Minutes – May 6, 2021 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Academy of Natural Sciences is closed due to COVID-19. Zoom Meeting: Instructions for meeting registration and how to use Zoom were announced on website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM The Pre-Meeting focused on bird sightings.

Call to Order: President Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:30pm
Registrants: 46 [43 members, 3 non-members]

Linda welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers.

Minutes from the last regular meeting on April 15, 2021 were approved.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Jen Pierson-Winterle, Gina and Robert Strecker, Shane Murphy, Walt Nadolny, David Singer, Catherine van de Ruit and Thomas McKearnan, Joan Parry, Valerie Marshall, Karen Gee

New Applicants: Jed Campbell, Stacey Heffernan, Ryan Kipp, Rebecca Syring, Susan Nicholas, Mandi Baffone and Justin Vavala, Judy Leigh, Laila Reilly, Terry Kirk

Conservation Committee: Anne Bekker

Thanks to those who are helping Bird Safe Philly by reporting window strike victims on our iNaturalist project page. There are three buildings downtown, not along any of our formal monitoring routes, that could use extra eyes if you happen to live, work, or just find yourself passing near any of them. They are: Giant, 60 North 23rd St 19103; Condo (still under construction), 2100 Hamilton St.  19130; and the Kimmel Center,300 S Broad St. 19102

The link to our iNaturalist project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/bird-safe-philly-bird-strikes-project

Some good news is that most of the birds being picked up by monitors and brought in to the Schuylkill Center are being released after 24 hours.
Remember that (quoting the veterinarian from the Schuylkill Center), “If one can pick up a bird, then it should go to rehab.”

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

Field Trips are starting up again. Look for new trips added to the schedule on our website: DVOC Field Trips. Read about the completed field trips.

Participants must follow all the COVID-19 Guidelines as posted on the website and must sign a participant release to attend the field trip.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The speaker for the next program on May 20th, will be : Rob Bierregaard.

Barred Owls Invade! A Generalist Predator Thrives in the Suburbs & the Pacific Northwest

More information at https://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/ for this and other upcoming meetings.


Navin Sasikumar – 2021 iNaturalist City Nature Challenge [CNC]

Philadelphia’s official numbers were:
Observations: 19,637
Species: 2,219
Observers: 966

While not officially a competition this year, those numbers put us at 11th in observations, 12th in species, and 11th in observers out of 419 participating cities. Well done, Philly!

And despite not being a competition, we take a little bit of pride in that we beat New York City in all 3 categories. Washington, DC smoked us this year with 43k observations, nearly 3k species, and 1961 participants, but we’ll get them next year! A big thank you to everyone who participated and helped make our third time a grand success. And we hope you’ll join us again to achieve that goal in 2022. Thanks to everyone who submitted photos and audio recordings for the CNC.

Local Notes [via the chat]

Bonnie and Phil Witmer: Common Yellowthroat, Gray Catbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pine Siskins, Eastern Towhee (female), Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Yellow Warbler, House Wren, Chipping Sparrow; Mating: Northern Flicker, Mourning Dove; Nest Construction: Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Wren were all in our Yard, Chester County, PA.  Valley Forge Audubon birded Jenkins Arboretum on 5/6/21 (Chester County). Highlights were Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Flicker, Northern Parula, and a Wood Thrush building a nest.

Steve Mattan: Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warber, many Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blackburnian Warbler, Ovenbird, Black-and-White Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Northern Parula, Palm Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, Baltimore Orioles; Scarlet Tanagers; 5 male and 3 Female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rusty Blackbirds, Wood Thrush, Eastern Phoebes (nesting), Indigo Bunting.  Whip-poor-wills and Barred Owls calling throughout the night.  These were all in our yard, Southampton, Burlington County, NJ.

Matthew Halley: Bernard Brown and I kayaked to the uninhabited Little Tinicum Island in the Delaware River on May 2nd, where few bird surveys have been conducted. Ours was the 15th eBird checklist for the island. We detected 52 species (32 more than the previous high total!): https://ebird.org/checklist/S86925858. This added 26 species to the hotspot list.

Theresa O’Malley: Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5/4 and Eastern Towhee 4/24 Folcroft, Delaware County, PA.

Linda Widdop: May 4th – 35 Ovenbirds, 15 Black-and-White Warblers, 50 Goldfinches and 4 Louisiana Warblers at Lorimer Park.

Linda Timlin: Red-headed Woodpecker at FDR Park, Philadelphia, PA.

Martin Dellwo: With audio recording identified as Purple Finch yesterday and today, the Rittenhouse Square hotspot checklist officially passes the century mark, 100 species.  80 Species are documented by photos, and 50 with audio recordings.  With the Purple Finch, at least 81% have either a photo or audio.  I’ve seen 87 of the species.  30 species were added since May 1 2020, which I consider the unofficial start of what I’ve been calling my pandemic project.  On that day I added Canada Warbler, Brown Thrasher, and Great-crested Flycatcher to the list, the previous new entry being in September 2019.  It’s been fun and fascinating, but mostly it goes to show, you can bird just about anywhere! Recent interesting finds include a gorgeous male Cape May Warbler, a Marsh Wren (still there), a Northern Waterthrush, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Woodcock, and a lingering female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, and Ovenbirds.

Karen Gee: Lake Harmony, Carbon County, PA: White-crowned Sparrow just showed up, Juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, dozens of Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern Towhee, Yellow Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Osprey and Great Blue Heron are regulars at our pond.

Judy Stepenaskie: Cerulean Warbler at FDR park on Sunday.

Anna Bert  to  Everyone : Eastern Kingbirds, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Brown Thrashers today in backyard in Skippack Montgomery county.

Rich Ziegler: Prothonotary Warber, Cerulean Warbler, and Summer Tanager at FDR , numerous warblers at Heinz and with the return of mudflats at Heinz numerous shorebirds including Long Billed Dowitcher.

Evening Program:

The speaker for the evening was Matthew R. Halley: Integrative Systematics & Evolution of Seasonal Migration in the Nightingale-Thrushes (Aves: Turdidae: Catharus)

Matt gave a very interesting talk about the thrushes which was the topic for his successfully defended PhD thesis.


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:56pm.