Greg Hanisek and Wayne R. Petersen, Regional Editors
New England is a six-state region in the northeastern corner of the U. S. with a rich history of ornithological research and discovery. New England was the proving ground for so many luminaries in birding and field ornithology, from Florence Merriam Bailey and Margaret Morse Nice to Ludlow Griscom and Roger Tory Peterson and beyond. In the 21st century, robust contributions from amateur and academic ornithologists continually update our understanding and appreciation of the region’s diverse and complex birdlife.
New England’s coastline varies from the rock-bound coasts of Maine to the broad sandy strands and productive salt marshes of southern New England. Both feature numerous offshore islands, some hosting a variety of breeding seabirds, others offering outstanding birding locations during spring and fall migration. Offshore, the Gulf of Maine, Stellwagen Bank, and the rich waters east and south of Cape Cod seasonally provide impressive concentrations of seabirds from several hemispheres.
In northern New England, extensive conifer forests support an impressive variety of northern species including Spruce Grouse, American Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers, Bicknell’s Thrush, a splendid array of nesting boreal warblers, and Red and White-winged crossbills. In southern New England, mixed forest habitats host Acadian Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Fish Crow, and Worm-eating and Hooded warblers—all species near the northern limits of their breeding range.
Between the scenic geography of New England and its variable seasonal climate, the region periodically witnesses spectacular sea duck and seabird passages, seasonal hawk flights, occasional irruptions of Snowy Owls, Bohemian Waxwings, and winter finches, and explosive landbird fallouts. Massachusetts alone boasts a state list in excess of 500 species, a testament to the avian significance of New England.
The ABA gratefully acknowledges the contributions of New England Regional Editors Greg Hanisek and Wayne R. Petersen to promoting knowledge and understanding about the birdlife of the continent.