grown. He has worked on many projects that range from amphibians, fish, songbirds, small and large mammals and forestry. He plans to attain his Ph.D. and pursue a position in applied conservation biology.   

Zoom Program: Insects for Birders

Recording available for a limited time.

Pick any scene from the drama of birds, the grace and force of flight, the ornaments and audacity of courtship, the absolute joy we get in watching them, and you will find it as well in the drama of insects, played out only a few feet away. With vivid images and practical advice, birder and entomologist Bryan Pfeiffer will persuade you to aim your binoculars toward butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies, tiger beetles and other glittering insects, which E.O.Wilson calls "the little things that run the world."


Bio: A writer, biologist and boy explorer, Bryan Pfeiffer has studied and photographed nature, mostly birds and insects, from the tropics to above the Arctic Circle. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Aeon magazine, Orion, Northern Woodlands, Field & Stream and many other places. His latest adventures include photographing rare butterflies for the State of Maine. In his various other lives, Bryan has been (or still is) a bread baker, a pot washer, a firefighter, a nature guide, a videographer and a newspaper reporter. He lives in Montpelier, VT and online at