News & Events

NHA Staff Among Presenters at Aerial Insectivorous Birds Conference

On April 28, 2018, the Ware River Nature Club is convening a one-day conference focusing on avian aerial insectivores. Both Becky Suomala and Pam Hunt from NH Audubon are presenting at this conference which is open to the public. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the issues facing this declining group of birds. Pam will be presenting on the biology and conservation of whip-poor-wills, and Becky will be presenting NH Audubon’s Project Nighthawk findings:

Our Aerial Insectivorous Birds: Current Conservation Issues

Saturday April 28, 2018  8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.

Harvard Forest, Petersham

$35 Members*/ $45 Non-members

Lunch is included

The guild of northeastern avian insectivores—birds that specialize in feeding on flying insects—includes Whip-poor-wills, Common Nighthawks, Chimney Swifts, several species of swallows and flycatchers, and Purple Martins. Most of these species are experiencing dramatic population declines and range contraction. The magnitude of the declines over the past

Common Nighthawk on nest, by Rebecca Suomala.

25 years has been alarming. For that reason the plight of aerial insectivores is gaining increased attention among biologists in New England.
This conference will address the ecology and current status of many of these species, particularly in New England; present theories regarding population decline; summarize recent research strategies and findings; and explore citizen science opportunities.
Registration is open!

  • Drivers of Aerial Insectivore Declines (Kim Spiller, UMass ECO Graduate School)
  • Threats and Coping Strategies of Neotropical Migrants on the Wintering Grounds: Examples from Southern Mexico (Jessie Knowlton, Wheaton College)
  • The Whip-poor-will: Biology and Conservation of a Crepuscular Enigma (Pam Hunt, New Hampshire Audubon)
  • Artificial Nest Patch Experiments, Monitoring Strategies, and Population Trends of Common Nighthawks in New Hampshire (Rebecca Suomala, New Hampshire Audubon)
  • Mary’s Mashpee Martins (Mary Keleher, Cape Cod Bird Club)
  • KEYNOTE: The Disappearance of an Almost-Invisible Bird: The Mysterious Biology and Decline of the Chimney Swift (Margaret Rubega, University of Connecticut & Connecticut State Ornithologist)
  • Migratory Connectivity of the Eastern Whip-poor-will (Marja Bakermans, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Andrew Vitz, State Ornithologist, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife)
  • Conservation of Cliff and Barn Swallows, Two Species in Decline in the Northeast (Mara Silver, Northeast Swallow Conservation)
  • Life Thru a Lens: Observing Nesting Birds and Bird Activity Through Live Streaming Cams and Camera Traps (Hollie Sutherland, UMass ECO Graduate School)

*Ware River Nature Club members
(Annual membership dues are $15)

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

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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