DVOC Main Page > 2013 Meetings / Programs
This page last updated Thursday, December 26, 2013

Archive of Meeting Minutes

Archive of Meetings / Programs


• 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 3th, 2013
123nd 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 presentation on one of the founders of the DVOC - "From the Archives: Founder William Lloyd Baily".

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

2012 Annual Members Meeting
2011 Annual Members Meeting
2010 Annual Members Meeting
2009 Annual Members Meeting
2008 Annual Members Meeting
2007 Annual Members Meeting
2006 Annual Members Meeting
2005 Annual Members Meeting

1990 Annual Members Meeting

1982 Annual Members Meeting

1948 Annual Members Meeting

1898 Annual Members Meeting

Report of this Meeting

Minutes of this Meeting


January 17th, 2013
Alan Clark - Bird Migration through Urban Landscapes

Migrating birds are in serious decline. Fordham University Professor Alan Clark uses acoustic recordings and radar to track migrating bird. He will present his recent research on how increasingly urbanized, noisy, and bright landscapes, such as New York City and Philadelphia affect bird migration, which is primarily a nocturnal phenomenon.


Minutes of this meeting

February 7, 2013
BONNIE AND PHIL GO BIRDING: Winter Birding in New Mexico

Join Bonnie and Phil Witmer as they recount their adventures on an 8-day January birding trip to New Mexico. Discussion will include trip planning, pictures of birds and locations birded, new birds discovered and new sub-species of familiar birds of the east. From the vastness of Bosque del Apache to the heights of the mountains above Taos the scenery and birds are spectacular.

Minutes of this meeting

February 21st, 2013
Joel Fry, Curator of Bartram Gardens, will talk about Alexander Wilson and his history at Bartram Gardens.

“Bartram’s Garden is one of only a handful of identified prehistoric locations in Philadelphia. Archaeological evidence has been found that the Garden was occupied seasonally by Native Americans as early as 3,000 BCE. Objects found during digs include stone artifacts, flakes from tool production, and fire-cracked rock.” “Beginning in 1648, a 1,000 acre tract of land that included Bartram’s Garden was settled as an outpost on a New Sweden colony on the Schuylkill River. This land, known as “Aronameck,” was eventually divided along natural boundaries and creek valleys, and further small clearings developed in the later 17th Century, including a piece which become the site of John Bartram’s farm and garden.”

Minutes of this meeting

March 7th, 2013
Rob Bierregaard - "Sex (and owls and mice) and the City"

Rob Bierregaard will present the results of his 12-yr study of a thriving population of Barred Owls nesting in suburban Charlotte, NC. Barred Owls supposedly need large stands of old-growth forest to survive. So why are they so thick in the older suburban neighborhoods around cities in the southeast? Is the book wrong? Can't owls read? Over the course of the study, Rob and his graduate students recorded over 1,600 prey deliveries using video cameras mounted in nest boxes and radio-tagged and tracked almost 100 individual owls. Data from the suburban population was compared to similar data collected from owls nesting in more "traditional" habitat in the forests around the city in an effort to explain what all those owls are doing where they're not "supposed" to be.


Also: Ken Tischner, "2012 Bob Billings Big Year." Ken found an amazing 369 species in the DVOC program area to win the 2012 Bob Billings Big Year award. The award will be presented to Ken, and Ken will give a short talk about his big year effort.

Minutes of this Meeting

March 21st, 2013
Sally Ann Sims - "Room to Move? Piping Plover Nesting Habitat and Sea Level Rise in Rhode Island"

Sally Ann Sims, MS, Environmental Studies, Conservation Biology
Antioch University New England
Conservation Science Consultant

Atlantic Coast sandy beaches—prime nesting habitat for the federally threatened Piping Plover—are extremely vulnerable to future sea level rise. This research examines whether there is enough room in the landscape for landward movement of important plover nesting habitat under sea level rise, including whether current development will block habitat movement. Conservation implications are considered, including a call for greater stakeholder engagement for beach preservation in this varied landscape of dunes, rocky headlands, salt ponds, wildlife refuges, and dense development on Rhode Island's Weekapaug Coast.

Ornithological Moment - Rift Valley Migration - Rob Bierregaard

Minutes of this meeting

April 4th, 2013
Greg Budney - "The Diversity of Animal Sounds"

Through selected audio recordings from the Macaulay Library, the world's largest archive of wildlife sounds, we will explore acoustic communication strategics in the animal kingdom. You'll hear sounds that range from beautiful to bizarre, some that will astonish, and some that are simply unforgettable

Minutes of this meeting




April 18th, 2013
Steve Kacir - "New South Wales: Australian Surf & Turf"

During October of 2010, Steve Kacir joined friends Nikolas Haass and Raja Stephenson on an exploration of the Australian countryside. About a week’s worth of time was spent in the state of New South Wales, seemingly a land rich with dichotomies. Some of Australia’s best-known cities and landmarks sit on the coast, but new species are discovered every year in the region, sometimes not a day’s drive away from the urban centers. New South Wales is one of those places where you can see penguins and parrots on the same day. Albatrosses, skua and giant-petrels feed while your boat is still in sight of land. Dragons fight falcons in the bush while Wombats graze and Euros leap across the hillsides. Like any landmass once part of Gondwanaland, New South Wales has its enigmas: nocturnal parrots and warblers that aren’t warblers (or wood warblers even) and trees out of the Jurassic. Join Steve to learn more about birding in the Sydney area, Manly Island, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains, the Capertee Valley and more.

Minutes of this meeting


May 2nd, 2013
Jeffrey Buler - What can weather radars tell us about migratory bird ecology?

Besides detecting rain and snow, weather surveillance radars regularly detect flying birds, bats, and insects. Dr. Jeff Buler at the University of Delaware will discuss how he uses weather radar to study the distribution, movement, and habitat use patterns of migratory birds to advance bird ecology, conservation, and management. This includes identifying important stopover areas for migrating birds, assessing the impact of wetland restoration and management for wintering waterfowl, and documenting the response of migrating birds to Hurricane Katrina.

Minutes of this meeting


May 16th, 2013
Robert McCracken Peck - "The Art of Edward Lear, artist, poet and travel writer (1812-1888)"

Long admired for his nonsense poetry, travel writing, and artful landscape paintings, the English artist Edward Lear (1812-1888) was also one of the greatest natural history painters of the nineteenth century. During what is often called the golden age of natural history book production, Lear created some of the most powerful and memorable illustrations of all time. From his own monograph on parrots (1832), to his commissioned work for John Gould and the 13th Earl of Derby, Lear was a genius at capturing the life-life appearance and individual personalities of his subjects

In a profusely illustrated talk, Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the guest curator of last year’s bicentennial exhibition of Edward Lear’s natural history paintings at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, will discuss the remarkable life and natural history paintings of this beloved children’s writer, who abruptly abandoned his scientific work soon after he achieved preeminence in the field.

Minutes of this meeting

June 6th, 2013
Dan D'Auria - From Nurture To Nature: A transition to photography

Gastroenterologist and children’s book author Dan D’Auria will discuss his transition from medicine to wildlife photography. With lots of pictures to illustrate his talk, he will tell us what makes a photograph great and what equipment is needed to take good bird photos. He will also give us his insights into the relationship between the bird as subject and the bird as art.

Minutes of this meeting


July 11th Informal Summer Meeting
Held at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia PA

Short, informal presentations including:

"Is There Life Besides Birds" by Frank Windfelder
From Frank "No one enjoys birds more than I do. But in recent years, I've starting paying more attention to butterflies, odes, mammals & herps. Join me as we open the door to their world"


August 1st Informal Summer Meeting
Held at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park, Palmyra, NJ

Short, informal presentations including:

"Florida Mangrove Ecosystem" by Cindy Ahern
Cindy writes " This is a PowerPoint on a study I did for an ecology course this year. The presentation features plants, birds, and other animals associated with the mangrove habitat found in central to south Florida and photo documented.

"Fun With ABA Bird Names" by Dino Fiabane
Dino writes "My presentation will have an introduction including a description of the American Birding Association, the “ABA area”, the ABA checklist and the six rarity codes. There will be a wordplay quiz using ABA’s common names for North American birds. Attendees will have a chance to take a written version of the quiz prior to the presentation."
Click Here for a web version of the presentation

September 5th Informal Summer Meeting
Held at the John Heinz NWR (Tinicium), Philadelphia, PA

Short, informal presentations including:

"Saw-whet Owls" by Doris McGovern
Doris writes "No one dreamed that the hedgerows of Chester Co. were a desirable migration stop and winter destination for the Northern Saw-whet Owls until conservation funds from DVOC helped start the Bird Conservation Program and the bird banding station at Rushton Farm, a sustainable organic farm of the Willistown Conservation Trust. In 2009 banders marked 99 Northern Saw-whet Owls during two weeks of Nov. and Project Owlnet came to Chester Co. Since then, Rushton Farm has banded Saw-whets in accordance with the Project Owlnet protocol each fall. Doris will speak about the program, the recoveries Rushton Farm has made and Rushton owls that have been recaptured as far north as Quebec and south in Virginia."

BB Kingfishers: Members of the team will report on their outstanding win in this year’s World Series of Birding

September 19th, 2013
Andrew Mack - Cassowaries: The Feathered Foresters Of The New Guinea Rainforest

Andrew Mack spent four years in a remote part of Papua New Guinea tracking and studying cassowaries and their role as seed dispersers. Among the many seeds he sifted from cassowary dung, was one of a new species of mahogany, now named for him (Aglaia mackiana), that he studied to learn how cassowaries influence which tree species grow where in these forests. It turns out cassowaries are very important in shaping the overall forest ecology. He also spent about 20 year developing multiple research and conservation programs in New Guinea, with over 50 publications. He will review the cassowary research and discuss regional conservation needs. He is now Executive Director of the Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance and lives in western Pennsylvania, with regular travel back to New Guinea.

Minutes of the meeting

October 3rd, 2013
Greg Shriver - The Conservation of Tidal Marsh Birds: Guiding action at the intersection of our changing land and seascapes

The total area of tidal marsh is estimated to be <45,000 km2, and over one-third of these marshes are found along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. . The Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program coordinated a multi-tiered research and conservation initiative from Virginia to Maine to provide a population monitoring framework, standardized sampling protocols, and information exchange focused on tidal marsh bird conservation. These data will provide the information necessary to identify regional tidal marsh bird "hot spots" as well as provide the first assessment of population trends for these species. Given that increases in sea levels will reduce the extent of tidal marsh habitat and may eliminate breeding opportunities for the endemic Saltmarsh Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus), the information and coordination of this effort is connecting stakeholders across the region to develop novel conservation actions before it is too late.

Minutes of this meeting


October 17th, 2013
Pete Bacinski - “Bosque del Apache in the Land of Birding Enchantment”

America’s most managed National Wildlife Refuge, Bosque del Apache is truly spectacular in late fall with glorious landscapes, awesome flocks of geese, ducks and cranes, great raptors as well as amazing natural history. This PowerPoint presentation takes us to great New Mexico birding hotspots such as Sandia Crest with three species of Rosy-finches at 10.000 feet, the big grebes of Caballo and Elephant Butte Reservoirs, and Percha Dam billed as the Land of Enchantment’s best birding location which always lives up to billing.

Minutes of this meeting

November 7th, 2013
Doug Tallamy - Plant a Better Bird Feeder

Because our gardens and managed landscapes are large parts of the terrestrial ecosystems that sustain bird populations, we must keep them in working order. To do that we can no longer view plants only as ornaments but must consider all of their roles when selecting them for our gardens. Tallamy will discuss what birds need from our landscapes to breed successfully, the important roles native plants play in maintaining food webs vital to birds, emphasize the benefits of designing gardens with these roles in mind, and explore the consequences of failing to do so. Landscaping in this crowded world carries both moral and ecological responsibilities that we can no longer ignore.

Minutes of this meeting


November 21st, 2013 Annual Banquet
Bill Thompson III - The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding


Click Here for more information on the Banquet

The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding:
A humorous narrative about the many mistakes, accidents, and embarrassing situations Bill Thompson III, has experienced in his 30+ years as a bird watcher. He urges the audience to avoid these same perils and pitfalls and even offers tips for how to do so. This light-hearted talk pokes fun at how we bird watchers have our own language, dress code, and food preferences. It's guaranteed to generate laughs or Bill will clean the binoculars of everyone present.

Bill Thompson III is the editor/co-publisher of Bird Watcher's Digest, America's longest-running magazine for birders. He's the author of numerous books on birds, including Bird Watching For Dummies, Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Bird Identification Challenges, Identifying & Feeding Birds, and the just-published Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America. He edited a compilation of essays by Roger Tory Peterson for the book All Things Reconsidered: My Birding Adventures.

He writes a weekly blog, Bill of the Birds (billofthebirds.blogspot.com) and hosts a podcast called This Birding Life which receives more than 600,000 episode downloads annually.

Bill regularly speaks, guides, and performs at birding festivals across North America and consults internationally on ecotourism marketing. He has watched birds in 47 US states and in 28 countries. He is a founding director of The Ohio Ornithological Society and currently serves as the organization’s vice president.

In 2008 Bill was awarded a Citizen Service Award from the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service for his contributions in making the National Wildlife Refuge system more bird and birder-friendly. That same year he was also awarded the Robert Ridgley Award for Excellence in Ornithological Publications from the American Birding Association.

In 2009 he was nominated for a "Heart of Green" award by thedailygreen.com for his work in fighting Nature Deficit Disorder by helping introduce kids to bird watching.

In his spare time he's the leader of the country-rock band The Rain Crows (www.reverbnation.com/theraincrows). He resides on an 80-acre farm in the Appalachian foothills near Whipple, Ohio with his wife the author/artist Julie Zickefoose and their children Phoebe and Liam.


December 5th, 2013
Members' Photography Night

Click Here for information on contest details

Join us for an evening of wonderful photographs. Members will display their best work in several engaging categories. Judges will award 1st to 3rd place winners. It’s a visual feast and not to be missed. Get your photos ready.

Ornithological Moment - Art McMorris - Pennsylvania's Peregrine Falcons: 2013 Season Summary

Final Results
Click Here for a pdf of all winners!

Judges for the contest were : Anita Guris, Steve Mattan and Steve Kacir. Paul Guris acted as the logistical wizard for the contest: receiving submissions, compiling photos, providing the compiled submissions to the judges and preparing the slideshow presentations of the submitted works and the winners. We thank various club members for donations to significantly offset the cost of the prizes.

Honorable Mention - Marv Hyatt, Purple-tipped Whitetip
Honorable Mention - Rob Hynson, Musk Lorikeet
Honorable Mention - Patty Rehn, Firebird (Tufted Coquette)
3rd Place - Rob Hynson, Lord Howe Woodhen
2nd Place - Patty Rehn, Shake it Baby (Atlantic Puffin)
1st Place - Frank Windfelder, Immature Snowy Egret

3rd Place - Nathaniel Sharp - Submerge (Humpback Whale)
2nd Place - Ann Reeves - Toad Stool (Fowler's Toad)
1st Place - Patty Rehn - Wheelin' Around (Wheel Bug)

3rd Place - Patty Rehn - Lance (Lanceleaf Rose Gentian)
2nd Place - Marv Hyatt - Gardenia
1st Place - Dick Bell - Teasel

3rd Place - Patty Rehn - Fiery Flow (Kilauea Volcano, HI)
2nd Place - Marv Hyatt - San Xavier del Bac Mission, AZ
1st Place - Patty Rehn - Pink Sunrise (Bosque del Apache, NM)

3rd Place - Nathaniel Sharp - Birding from the Hilton (young birders workshop on Eastern Egg Rock Island, ME)
2nd Place - Ann Reeves - Lincoln's (Patty Rehn at Pennypack on the Delaware, PA)
1st Place - Patty Rehn - Enthusiasts (PA Young Birders winter bird count)

Patty Rehn - Fiery Flow (Kilauea Volcano, HI)

Patty Rehn - On the Prowl (Jaguar in the Pantanal, Brazil)




December 19th, 2013
Kevin Loughlin - Not All Who Wander are Lost.....

Join Kevin Loughlin, owner of Wildside Nature Tours, on a photographic journey to some wonderful far away, and not so far away places! Kevin has been enjoying some fun travels to new destinations, as well as some old favorites, and has created many new images to share! Enjoy many birds along with bears, bison, reptiles and more birds as you explore many diverse habitats!

Minutes of this meeting