ALL ARE WELCOME. We encourage visitors, and would enjoy having you join us for a meeting or a field trip.
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 at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA (Directions to the Academy). Bimonthly, on the first and third Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., the season begins on the third Thursday of September and goes through the first Thursday in June.
Before meetings at the Academy, an informal pre-meeting dinner with the speaker is held at “Asia on the Parkway,” 1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia (corner of Ben Franklin Parkway and Cherry St.), a few short blocks from the Academy. Everyone is invited to attend. We meet at 6:00 in the back room of the restaurant; look for us at the long table there.
Pre-meeting Dinner: Asia on the Parkway
After the meeting, we usually adjourn for drinks at Cherry Street Tavern (129 N 22nd St), three blocks from the Academy.
Post-meeting Drinks: Cherry Street Tavern
We all may have our own definitions about what constitutes a birding Holy Grail.
For many eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey bird watchers, one particular Holy Grail may be the original first edition Set No. 1 of Witmer Stone’s masterpiece, Bird Studies at Old Cape May.
On Dec. 15, 1937, Stone hosted in his home 13 of the major contributors to his Bird Studies for a pre-release get-together and book signing.
As the late Sandra Sherman’s Cassinia article “Tracking Stone’s Tome” highlights, each of the 1,400 first-edition sets was consecutively numbered, and the first 13 were given to the birders, artists, and photographers who assisted Stone in his epic endeavor.
Stone signed and gave to his wife Lillie Set No. 1. Artist Earl L. Poole received Set No. 2. And artist Conrad Roland was presented Set No. 3.
After Lillie’s death in 1940, Set No. 1 had taken a circuitous journey throughout the East Coast before landing in 2015 in the collection of the Berks History Center in Reading, Pa.
Set No. 2 had always been in the Poole family in Reading and Berks County but has recently been donated by his son Joe to the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Set No. 3 had been unaccounted for since Roland’s death in 1957 but resurfaced earlier this year and was acquired by Reading Eagle photo editor and columnist Bill Uhrich.
For the first time since that 1937 get together of the Delaware Valley’s legendary birders and artists, all three sets will be reunited and displayed at the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club’s special meeting at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Poole’s original frontispiece osprey painting along with a selection of his and Roland’s line drawings found in Bird Studies will also be on display. Included will be several of Roland’s drawings that didn’t make the cut.
Join Poole’s son Joe and Bill Uhrich to learn about the journeys these sets have taken along with anecdotes about the personalities involved in their possession throughout the last 80 years.
And finally check off one of your Grails!
Bird specimens collected by and for Witmer Stone for the book will be on display courtesy of the Academy’s Ornithology Department.
This event will be held in the Reading Room and limited to 75 attendees. This is a free event open to all DVOC members and non-members.
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 and Honorary Members, reports by the Treasurer and by the Trustees, and other matters of interest. Bert Filemyr will do a …
Join Dr. Jason Weckstein for a tour of the legendary Ornithology Department. Jason will take us on a tour and show us specimens from the collection that are not available to the public. The Academy maintains an ornithological collection of nearly 200,000 study skins and 15,000 tissue samples. Of great historical importance, specimens in the …
Over the years See Life's trips have turned up a number of pelagic discoveries including rarities, high counts, identification tips, habitat requirements, and behavioral traits. This program explores a range of these discoveries in the Mid-Atlantic pelagic region. Examples include rarities like Western Gull and Fea's petrel. Birds like Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, once considered to be …
Matthew Halley, editor of the DVOC's Cassinia publication, has been studying the behavior and evolution of nightingale-thrushes (genus Catharus) since 2011, and they are now the focus of his PhD dissertation at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Catharus is best known for its champion migrants — Swainson's Thrush, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and the …
Presentation on the biology of bluebirds and the habitat necessary for attracting them and conserving them. Betsy Nutt is a member of the speakers’ bureau of the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania and is Penn State Master Gardener volunteer. Many generations of Betsy’s family have been involved with bird study and conservation. Her eldest son is …
Don Jones' program was inspired by publication of Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America by Nathan Pieplow last year. It is divided into two parts: (1) a brief history of bird sound recording and four DVOC recordists-George Reynard, Ed Manners, Paul Driver, and myself (2) a tutorial on some of the …
They are coming our way so let's get ready! It's been a whole year since our friends from the south passed through the Delaware Valley on their way to breeding grounds to the north. In this refresher session, Ian Gardner will remind us how to make the most of the migration with tips on locating migrating …
This program highlights Martin’s fifth trip to Ecuador, where he visited the Northwest Choco region, the Esmeraldas and eastern slopes of the Andes near Quito. The trip was the brainchild of Martin and his long-time friend John Shipley who contracted Roger Ahlman, Swedish-born, free-lance bird guide living in Quito to put together all the details. …
Piping plovers are one of the most intensely managed and monitored bird species in North America, in part due to federal listing of the species under the ESA in 1986 and subsequent recovery efforts since that time. Much is known about their breeding behavior and population trends as a result of management done on the …
We are mesmerized by the sight of birds in flight and this has sparked Mankind’s quest to fly. How did birds gain such fluid movement? How do they become air-born, stay aloft, and land safely? What adaptations allow birds to specialize in speed, hovering and slow flight? How did the ingredients for flight evolve, allowing …
Our own Judy Stepenaski will discuss the interesting behaviors and history of the Peregrine Falcons that nest each year in the steeple at St. John the Baptist church in Manayunk. Judy will provide stories and insight with special comments from other DVOC members. A field trip out to the site is planned for Sunday June …
We all may have our own definitions about what constitutes a birding Holy Grail. For many eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey bird watchers, one particular Holy Grail may be the original first edition Set No. 1 of Witmer Stone’s masterpiece, Bird Studies at Old Cape May. On Dec. 15, 1937, Stone hosted in his home …