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A History of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, The First One Hundred Years

by Phillips M. Street (as published in Cassinia No. 63 1988-1989 Centennial Edition)

Ties With Other Ornithological Societies

The A.O.U. was founded in 1883. In November 1890, it was reported in the Club's Twenty-year Souvenir Program, "Baily and Stone went to Washington to introduce the D.V.O.C. to the A.O.U. Stone took one of the broadsides and Baily a silk hat, and they no doubt made a profound impression."

The first A.O.U. meeting to be held in Philadelphia was in 1891, jointly under the auspices of the Academy and the Club. The second was in 1903, with Stone, Baily and Pennock forming the committee on arrangements and seven Club members presenting papers. The A.O.U.'s twenty-fifth anniversary meeting was here in 1907 and featured a dinner at Boothby's Cafe, a smoker at the Academy the following evening, a field trip to Bartram's Gardens and a party at Mill Grove. The 1912 meeting included a reception for the members at Baily's Ardmore home. Philadelphia meetings followed in 1916, 1921 and 1929, after which the A.O.U. deviated from the format of having predominately East Coast meetings, usually in Cambridge, New York, Philadelphia or Washington, and commenced going farther afield and even to Canada.

The Academy and the Club hosted a Cape May A.O.U. meeting in 1957 and one at Haverford College in 1976, with D.V.O.C. members active in the arrangements and leading field trips. A souvenir Auklet was produced for both of these meetings. The Wilson Ornithological Society, whose beginning antedated ours by just two years, pioneered in the idea of having meetings in a country setting with one at Jackson's Mill, West Virginia, in 1950, an innovation which the A.O.U. soon followed. It was the success of a Wilson meeting at Cape May in 1954, hosted by the Academy and the Club, which led to the A.O.U. coming there three years later. The Wilson Society returned to Cape May for another meeting in 1972 and celebrated its Centennial in Philadelphia, Alexander Wilson's adopted home town, in 1988. Frank Gill chaired the Local Committee with yeomanly assistance from Dawn Coughlan. D.V.O.C. members assisted on the registration desk at Rosemont College and led field trips. Three days of papers and sessions were held at Rosemont. Friday, June 10, was Centennial Day and featuredan outstanding international Parid symposium at the Academy and a gala reception there that evening.

D.V.O.C. members who have served the A.O.U as officers were Witmer Stone, editor of the Auk for twenty-five years and president (1975-76); John T. Emlen, president (1975-76; Frank Gill, vice president (1981-82); and Fletcher Street, treasurer (1942-44). Those similarly serving the Wilson Society were Frank L. Burns, a founder, president (1909-11); John Emien, president (1956-58); and Phillips Street, president (1909-11); John Emlen, president (1956-58); and Phillips Street, prresident (1962-64). George M. Sutton a Corresponding Member of the D.V.O.C. during his years as Pennsylvania State Ornithologist, served the Society as editor of the Wilson Bulletin and twice as President (1942-43 and 1946-47). Ernlen almost had what they call in ice hockey a hat trick, as he also served as President of the Northern Division of the Cooper Ornithological Society.

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