Isles of Shoals--White and Seavey islands, Rye

About this Location

A large colony of terns nests on White and Seavey Islands and biologists studying the terns have reported some interesting sightings in recent years. Winter birding, though less explored, can be productive. The Isles of Shoals Christmas Bird Count frequently records numbers of Harlequin Ducks, alcids, kittiwakes, and other species that are tough to come by along the immediate coast. Interesting land birds may also linger into December to be counted on this trip.

About Isles of Shoals

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The Isles of Shoals comprise a small archipelago that straddles the New Hampshire/Maine border about 5 miles off the coast. Star Island, Lunging Island, and White and Seavey Islands are the major islands in New Hampshire but are surrounded by plentiful small ledges. Like many islands off the coast, these can be very productive as migrant traps in spring and fall. Water birds are also plentiful around the islands year-round.

About New Hamsphire Coastal Waters

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The New Hampshire Coastal Waters extend from New Castle on the border with Maine to Seabrook on the border with Massachusetts.

For pelagic trips, familiarize yourself with eBird's pelagic protocol and use the appropriate personal locations or eBird hotspots

The eBird pelagic protocol applies to checklists that are made farther than two miles offshore on oceans, seas, or large lakes. Choose the Pelagic Protocol option from the ‘Other’ menu of Observation Types. Please note that we still have much to learn about seabird distribution, so we encourage you to add photos and notes to document your sightings on your checklists! 

If you’re moving: Count for up to 60 minutes on each checklist; stopping at the 1-hour mark. Record the distance traveled (ideally with eBird Mobile Tracks), adjust the distance estimate for backtracking as you would a traveling checklist, and choose a location on the map for where you started that checklist period. Repeat this process throughout the trip until you return to within two miles of shore.

If you’re anchored: Keep a checklist for as long as you’re anchored, and then follow the above instructions once you start to move again.