- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Valentine’s Day is for the birds, and the New Hampshire Audubon Society is asking residents to count and report any they see in their backyards.

The annual Backyard Winter Bird Survey started Saturday and runs through Sunday.

The New Hampshire Audubon Society has run the survey since 1987, asking volunteers to spend as much or as little time gazing out their windows and jotting down species they can identify.

Some species - such as the sharp-shinned hawk and Cooper’s hawk - are difficult to tell apart. Audubon officials suggest participants just note “hawk species” if they can’t tell them apart.

The Audubon Society is asking residents to also report the number of squirrels they see, and note whether they are gray or red squirrels.

Officials say the survey provides significant help to biologist seeking to learn what’s happening with the state’s winter bird population.

The survey reports are computerized over the spring and summer, and a final report is issued in the fall.

Survey cards and quick reference guides are available at the Audubon’s website - www.nhaudubon.org - under birding.

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