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Minutes of the DVOC
January 3, 2008
President Chris Walters called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM. 40 members and 2 guests were present. The minutes of the Dec. 20 2007 meeting were accepted as corrected.
Membership: Chair Connie Goldman read the member profile of Sara Besadny, who was announced as a new member at the previous meeting. Two new applicants were announced: Peter Burns and John J. Chivolet III. Connie handed out the new DVOC business cards (with the corrected RBA phone number) to be given to people interested in the club.
Field Trips: Bob Horton announced upcoming field trips: a Jan. 4 (Fri.) pelagic Christmas Bird Count sailing from Belmar NJ (Paul Guris, leader); Jan. 12, Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census (Keith Russell, organizer); Jan. 19-21 (Sat.-Mon., Martin Luther King weekend), Montauk (Long Island) New York for winter finches, seabirds and accidentals (Chris Walters and Erica Brendel, leaders); and Jan. 19 (Sat.), Conowingo Dam and Muddy Run for Bald Eagles and waterfowl (Tom Reeves, leader). Details of all trips are on the website: www.dvoc.org.
The meeting was turned over to Colin Campbell, Chair of the Nominating Committee, for the annual election of officers and councilors. Colin announced the following slate of nominations, which were also announced at the Dec. 5 and Dec. 20, 2007 meetings:
President: Paul Guris
Vice President: Frank Windfelder
Secretary: Art McMorris
Treasurer: Bert Filemyr
Councilors at Large, to serve until January 2011: Debbie Beer, Tom Bailey
Colin reported that no additional nominations had been received, and asked for nominations from the floor. There being no additional nominations, the nominees above were elected by acclamation.
Outgoing President Chris Walters thanked outgoing Councilors Mike Lyman and Jeff Holt for their service, and outgoing Treasurer Naomi Murphy for her 12 years of dedicated work. He then announced that Council had elected two new Fellows of the club: Debbie Beer and Steve Kacir. He thanked the club for the pleasure of his 2 years as President, and recalled two important new initiatives that the Club had undertaken in recent years: the New Bins for New Birders (NB4NB) program and the club’s outreach to younger birders.
Upcoming Programs: Vice President Frank Windfelder announced the following upcoming programs (several of them arranged by outgoing Vice President Paul Guris): Jan. 17: Jeffrey Hall will speak about “Birds on the Rocks (Seabirds in the Canadian Maritimes)”; Feb. 7, Nathan Gregory will present “Impacts of Controlled Fires and Traditional Livestock Grazing on Bird Communities in Kenya”; and Feb. 21, Mary Gustafson will present “TexMex Birds.”
Publications: Larus Editor Naomi Murphy announced that she is stepping down as Editor, but will continue doing layout. Paul Guris asked for volunteers or suggestions for a new editor of Larus.
Annual Treasurer’s Report: Outgoing Treasurer Naomi Murphy announced that she had filed a clarification of our tax-exempt status with the IRS, and had also filed Form 990EZ and Schedule A. This is a very time-consuming process. Our total assets at year’s end are $6,996.98. Our cash flow was positive by about $400, due largely to the book sale, but the banquet lost money (about $1,000). Our rent for the meeting rooms totaled $1,800, but, compared with what organizations like the Linnaean Society in New York pay, this is a bargain. Hard copies of the report were provided.
Annual Trustees’ Report: Trustee Chris Walters announced that accounting is now being done on a cash basis rather than an accrual basis, which makes the entire process simpler and more understandable. Our endowment assets at year’s end were $147,117.46, as compared with approximately $143,000.00 at the end of 2006. Total earnings were $12,245.02; of this, $4520.48 was distributed into the DVOC treasury, the highest ever; and the balance was re-invested. Half of our assets are invested in the Vanguard Windsor I stock fund, and the other half is distributed about equally between three bond funds, also administered by Vanguard. Hard copies of the report were provided. Chris reminded us that Life Memberships are the main source of the endowment, and urged members to consider a Life Membership.
Bert Filemyr announced that the new membership directory was being distributed at the meeting. Amazingly, the directory includes the results of tonight’s election, held only minutes ago. He urged everyone to pick up their directories and those of people they expect to see, because mailing is expensive. Those not picked up by the end of our next meeting will be mailed.
Paul Guris announced that he still had copies of Jeff Wells’ book for sale for $25.00/copy. He also announced that there are still spaces available on tomorrow’s pelagic trip. His entire pelagic trip schedule is available online at www.paulagics.com. He announced that he and Adrian Binns are currently putting together a spring trip (May 29 – June 1) to North Carolina that will combine pelagic trips with land birding. Details are on the website.
Anita Guris invited everyone to enjoy the food and drink after the meeting.
Al Driscoll announced that he has copies of Birding and of American Birds from 1971 to 1997 that he would like to donate to anyone who’d like them.
Local Notes: Bill Murphy had an immature Baltimore Oriole at the suet feeder in his yard. Paul and Anita Guris have had 40 Purple Finches. Edie Parnum had a Baltimore Oriole in her yard in Wayne; it was a one-day wonder. Paul Guris described a possible Common Crane that he saw along with Steve Kerr and Scott Fraser at Husted Landing, NJ during the Dec. 30 Cumberland County CBC. The bird was in the company of 15 other cranes, all of which appeared to be Sandhills though hybrids could not be ruled out. If this is the same escaped Common Crane with a broken toe that was discovered in NJ years ago, it would be 16-20 years old. JoAnn Raine reported that about 65 birders saw the one-day-wonder Long-billed Murrelet at Lake Nockamixon on Dec. 14. Gerry DeWaghe (among others) took excellent photos and it was featured in local newspapers. Paul Guris reported that a Slaty-backed Gull was seen recently at the Tullytown dump; several others have been seen on the east coast this year. Tony Croasdale saw an American Bittern and a Rough-legged Hawk at Tinicum.
Ornithological Studies: Chair Art McMorris announced the next two programs: Jan. 17, Frank Windfelder will present “Black-capped vs. Carolina Chickadee: How Can You Really Tell?”; and on Feb. 7 Debbie Beer will talk about “Sexing Bald Eagles.”
Art then Introduced Steve Kacir who presented “A Paleo-Ornithological Study.” Steve described the dinosaur origins of birds and summarized exciting new research findings.
Main Program: Frank Windfelder and Debbie Beer jointly presented
the highlights of local area Christmas Bird Counts.
They read CBC summary highlights as gathered from count compilers, and also solicited comments from members in attendance.
Some reports and species totals may be incomplete, as sections continue to report in to compilers
Summary highlights included the following CBC's:
- Glenolden CBC (PA) 98 species
- Pennypack CBC (PA) 79 species
- Southern Bucks County CBC (PA) 103 species
- Wyncote CBC (PA) 67 species
- Gloucester County CBC (NJ) (verbal report by Jeff Holt, species total to come)
- Oceanville (Brigantine) CBC (NJ) 133 species
- Sandy Hook CBC (NJ) 114 species
- Upper Bucks County (PA) 89 species
- Cape May CBC (NJ) 163 species
- Audubon (Valley Forge) CBC (PA) 78 species and counting
- Moorestown CBC (NJ) 115 species
- Bombay Hook CBC (DE) 127 species
- Seaford/Nanticoke CBC (DE) 100 species
- Rehoboth CBC (DE) 141 species
- Long Branch CBC (NJ) - 122 species
- Barnegat CBC (NJ) - 136 species
- Cumberland County CBC (NJ) - TBD
- Cape Henlopen CBC (DE) - 160 species
The full 7-page report is available at www.dvoc.org.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM, and was followed by food, beer, wine and soda, organized by Anita and Paul Guris.
Art McMorris, Secretary