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Amoskeag Fishways Open House

When: Wednesday, Dec. 28, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center, 4 Fletcher St., Manchester
Cost: Free
Visit: amoskeagfishways.org




Winter wildlife
Amoskeag Fishways hosts free open house

12/22/16
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 Spend a day of your holiday vacation learning about New Hampshire wildlife in the wintertime, creating nature-themed crafts, eating snacks and winning prizes at the Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center’s annual Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Anyone can drop by during the Open House to participate in any of the activities for free.
“[The event] is really for the community, because we are really appreciative of … the participants in our programs,” teacher program naturalist Holly Groh said. “It’s a thank-you event for them.”
Amoskeag Fishways staff members will be leading a series of two themed presentations throughout the day every half hour. This year’s two themes are “Active Winter Mammals” and “Winter Backyard Birds.” Groh said each one is expected to be held at least twice on an ongoing basis.
“The purpose [of the presentations] is to connect people with local wildlife in their neighborhoods,” Groh said. “We will be presenting animals this time of year and will be talking about where they are hibernating, when and where they are active and where they are finding their food. … We’ll also be introducing people to native birds with pictures and sounds, so people will come away having learned a few new bird sounds.”
Other topics of discussion will include what the animals’ survival strategies are in the wintertime, as well as their behaviors to survive cold winters in the Granite State.
“A snowshoe hare, for example, has a changing coat color during the season that aids in its camouflage, and we would have a number of pelts and photographs that we would show for that,” Groh said.
For New Hampshire’s feathered friends, presentations will include trying to identify some of the birds that appear at the feeder outside the center. But Groh added that predatory birds active in the wintertime are also likely to factor into the conversation.
“We have feeder birds [in New Hampshire] year round like blue jays, chickadees and woodpeckers, and we call them resident birds,” she said. “Some birds that live farther north often struggle to find a habitat in the winter season, and so they migrate further south into the Manchester area. … We do have resident bald eagles, for example, and tend to see them down here more often in the wintertime.”
Groh said the focus is normally on mammals and birds simply because other species of animals like amphibians and reptiles would be hibernating.
“We do try to keep somewhat of a cyclical theme in terms of the wildlife you find,” she said.
One audience member per presentation will walk away with a door prize.
“In the past, we’ve given away things like puzzles and stuffed animals,” she said. “Usually the prizes are nature-based.”
Like the presentations, craft activities will carry a winter theme, or possibly a holiday theme, Groh said, if Christmas is still on people’s minds.
Groh said the center will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, in observance of Christmas, but will reopen the following day. 





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