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Quick Quiz: How well  do you know N.H. birds?

Birdwatching in New Hampshire is a guide to finding rare beauties.

Birdwatching in New Hampshire is a guide to finding rare beauties.

If you want to know how, when and where to find some cool birds, then check out the new book, Birdwatching in New Hampshire, by Eric Masterson of Hancock.

It’s not a guide to identifying birds – there are plenty of good field guides for that. It’s a masterfully written and illustrated guide to finding the “good birds,” the unusual birds, the hard-to-find rarities that occur in certain places at certain times.

Birds like red-throated loons, which you might spot along the seacoast in the winter. Or spruce grouse that you might see in Pittsburg. Or thousands of broad-winged hawks you can see from Pack Monadnock Mountain.

Masterson shows with clear maps, handy timelines and regional descriptions how you can have a productive birdwatching trip, whether you’re an expert checking off a life-list or an amateur just wanting to see some amazing birds.

A read through his book will also give you a greater appreciation for the birds that visit or spend their lives in New Hampshire. Some of our seasonal birds, for instance, travel thousands of miles on their journeys, sometimes spending a day here or months.

To whet your appetite for birding and Masterson’s book, here’s a little quiz, pulled from its pages.

1. Big storms, like hurricanes, can wreak havoc for birdwatching:

True or False.

2. One of these things is NOT on the birding code of ethics:

a. Promote the welfare of birds and their environments.

b. Make sure feeders are safe and clean.

c. Always promote the presence of a rare bird.

d. Stay on roads, trails and paths, otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.

3. The arrival of songbirds from their tropical winter homes peaks in:

a. February

b. October

c. May

d. Early fall

4. One rare bird you may see off New Hampshire’s coast in the winter is:

a. Atlantic puffin

b. Bicknell’s thrush

c. Ruby-throated hummingbird

d. Gray jay

5. Canada geese flying through New Hampshire in the spring are usually heading for:

a. Ontario

b. South America

c. The Bahamas

d. Eastern Canadian provinces

6. The only staffed raptor observatory in New Hampshire is:

a. On the Isles of Shoals

b. On Pack Monadnock Mountain

c. On Mount Washington

d. In Concord, at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium

7. The best time of year to see golden eagles in New Hampshire is:

a. Late October through early November

b. During spring migration

c. In mid-summer along the coast

d. Never. They don’t pass through New Hampshire.

8. If you were to take a day off of work to see the annual hawk migration, the best time to do it would be:

a. In the spring, around May 15

b. Near the end of the migration in November

c. Between September 16 and 19

d. It’s too erratic to pick a date

9. Most species of songbirds migrate during:

a. The night

b. The day

10. Birds that we can see in New Hampshire can be migrants from as far away as:

a. The Florida Keys

b. California

c. Long Island Sound

d. Antarctica

Eric Aldrich writes from his home in
Hancock.

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