Acid deposition
Also known as acid rain, this phenomenon is the result of the burning of certain fossil fuels. Nitrates and sulfates in coal combine with moisture in the atmosphere to create acidic particles. These particles can come to earth in rain, snow, fog, and dry particles and lower the pH (increase the acidity) of water bodies and the soil.
Anthropogenic habitats are those that are created or maintained by human activity. The term is most often used for shrublands and grasslands.
Area sensitive
Refers to species that require a certain minimum amount of habitat before they will settle and attempt to breed. Most commonly observed in forest and grassland birds.
Refers to the overall diversity and abundance of birds in a particular region.
The process by which environmental toxins increase in concentration as they are passed up the food chain. This is the result of predators needing to consume multiple prey items, each of which has a dose of the toxin.
Brood parasite
Brood parasites are birds that lay their eggs in other species’ nests, thus leaving their young to be raised by these “hosts.” Parasitism often results in reduced reproductive output for the host birds. The primary brood parasite in New Hampshire is the Brown-headed Cowbird, which is known to lay eggs in the nests of over 100 species.
Conservation easement
A deed that runs with the land to permanently protect the land in an undeveloped condition for forestry, farming, habitat conservation, low-impact outdoor recreation, and similar open space uses.
The area where two different habitats meet. Edges are zones of often rapid environmental change, such as when the cooler and moister conditions of a forest interior give way to a warm and dry grassland.
The process by which a previously intact and expansive area of uniform habitat (usually forest or grassland) is broken into smaller and non-adjacent parcels, usually by roads, buildings, and or non-natural habitat (e.g., cornfields). See also “area sensitive.”
Invasive species
These are plants or animals that are generally not native to an area and which have been accidentally or intentionally introduced. Lacking their natural enemies, they often reproduce at high rates, outcompete native species, and result in significant changes to the habitats in which they occur.
Long-distance migrants
Long-distance migrants are species which breed in the US and Canada but whose winter ranges are largely south of the United States, including the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America.
Phenological mismatch
Phenology refers to the timing of events during a plant or animal’s annual cycle. Many of these events (e.g., blooming, egg-laying) are partially controlled by climate, especially temperature and rainfall. Phenological mismatch occurs when plants and animals respond to climate change at different rates, resulting in events that formerly occurred at the same time of year no longer being synchronous. Examples include flowers blooming a month earlier than their pollinators emerging from hibernation or birds arriving from migration too late to capitalize on spring insect emergences.
Resident species are non-migratory and spend their entire lives in New Hampshire. Some, such as chickadees and Blue Jays, may undertake short distance movements, but the species can still be found in the state year round.
Short-distance migrants
Short-distance migrants are species which breed in the US and Canada but whose winter ranges are primarily within the United States, although usually south of New Hampshire.
Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)
A species identified as rare or declining in a state or region and that is likely to benefit from directed conservation action. Species in state Wildlife Action Plans are all assumed to be SGCN.

Stopover refers to periods during migration when migrants stop to rest and feed before continuing their journeys. Sometimes this occurs in specific locations (stopover sites), whereas any habitat so used is considered “stopover habitat.” Both sites and habitats can vary in terms of the shelter and food they provide.

New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan
Wildlife openings
Small openings in forest habitats created for the purpose of providing habitat diversity for wildlife. They are usually the result of complete or partial timber harvests and are dominated by a mix of grasses and shrubs.

Information for the species profiles on this website was compiled from a combination of the sources listed below.

  • The Birds of New Hampshire. By Allan R. Keith and Robert B. Fox. 2013. Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological club No. 19.

  • Atlas of the Breeding Birds of New Hampshire. Carol R. Foss, ed. 1994. Arcadia Publishing Company and Audubon Society of New Hampshire

  • Birds of the World. Various authors and dates. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

  • Data from the Breeding Bird Survey

  • Data from the Christmas Bird Count