Birds Found in New Hampshire

By Skip Davis
Piping plovers are found in the coastal regions of New Hampshire.
Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images

New Hampshire is in the New England region of the United States and provides forests, grasslands, wetlands and coastal regions for its native birds. During the winter, some New Hampshire birds will migrate to the southern United States seeking warmer temperatures. According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Granite State has 186 breeding species, while 120 live in New Hampshire for part of the year but nest elsewhere.


New Hampshire has two types of forests, spruce-fir and hardwood. The birds in spruce-fir coniferous forests include the olive-sided flycatcher, Bicknell's thrush, Canada warbler and the purple finch, which is New Hampshire's state bird. The spruce-fir forests in New Hampshire are primarily in the northern and western regions of the state. Since they are the majority of trees in the White Mountains, most of New Hampshire's spruce-fir forest birds are able to live at high elevations. Hardwood forests are in the southern region of the state and home to bird species such as eastern towhee, chestnut-sided warbler, wood thrush and scarlet tanager. Trees in New Hampshire's hardwood forests include oak, pine and hemlock.


Approximately 250,000 acres of New Hampshire are grasslands, making it one of the tiniest ecosystems in the state. Most of New Hampshire's grasslands are near the coastal region of southeast New Hampshire, near Portsmouth. The pine warbler, hermit thrush, northern cardinal and American goldfinch are birds that primarily dwell in New Hampshire's grassland areas. Many birds visit grasslands for hunting but nest in forests since trees provide more protection from predators. Some of these birds include the American kestrel, eastern bluebird and Cooper's hawk.


Wetland birds are species that live in freshwater semi-aquatic and aquatic environments. These include marshes, ponds, lakes, riverbeds and bogs. Wetlands are spread throughout New Hampshire. Some wetland birds forage for vegetation, while others are carnivorous and hunt marine animals such as fish and crustaceans. New Hampshire's marsh and bog wetland birds list features yellow warblers, alder flycatchers, rusty blackbirds, marsh wrens, American bitterns, ospreys and great blue herons. Birds that live near New Hampshire's rivers and lakes include the spotted sandpiper, bank swallow, common merganser and common loon.


Coastal birds, also known as sea birds are species that live in salt water environments, including salt marshes, sand dunes and coastal islands. In New Hampshire, coastal birds dwell near the Atlantic Ocean in the state's southeast corner. Coastal birds use the dunes and marshes for nesting and many of them hunt for saltwater fish in the ocean. The two most common New Hampshire coastal bird species are the terns and piping plovers. One of the tern species, the roseate tern, is an endangered species in New Hampshire.