Durham, New Hampshire 03824Official Website
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) campus is extensive, with many walking paths that weave through the woods. On its edge is the university’s College Woods , a hotspot of its own, and following Mill Road from campus leads you to West Foss Farm , another prominent birding location.
At the heart of campus, however, is the meandering College Brook, which in spring is transformed into a playground for warblers and many other songbirds. Paths run parallel to College Brook on both sides, from behind the Memorial Union Building (MUB) to the Spaulding Life Sciences Building, with multiple bridges, creating figure-eights that make for an efficient circuit when scanning for birds. Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet are common in the thickets buffering the brook, while Waterthrushes can be seen on the brook, Pine Warblers in the conifers above, and Ovenbirds in the leaf litter below. Blue-headed Vireos show up in the trees behind the Paul Creative Arts Center (PCAC), and Thrushes forage just off the path. Carolina Wrens are loud and prominent, and Blackpoll Warblers are very common in the fall, along with many sparrows. Chimney Swifts and flocks of Fish Crows fly over the front lawn in spring, and Pileated Woodpeckers reside in the woods behind Philbrook Dining Hall.
The campus as a whole is very active for birds, with many out-of-the-way paths and a variety of habitats linked by running water. Other notable parts of campus include the areas near the Dairy Barns and Woodman Farm (Spinney Lane) that have walking trails, the fruit trees bordering the Mini Dorms on Demeritt Circle, Mill Road, and the wetlands bordering the parking lot of Hannaford’s (across from B Lot) — while this is not a hotspot on eBird, it is frequented by birders, and leads to Faculty Road, which opens up to Mill Pond, across the road from Oyster River Landing, all of which are productive birding sites. Parking at UNH generally requires a permit apart from a few designated visitor lots; A Lot is located near the Whittemore Center, B Lot is next to Hannaford’s (this lot is metered), and there are a few parking spaces at the main entrance to College Woods. However, there are many places on the periphery of campus, such as West Foss Farm, where you may park and walk a short way to campus. As always, be respectful of the fact that this is an active campus with thousands of students and many residential halls, so err on the side of caution when considering poking around some of the more isolated buildings.
The University of New Hampshire is not only a land-grant institution but also a designated sea- and space-grant university and ranks among the top-tier research institutions nationally. The University comprises dozens of academic departments, interdisciplinary institutes, and research centers that attract students and faculty from around the world. As state-of-the-art facilities are built to support academic growth, and new residence and dining halls are built to meet the growing popularity of campus life, the University continues to rest lightly on old Ben Thompson’s farm, where some 13,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff live and work amid the rolling hills and riverbeds of one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Content from Official Website and Molly Jacobson
Last updated November 5, 2023