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December 29, 2012

NATURAL HISTORY PROGRAMS

New Year’s Day Birding at Salisbury Beach State Reservation

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 1

Time: 2:30 to 6 p.m.

Fee: $20

Meeting Location: Salisbury Beach State Reservation’s Boat Ramp Parking Lot

Join Newburyport Birders for an afternoon of birding on the first day of the New Year. Salisbury Beach State Reservation is a wonderful, winter birding site. At sunset, we’ll have some refreshments, do our summary and appreciate the evening sky. Please dress warmly in layers; wear warm, waterproof footwear and bring along a flashlight.

Winter Raptors With Paul Roberts

Date: Jan. 12

Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fee: $35 — Pre-registration required

Meeting Location: Provided upon registration

Join Paul Roberts, a gifted teacher and highly skilled trip leader. He has been studying raptors and teaching courses on them for 40 years. This mini-class will concentrate on identification, migration and winter counts.

Winter is an excellent time for learning about and viewing raptors. Roberts will cover physical and behavioral traits you can use to confidently identify hawks and owls with a focus on those species present in the winter. During this field trip, we will explore the Merrimack River, Plum Island and Salisbury State Park looking for eagles, hawks and owls. It’s an exciting time to be in the field with the opportunity to search for species such as snowy and short-eared owls, rough-legged hawks and bald eagles that move to the coast as inland waters freeze. We’ll take time to closely observe these raptor species and discuss the adaptations that allow them to survive our harsh winters. We’ll also check out any other winter specialties we encounter and hope for a northern shrike.

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