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Bird Highlights to Watch for in June

Bird Highlights to Watch for in June

(Reprinted from the Summer 2023 issue of New Hampshire Bird Records)

Summer in the bird world is only two months long – June and July. It is the breeding season for most birds in New Hampshire, but the tail end of the northward migration is still going on in early June. Watch for songbirds carrying food to feed their young. Here are some of the birding highlights to watch for in June.

  • Photo of Common Eider chicks by Steve Mirick, 6-12-21, Rye, NH.

    Common Eider chicks appear in numbers in late May and early June at the coast. There is still no documented breeding on the New Hampshire mainland, only on the Isles of Shoals.

  • Common and Roseate Terns nest at the Isles of Shoals and feed on the coast, especially at Hampton Harbor and the Piscataqua River off New Castle.
  • American Oystercatchers recently began nesting at the Isles of Shoals and can be seen on Star Island. The best way to look for them is to take a boat tour around the islands and/or land on Star Island. They can also be seen occasionally on the coast, especially in the cove south of Odiorne Point State Park in Rye.
  • The first Wilson’s Storm-Petrels arrive in northern waters after breeding in the southern hemisphere. Numbers build during the summer and peak in July. They can sometimes be seen from the coast, but are more reliable offshore, such as on a whalewatch.
  • Bicknell’s Thrush are on their breeding territories in the high elevations of the White Mountains and northern Coos County. They are easier to hear rather than see, especially their “veer” call.
  • The boreal bird song chorus is in full voice in early June. Birds can be difficult to see in the dense spruce-fir of northern forests in Coos County, but this is the time to look for them, especially in the early morning during peak singing.

New Hampshire Bird Records is now available in digital format free to all NH Audubon members. (Not a member yet? Join here!) All members receive an email with a link to the current issue. Printed copies are available to members for an additional fee that covers the cost of printing and postage. Details are on the New Hampshire Bird Records website.