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NH Audubon Backyard Winter Bird Survey

CONCORD — Stock up those bird feeders and dig out your binoculars for New Hampshire Audubon's Backyard Winter Bird Survey. This annual statewide survey will take place on Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9. Biologists need assistance from citizens all over the Granite State to get a clear picture of what's really happening with our winter birds.

Anyone can participate in the Backyard Winter Bird Survey by counting the birds in their own backyard on the survey weekend and reporting on-line or sending the results on a special reporting form to NH Audubon. To receive a copy of the reporting form and complete instructions on how to participate, send a self-addressed, stamped, long envelope to:

New Hampshire Audubon, Winter Bird Survey

84 Silk Farm Road,

Concord, NH 03301

Forms are also available at NH Audubon centers in Auburn, Concord and Manchester, and on-line. Find more information about the survey at www.nhaudubon.org under Birding.

Data from the Backyard Winter Bird Survey is used to track changes in the distribution and abundance of many species. Each year about 1,300 observers across the state count the birds coming to their feeders. "The strength of the survey is that we can look at trends over the long term," says Survey Coordinator, Rebecca Suomala. "We now have more than 25 years of data and we can see the patterns of ups and downs in different bird species."

Last year, Tufted Titmouse and Northern Cardinal were tallied in record numbers. These two species were once found only in the southern US but they have expanded their range northward into nearly all parts of New Hampshire. It was their expansion that originally prompted NH Audubon to establish a survey to document their increase. They are now common south of the White Mountains and are starting to reach even the northernmost parts of the state in low numbers. The Survey shows that Carolina Wrens and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, two more recent southern arrivals, are following in their footsteps. Common Redpolls, a northern species that invades New Hampshire in the winter, also reached a record on last year's survey, but they won't be expected in big numbers this year. "This species visits the state every other winter, so we won't be expecting them in 2014," said Dr. Pamela Hunt, Senior Biologist at NH Audubon. "Seed crops that these species eat are good to the north so these northern finches won't need to move as far south to meet their needs."

The Backyard Winter Bird Survey takes place during NH Audubon's 100th Anniversary. NH Audubon was founded on February 26, 1914 as part of a movement to protect and restore migratory bird populations that had been decimated in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Feathers, wings and entire birds were used to decorate ladies hats resulting in the death of 200 million birds each year. NH Audubon was started to protect birds and it still continues that mission 100 years later. Having accurate information is critical to that effort and the Backyard Winter Bird Survey is one tool for collecting important long-term data. Bird populations have changed considerably over the last 100 years – Northern Cardinals and Tufted Titmice were unknown in the state then! "Thanks to the Backyard Winter Bird Survey we can see how their populations have increased and we can watch for species that are in trouble," said Dr. Hunt.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:49

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Adult Education Enrichment Classes Can Light Up Your Life

LACONIA — Add a class to your night life and brighten your future this Winter with Laconia Adult Education, invites Mrs. Peggy Selig, Program Director.  Fly Tying, Belly Dancing, Welding, Gluten Free Cooking, Yoga, Quilting, Drawing, Knitting, Water Color Painting, Dog Obedience, and Computer classes are just a few of the courses offered for the Winter Semester 2014. Enrichment classes are scheduled to begin the week of January 27-30, 2014. Laconia Adult Education truly offers something for everyone, notes Mrs. Peggy Selig, Program Director.

You can prepare for the SAT or the HiSET(High School Equivalency Test), attend Laconia Academy to get your high school diploma, or enjoy the evening Wine Tasting Seminar and Gourmet Dinner. Enroll in a Reiki, Tai Chi Chih or Cake Decorating Class.  Learn how to speak Spanish or Sign Language. Enjoy a class in Mah Jongg Made Easy, Digital Photography or the Oil Painting Studio.

Spice up your cooking skills and learn about French Country Cooking. Learn how to make Sushi and other easy and delicious Chinese recipes. Computer classes for the Computer Illiterate are offered in addition to Microsoft Office Basics: Word and Excel.

Take a class in Welding Basics Arc, Gas, Mig & Tig or Woodworking and an Advanced Welding, specializing in TIG Techniques. Find out about the benefits of Holistic Roots to Healthy Living and Lifestyle Choices taught by Brian Paterson, ND.

Algebra I/Accuplacer, Chemistry & Lab or Human Biology & Lab are all available for pre-nursing students. Learn to train your dog in a Basic or Advanced Dog Obedience class that will help fill leisure evening hours productively.

The Adult Tutorial Program for Belknap County helps non-reading adults learn to read, write, and do simple mathematical computations needed for everyday life. The Tutorial Program also needs tutors who are willing to help people learn to speak, read and write English as a second language. Volunteer tutors are needed to be trained to work on a one-to-one basis with adult students who cannot read and need to learn to speak English.

Laconia Adult Education offers a wide variety of enriching opportunities and experiences for everyone in the community. Call 524-5712 or stop by the Adult Education Office located in Room #108 at Laconia High School.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:45

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Belmont Baseball Registration Dates Set

BELMONT — Belmont Baseball Organization is holding registrations for the Cal Ripken 2014 season on the following dates and times at Belmont Elementary School for all Belmont and Canterbury residents. Saturday, January 25, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday, February 1 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, February 12, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 12 5 p.m. to 6:30. p.m.

Dues per player are $30 for Tee Ball, $40 for Coach Pitch and $50 for Minors and Majors, if there are two or more players per family there is a $5 discount per player. New players must bring a copy of their birth certificate and all players must bring proof of residency. Any player born prior to May 1, 2010 and on or after May 1, 2001 is eligible for Cal Ripken Baseball League competition. Registration, medical release and volunteer forms are available at time of registration and a valid government issued photo ID is required for all volunteers.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:39

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LCHIP Grant Allows Mill To Finish Cupola Project

LACONIA — The Belknap Mill, one of 39 grant recipients in this year's round of Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) funding awards, will now be able to complete its cupola restoration project that began in 2012.

The Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had received an LCHIP grant at that time to do exterior work that would address a water leakage problem caused by a rotting foundation under the cupola housing. With additional support from Bank of New Hampshire, the Mill began repair and restoration work on the cupola, base, clerestory, main roof, and end gables. The water problem was corrected but more work remained.

During the repair project, workers discovered that the finial that holds the weathervane also had seriously deteriorated. Because the finial was original to the building and had to be reproduced in the same wood and the same historic scale and finish, that work was very expensive. The flagpole which, while not original, was part of the Mill's image, since it had been there for so long, also needed repair.

That is the work that now will be completed, thanks to the LCHIP grant. Executive Director Denise Sharlow said the grant will cover the milling of the finial, the replacement of the flagpole, and the cost of hiring a crane to install it all. The Mill hopes to complete the project at the beginning of the summer.
LCHIP announced the grant as part of a ceremony honoring all of this year's grant recipients, including projects in Alton, Barnstead, Belmont, Gilford, Meredith, and Sanbornton.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:35

Hits: 104

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