Minutes – April 18, 2019

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:34pm

Call To Order:

President: George Armistead
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton


Members present: 54; 16 guests: Mariel Taggart, Ray Codair, Eileen Ming, Seamus Hood, John Hill, Jessica Thomas, Steve Verde, Michael Rodes, Rachael Small, Susan Lindee, Valerie F., Breanne McGovern, Isaac
Murphy, Sara Busch, Mike Hemcher

Reports from Council: 


Committee Reports:


Gregg Gorton (for Bonnie Witmer)

New member: Mr. Leor Veleanu

New applicant: Eva Marie Shahade (present with her daughter)

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

Bartram’s Garden

April 26, [email protected]:00 am–11:00 am

Leaders: Jason Weckstein, Associate Professor BEES/Associate Curator of Ornithology Academy of Natural Sciences and Matthew Halley, Ph.D. Candidate (Drexel U.) will lead a bird/nature walk at Bartram’s GardenJoin them for a few hours in the field to photograph and identify as many species as possible.  While the walk will focus on birds, we will also photograph other wildlife and will upload images to iNaturalist.  The walk will start at the Bartram’s Garden parking lot.

Bird Walk at Independence National Historical Park

April 26, [email protected]:00 pm–1:00 pm

Leaders: Billy Brown, nature writer for Grid Magazine and co-host of the Urban Wildlife Podcast. and DVOC President and birder George Armistead.

This is a lunchtime bird walk in Independence National Historical Park. Eighty-six species of birds have been recorded in the park, and we hope to see some of Center City’s resident birds, as well as migrants, passing through. Meet at the Commodore John Barry statue just south of Independence Hall at noon. This is a City Nature Challenge event.

Discovery Center Bird Walk

April 27, [email protected]

Leader: Keith Russell

West Laurel Hill Cemetery Bird Walk

April 27, [email protected]:30am

Leader: Gregg Gorton

Meet at Office/Conservatory (not Funeral Home); after you enter the cemetery at 225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, drive or walk up eastward up the inclined road and follow signs. We will be using iNaturalist as part of the City Nature Challenge Bioblitz.

John Heinz NWR Bird Walks

April 27, [email protected]:00 am–10:00 am & 10:30am-12:30pm

Leader: Navin Sasikumar

Meet at the Visitor Center. Quick intro to using iNaturalist and then we can spread out and observe wildlife. After the first walk, we will take a break and reconvene at the Visitor Center for the second walk.

Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve

April 28, [email protected]

449 Sooy Place Rd., Vincentown, NJ 08088

Trip Leader: Tony CroasdaleG

Weekday Spring Migrants at Glen Foerd on the Delaware

May 02, 2019 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

5001 Grant Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Trip Leader: Linda Widdop

Take a stroll around this historic estate situated on the Delaware River. We will look for spring migrants, lingering ducks and gulls, and of course keep our eyes open for resident Bald Eagles. Co-sponsored with Glen Foerd on the Delaware.

–>Please contact Linda Widdop if you want to lead a trip outside Philadelphia: Linda@techimpact.org

–>Please contact Tony Croasdale if you want to lead a walk inside Philadelphia (for DVOC’s BirdPhilly initiative): Tony.croasdale@gmail.com

Details for all walks/trips can be found at:


Anne Bekker

Two public meetings to discuss the Riverfront North “Master Plan” will be held on Monday, April [email protected]:30-7:30pm at the Tacony Library, 6742 Torresdale Avenue, and on May [email protected]:30-7:30pm at the Richmond Library, 2987 Almond Street. This is an opportunity for public input, and the format will be “open house style.” Birders should attend!

Up-coming Program:

Linda Widdop

May 2, [email protected]:30pm-9:00 pm
Cellular Tracking Technologies

Speaker: Andrew McGann


Linda Widdop: The Delaware Birdathon (of the Delaware [formerly Delmarva] Ornithological Society) will raise funds this year in the ongoing effort to conserve more coastal land, this time in Mispillion Harbor, a shorebird migration stopover area. Dates: May 4-May 12, 2019.

George Armistead: Darby Creek Clean-up Day is April 20th, so consider volunteering–at the Heinz Refuge. Tidy up the Tidal! –And, George will be giving a talk on May 1, [email protected]:30pm-8:30pm at the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, 2200 Walnut Street (the Space & Company venue), entitled “Birds: Philly’s Innovators in Ornithology, and Odd Modern-Day Dinosaurs.” You must purchase a ticket in advance: http://www.geographicalsociety.org

Phil Witmer: Would like someone to volunteer to take over his three Kestrel boxes. Contact him if interested.

Tony Croasdale: there will be two DVOC World Series of Birding teams this year! First, Riding Birdy, consisting of Tony, Matt Halley, Katrina Raskowski, and Jeff Gorton. Second, “Sudden Turns & Stops,” a youth team with Victoria (Tory Bird) Sindlinger, leader. Please support these efforts, with funds to go to Bird Philly.

Matt Halley: presented the holotype, newly rediscovered, of Harris’ Hawk, and held up both the specimen and a copy of Audubon’s painting of that species.

Harris’s Hawk holotype rediscovered!

Dan Kobza: The LandHealth Institute is recruiting high school students to serve as Philadelphia Watershed Stewards. See: http:www.landhealthinstitute.org/enroll

Barb Bassett: Gloucester County Nature Club will hold its Bird Quest 2019 on Saturday, May 4 from 7am-12pm throughout Gloucester County. See http://www.gcnatureclub.org/birdquest

Debbie Beer: Noted the recent passing of Bill Thompson III and Pete Bacinski, each in his own way a major figure in birding.

Art McMorris: The Billing Big Year Checklist was updated and is on the DVOC website. As usual, it is a composite of the PA, NJ and DE lists. Remember that everyone is eligible to compete!

Anne Bekker: A lecture entitled “What do birds eat?– Exploring insect biodiversity in birds’ diets,” by Ashley Kennedy, will take place on April 24, [email protected]:00pm in the Stewart Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Local Notes:

Linda Widdop: Still has some Pine Siskins coming to her feeder, but also a Red-breasted Nuthatch. There was a Louisiana Waterthrush singing and some Wood Ducks at the Pennypack Environmental Center.

Rob Bierregaard: Had FOY House Wren at suet. At the Discovery Center, where he led a walk, had three Horned Grebes and two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

Anne Bekker: FOY hummingbird was at her feeder.

George Armistead: Lots of Brown Thrashers have been in various places. And a black, male Ruff was seen at the Port Penn impoundment south of Delaware City, Newcastle County, DE.

Gregg Gorton: A large number of Broad-winged Hawks flew through the Delaware Valley on a broad front, noted by many of us after some were sighted over Haverford College by Liam Hart, and he alerted the BirdPhilly WhatsApp Group.

Tony Croasdale: Broadwings were seen over Roxborouth, and Wood Ducks often number around forty at Valley Green in the Wissahickon.

Jane Henderson: noted that people feed the Wood Ducks there.

Lynn Jackson: A Least Bittern was calling at Greer’s Pond.

Dan Kobza: Saw a pair of American Kestrels chasing a Cooper’s Hawk away at 49th St. and Parkside, and wondered about the presence of Kestrels in the city.

Barb Bassett: had a Solitary Sandpiper in Clarksboro, East Greenwich Twp, Gloucester County, on April 14, which is quite early.

Debbie Beer: Surf Scoter at Heinz NWR lasted only a few hours until it flew off. First found by Frank Windfelder.

Marty Dellwo: saw pair of Kestrels at 22nd and Walnut again today.


Evening Program:

Birding with BQ in Arizona
Speaker: Brian “BQ” Quindlen

Brian provided a wonderfully rollicking tour of Southeastern Arizona, where he had gone last July with four friends in search of that area’s specialities. His delightful talk was illustrated with his own photos and a few videos. He was very warmly received by a large audience.

Ever-ebullient BQ in action!
BQ and Birding Buddies
Full house for BQ’s talk

Meeting adjourned at 9:02pm

After-meeting Gathering at Cherry Street Tavern:

After the formal meeting, some members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat.