Minutes – April 21, 2022

Due to concerns of COVID-19, meetings will continue to be held virtually rather than in person at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Zoom Meeting: Instructions for meeting registration were announced on the website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM: The Pre-Meeting discussed local sightings – warblers, purple finches, juncos, gulls, and night-herons, and the passing of DVOC past president Frank Windfelder. 

Call to Order: President Gregg Gorton

Call to Order: 7:32 PM

Registrants: 44; 37 members, 7 non-members (34 signed on for the meeting, some with more than one person per device)

Gregg welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers. 

The minutes from April 7, 2022 were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Linda Timlin for Nilesh Shah

No updates

Field Trips – Gregg Gorton for Linda Widdop

Email Linda Widdop, linda@techimpact.org, if interested in leading any field trips. 

Upcoming field trips:

  • April 23 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am – Washington Lane Park with Barb Bassett
  • April 23 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Pennypack Park with Patrick McGill
  • April 24 @ 7:30 am – 11:00 am – Houston Meadow with Peter Hamner
  • April 24 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am –  FDR Park with Robert Karchnyak
  • April 24 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am – Joint trip with Wyncote Audubon to Twining Valley Park with Nilesh Shah
  • April 24 @1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Earth Day Celebration at FDR Park with Holger Pflicke
  • April 26 @ 7:30 am – 8:30 am – Spring Birding at Fox Chase Farm (weekly) with Linda Widdop
  • April 27 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am – Wednesday Morning Walks at Houston Meadow with George Armistead
  • April 27 @ 7:30 am – 10:00 am – Wednesday Spring Migration at Fort Washington State Park with Martin Selzer
  • April 27 @ 7:30 am – 9:00 am – Wednesday Spring Bird Walk at Lorimer Park & Fox Chase Farm
  • April 29 @ 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Spring Bird Walk at Barrett’s Meadow with Brian Byrnes and Brian Quindlen
  • April 30 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Fisher Park with Peter Hamner
  • May 4 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am – Wednesday Morning Walks at Houston Meadow with George Armistead
  • May 4 @ 7:30 am – 10:00 am – Wednesday Spring Migration at Fort Washington State Park with Martin Selzer
  • May 5 @ 7:30 am – 8:30 am – Spring Birding at Fox Chase Farm (weekly) with Linda Widdop
  • May 8 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Walk for New Members at Shortridge Memorial Park with Gregg Gorton

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

Conservation – Anne Bekker

The DVOC has chosen to sponsor the Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers for their 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday 05/14. Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers is a nonprofit that organizes volunteers to help with habitat restoration in Wissahickon Park. They do great work in areas that many DVOCers bird quite heavily. We are seeking volunteers to represent DVOC at the event on 5/14 from 3 – 7 pm. Contact Anne at conservation@dvoc.org if interested in volunteering. 

Bird Safe Philly has started monitoring as migration is picking up. The Lights Out initiative has started for the spring season as well and the Center City skyline is darker these nights. In addition to formal monitoring, everyone is encouraged to add any bird-window collisions they see to the Bird Safe Philly iNaturalist project.

Birding Backpacks murals have gone up at the Andorra Shopping Center. Check out the Birding Backpacks flyer for more information on this program. 

Communication – Navin Sasikumar

DVOC has a new Twitter account. If you are on Twitter follow us at https://twitter.com/dvocBirds

DEI – Navin Sasikumar

The DEI committee has had its first meeting and has come up with a list of ideas to help improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the club. We are currently working on coming up with a shortlist that we can focus on in our first year. 


Barb Bassett: On Friday, April 29 from 5 – 7 pm,  BioPhilly is organizing ‘BioPhilly 7: Of Birds and Buildings…A Family Happy Hour at the Discovery Center’. This event is a family-friendly, indoor/outdoor Happy Hour followed by a panel discussion to learn more about bird-friendly buildings from the Center’s Architects and how we can all join hands to make Philly a city that safely welcomes birds. BioPhilly 7: Of Birds and Buildings

Gloucester County Nature Club Bird Quest is on Saturday, May 6th. Find out more at the Gloucester County Nature Club website

Gregg Gorton: We need a volunteer for the DVOC table at the Earth Day Event at the Meadows, FDR Park on Sunday, April 24th from 1 – 3 pm. We can provide that volunteer with new DVOC/BirdPhilly business cards, some beer steins to sell, and some hats. Contact Gregg or Holger if you are interested. 

Chris Walters: Frank Windfelder has his church funeral tomorrow at 11 am at St Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church, 8100 Colfax St, Philadelphia. The Celebration of his Life starts at 9:30 am. See Frank’s obituary for more info.

Navin Sasikumar: The Philadelphia area is participating in the City Nature Challenge again. The City Nature Challenge is a 4-day bioblitz type event where people in cities around the world compete to see who can see the most species of wildlife, make the most observations, and have the most people participating. If you live in Philadelphia or any of the counties that share a border with Philly (Delaware Co, Montgomery, Bucks in PA or Camden, Gloucester, Burlington in NJ), go out and take pictures of birds, mammals, insects, herps, plants, mushrooms, etc. from April 29th to May 2nd and upload them to iNaturalist. See the CNC Philly website for more info. 

Patrick McGill: The Greater Philadelphia Birdathon is a 24-hour, friendly birding competition that will take place from 5 pm on May 6th  to 5 pm on May 7th. Teams will help raise funds for any non-profit conservation organization of their choosing that seeks to protect birds and the places they call home. You can donate to Bird Safe Philly and other DVOC projects on the DVOC Donate page

Local Notes (from the chat)

Linda Rowan: In Levittown, Bucks County – Pheasant, Wild Turkey, Yellow Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Field Sparrow.

Patrick McGill: Little Gull on Delaware River! First seen in Northeast Philly and then more recently at Hog Island Rd behind Philly airport on the river.

Victoria Sindlinger: Purple Finch, Prarie Warbler, and White-eyed Vireo at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park on April 17th. On the same day (April 17th), Victoria has her first-of-year Gray Catbird at Tinicum. 

Barb Bassett: On 4/20, there were 40+ Bonaparte’s Gulls along with 2 Laughing Gulls and 20+ Herring Gulls at Big Timber Creek, Westville, Gloucester County, NJ. Also present were 3 Buffleheads and a female Long-tailed Duck.

Programs: Barb Bassett

The next regular meeting will be on May 5 when Sara Kross will present, ‘Winemakers’ Wingmen: Sustainable Agriculture for Birds & Farmers’. Sara is a conservation biologist and agroecologist and has spent over a decade conducting research to understand the complex interactions between wildlife and people in agricultural landscapes.  

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

Evening Program

Jack E. Davis presented an interesting program about the Bald Eagle, from its status as a national symbol to the various threats the species has faced  – from overhunting in the late 19th and early 20th century to egg thinning from the effects of DDT after the 1950s. He also talked about how eliminating these threats has helped the Bald Eagle recover from being nearly extirpated in the Eastern US to being able to see them almost anywhere along the coast these days. 


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm. A handful of us stayed on to chat after the official meeting ended.