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Archive of Meeting Minutes

Archive of Meetings / Programs


OUR NEXT MEETING

 
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Academy location

Parking location

Informal pre-meeting dinner location (City Garden Resturant)

 

December 20th, 2012
"Raptor Migration in South-east Asia" - Robert DeCandido PhD and Deborah Allen

Asia is a huge place - from Israel in the far west to Borneo-Indonesia in the far Far East. In this slide talk, we'll focus on recent discoveries on raptor and bird migration in South-east Asia. Up to 26 raptor species (300,000 individuals) are known to migrate at our watch site in the bottleneck region of southern Thailand. We have been studying migrants in both spring and autumn since 2003. We have also documented three bee-eater species in migration, as well as White-throated Needletail Swifts, Pacific Swifts, Dollarbirds, Ashy Minivets - and many more. Our research and publications have traced the annual north to south movement of raptors, with Black Bazas and Chinese Sparrowhawks being the two most common species we see each year. Five Accipiters are migrants here and another, the Crested Goshawk is a resident. Most of the data from Thailand we will present has only been discovered in the last decade. Thailand is moving ahead rapidly in migration studies with a new $150,000 center built at Pencil Hill (Khao Dinsor) to learn and teach about bird migration, as well as the implementation of an extensive banding program. Our photos will show birds in flight and close-up in the hand so you can see nuances of plumage details. And if time permits, we will show images from some of our research in Nepal where the largest migration of Steppe Eagles in the world takes place - from east to west in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.

For the last decade or so, Dr. Robert DeCandido and photographer Deborah Allen have made many visits to Asia, primarily to study bird migration. In spring 2000-01 they studied the spring migration of birds returning to the Asian mainland (Malaysia) from Sumatra. In 2003, they spent much of the year in Eilat, Israel where they helped band 10,000 or so birds and watch the raptor migration there. In autumn that year, they were off to Thailand, where they helped discover a raptor migration site of global significance. In winter/spring 2005, Bob and Deborah spent several months in the largest preserve in Sabah, Borneo studying the birds, insects and plants of that Malaysian state. Since 2007, they have been back and forth to Thailand, studying spring and autumn migrant birds. Publications about Asian birds from their research have appeared in The Journal of Raptor Research, Forktail, Ardea, and The Journal of the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology.

Ornithological Moment - "Falcons and Parrots: Almost Songbirds?" - Art McMorris

 

 



FULL 2012 MEETINGS / PROGRAMS SCHEDULE

• All who have an interest in birds are invited to attend functions of the DVOC.

• Meetings are lively proceedings, with a featured speaker or a special forum as well as reports from the various committees, announcements, and general field notes.

Club meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. beginning the third Thursday of September through the first Thursday in June. Unless otherwise arranged, all meetings are held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA beginning at 7:30 pm. (Directions to the Academy) Less formal summer meetings are held the first Thursday in July, August, and September.


January 5th, 2012
122nd Annual Members Meeting- Followed by Refreshments

Since the founding of our club in 1890, the first meeting of every year has been the “Members’ Meeting.” The meeting will feature the Annual Election of Officers and Council members, election of Fellows, reports by the Treasurer and by the Trustees, and other matters of interest.

Bert Filemyr will do a short presntation on the founding of the DVOC. The presentation is titled "From the Archives: February 3, 1890".

We will then adjourn for socializing over snacks and drinks, organized by Bonnie and Phil Witmer.

Click Here for pictures from this meeting

Click Here for a web version of the "From the Archives" presentation

Minutes of this meeting

 

 

 

January 19th, 2012
Rob Bierregaard, “Juvenile and Adult Osprey Migration between North and South America: Routes, Timing, and Mortality”


Between 1998 and 2011 we deployed satellite platform telemetry transmitters on 42 juvenile Ospreys in Minnesota and in the eastern U.S. The movements of these juveniles on their first and subsequent migrations are compared to data from 57 adults tagged primarily before the current study. All but 5 juveniles initiated migration, and 33 of the remaining 37 young made it at least to the Caribbean or South America. First-year mortality of young tagged through 2010 was 71%. Mortality through 2 yrs for this cohort will be 79% (2 birds pending). Juvenile Ospreys either migrated directly from their natal areas, with or without exploratory excursions prior to migration, or after having dispersed from their natal territories to staging areas, where they settled for as long as two months. Most young started migration in early Sept.; two did not start south until Nov. Once settled on wintering areas, young often make looping exploratory excursions of hundreds of km, navigating back to favored spots from novel directions. Fall migration routes differed dramatically between adults and juveniles: 7 juveniles from southeastern New England crossed 1,800 - 2,400 km of open Atlantic Ocean, making landfall in the Bahamas or Cuba before moving south through the Caribbean. No adults made this long, overwater crossing. Most young reached the eastern end of Hispaniola before turning south. Most adults took a shorter route from central Hispaniola to South America. We believe the more conservative routes taken by adults are related to learning a different route on their return north, rather than selection on young taking more dangerous routes on their first migration.

Minutes of this meeting

February 2nd, 2012
Don Freiday, "How to Identify Birds like an Expert”

How do real experts in the field approach birding, compared to the way the rest of us dolts go about it? Do they have supernatural powers? Superior training? Greater focus? More luck? More experience? Longer life lists? The answers are sometimes, sometimes, always, rarely, always, and not necessarily. This is a companion program to Don Freiday's popular, "How to MISidentify Birds Like an Expert." Don, a Cape May birder/naturalist who shies away from the word expert in any context, shares observations of birds and birding spanning many years, many places, and many people, including some real experts.

Minutes of this meeting

February 16th, 2012
Nate Rice, "Field Work in Vietnam”


In March and April, Nate Rice joined colleagues from the University of Kansas on a second collecting trip to Vietnam, to the montaneregions on the border area with China and Laos. The entire expedition was funded by the KUNHM (through a major grant from the Center for Disease Control) tosearch for emerging diseases (such as avian influenza) in wild bird populations. We collected nearly 100 species and over 500 specimens and were accompanied by a Herpetologist (Charles Linkem, KU graduate student) who also collected hundreds of specimens.

Ornithological Moment: "Snowy Owls: Age, Sex and Plumage" - Art McMorris

Presentation of the 2011 Bob Billings Big Year Award. Long-time DVOC member Bob Billings left the club funds in his will to endow an annual award for the club member who "recorded and identified the largest number of birds during each prior calendar year." 2011 was the inaugural year of the competition. The winner of the competition will be announced and the award check will be presented to the winner.

Minutes of this meeting

March 1st, 2012
Frank Windfelder - The Fabulous Ipswich Sparrow

The Ipswich Sparrow is a fascinating little bird whose fragile existence depends upon the fate of a large sandbar in the North Atlantic. Join me on a magical mystery tour through its life history. Many great photos.

Minutes of this meeting

 

 

March 15th, 2012
Keith Bildstein - Movement Ecology of Scavenging Birds of Prey

Dr. Keith Bildstein, Director Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain, and eminent raptor researcher will introduce preliminary results of his work on the movement and feeding ecology of Striated Caracaras and Turkey Vultures on the Falkland Islands, where he has been studying these birds for the past six years. The two species, which represent different lineages of birds of prey, offer an intriguing comparison in life styles: Turkey Vultures are shy overall, whereas Striated Caracaras are both bold and pathologically curious. The caracara is also both Near Threatened globally and little studied. Keith also will be happy to update you on other things at ‘Hawk Mountain’.

Minutes of this meeting.

 

April 5th, 2012
Matthew Halley - "Multiple Male Feeders at Nests of the Veery – a new perspective on the nesting behavior of Wilson's enigmatic thrush"

Two hundred years after Wilson (1812) first described the Veery, Catharus fuscescens, remarkably little is known about its breeding ecology and behavior. Matthew Halley, a graduate student at Delaware State University, has used hidden video cameras to reveal that a breeding population of Veeries at White Clay Creek State Park, Delaware, exhibits an exceedingly rare mode of parental care in which multiple males attend single-female broods. Matthew will show rare video footage of Veery nesting activities while discussing the results of his research within the context of Catharus social evolution and behavioral ecology.

 

Minutes of this meeting

 

April 19th, 2012
Kevin Loughlin - PERU: Birds of the Inca and Amazon

Best known for the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru is home to nearly 2000 species of birds! Amidst rubble from ancient Inca and pre-Inca structures we can find endemic Inca Wrens and Green-and-White Hummingbirds. Colorful tanagers flock in the canopy of the cloud forest and the endangered Spectacled Bear can still be found here... with luck. Following the rivers as they flow east out of the mountains we come to the Amazon Basin where, in Peru, the mighty Amazon River is formed. Oxbow lakes hidden deep in the forest offer glimpses of Giant Otters, as the unlikely Hoatzin growls and grumbles from the tree-lined shores. Macaws and parrots color the sky with reds, greens, yellows and blues as they flock to the clay licks. Join, Kevin Loughlin, owner of Wildside Nature Tours, for this color-filled photographic journey through the mountains, forests and rivers of Peru!

Ornithological Moment - Mike Fritz: 2011 Billings Big Year

Minutes of this meeting

 

May 3rd, 2012
Steve Kacir, "Bush Camping and Spotlighting: A Queensland Safari"

During October of 2010, Steve Kacir joined friends Nikolas Haass and Raja Stephenson on an exploration of Cape York and tropical Queensland. Dominating the northeastern section of Australia, Queensland is Australia’s “Sunshine State” and a hotspot of biodiversity with 175 species of freshwater fish, 442 species of reptiles, 120 frog species, 226 mammal species and 615 species of native birds. Steve will share photos and experiences from this trip, exploring the Cairns area, the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree National Park, the Artemis Station/Musgrave Station Area, Lakefield National Park and Cape York. Highlights from this Queensland Safari included such birds as Southern Cassowary, Red Goshawk, Beach Stone-curlew, Golden-shouldered Parrot, Platypus, Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, Spotted Cuscus, Gould’s Monitor Lizard, Coastal Taipan, Amethystine Python, Mudskipper and Spotted Archer Fish. Join Steve to learn more about bush camping and spotlighting, road trains and roadhouses and the incredible beauty and diversity of northeastern Australia’s wildlife.

Minutes of this meeting

 

May 17th, 2012
Edwin Scholes, "The Birds-of-Paradise Project: Revealing an Avian Wonder of the World"


Photograph by Tim Laman

For the better part of a decade, ornithologist Ed Scholes and wildlife photographer Tim Laman have traveled over the entire New Guinea region to observe, study and document the 39 species of birds-of-paradise with photographs, video and audio recordings. Join Ed Scholes of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as he gives a sneak peek into the conclusion of this multi-year effort that will be the subject of a forthcoming book, museum exhibit and documentary film in late 2012.

Minutes of this meeting

 

June 7th, 2012
Terry Master, "Riparian Songbirds: Canaries in an Aquatic Coal Mine"

Riparian songbirds throughout the world have distinct adaptations and characteristics in common, though they have rarely been singled out as a discreet group of birds upon which to focus research efforts in the manner of forest interior species, for example. Two Pennsylvania species, the Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) and its more terrestrial counterpart, the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens), are both common species in their preferred hemlock-dominated stream habitats. Each species, through its ecology and behavior, reflects human-induced impacts to this habitat at various spatial scales ranging from the entire watershed to local stream reaches. Thus, each species serves as a bioindicator of riparian ecosystem health. This program will begin broadly by describing patterns of distribution, behavior and characteristics of riparian songbirds throughout the world and then concentrate specifically on our two local representatives of this bird assemblage and what they can tell us about their streamside habitats.

 

Ornithological Moment: Report of the 2012 DVOC World Series of Birding Team.

Minutes of this meeting

 

July 12th, 2012 (Note the date change)
Informal Summer Meeting - The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE) is located in the northwest corner of Philadelphia, in the neighborhood of Roxborough.
8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128

Click Here for directions

Short Presentations Including:

Bert FilemyrFrom the Archives: The Strange Case of DVOC Member Charles J. Pennock

Art McMorris – Peregrine Falcons in Philadelphia

 

August 2nd, 2012
Informal Summer Meeting - John Heinz (Tinicum) NWR, PA
http://www.fws.gov/heinz/index.html

Short Presentations Including:

Debbie Beer – The Eastwick Development Project near Heinz NWR

Cindy Ahern – Native Plants and Wildlife (mostly birds)

 

 

September 6th, 2012
Informal Summer Meeting - Palmyra Cove Nature Center, Palmyra, NJ
http://palmyracove.jharte.com/default.aspx

Short Presentations Including:

Kim Custer – “Legacy in the Making: Past, Present and Future of Ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences – the Rhoads Project”

Club member Kim Custer, a volunteer with the Historical Society of Haddonfield Library, while researching Boxwood Hall, a local historical site, learned about Haddonfield's most prominent naturalist, and a founder of DVOC, Samuel Nicholson Rhoads (1862-1952) whose journals and papers were part of the library’s collections. In association with the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Historical Society decided to bring together the specimens and the journals that reveal the details of his scientific pursuits, the historical details of his travels and a personal perspective of the life of an early 20th century naturalist in a way never before accomplished. This presentation will compare the methods and practices of Rhoads’s specimen collecting trips with current specimen collecting trips. Before and after the meeting items there will be on display items from Rhoads and Dr. Nate Rice (both DVOC members) as a comparison study of 100 years of collecting specimens for ANS.

Gadgets Galore: Birding in the Age of Electronics; a panel discussion of the latest in apps and gadgets for improving your experience in the field.

 

September 20th, 2012
Bert Filemyr, "Birding Oregon"

Centered around the experiences of a June 2010 trip this program will explore the varied habitats of central and northern Oregon. Join six birders from the Philadelphia area as they take an eleven day trip beginning and ending in Portland Oregon. Birding highlights included Sooty Grouse, sea bird colonies, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Western Tanager, Hermit Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Barrow's Goldeneye and other specialties of the Pacific Northwest.

Minutes of this meeting

October 4th, 2012
Sue Killeen, "Birding Cuba for Cuban Endemics"

Over 370 bird species have been recorded in Cuba, including 29 which are endemic to the island and 29 considered globally threatened. Due to its large land area and geographical position within the Caribbean, Cuba represents one of the most important countries for Neotropical migratory birds – both birds passing through on their way south (75 species) and those spending the winter on the island (86 species).
Some of the birding locations we visited included the Western Mountain ranges in Pinar del Rio best known for the tropical karstic forests and is home to the Cuban Tody and Cuban Trogon. The Zapata Peninsula on the southern shore of Cuba is a most important birding area that features everglades-like ecology and is home to the Bee Hummingbird and Zapata Wren. Our eastern most destination was the historical city of Camaguey and the Protected Area of Sierra del Chorrillo for the Cuban Palm Crow. Our last destination was the Northern Archipelagos of Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo known for their mangrove flats, low coastal scrub, and sandy shoreline and Cayo Paredon Grande (the northeastern-most key in the archipelago, which is one of Cuba’s most important migratory landfalls). It is here where you can find the Gundlach’s Hawk.
Join Sue to see the birds of Cuba and the diversity of the island from her trip with the DVOC in March/April 2012.

Minutes of this meeting

October 18th, 2012
Derek Lovitch, "How to Be a Better Birder"

Curious about how the best birders find and ID birds, especially during migration seasons? Derek Lovitch will show us how expert birders combine time-tested field skills with state of the art technology to become "better" birders. Using the Sandy Point (Yarmouth, ME) morning flight phenomenon that is discussed in Derek’s new book How to Be a Better Birder as a case study, we will learn how geography, weather, and habitat combine to provide outstanding birding opportunities, maximize our time in the field, and challenge ourselves to improve our identification skills.

Minutes of this meeting

 

November 1st, 2012
Dr. Robert Curry - Advances in chickadee hybridization: birds and methods on the move

Hybridization between Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees has been a research focus in several laboratories for more than a decade. Our field studies in southeastern Pennsylvania, along with new Breeding Bird Atlas results, have documented rapid northward movement of the hybrid zone. Our current work considers whether differences in personality between and within the species influence hybrid zone dynamics. This research incorporates powerful new field methods to investigate behavioral variation on multiple levels.

Minutes of this meeting

 

November 15th, 2012 - Annual Banquet!
Stephen W. Kress - RESTORING ENDANGERED SEABIRDS: LESSONS FROM PUFFINS AND TERNS

Click Here for the 2012 Banquet Reservation Form!

Click Here for more information on the banquet!

Humans have devastated seabird colonies in many parts of the world by excessive hunting for food and feathers and by introducing mammals such as cats and rats to otherwise secure nesting islands.

Worldwide, 29% of all seabird species are now globally threatened as marine pollution, coastal development and effects of global warming are growing concerns. Although seabird nesting islands seem safe due to their remoteness, they are intimately connected to human activities. For example, Maine seabird nesting islands are affected by large populations of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls that benefit from garbage and fisheries waste practices hundreds of miles from nesting islands. As scavenging large gulls increase, they deter smaller, migratory seabirds, such as puffins and terns from nesting on many of their historic nesting islands. And ironically, other wildlife restoration success stories such as the recovery of Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons now threaten rare Maine seabirds such as Great Cormorants and Roseate Terns.

Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon Society's Seabird Restoration Program, will review how techniques developed on Maine islands have led to the restoration of puffins and terns to historic nesting islands in the Gulf of Maine. Dr. Kress will also discuss how techniques developed in Maine are helping seabirds worldwide. His lecture includes reviews of several case studies in seabird restoration including restoration of Common Murres in California to relocation of Short-tailed Albatross off of an active volcano in Japan and efforts to save the endangered Bermuda Petrel from rising oceans and increased frequency of hurricanes.

December 6th, 2012
Members' Photography Night

Results of the 2012 Members' Photography Night

Birds Category:
3rd Place: Paul Guris - an action shot of a running Snowy Plover
2nd Place: Linda Widdop - a photo of a group of Black Skimmers on a beach
2nd Place: Barrie Ashby - a close shot of a Least Bittern
1st Place: Paul Guris - a flight shot of an immature Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Birders Category:
Honorable Mention: Steve Mattan - a shot documenting a birder’s set up process
3rd Place: Bob Horton - a close-up of a young birder and her telescope
2nd Place: Bob Horton - group of Boy Scouts working on Bird Study Merit Badge
1st Place: Barrie Ashby - birders eating lunch in the rain under umbrellas

Natural History Category:
3rd Place: Barrie Ashby - butterflies trying to get salt from a turtle’s eyes
3rd Place: Paul Guris - a pair of Northern Raccoons in Texas
2nd Place: Marvin Hyett - mating wasps on a flower with a floral background
1st Place: Andy Smith - some millipedes on the Appalachian Trail

Scenery Category:
Honorable Mention: Andy Smith - a band on Snow Geese against a landscape
3rd Place: Steve Mattan - a Hawaiian volcano against a starlit night sky
2nd Place: Steve Mattan - an exquisite 3.3megapixel shot of the Yosemite Valley
1st Place: Andy Smith - sunset and silhouettes of birds

Best of Show:
Andy Smith - some millipedes on the Appalachian Trail

 

 

Photography has become an integral part of birding. It’s just harder to challenge that ID when a picture gives support. But DVOCers have turned it into an art. All members are invited to submit photos in the categories of Birds (maximum 5 photos), Natural History (non-avian flora and fauna; maximum 5), Scenery (3), and Birders (3). A panel of judge(s) will announce the first, second and third place winners in each category. Prizes will be awarded to the first-place winners, and a Grand Prize for the “Best of Show.” Jpg digitals only, best resolution is 1024 x 768 pixels. For each slide, include the name, location and category. Submit to Phil Witmer by e-mail or on CD (snail mail or handed in at a meeting) by November 22nd. Photographers give permission to have their winning entries posted on our club website. Previously submitted photos are not eligible.

2011 Photo Contest Winners (This is a large pdf file. Please allow it time to load)

Minutes of this meeting

Winners of the 2012 Members' Photography Contest

 

December 20th, 2012
"Raptor Migration in South-east Asia" - Robert DeCandido PhD and Deborah Allen

Asia is a huge place - from Israel in the far west to Borneo-Indonesia in the far Far East. In this slide talk, we'll focus on recent discoveries on raptor and bird migration in South-east Asia. Up to 26 raptor species (300,000 individuals) are known to migrate at our watch site in the bottleneck region of southern Thailand. We have been studying migrants in both spring and autumn since 2003. We have also documented three bee-eater species in migration, as well as White-throated Needletail Swifts, Pacific Swifts, Dollarbirds, Ashy Minivets - and many more. Our research and publications have traced the annual north to south movement of raptors, with Black Bazas and Chinese Sparrowhawks being the two most common species we see each year. Five Accipiters are migrants here and another, the Crested Goshawk is a resident. Most of the data from Thailand we will present has only been discovered in the last decade. Thailand is moving ahead rapidly in migration studies with a new $150,000 center built at Pencil Hill (Khao Dinsor) to learn and teach about bird migration, as well as the implementation of an extensive banding program. Our photos will show birds in flight and close-up in the hand so you can see nuances of plumage details. And if time permits, we will show images from some of our research in Nepal where the largest migration of Steppe Eagles in the world takes place - from east to west in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.

For the last decade or so, Dr. Robert DeCandido and photographer Deborah Allen have made many visits to Asia, primarily to study bird migration. In spring 2000-01 they studied the spring migration of birds returning to the Asian mainland (Malaysia) from Sumatra. In 2003, they spent much of the year in Eilat, Israel where they helped band 10,000 or so birds and watch the raptor migration there. In autumn that year, they were off to Thailand, where they helped discover a raptor migration site of global significance. In winter/spring 2005, Bob and Deborah spent several months in the largest preserve in Sabah, Borneo studying the birds, insects and plants of that Malaysian state. Since 2007, they have been back and forth to Thailand, studying spring and autumn migrant birds. Publications about Asian birds from their research have appeared in The Journal of Raptor Research, Forktail, Ardea, and The Journal of the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology.

Ornithological Moment - "Falcons and Parrots: Almost Songbirds?" - Art McMorris

Minutes of this meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional programs will be posted as they are scheduled.