Eric Masterson

Eric Masterson

A Birder with Irish Roots

Eric Masterson grew up in Ireland, and started his professional life in the family printing business. In 1991, he left printing and volunteered with Greenpeace before returning to school to study zoology in 1995. During this time, he also met Tricia Rose Burt, an American who would become his wife, in the west of Ireland. In 1999, the couple moved to the U.S., and New Hampshire became their new home.

Eric worked at NH Audubon and the Piscataquog Land Conservancy for a number of years before joining the Harris Center in 2010 as our Land Program Coordinator. In his role with the Harris Center, he coordinates the stewardship of the roughly 112 conservation easements in our care, and also manages our trail networks, leads field trips, and answers lots of bird questions!

Working for the Land

“The Harris Center has a really good reputation in the area for its [land] conservation work, thanks to 40 years of hard work by a tremendous staff and board of trustees. We want to maintain that public trust.” 

Eric and a team of  interns and volunteers make an annual visit to each easement property to ensure that the terms of the easements are being upheld. He also coordinates the Harris Center’s trail maintenance efforts, a task that has only grown with the increasing frequency of severe storm events — and resultant flooding, erosion, and downed trees — brought about by climate change.

“Living in a world where it’s difficult to turn on the news, I’m glad I’m not part of that machinery and that I’m part of THIS machinery. I love working for Jeremy; the staff and Board here are our greatest asset.”

Taking Flight

Eric Masterson releases a rehabilitated hawk. (photo © Meade Cadot)

Eric Masterson releases a rehabilitated hawk back to the wild at the start of his six-month bicycle trip following the migration route of the Broad-winged Hawk from New Hampshire to Panama. (photo © Meade Cadot)

In his free time, Eric studies bird migration. He runs a nocturnal flight call station out of his Hancock home (see the video below for more info), and followed the migration route of four satellite-tagged Broad-winged Hawks from New England to Central America by bicycle in 2016-2017. His first book, Birdwatching in NH, was published in 2014. He’s now working on a new book about the journey of the Broad-winged Hawk, which has led him most recently to hang gliding:

“I was working on this book, and here was this aircraft that works just like the Broad-winged Hawk – unpowered, soaring flight!”

Wild. Free. Speaks directly to the heart of the Harris Center.

Contact Us

For more information on the Harris Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations, please contact Lisa Murray at (603) 525-3394 or by email.