Canterbury, NH/July 18. 2017 – The Canterbury Rascals and Cloverbuds 4H club visited Riverlands today to learn more about the birds that live here, the habitat, and the activity of birding itself.
Steve Hale, of Open World Explorers, began at the beginning, showing us how to use scopes and binoculars and how to follow birds as they moved through the foliage. He taught us how to make a “pishing” sound that mimics a bird’s alarm call and that tends to get the attention of other nearby birds.
The kids – ranging in age from about eight to high-school senior – spotted a lot of birds including a black and white warbler, a male Baltimore Oriole, a Great Blue Heron in flight, a green heron perched high in a tree and a red-eyed vireo, among many others. The kids heard a vesper sparrow that was too shy to show itself. The group identified 29 birds in all.
Steve, an engaging and practiced guide, leads birdwatching classes, lessons and tours around the state. He is particularly adept at identifying birdsong and calls, and directing the gaze of beginners in the right direction. Classes/lessons help beginner and intermediate birders progress in their knowledge, ability, skill and confidence as birders. Trips go to all northern New England habitats in search of resident, migrant and vagrant birds. Birding classes focus on practice identifying birds with visual field marks or songs/calls, and habitat associations.
He moved to New Hampshire from Louisiana in the mid-1990s, to work as a bird observer in the White Mountains, which led to a doctoral dissertation at the University of New Hampshire on the habitat of Bicknell’s Thrush. Steve created Open World Explorers in April 2016 to share his knowledge in ecology, ornithology and Earth Science to help others find value in natural history. Steve’s tours can go on foot, snowshoes, cross-country skis, kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
Laura Crockford, organizational leader of the Canterbury Rascals 4H group, said 4H is a positive youth development program that engages youth through various activities to become productive citizens in our ever changing world. Youth ages 8 and up (as of January 1st, 2018) are welcome to join our group. Contact Laura Crockford, Organizational Leader, at canterburyrascals4H@gmail.com. For more information, see here.