NH Audubon Seacoast Chapter Programs

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

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

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 332-4093,

Program: Hummingbirds: The Most Marvelous of Bird Families

Wednesday, October 12

Bob and Dana Fox have developed a new talk focusing on hummingbirds. They will begin with what is a hummingbird and then describe their adventures with 10 different, remarkable species they have seen on their journeys in the Americas. They will also share the results of recent research which has given us deeper insights into the wonders of this family: how they evolved, pollination through nectaring (including a comparison with bees and butterflies), their diet of insects and nectar, nectar feeding technique, use of torpor, how iridescence is produced, and their courtship. Many spectacular pictures and videos will be included. Come and marvel at these little gems.

Bio: Dana and Bob Fox both began birding in their youth. They have birded the US (list 750 species) and the world (6500 species) visiting 6 continents and over 40 countries. They have given numerous talks in New England about the birds of countries they have visited and on crows, loons and most recently hummingbirds.

Dana joined the South Shore Bird Club (SSBC) in 1951 when she was 12 years old. She has spent most summers in Tuftonboro, NH where she became fascinated by loons. The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) 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. Dana coordinates the Tin Mountain Conservation Group's Loon Monitoring Project for LPC and helps to train the LPC summer biologists on interacting with volunteers.

Bob, as a student at Harvard and living in Quincy, MA, was an early leader of the SSBC. With Allan Keith, a former member of the SSBC, he 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 the 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: Saving a Species from Extinction: Protecting the North Atlantic Right Whale

Wednesday, November 9

With fewer than 350 whales remaining, the North Atlantic right whale is one of the rarest large whale species in the world. Once a heavily targeted commercial whaling species, right whales remain vulnerable to contemporary human activities, including vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Their recovery is also threatened by low reproduction, habitat loss, disease and environmental contaminants.

For more than 40 years, the New England Aquarium has been in the forefront of right whale research and conservation efforts and our work has been integral to informing national and international efforts to protect these elusive giants. This program presented by Heather Pettis will share the history of this iconic species as well as the tremendous efforts underway to save them from extinction.

Bio: Heather Pettis is a Research Scientist in the Kraus Marine Mammal Conservation Program at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium where she has spent the last 22 years studying the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Heather's primary research interests are using visual health assessments to examine trends in right whale health at both the individual and population levels and to investigate the impact of anthropogenic injuries on right whale health and survival over time. She played an integral role in the development of the visual health assessment technique for right whales and has advised researchers in the development of assessments for other cetacean species. She serves as the executive administrator for the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, a collaborative data sharing group committed to long-term research and management efforts to provide management, academic and conservation groups with the best scientific advice and recommendations on right whale conservation. She is also interested in photo identification and population monitoring.

Program: Wings over New Hampshire: What We Are Learning from the Motus Wildlife Tracking System

Wednesday, December 14

ZOOM Meeting

7:00 pre-meeting discussion

7:30 program

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Grants from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and private donations have supported installation of 10 Motus receiving stations in NH. These stations have detected birds tagged by researchers from Hudson Bay to South America. This presentation, by Carol Foss of NH Audubon, will provide an overview of NH's "electronic ears," the stories of tagged birds that have crossed our skies during their migrations and the travels of Rusty Blackbirds from the Northern Forest breeding population.

Bio: Carol R. Foss is Senior Advisor for Science and Policy at NH Audubon, where she has served in a variety of capacities for more than 40 years. Working with state, federal, and private partners, she has led wildlife inventory, monitoring and research projects and contributed to conservation policy development at regional, state, and local levels. A 2009 recipient of the US EPA Lifetime Achievement Award, Carol holds a B.A. in Biology from Colby College, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine. She is currently involved in a regional collaborative working to expand use of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System in New England and the southeastern US.

Program: An Introduction to New Hampshire's Fish Species of Conservation Concern

Wednesday, January 11

New Hampshire is home to a number of fish populations that are at risk of decline, or in some cases extirpation, due to human caused threats. Declines in aquatic species often go unnoticed, because they are less visible to the public. This presentation, by Matt Carpenter of NH Fish and Game Department, will provide a closer look at some of these species, including their life history traits, current status, and also a discussion of ongoing conservation efforts intended to restore NH's native fish populations and the aquatic habitats they depend on.

Bio: Matt Carpenter is a Biologist with the Inland Fisheries Division of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

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

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