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February 22. 2013 10:56PM

This Week's Rare Bird Alert


A white-breasted nuthatch looks for food at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn. Described on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds web site as “active, agile little birds with an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds,” nuthatches “get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to ‘hatch’ out the seed from the inside.” (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

This is New Hampshire Audubon's Rare Bird Alert for Tuesday, Feb. 19.



A varied thrush has been seen visiting a bird feeder at a house on Saltmarsh Circle in Bow for about a month and was last reported on Feb. 19, one has been seen at a bird feeder on Maple Street in West Hopkinton and was last reported on Feb. 13, and one was reported visiting a bird feeder at a private residence in Nashua and was last reported on Feb. 14.

An immature red-headed woodpecker has been coming to a bird feeder on Grafton Road in Alexandria since Dec. 13, and was last reported on Feb. 15. There is a possibility that a black-backed woodpecker has been visiting the same feeder, but this is unconfirmed, and its visits have been unpredictable.

Two black-backed woodpeckers were reported from near Little Cherry Pond in the Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson during the past week.

A snowy owl was seen at Pulpit Rocks in Rye on Feb. 17.

A great gray owl was seen and photographed in Hanover on Feb. 3 and 4, and 7, but has not been reported since then. The owl was initially seen along Trescott Road about halfway to Etna, and then later seen in a wetland area located about three-quarters of a mile from the Appalachian Trail parking lot.

A first-winter male king eider was seen near the inlet to Hampton Harbor on Feb. 16.

A pair of Barrow's goldeneyes was seen on the Merrimack River near 250 Commercial St. in Manchester on Feb. 19.

A glaucous gull continues to be seen in the Seabrook side of Hampton Harbor, an Iceland gull was seen in Seabrook, and three black-legged kittiwakes were seen at the inlet to Hampton Harbor, all on Feb. 16.

Eight razorbills, 15 black guillemots and nine purple sandpipers were seen along the coast on Feb. 16.

Four hoary redpolls were reported from a bird feeding site at a private residence in Strafford on Feb. 15.

Common redpoll sightings during the past week included a flock of 350 in Strafford, and a flock of 110 in Jefferson.

Pine grosbeak sightings during the past week included a flock of 12 feeding on the crabapple trees in front of the Daniel Webster College Aviation Center in Nashua on Feb. 16, a flock of five on the University of New Hampshire campus on the 15th, and a flock of 12 in Errol on the 14th.

Forty evening grosbeaks were reported from Littleton during the past week.

Two flocks of Bohemian waxwings were reported from Gorham on Feb. 14.

Peregrine falcon sightings during the past week included two in Nashua on Feb. 18, one in Rumney on the 16th, and one in Concord on the 15th.

Turkey vulture sightings during the past week included four in Exeter and one in Concord on Feb. 15, and one in Salem on the 14th.

A fish crow was reported from Salem on Feb. 19.

Three gray jays were seen in Errol on Feb. 14, and two boreal chickadees were seen in Errol on the 16th.

Six American pipits were seen at Ragged Neck in Rye on Feb. 16.

A Lapland longspur and 42 snow buntings were reported from Milan on Feb. 16.

An estimated 200 horned larks were seen at the Nashua Airport on Feb. 17.

Two pairs of gadwall were seen at Field's Grove in Nashua on Feb. 19, and a northern pintail was seen in Salem on the 14th.

One hundred and forty common mergansers, 75 hooded mergansers, and a single common goldeneye were seen on the Connecticut River below the Wilder Dam on Feb. 15.


This information is also available by phone recording: call 224-9909 and press 2 as directed or ask to be transferred. If you have seen any interesting birds recently, you can leave a message at the end of the recording or send your sightings to the RBA via e-mail at: birdsetc@nhaudubon.org. Please put either "bird sighting" or "Rare Bird Alert" in the subject line and be sure to include your mailing address and phone number. The RBA is also available on-line at the New Hampshire Audubon web site, www.nhaudubon.org.


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