News & Events

NH Audubon Becomes the Second NestWatch Chapter in New Hampshire

(by Kimmie Whiteman)

Massabesic Center volunteers have been collecting and submitting data for our Bluebird Monitoring Project for over 20 years, so it was only natural that we take the extra step to become an incorporated chapter of NestWatch.

Eastern Bluebird nestlings in a nest box along the bluebird trail at Massabesic Center (Jon Woolf).

A project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “NestWatch is a nationwide community science program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds across the United States, including when nesting occurs, number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive. Data are submitted online to NestWatch to help us better understand nesting behavior and threats to birds.”

NestWatch is one more phenology tool helping us understand changes in the timing of natural events – in this case, the timing of bird nesting biology. NestWatch data shows, for example, that Tree Swallows now begin nesting about 10 days earlier than they did 50 years ago. “This trend corresponds with an increase in average springtime temperature. Simply put, without the help of NestWatch volunteers, it would be impossible to gather enough information to accurately detect these kinds of changes at large geographic scales.”

Learn more about NestWatch here. The next NestWatch training will take place at Massabesic Center in April 2023. Look for that information on NH Audubon’s event calendar next spring.

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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.