Minutes – April 11, 2024

This was a hybrid meeting. We had a speaker and a live audience in the BEES classroom and the meeting was broadcast on Zoom and recorded and posted to YouTube.

Call to Order: President Barb Bassett

Call to Order: 7:30 PM

Attendees: 12 in-person; 24 on Zoom.

The minutes from the last meeting were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership – Rebecca Reicherter

No report.

Field Trips – Linda Widdop

If you wish to lead a field trip, contact Linda: linda@techimpact.org

Upcoming field trips:

Apr 138:30 – 12:00Huntley Meadows Park – Fairfax, VATroy Bynum
Apr 177:30 – 9:00Wednesday Spring Bird Walks at Lorimer Park and Fox Chase FarmLinda Widdop
Apr 187:30 – 9:00Independence Hall Spring Bird WalksGeorge Armistead
Apr 188:00 – 10:00Thursday morning at Wetherill Park (Montco)Martin Selzer
Apr 207:30 – 9:30Higbee Beach WMABarb Bassett
Apr 2011:00 – 12:00Spring Migration at FDR ParkHolger Pflicke
Apr 218:30 – 10:30Pennypack on the DelawareHolger Pflicke
Apr 247:30 – 9:00Wednesday Spring Bird Walks at Lorimer Park and Fox Chase FarmLinda Widdop
Apr 277:30 – 2:30Belleplain State Forest + Cape May NWRAlan Crawford Win Shafer
Apr 278:00 – 10:00Bird Walk at The Discovery CenterBarb Bassett
Apr 288:00 – 10:30Poquessing Creek ParkHolger Pflicke

Conservation – Perri Strawn

Perri has been following the saga at FDR Park.  A legal challenge to the plan to clear the trees to establish sports fields resulted in a stay.  A hearing was scheduled for the 12th of April.

Bird Safe Philly is forming a committee that will focus on advocacy and local legislation. It will be chaired by Judy Stepenaskie.  Perri invited members to contact her if they were interested in joining the committee.

Billings – Art McMorris

The Billings award will be presented to Ethan Kang on April 18.  Ethan is the youngest winner of the award.  He will present a brief talk about his year of birding.  This will be followed by the presentation of a plaque and the check.  The meeting will be preceded by dinner at Asia on the Parkway at 6 PM.  Liz and Karen Billings are expected to attend both the dinner and the meeting.

Cassinia – Holger Pflicke

Editing of the articles is underway.  The process is getting close to completion.


Barb mentioned the upcoming Bird Quest being held by Gloucester County Nature Club.  The event includes bird walks for everyone, regardless of their participation in Bird Quest. 

For more info: https://gcnatureclub.org/events/bird-quest-2024/

Gregg mentioned that the highly pathogenic avian flu has appeared in New York City.  Although the virus does not easily transfer to humans, he recommended that everyone handling birds should be wearing gloves and, preferably, masks.

Navin reminded everyone that the City Nature Challenge will be held from April 26th through the 29th.  It will cover the usual counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Please go out during those dates and log entries into iNaturalist. 

For more info: https://cncphilly.org/

Navin has created a Breeding Bird codes tool that helps observers insert appropriate breeding codes in their checklists.

For more info: https://navinsasikumar.github.io/pba3/

Barb reminded everyone that Cornell Lab has a NestWatch app, which can be used to track and report nesting activities throughout the year. For more info: https://nestwatch.org/

Local Notes

Bonnie Witmer reported the first Chipping Sparrows in her yard in Tredyffrin Township.  Rand Quinn also reported seeing Chipping Sparrows as well.  They were also reported by Nilesh Shah on March 16th in Upper Dublin Township.

Marty Dellwo’s survey of Rittenhouse Square produced a number of species expected at this time of the year– male Eastern Towhees, Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, etc.

A Glossy Ibis was seen in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.  Also, a pair of Blue-winged Teals were seen by Rand Quinn on the 7th of April.

A Brown Pelican was seen by Bert Filemyr at East Point Light, which is surprising for this time of the year.

Barb Bassett reported on a House Finch nest with 5 chicks in a light in her backyard.


Programs: Navin Sasikumar

April 18: Troy Bynum will present, “Introduction to Photography – Wildlife Edition”

May 2:  Interns and grad students from the Academy will give three short presentations

May 22:  Kenn Kaufmann will present, “Center of the Bird World: Audubon and his Rivals in Philadelphia”.  The talk, to be held in the Auditorium at 6 PM, is intended to introduce his new book which is being released on May 7th.

More information on the Meetings page of the DVOC website for this and other upcoming meetings.

Evening Program

Sam Bucciarelli presented a talk on “Native Plant Ecology for Creating and Maintaining Bird Habitat”.  She discussed ways to promote a healthy ecosystem in one’s backyard in order to enhance its ability to host a diversity of organisms from birds to animals, insects, plant communities, and fungi.

YouTube listing of the recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3g9voPFtco&t


After the presentation and some questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.