Birds have long been recognized as environmental indicators. From the oft-repeated tale of miners’ canaries, to Silent Spring, to Spotted Owls in old-growth forest, we’ve relied on or pointed to birds to help us avoid environmental catastrophe. This need is just as crucial today, with recent estimates that North America has lost over three billion birds in the last 50 years spurring conservationists to new action. The actions needed are often broad in scale, sometimes spanning continents, but even these are ultimately implemented at a local scale. Right here in New Hampshire there are things you can do to help “our” birds, even if they don’t recognize our arbitrary political boundaries. In 2011, NH Audubon produced the first statewide overview of bird populations and conservation, and is proud to present this update to that information.
“You don’t publish a paper on the loss of 3 Billion birds and go back to your dayjob. 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, coordinator of NHFG’s Nongame Program
“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.