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This page last updated Thursday, January 5, 2012

Archive of Meeting Minutes

Archive of Meetings / Programs


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Academy location

Parking location

Informal pre-meeting dinner location (City Garden Resturant)


• 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 6th, 2011
121st 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, announcement of newly-elected Fellows, reports by the Treasurer and Trustees, and other matters of interest. We will then adjourn for socializing over snacks and drinks, organized by Bonnie and Phil Witmer.

Pictures and a report from this meeting.

Minutes of this meeting




January 20, 2011
Doug Gross, “Pennsylvania’s Boreal Forest Birds”

Photo: Pennsylvania Game Commission – Doug Gross

It’s a long way to the Far North, but nevertheless Pennsylvania has areas of spruce and hemlock-dominated boreal forest. These forests are islands of habitat, isolated and fairly remote, and are the breeding grounds of Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Blackpoll Warblers and other species normally associated with more northern latitudes. Recent breeding bird atlas results provide hints that some species are increasing over time. But these boreal forests are exposed to threats from climate change, energy extraction and other causes. Join Doug Gross for an exploration of this underappreciated Pennsylvania ecosystem and its bird life.

Ornithological Moment - "A Conservation Conversation" - Phil Witmer

Minutes of this Meeting

February 3, 2011
Kevin Loughlin, “Belize Birding Bonanza”

Belize is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the Americas. Thanks in part to its small population, over 60% of its 8867 sq. miles have been protected. This protection has allowed the birds and wildlife to continue to flourish in this small Central American country, roughly the size of New Hampshire. Over 600 bird species have been recorded within the Belize borders and along its 172-mile barrier reef!

Belize is the last Central American stronghold of the majestic Jabiru, which nests in the savannas and wetlands of the north. Regional endemics such as Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Flycatcher and Yellow-lored Parrot may also be found in these rich savannas. The rare Orange-breasted Falcon and Stygian Owl can be found in the Maya Mountains alongside many of “our” familiar northern migrants. The broad-leaf rainforest holds more target species, including many forest raptors and the rare and local Keel-billed Motmot.

Nature photographer Kevin Loughlin has been leading tours to this beautiful gem since 1993. Join him on this colorful and informative photographic journey of Belize!

Ornithological Moment - Colin Campbell - "What will be the next new bird in your state?"

Minutes of this meeting

February 17, 2011
George Armistead, “PORNithology: the Birds and the Birds and the Bees”

There are 10,000 species of birds in the world, and some of them have some pretty odd and unusual breeding strategies. DVOC member George Armistead has birded on seven continents, both on his own and as a leader for Field Guides, Inc., and has witnessed some pretty unusual bird behavior. His description of the things that birds will do in order to leave more little birds on the planet promises to be as entertaining as it is informative.

Ornithological Moment - "Owls Create New Lawn Decor" - Barbara Granger

Minutes of this Meeting

March 3, 2011
Paulo Boute, “Birdwatching in Central West Brazil - A True Bird Paradise!”

Paulo Boute, the most experienced bird guide in Brazil, will give a virtual birding tour of central west Brazil. He will describe the geography of the area, especially the State of Mato Grosso; the story of its colonization; and the different types of habitat found there such as the Amazon Forest, Cerrado (dry shrub savanna) and Pantanal. He will then talk about the diverse and entrancing birds found in these tropical habitats, with special attention to their specialties.

Paulo Boute has been guiding birdwatching tours in Brazil and other countries of South America for about 30 years, and has guided many important ornithologists such James Clements and Dr. Roger Tory Peterson. Paulo spends more than 300 days in the field each year. He has two offices: one in Mato Grosso that helps him to offer trips to the Pantanal, Amazon and Atlantic Forest, and another one on the coast in the Brazilian northeast, where he offers tours to a poorly known area, called Caatinga, a unique ecoregion with the only endemic vegetation of Brazil.

Ornithological Moment - "Your Backyard Is For Birds" - Edie Parnum

Minutes of this meeting

March 17, 2011
Richard Crossley, “Past, Present and Future”

Richard’s talk will be “Past, Present and Future” – a story of past lessons learned from days growing up in the wild British birding scene, from travels around the world to living in Cape May. The story is told in a Yorkshire brogue through a camera lens that loves color and art. But what about books and social media in birding’s future? Perhaps this will change your thoughts!
Richard will also introduce his new book, “The Crossley ID Guide,” scheduled for release in March 2011, and will have copies available for sale and signing. Many of you who know “The Shorebird Guide” (with Michael O’Brien and Kevin Karlson) will probably be surprised by how different this book is and the impact it is sure to have on book design in the future.

Ornithological Moment - “Looking for Ted Parker” - Gregg Gorton

Minutes of this meeting

April 7, 2011
Jack Hubley, "Man and Raptor: The Falconry Story"

The ancient art of falconry is both the sport of kings, and a mundane way of putting food on the table. Its origins go back at least 2,000 years and perhaps twice that far, making it vastly older than the science of ornithology or the pastime of birding. Jack Hubley will describe this rich association between humans and raptors and highlight the many contributions falconry has made to ornithology and conservation.

Jack Hubley is a Master Falconer and is one of a handful of people nationwide who is licensed to hunt with Golden Eagles. He is the well-known host of the “Call of the Outdoors” and “Call of the Outdoors for Kids” TV shows, “A Wild Moment” TV vignettes, and the nationally-syndicated “Wild Moments” TV series.

Ornithological Moment - "A DVOC Quiz" - Frank Windfelder

Minutes of this meeting

April 21, 2011
Dan Kunkle, “Superfund to Super Habitat”

This program is the story of how a grassroots conservation organization turned an environmentally devastated area into a thriving nature center. The Kittatinny Ridge in the vicinity of Lehigh Gap near Allentown, PA, well known for its importance to migrant hawks and other wildlife, was devastated by air pollution from zinc smelters in the first half of the 20th century. Vegetative cover on about 3,000 acres was lost, approximately 2.5 feet of topsoil eroded from the slopes of the ridge, and a barren landscape of rock and metal contaminated mineral soil was left behind. The area was declared a Superfund Site in 1983. Dan Kunkle, the Executive Director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, will describe how this moonscape was converted back into a living, thriving ecosystem and home to diverse birdlife and other wildlife.

Ornithological Moment - "Revisiting 'The Bare Truth About Birding Martha's Vineyard'" - Hart Rufe

Minutes of this meeting

May 5, 2011
Cathy Haffner, "Wind Energy and Wildlife in Pennsylvania: Voluntary Cooperative Agreement Results and Implications"

PGC photo/Stacy J. Wolbert

The Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, signed in 2004, requires that 18% of electricity sold to retail customers come from renewable energy sources within 15 years. To further understand, avoid, and minimize potential impacts to wildlife and its habitat from wind energy development, the Pennsylvania Game Commission worked collaboratively with the wind industry to develop a Voluntary Wind Energy Cooperative Agreement in 2007. Since then, more than 150 pre- and post-construction bird and mammal surveys have been completed at wind sites by cooperating developers. Pre-construction surveys have enabled the Game Commission to assess risk to migrating raptors as well as advise wind energy developers on avoidance and minimization measures to conserve wildlife and their habitats. Post-construction mortality monitoring has provided needed data to evaluate impacts to birds and bats from wind energy development in Pennsylvania. The environmental review process, survey results and Cooperative Agreement successes and challenges will be presented.

Ornithological Moment - "When a Butcherbird Isn't a Shrike: An Introduction to the Cracticinae of Australia"- Steve Kacir

Minutes of this meeting

May 19, 2011
Sam Fried, “Warblers and Neotropical Migrants of Eastern North America”

Sam will take us on a journey through warbler land, with a close look at all 36 species of eastern wood warblers, as well as some other neotropical migrants we have come to know and love. We’ll explore life histories, migration routes, wintering grounds and breeding locations throughout the western hemisphere. This will be a fun and fascinating look at these tiny jewels of the birding kingdom.

Sam has published hundreds of photographs and over 40 feature articles in field guides, books, newspapers and magazines worldwide. He is the founder of Flights of Fancy Adventures, Inc., a birding, photography, natural history and golf travel company offering small group trips to North, Central and South American destinations.


The Friends of Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds is sponsoring a Raffle to support the Sinemoretz Biodiversity Project
1st Prize: Alpen Optics' Teton '84' Professional Birding Binoculars
2nd Prize: Official BSPB T-Shirt
All funds are to be used towards the Biodiversity Project.
In order to do the drawing in a public setting
. with the permission of the DVOC, the drawing will be held at DVOC meeting on the 19th of May 2011

2011 World Series of Birding Report

Minutes of this meeting

June 2, 2011
Angus Wilson, “A Meeting of Wings: Seabirds of the Western North Atlantic”

Well-known to seabirders in the Northeast, Angus Wilson has also birded heavily in the pelagic realm of his native British Isles, and indeed around the world. Angus will talk about seabirding and the seabirds of the western North Atlantic, richly illustrated with his incomparable photographs.


Minutes of this meeting

July 7, 2011
Informal Summer Meeting - Held at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park, Palmyra, NJ (beside the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge)

Held at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park, Palmyra, NJ (beside the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge)
There will be an informal 6:00 pm dinner gathering at the Penn Queen Diner, 7349 N. Crescent Blvd., Pennsauken, NJ 08110-1517
Before the meeting there will be a bird walk for youth birders, led by Cindy Ahern. Watch this space for details.

Short Presentations including:
Phil Witmer, “Protecting Area 1002: The Crown Jewel of the Arctic Refuge”
Cody Pitz, “My experiences as a youth team member in the World Series of Birding”
Reports from the World Series of Birding youth teams supported by DVOC, organized by Cindy Ahern

July 9, 2011 (Saturday) – 9th Annual DVOC Picnic
Hosted by Paul and Anita Guris at their home in Green Lane, PA

Save the date! Click Here for Details
Rain Date: July 10 (Sunday)
2011 Pictures

August 4, 2011
Informal Summer Meeting - Held at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park, Palmyra, NJ (beside the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge)

There will be an informal 6:00 pm dinner gathering at the Penn Queen Diner, 7349 N. Crescent Blvd., Pennsauken, NJ 08110-1517
Short presentations including:
Tom Bailey, “Tom’s Birding Quiz #3” Test your knowledge of North American birds, birding and birders. A prize will be awarded to the winner.
Don Jones, “A Taste of Southern Africa

September 1, 2011
Informal Summer Meeting - Held at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (Tinicum), Philadelphia, PA

Short presentations including:
Barrie Ashby, “Banding Peregrine Falcons on the Ben Franklin Bridge”
Ben Bussmann, DVOC-sponsored intern at the Academy of Natural Sciences, will tell us about his experiences there this summer

September 15, 2011
Eugene Potapov, “The Steller’s Sea Eagle in the wilderness: a global warming sentinel?”

Every summer for the past 20 years, Dr. Eugene Potapov has moved his base of operations from the Delaware Valley to the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk in eastern Siberia to study nesting Steller’s Sea Eagles, the Bald Eagle’s larger cousin. Seventy percent of the eagle nests in this region are found along the seacoasts, with the remainder along rivers. On the seacoast, nesting success has been relatively constant over the 20-year period. But for the 30% of nests that are along rivers, the story is different: successful nesting has declined significantly. The decline in nesting success along rivers is correlated with an increase in winter snow depth in proximity to the warming sea of Okhotsk, followed by a larger spring melt and severe spring-early summer floods, consistent with the predictions of global warming models. Come and hear this presentation, which combines the natural history of Steller’s Sea Eagles, fascinating accounts of arctic ecology, and the impacts of climate change.

Minutes of this meeting


October 6, 2011
Paul and Anita Guris, “Reflections on Our First Year (or so) in Bird Photography”
(Going from Photography Illiterate to Semi-literate.)

In October of 2009, Anita and Paul Guris bought their first digital single-lens reflex cameras with the hopes of getting some decent photographs of birds. Although their first year plus had a bit of a learning curve, today's camera equipment has gotten so good that they were able to get some nice photos almost immediately. This program sets out to review a few photography basics, explain what you can and can't expect when starting out, provide an overview of some of today's gear, and show what can be accomplished by beginners using consumer-level equipment. If you are a seasoned and experienced photographer, it sets out to hopefully amuse you a little and perhaps bring back a few memories of your early days.

And what was the result of Paul and Anita’s first year of experimentation? Between them, they garnered an Honorable Mention, a Third Place and the Grand Prize in the 2010 DVOC Photo contest. Not bad for “beginners”!

“Reflections of a Yellow-rumped Warbler” © Anita Guris

Minutes of this meeting

October 20, 2011
Bill Boyle, “Rare Birds in New Jersey: Then and Now”

Bill’s talk will focus on rare birds that have occurred in New Jersey. Some of them are no longer rare, some are species that were once common but are now scarce, and many have always been rare, but occur with widely varying frequency. Many of the occurrences have interesting stories associated with them and Bill will relate a few of these.

Bill is the author of the recently-released “The Birds of New Jersey,” the first comprehensive guide to the status and distribution of all the birds found in the state. Bill will have copies available for sale and signing.

Minutes of this meeting

November 3, 2011
Emily Thomas, “Effect of Oil and Gas Development on Songbird Abundance in the Eastern United States”

Previous studies on the effects of forest fragmentation on songbirds show that resident and generalist species tend to benefit or adapt while forest dwelling Neotropical migrants are often displaced. However, those studies were in areas where the landscape matrix was no longer forested. The development of shallow oil and gas resources causes forest fragmentation due to the construction of well pads, access roads, and pipelines; yet the overall landscape remains forested. Emily Thomas, a wildlife biologist with the US Forest Service and The Pennsylvania State University, has done research on the effects of shallow oil and gas well development and the associated unique forest fragmentation on songbird species occupying oak and northern hardwood forests within the Allegheny National Forest. Emily will describe the findings of those important and timely studies.

Minutes of this meeting

November 17, 2011 – Annual Banquet
Program – Kevin Karlson and Dale Rosselet, “The Birds of Cape May”

Come and take a journey through the four seasons with Kevin Karlson and Dale Rosselet as we pay tribute to the magic of Cape May with the birds, wildlife and people that make this special location one of the best birding locations in North America. This short trip “through the looking glass” is a visual and musical celebration of Kevin and Dale's 28-year relationship with Cape May, and highlights engaging photos from Kevin's new book, Birds of Cape May (July, 2010, Schiffer Publishing). This is a special presentation that should not be missed.

Click Here for more information on the banquet

Report of the Banquet

December 1, 2011
Members’ Photography Night

This is one of our annual highlights. Will you be a winner?

Submission Deadline: November 14 (Monday).

Each year the photos get more and more stunning! 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 3 judges 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 and location. Submit to Art McMorris by e-mail or on CD (snail mail or handed in at a meeting) by November 14. 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

“Ruddy Turnstone Bathing” © Paul Guris. Grand Prize winner in the 2010 Photo Contest

December 15, 2011
Program - Dr. Laurie Goodrich, “Stopover Ecology of Migrating Hawks in Eastern Pennsylvania”

Dr. Laurie Goodrich is the Senior Monitoring Biologist and the Interim Director of Education at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Pennsylvania. She will talk about the research she conducted on 44 radio-tagged Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks as they moved south through Pennsylvania during their autumn migration in 2003 and 2004. These studies revealed a wealth of information about the daily behavior and habitat use by the hawks during their stopover periods and their flight behavior during transit.

Also: Rick Mellon – “Christmas Bird Count Fun”

Minutes of this meeting




2012 Programs