PROGRAMS

NH Audubon Seacoast Chapter Programs

In person programs: 7:00 pm Informal conversation; 7:30 pm Meeting

Seacoast Science Center, Odiorne Point State Park, 570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye (Zoom programs marked as such)

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 332-4093, danielhubbard@peoplepc.com

The Seacoast Chapter of NH Audubon thanks AARP New Hampshire for their sponsorship.


Program: Birding the Lesser Antilles
Wednesday, September 8

Bob and Dana Fox visited 10 islands in the Lesser Antilles, a chain of islands in the southeast Caribbean in 2020. Their talk will discuss the amazing geology of the region, its rich history of sugar plantations and rum making and its wonderful birds. These islands exhibit a high degree of endemism and each island introduced them to many new and interesting species and varied sub-species. They visited four of the islands on their own with local guides moving from island to island by ferry or plane. They then flew to Barbados and boarded the elegant Sea Cloud, a four-masted sailing vessel from which they explored the remaining five islands. It was a fascinating trip which they managed to squeeze in just before the pandemic changed the world.

Bio: Dana and Bob Fox both began birding in their youth. They have birded the US (list 750 species) and the world (6300 species) visiting 6 continents and over 40 countries. They have given numerous talks in MA and NH about the birds of countries they have visited. Dana has spent 50+ summers in NH where she became fascinated by loons. The Loon Preservation Committee presented her with their Spirit of the Loon Award. She is a past Secretary of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, Past President of the Merrimack Valley Bird Club and frequent speaker. She has written articles on birding and crows in the American Birding Association's Birding magazine and one on the Lawrence Crow Roost in Bird Observer. Bob has co-authored Birds of New Hampshire, a 477 page book describing the status and distribution of birds known from NH (2013). He has published in Auk and Wilson Bulletin, written species accounts for the first MA Breeding Bird Atlas as well as articles in publications of both NH and Mass Audubon Societies. His MA species list is 451. In the past, Bob collected specimens for five museums including Museum of Comparative Zoology. In addition, he helped found Manomet Bird Observatory, and is past President of South Shore Bird Club. He received the Goodhue-Elkins Award (2014) from NH Audubon for "contributions to the ornithology of NH".


Program: Avian Protection at NorthWestern Energy in Montana
Wednesday, October 13

Power companies, wildlife agencies, and conservation organizations have collaborated for decades to reduce bird electrocutions and collisions with power lines. NorthWestern Energy in Montana implements an Avian Protection Plan across its entire electrical system. New power lines are constructed following bird-friendly standards and existing lines are retrofitted with bird protection devices where electrocutions or collisions have occurred. This presentation by Marco Restani, Biologist at NorthWestern Energy, will review the legislation protecting birds, the biology and engineering behind bird-power line interactions, and management to reduce conflicts. Examples from waterfowl to raptors to songbirds will illustrate the diversity of challenges experienced in Montana.

Bio: Marco Restani began birding with the Seacoast Chapter of NH Audubon in the late 1970s and the mentorship he received launched him on a lifetime journey with birds. Originally an 'Army Brat', he attended high school in Durham before heading west to the University of Montana, Montana State, and Utah State. Following post-doctoral research at the University of Washington, Marco was Professor of Wildlife Ecology for 15 years. He is a Biologist at NorthWestern Energy in Montana responsible for developing and implementing the company's Avian Protection Program.


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.

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: may6@cornell.edu or info@finchnetwork.org.


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

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.


Program: New Hampshire's Winter Birds
Wednesday, January 12

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.

For Spring:
Program: Insects for Birders
Wednesday, March 9

Bryan Pfeiffer, writer, biologist, and boy explorer who chases nature around the world.