CONCORD — How are birds doing in New Hampshire? A new publication by NH Audubon provides the answer. The State of New Hampshire’s Birds: A Conservation Guide presents population trends and threats for the over 190 species the breed in the Granite State. Written by Dr. Pam Hunt, a senior biologist with NH Audubon, it includes photos of birds and their habitat, information on how our state’s birds are doing, threats to their populations, and conservation strategies for each group of birds. “We’ve also added new information on birds that migrate through the state, or winter here, but don’t nest,” said Dr. Hunt. “Most importantly, we’ve updated and expanded the list of actions that people can take to help birds.”
One-third of the bird species that nest in New Hampshire are declining, including familiar species like the Barn Swallow and Baltimore Oriole, and even our state bird the Purple Finch. Helping them may be as simple as keeping your cats indoors or as complicated as conserving valuable winter habitat in South America. One of the goals of The State of New Hampshire’s Birds is to present all these options in one place and tie them to the issues facing our birds here at home. The publication is designed for a wide audience, but especially interested individuals, landowners, and community officials, including members of conservation commissions and planning boards.
“Not all the bird news is bad,” said Dr. Hunt, “one-third of New Hampshire’s birds are increasing.” Some of these species have been restored to New Hampshire thanks to conservation actions, like restoration programs for the Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon and regulations concerning DDT and air quality. For populations to remain secure, we need to recognize the value of these previous achievements and keep existing protections strong and uncompromised. Without an engaged and informed citizenry, protecting birds and their habitats is a much more challenging task, and the Conservation Guide continues the effort to inform conservation-minded people throughout New Hampshire.
The State of New Hampshire’s Birds: A Conservation Guide and the Executive Summary are available on the NH Audubon web site: https://www.nhaudubon.org/conservation/the-state-of-the-birds.
This statewide resource has been recognized by conservation professionals:
"You don’t publish a paper on the loss of 3 billion birds and go back to your day job. We’re trying to re-imagine how we do bird conservation so we don’t wake up in 20 years and find out that we lost another billion birds or worse – that species have gone extinct. Doing this requires engaging new and broader audiences, and NH Audubon’s State of the Birds is a positive step in that direction.”
-Dr. Peter Marra of Georgetown University, internationally-recognized bird researcher and conservationist
“Over 60 species of birds are identified as ‘species of greatest conservation need’ in the NH Wildlife Action Plan. The State of the Birds report is an important tool in communicating the challenges birds face and the actions we can take to help them.”
-Michael Marchand, NH Fish & Game’s Nongame Program Coordinator
“This is a resource that we really value in our Extension outreach and education efforts. It’s our go-to guide for sharing research-based information on birds in New Hampshire with a variety of audiences – landowners, volunteers, community decision-makers, and natural resources professionals. We have and will continue to use it as one of the core handouts for the NH Coverts Project training each and every year.”
-Haley Andreozzi, Wildlife Outreach Program Manager at UNH Cooperative Extension
Doug Bechtel, President of NH Audubon, stated, “One thing we learned during this past year is that we need nature more than ever. This report couldn’t be more timely and critical in this moment in our history.”