Birddoggers in action in Dover, NH. Photo by Jason Moon for NHPR

Presidential campaigns do all they can to make sure their events stay on message: candidates who pivot out of tough questions, campaign staff who keep a tight grip on the microphone while a voter is asking a question. But now, more and more, voters are coming to campaign events with their own bag of tricks. With the help of advocacy groups around the state, they’re getting trained in an art known as birddogging.

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U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton at WBUR. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Among the challenges facing Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, who announced this week he’s joining the crowded field of Democratic candidates for president, is the fact that he’s not well-known. It’s a fact the North Shore politician is well aware of.

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The black-capped chickadee. Credit Wikimedia Commons

There’s a big debate simmering in the Maine Legislature, and it’s certain to split state residents into two groups. No, not Democrats and Republicans. The debate is about birds — chickadees specifically. And there’s now a bill that would require lawmakers to choose which particular kind of chickadee is the official state bird.

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