Public Programs

Public Programs

New Hampshire Audubon offers programs on a variety of natural history topics presented by our naturalists and biologists. Let us bring the program to your group or you may choose to travel to one of our centers—McLane Center in Concord, Massabesic Center in Auburn, or Newfound Center in Hebron (summer only).

We also offer entertaining educational programs for birthday parties! Plus, find information on how to book us for a display or table at your next event.

Naturalist Programs

Our naturalist education programs cover a diverse range of topics and are adapted to engage learners of any age. We will travel and facilitate programming at your location, or you may choose to bring your group to one of our Centers (McLane Center in Concord, Massabesic Center in Auburn, or Newfound Center in Hebron – summer only). All supplies needed for the program are included in the cost.

  • Don’t see an option that meets your needs? Inquire for custom lesson development pricing.
  • If you are a teacher looking for a classroom experience, jump to our School Programs page, here.
  • All programs must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance. Invoices are due one week prior to the program. Once invoices are generated, cancellation fees of $100 per program may apply.

Birds All Around Us: What Makes A Bird A Bird (Beginner Birding)

Discover what makes a bird a bird in this beginner birding class. Learn the basics of bird identification, the wide diversity of birds you might see in New Hampshire, and some tools of the trade to help you name the birds around you.

Avian Adventures (Advanced Birding)

Already a birder? Soar into a higher level of knowledge about birds! From Clever Corvids to the Sounds of Songs, let us know what topics you are interested in. Contact our educators for current availability in advanced topics. Consider booking advanced birding programs as a Series. We will work with you to design multiple programs in detail under this exciting program topic.

Raptor Rapture

Get up-close and personal with NH’s birds of prey and meet a live animal ambassador! Look into an owl’s eyes, check out the talons of a Red-tailed Hawk, and discover the biology behind what makes raptors such efficient hunters.

Scales, Scutes and Skins

Get hands-on with the “Herps,” animals otherwise known as reptiles and amphibians. We’ll discuss turtle shells, snake skins, and other neat artifacts. Compare and contrast these two cool groups and find out which species call NH home. We’ll have live animal ambassadors with us to demonstrate the unique features of these amazing creatures.

Nocturnal Wonders

Did you know that porcupines and skunks are nocturnal? Explore the adaptations of many animals of the night. From well-known owls and bats to brightly colored moths and salamanders, this program focuses on all things nocturnal found here in the Granite State. Consider booking this program as a series of hikes and lectures, with topics including different wildlife groups, migration, camouflage, light pollution, tidal patterns, astronomy, and more!

Incredible Invertebrates

What’s the big deal about backbones? Investigate the smorgasbord of animals that live without spines. Insects, crustaceans, and worms are some of the animals we might discover while we talk about the diversity and importance of these critters.

Moose to Mice

Share in our mammal mania! Touch a moose antler, compare different animal skulls, feel soft furs, and maybe even meet a mouse. We’ll discuss a variety of characteristics that make up the mammals and discuss in further detail some of the fabulous mammalian species that call New Hampshire home.

NH Wildlife

This program delves into a wide variety of wildlife, including plants and animals, plus their interactions and habitats. It’s a little bit of everything for everyone, with a focus on things you might see in both the wilds and the backyards of New Hampshire.

Food Web Connections

This program offers a systematic understanding of food web structures through model demonstration, vocabulary terms, and activities to apply these concepts. Participants will further their understanding with challenges to create their own food web models and complete energy transfer examples of several wildlife species of New Hampshire.

Pollinator Party

This program discusses the relationships between plants and their pollinator pals by introducing participants to the basics of plant anatomy and entomophilous (insect!) pollination. From beetles and ants to moths and butterflies, explore the unique and specialized insects that rely on plants for their energy needs. Discover what could happen to these insects and plants if the pollinator population continues to decline. Learn ways in which we can help these amazing creatures continue assisting their plant allies by ensuring that their pollen is transported across the garden.

Ponding

Go for a walk to our own pond and scoop to see what kinds of critters live here. Through scientific discovery we’ll learn about wetlands in NH, why they’re so important, and how to identify a variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds. This is a Wild New Hampshire Outdoor Field Trip. These field trips have a special rate of $200 for two hours, with a limit of 25 people.

Tracks, Scats, and Signs

>Footprints in the snow and mud tell stories about the secret lives of wild animals. Learn how to identify common New Hampshire animals by their tracks, signs, and scat. Come out for a hike to discover what’s been in our backyard or do an indoor study and create your very own track mold to take home! This is a Wild New Hampshire Outdoor Field Trip. These field trips have a special rate of $200 for two hours, with a limit of 25 people.

Nature Walks

Join our educators on a leisurely hike along one of our trails to explore the world around us. Hikes can be catered to all seasons and a variety of nature topics. Program rate is $150/hr and can last as long as you’d like up to 4 hrs. We will also travel to you! Have one of our educators facilitate a guided walk with your group at your site. Please include a trail map and information about trail conditions with your inquiry. Mileage rates apply. Nature Walks will take place in most weather conditions so please plan ahead. Cancellation fees may apply.

Choose a Naturalist Program topic and inquire with either Shelby Morelli for McLane Center, greater Concord area, or statewide; or Slater Roosa for Massabesic Center and greater Manchester area.

Note: options are also available for larger groups.

Senior Biologist Programs

Reserve a NH Audubon Senior Biologist as a keynote speaker for your event and learn about leading conservation efforts around the state. We can bring these informative and entertaining lectures to your group or you can travel to one of our centers—McLane Center in Concord, Massabesic Center in Auburn, or Newfound Center in Hebron (summer only). Virtual meeting options are available.

Bird Migration: Fun Facts and Shameless Speculations

Dr. Pamela Hunt

Why do birds migrate? How do they know where they’re going? The phenomenon of bird migration has fascinated people for millennia, and in this program the answers are finally revealed! Pam Hunt will provide an overview of the nuts and bolts of bird migration, including how scientists study it. We’ll also discuss examples of migration routes of some familiar (and unfamiliar) species and touch on the conservation issues facing migratory birds.

American Pipits on New Hampshire’s Highest Summits

Chris Martin 

New Hampshire Audubon biologist Chris Martin talks about the American Pipit, a sparrow-sized ground-nesting bird that breeds only in arctic and alpine habitat, including on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, their southernmost breeding site in eastern North America. NHA first studied pipits in the 1990s, and again recently. This program describes efforts to find nests and document breeding success in very challenging field conditions. Better understanding this alpine-obligate nester could result in more informed land management decisions in the state’s fragile alpine zone.

Dragons and Damsels of New Hampshire

Dr. Pamela Hunt

Welcome to the fascinating world of the insect order Odonata! You may be familiar with the dragonflies buzzing over your yard in the summer, or the damselflies that land on your kayak, but what do you REALLY know about these ancient insects? This program provides an overview of the biology and ecology of dragonflies and damselflies, from their amazing life cycle (content alert: some pretty crazy reproductive behavior is involved!) to their incredible diversity. It also highlights a few of NH’s notable species and their stories, and closes with some results from the “NH Dragonfly Survey,” a five year volunteer-based project that documented the distribution of these insects across the state.

Effects of Climate Change on New Hampshire’s Birds

Dr. Pamela Hunt

We are already seeing some of the effects of climate change in New Hampshire, with a trend toward warmer winters, more extreme weather, and drier summers. How will our birds – both breeding and migrant – be affected by these changes as they manifest over the next several decades? In most cases we don’t know the answers, but there is often enough information to allow some informed speculation. In this talk, we explore subjects as diverse as range shifts, declining food supplies, and changes in migration patterns as they apply to the birds of New Hampshire. What will birders in the 22nd Century encounter in the Granite States forests, fields, and wetlands? Learn a little about the possibilities.

Aerial Insectivores: The
Who, What, Where, and Why of an Emerging Conservation Issue

Dr. Pamela Hunt

Aerial insectivores are those birds that feed primarily on insects captured in flight, and include nightjars, swifts, flycatchers, and swallows. Many of these species, particularly swallows and the Chimney Swift, are experiencing significant population declines both in NH and across the Northeast, and sometimes across their entire ranges. This program provides an overview of these species’ biology and population trends, and delves into what we know – or don’t know – about the causes of the declines.

Gray Ghosts and Old Fence Posts: Searching for Northern Harriers

Chris Martin

Sometimes called marsh hawks, state-endangered Northern Harriers hover and glide low over open fields and marshes while hunting voles, snakes, and frogs. Their low buoyant flight, upswept wings, and white rump patch are very distinctive. NH Audubon partners with NH Fish & Game to find harrier breeding areas and document nest outcomes. For more than three decades, NH Audubon raptor biologist Chris Martin has recruited, trained, and supervised an enthusiastic corps of volunteer field observers who monitor state endangered and threatened birds of prey all across the state.

Resurgence of Bald Eagles in New Hampshire

Chris Martin

This program examines the dramatic Bald Eagle population recovery in New Hampshire and describes management efforts and partnerships that have helped eagles. Chris Martin has been a raptor biologist for NH Audubon for more than three decades. His work focuses on recovery of the state’s endangered and threatened raptors in close collaboration with NH Fish & Game. He recruits, trains, and supervises an enthusiastic corps of NH Audubon volunteer field observers who monitor these species all across the state.

NH’s Winter Birds

Dr. Pamela Hunt

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.

Peregrine Falcon Recovery in New Hampshire

Chris Martin

This program reviews decades of effort to restore Peregrine Falcons in New Hampshire and describes management and partnerships that have helped these aerial predators. Chris Martin has been a raptor biologist for NH Audubon for more than three decades. His work focuses on recovery of the state’s endangered and threatened raptors in close collaboration with NH Fish & Game. He recruits, trains, and supervises an enthusiastic corps of NH Audubon volunteer field observers who monitor these species all across the state.

Purple Martins for the Masses

Dr. Pamela Hunt

Purple Martins are unique among our native birds in that populations in eastern North America are completely dependent upon artificial nesting structures provided by people. Despite plenty of available housing, the species is declining over a large portion of its range. This program provides an overview of martin biology and conservation, including some of the things individuals can do to help the species right here in New Hampshire.

Bog, Fen, or Swamp? An Introduction to Peatlands

Dr. Pamela Hunt

People are more than willing to toss the word “boggy” about, but how many of them know what they’re talking about? In this program, we’ll explore the geology and ecology of the wetlands classified as peatlands – often popularly known as bogs. Whatever one is called, these fascinating habitats share a few common features, including low nutrient levels and reduced water circulation. As a result they are often harsh environments, but still manage to support a wide variety of plants and animals that have adapted to their unique conditions. [Note: this talk can incorporate some customization for a venue that has a notable peatland nearby.]

The State of New Hampshire’s Birds

Dr. Pamela Hunt

In the last 50 years, scientists estimate that North America has lost roughly 3 billion birds, meaning that there are only three quarters as many birds around as there used to be. New Hampshire Audubon has been tracking bird populations for almost as long, and in our “State of the Birds” report we present a summary of how birds are doing here in the Granite State. Almost 300 species occur regularly here, and this report outlines general population trends, major threats facing birds and their habitats, and some of the conservation strategies that might help them recover. The bad news is that birds are declining here as well. The good news is that there are things we can do about it.

Salt Marsh Wildlife of New Hampshire

Dr. Pamela Hunt

Salt marshes are a unique habitat found only in a narrow fringe where the ocean meets the land. They are important as nurseries for a variety of marine organisms, and provide habitat for a number of breeding and migratory birds. This talk focuses primarily on the latter, and presents information on their ecology as well as the conservation issue facing their habitat.

The Whip-poor-will: Biology and Conservation of a Crepuscular Enigma

Dr. Pamela Hunt

The Eastern Whip-poor-will was once a familiar bird across much of New Hampshire, but is rare today except in a few scattered locations. To learn more about this poorly-known species, Pam Hunt initiated a monitoring program in New Hampshire in 2003, and followed this with habitat research from 2008 to 2012. In this program she’ll provide an overview of whip-poor-will ecology, discuss conservation issues facing the species, and wrap up with some of the results of her research program.

Choose a Senior Biologist Program topic and contact Shelby Morelli to inquire on availability.

  • 1 Hour Programs $250 + mileage
  • Mileage to all Programs 0.90/mile

Seasonal Programs

Kayak Trips

Rent a kayak (or bring your own) to our Newfound Center in Hebron, NH for a guided paddle of Newfound Lake, one of the cleanest lakes in New Hampshire. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, loons, and other fascinating wildlife. These trips are limited to 10 boats and are subject to weather cancellations. See our Event Calendar for upcoming guided paddles and our Newfound Center page to learn more about boat rentals.

Snowshoe Hikes

Rent a pair of snowshoes (or bring your own) and hit the trails at the McLane or Massabesic Center! Learn how to put on and use snowshoes to explore the fields after they’ve turned into a winter wonderland. These trips are limited to 15 participants and are subject to weather conditions. See our Event Calendar for upcoming guided snowshoe hikes.

Birthdays

Have your birthday party at one of our centers! Enjoy a backdrop of live animals for this fun and educational experience. Call for details.

Tabling and Display

Are you hosting an event, such as a fair or festival? NH Audubon would love to attend! Invite our educators to host a Live Animal Display with hands-on artifacts and interactive engagement. Cost: $150/hour + mileage; (2 hour minimum – 4 hour maximum). 

Photos, from the top: Hoyt Sanctuary by Phil Brown, live animal program (staff photo).

Explore 39 wildlife sanctuaries throughout all 10 counties of New Hampshire.

Committed to the conservation of ecologically important lands.

We regularly observe and count 14 species at NH Audubon’s Raptor Observatories.

NH Audubon Protects

The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.

About Us

Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.