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Minutes of the DVOC
September 18, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 7:45 by President Paul Guris. Twenty-seven members and 4 guests were present. The minutes of the June 5 2008 meeting were read and accepted.


Membership: Chair Connie Goldman announced the names and read the profiles of 8 new members: Mary Bowler, Jerry Vernick, his wife Sandra Barenbaum, Vanessa Schnauffer, Barbara Thorp, Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jan Confer and Bob Confer. She also showed off the new box with a foam rack that she had set up to keep name tags organized, and announced that a new order had been placed for DVOC hats to replenish our sold-out stock.

Conservation: Chair Debbie Beer recommended that members consider the conservation stances of political candidates, in light of the up-coming elections. She referred members to the National Audubon Society website, www.AudubonMagazine.com, for such information.

Debbie announced that the annual Cradle of Birding festival will be held this coming Saturday at Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, Philadelphia). Speakers will include Congressman Joe Sestak and Paul Baicich, the former Director of Conservation and Public Policy of the ABA.


Cassinia editor Art McMorris announced that Cassinia is in the process of being formatted or the printer.

Paul Guris announced that Larus editor Jason Loghry has taken a new job and relocated to South Korea, but he will continue as Larus editor, thanks to the marvels of the Internet.

Field Trip Reports:

Bob Horton asked for reports of recent field trips.

Bert Filemyr gave the report of the Sept. 8 Chimney Swift field trip, led by Jane Henderson. About 40 people witnessed at least a thousand Chimney Swifts flying into their chimney roost at the Jenks School at 8310 Germantown Ave. in Philadelphia.

There was no report of Denis Brennan’s Sept. 14 trip to Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, Philadelphia), but Debbie Beer mentioned that she was there the previous day, and that it was hot and humid and birding was slow.

Further details of these trips are on the website at www.dvoc.org.

Up-coming field trips:

This coming weekend, Fri. Sept. 19 – Sun. Sept. 21, James Maloney will lead a trip to Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), Dingman’s Ferry, PA. Participants will stay in the cabins at PEEC.

Frank Windfelder will run his annual trip to Tuckerton Marsh, New Jersey for Salt Marsh and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows and Seaside Sparrows on Saturday October 4.

Bob Horton and Vincent Nichnadowicz will be running a sailing and birding trip in the Lesser Antilles Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, 2009. If interested, see Bob or Vincent.

Details of all these events are on the website: www.DVOC.org.


Frank Windfelder announced the next few programs. On October 2, noted photographer Howard Eskin will speak about “The Challenges of Bird Photography.” The program on October 16 will be Bob Fergus speaking about “Urban Bird Ecology and Conservation,” and on November 6, Adrian Binns will present “Watching East Africa’s Unique Wildlife.”

The Annual Banquet will be held on Nov. 20, and will feature Pat and Clay Sutton, speaking about “Birds and Birding at Cape May (a Bird Walk through Time).” Pat and Clay will be signing their new book, on which their talk is based. Bernice and Joe Koplin are again organizing this event, which will be held at the Sheet Metal Worker’s Hall on Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, a venue that we have used before with great success. It is a central location and has excellent food and free parking. The cost is $46.00 per person, with the menu choices being boneless breast of chicken, baked salmon, or a vegetarian entrée. The event is only 9 weeks away; members are urged to sign up now and bring a guest. Full information is available on the website at http://www.dvoc.org/Banquet/Banquet.htm.

Jeff Holt added that the annual banquet will include the presentation of the Club’s three awards: the Witmer Stone Award for the best publication by a member in ornithological research, the Julian Potter Award for outstanding contributions by a member to field ornithology, and the Conservation Award for outstanding conservation work by a non-member. Nominations for these awards should be sent to:

Colin Campbell (Witmer Stone Award)
Jeff Holt (Julian Potter Award)
Debbie Beer (Conservation Award)


Steve Kacir announced that Tony Croasdale would no longer be doing the voice recording for the Club’s Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert. If you are willing to read the RBA each week to be recorded for the telephone, please see Steve.

Jeff Holt announced that this Sunday, September 21, is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Alexander Wilson’s monumental work, American Ornithology. In honor of this occasion, Jeff’s biography of Alexander Wilson will be posted on the website at http://www.dvoc.org/History/PoetToOrnithologist.pdf, in advance of its publication in Cassinia.

Local Notes:

Frank Windfelder commented that birding has been slow this fall, but he saw 4 Broad-winged Hawks and 1 Osprey during a 15-minute period today at his house in northeast Philadelphia.

Win Shafer was at Bake Oven Knob last weekend. It was hot and humid, but a Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle and Merlin flew by in a short period, and many other good birds were seen.

Cindy Ahern recently saw 2 Broad-winged Hawks, 2 Black Vultures, a Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and Ovenbird in her back yard in Huntington Valley, PA.

Anita Guris had a Red-breasted Nuthatch yesterday at her feeders in Green Lane, PA.

It was mentioned that Ron Pittaway posted his annual winter finch report yesterday on Ontario Birds. The report makes predictions about winter finch movements, based on reports of food supplies in northern areas. It was a bad year for cones and birch catkins, and so birds that rely on these for winter food are likely to wander south.

Phil Witmer recently saw a migrating Common Nighthawk in Havertown, PA.

Marty Dellwo recently saw a hummingbird, assumed to be a Ruby-throated, at the community garden at 25th and Spruce Sts. in Philadelphia. This is the first time he’s seen a hummingbird in Center City.

Cindy Ahern commented that she is still seeing hummingbirds at her home.

Frank Windfelder said that Ward Dasey has planted a hummingbird garden at the Palmyra Cove Nature Center, NJ. It includes late-blooming plants such as Salvias that attract migrating hummingbirds.

Debbie Beer was at Brigantine (Forsythe NWR, NJ) last weekend and saw a number of migrant shorebirds, including Pectoral, Baird’s, Stilt and White-rumped Sandpipers and both Dowitchers.

Bob Horton had a Hudsonian Godwit at Long Beach Island, NJ last weekend.

Ornithological Studies:

Chair Art McMorris announced that the Ornithological Study at the next meeting would be Debbie Beer, presenting “Refuges by the Numbers.” He invited members to present short talks in this forum, or to suggest topics or speakers for future programs.

Art then presented tonight’s Ornithological Study, “Recent AOU Checklist Changes.” Some common names have been changed, as a result of name standardization efforts led by Frank Gill and Minturn Wright, and recent genetic evidence has resulted in taxonomic changes in several groups, most notably the gulls.

Main Program:

Frank Windfelder introduced the main speaker, Lillian Armstrong, Director of the Birding and Wildlife Trails project at New Jersey Audubon, who presented “Tales of the Trails.” Lillian described the process of creating birding and wildlife trails throughout the state and writing the highly acclaimed guides to them. In spite of many challenges, the program has been very successful and has now been imitated, literally as well as figuratively, in many other states.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary