Minutes – April 4, 2019

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:36pm

Call To Order:

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


Members present: 33; no guests

Reports from Council: 


Committee Reports:


Bonnie Witmer

New applicant: Mr. Leor Veleanu

New Members: Liam Hart and Carol Weisl

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

Cape May Area Birdwalk
Meet at Concrete Ship (USS Atlantus – western terminus of Sunset Blvd.)
April 06, 2019 @ 8:00 am – 1:30 pm
500 Sunset Blvd, Cape May, New Jersey, 08204
Trip Leaders: George Armistead, Martin Selzer

This is a joint DVOC/Wyncote Audubon field trip
Bring food, or we can make a quick stop at Wawa.
Plan: Birding in the main spots at Cape May and perhaps up the Bayshore, looking for returning Piping Plovers, migrating Bonaparte’s Gull and (fingers crossed!) hopefully for a Little Gull, or Sandhill Cranes somewhere along the way. Good time of year for migrating loons and grebes too. We will adapt our day to where the area’s birds are.
Note: Monitor BirdPhilly Chatter group on WhatsApp and DVOC Facebook page for updates prior to trip, and for live updates during the day of April 6th.

TreePhilly Meets BirdPhilly!

Cobbs Creek Environmental Center

April 7, 2019@10am-noon

700 Cobbs Creek Parkway, Philadelphia

Leaders: Tony Croasdale and Navin Sasikumar

Birds and native plant gardening: birding and a workshop; and, if you want a tree for your Philadelphia yard, you can request one!

Discovery Center Bird Walk

April 13, 2019@8am

Leader: Rob Bierregaard

Discovery Center Bird Walk

April 27, 2019@8am

Leader: Tony Croasdale

Michael Huber Prairie Warbler Preserve

April 28, 2019@7am-10am

449 Sooy Place Rd., Vincentown, NJ 08088

Trip Leader: Tony Croasdale

–>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

Backpacks for Birders have been distributed to libraries in the Logan, Richmond and South Philly areas, and Anne met with Joanne, one of the librarians, for the first time. Also, On April 23, 2019, there will be a walk-through with folks from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Friends of the Wissahickon and of Carpenter’s Woods at Carpenter’s Woods to assess trail conditions.


Matt Halley

The current issue is full and is in process, and hopefully copies will be handed out at the 2020 Members’ Meeting in January. Contact Matt if you have an idea for something to contribute to the next issue.


Navin Sasikumar

Take a look at the website for information, as usual.

Up-coming Program:

April 18, 2019 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Birding With BQ in Arizona

Brian Quindlen


Linda Widdop: Let me know if you are interested in hosting a Summer Picnic, or wish to contribute ideas about or assistance with such an event.

George Armistead: The Delaware Birdathon (of the Delaware [formerly Delmarva] Ornithological Society) will raise funds this year in the ongoing effort to conserve more coastal land. In the history of this effort, about $400,000 has been raised, and more than 1200 acres have been protected. This year–and IF the amount raised is at least $100,000–a matching donation of that amount will be made! Dates: May 4-May 12, 2019. And,
George also announced that he will be giving a talk on May 1, 2019@6:30pm-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

Gregg Gorton: See this week’s Digest for a notice alerting DVOC members to a speaking opportunity (monthly schedule) at Wild Birds Unlimited in Havertown, PA. You may contact staff there and offer to speak on any relevant topic, including bird gardening, bird art, bird feeding, a birding trip you took, and so forth. DVOC will not be involved in this beyond posting the notice.

Phil Witmer: Will be teaching a two-session course for Main Line School on Basic Bird Identification, May 3 & 10, 2019, from 9:30-11:30am, at the Creutzburg Center, Harford Park, in Radnor.

Local Notes:

Linda Widdop: Still has some Pine Siskins coming to her feeder.

Phil Witmer: Noticed White-throated Sparrows still present in his yard, but they are not singing, so he wonders about that.

Rob Bierregaard: Commented on some of the variables that drive singing in songbirds, such as testesterone level.

Jack Creighton: The first migrant hummingbirds have been reported in Pennsylvania.

George Armistead: A Townsend’s Solitaire was reported in Manahawkin, Stafford Twp, Ocean County, NJ.

Rob Bierregaard: Had his first-of-year Eastern Phoebe in his yard, along with Pine and Palm Warblers. Also noticed a pair of Wood Duck on the stretch of creek by his house, so he built and installed a box for them!

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.

Anne Bekker: Recalled seeing a Kestrel at Andorra Woods in the Wissahickon in 2017.

Rob Bierregaard: Kestrels will nest in nooks and openings in buildings in urban areas, such as New York City.

Marty Dellwo: Heard Kestrels calling at 21st and Walnut.

Matt Halley: During the last breeding census, a Kestrel was found using an abandoned station building in North Philly.

Jason Weckstein: Saw a Kestrel this week from a window at the Academy.

Matt Halley: Ruby-crowned Kinglets have been singing this week.

Anne Bekker: Heard Winter Wrens singing.

Bert Filemyr: Saw and heard Yellow-throated Warblers singing their full songs at the usual bridge site in the Pine Barrens, NJ.


Evening Program:

New Specimens from Amazonia: Show and Tell
Speaker: Jason Weckstein

The Associate Curator of Birds at the Academy recounted briefly how he and colleagues obtained the many bird specimens that he had laid out in front of the audience. Slides and a good-humored tale helped us visualize some of what is involved in ornithological field expeditions to Brazil. Then, the presentation shifted to comments on specific specimens that Jason picked up and talked about for our appreciation. Questions and discussion ensued, along with up-close looks at the dozens of specimens from dozens of species. Our speaker emphasized the great importance of specimen-collecting as a thoroughly and exclusively scientific endeavor that is conducted thoughtfully and respectfully. Enthusiasm and amazement were evident throughout this special occasion.

Our speaker–Associate Curator of Birds at the Academy (right)–and the Collection Manager at the Academy, Nate Rice, heading out to a research site in Brazil (notice their handiwork on the side of their truck!).
Jason’s enthusiasm and knowledge about the new bird specimens made for a wonderful experience.
Wielding a jacamar specimen….
Rob Bierregaard, who headed a famous research project in Brazil, also added to the rich discussion.

Meeting Adjourned: 9:10pm

After-meeting Gathering at Cherry Street Tavern:

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