A Kettle of One

Eric at Kekoldi in Costa Rica − the number one hawk watch site in the world. The single-day count record at Kekoldi is in excess of 600,000 hawks (!)
(photo: Eric Masterson)

In September, the Harris Center’s Eric Masterson will walk out his front door, hop on a bicycle, and head south, not to return for another six months. He’ll be following the epic migration route of one of North America’s most iconic bird species, the Broad-winged Hawk.

Traveling in huge flocks called kettles, Broad-winged Hawks fly a narrowly defined path along the Appalachians to the Gulf Coast and Mexico. Many birds continue on into the heart of the Amazon basin. Both the birds and Eric − traveling in his “Kettle of One” − will cross five time zones, forty degrees of latitude, and five thousand miles, finishing in Colombia in February. Read more…

Project Nighthawk Confirms Successful Nesting of Endangered Bird

A nighthawk mother and its chick on a rooftop in downtown Keene. This is the first confirmed nighthawk nest in Keene since 2012, and one of only three confirmed nighthawk nests in the entire state so far in 2016. (photo: Brett Amy Thelen)

Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) were once, well, common in cities throughout New Hampshire, where they nested on gravel roofs and fed on insects attracted to city lights. In recent years, however, these aerial acrobats have experienced a dramatic decline. Each summer, the Harris Center works with New Hampshire Audubon to coordinate volunteer nighthawk monitoring in Keene, one of the few cities in the Granite State where these endangered birds still breed.

We are excited to report that observations from our Project Nighthawk citizen scientists recently aided in the discovery of a nighthawk nest in downtown Keene − complete with a healthy fledgling. Read more…

In the Field with the 2016 KSC Conservation Interns

In late June, we wrapped up our fourth year of the Harris Center-Keene State College conservation internship program, a seven-week summer internship experience for undergraduate students in the Environmental Studies Department at Keene State College (KSC).

Under the guidance of Harris Center staff and KSC faculty, four outstanding undergraduate interns − Dorothy Arroyo, Victoria Drake, Rob Lanfranchi, and Shauna Sousa − assisted with many facets of the Harris Center’s diverse conservation and education work. Read more…