Minutes – April 7, 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 mostly local sightings, especially with spring migration ramping up. 

Call to Order: President Gregg Gorton

Call to Order: 7:31 PM

Registrants: 76; 61 members, 15 non-members (51 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 March 17, 2022 were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Linda Timlin for Nilesh Shah

The following members were welcomed as members to the club in March: Calvin Keeys, John and Maria Drake, and Jennifer Rossoni. 

Field Trips – Linda Widdop

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

Upcoming field trips:

  • April 10 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – FDR Park with Robert Karchnyak
  • April 12 @ 7:30 am – 8:30 am – Spring Birding at Fox Chase Farm led by Linda Widdop. 
  • April 13 @ 7:30 am – 9:00 am – Wednesday Spring Bird Walks at Lorimer Park & Fox Chase Farm by Linda Widdop.
  • April 20 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am and continuing weekly on Wednesdays for a few weeks – Wednesday Morning Walks at Houston Meadow with George Armistead.
  • April 23 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Pennypack Park with Patrick McGill
  • April 24 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am – Joint trip with Wyncote Audubon to Twining Valley Park
  • April 27 @ 7:30 am – 10:00 am and continuing weekly for 3 weeks – Wednesday Spring Migration walk at Fort Washington State Park with Martin Selzer, two or three in a row

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

Communication – Navin Sasikumar

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

Billings – Art McMorris

DVOC congratulates Brian “BQ” Quindlen, the winner of the 2021 Bob Billings Big Year award. BQ saw an impressive 257 species of birds in the DVOC program area in 2021, in spite of all the restrictions due to Covid-19 (restricted travel, no pelagic trips, etc.)! His total included a Heermann’s Gull, a species never before sighted during the 11-year history of the event. The award was presented to BQ, with members of Bob Billings’s family present, and BQ gave us a brief talk about his Big Year effort.

See https://dvoc.org/about/committees/billings/.

Announcements

Linda Widdop: We are looking for field trip leaders for spring bird walks. Let Linda know if you are interested in leading a trip. You don’t have to be the best birder, just know the location and want to have folks along. Email Linda at linda@techimpact.org if you are interested. 

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. More info: https://cncphilly.org/

Local Notes (from the chat)

Bonnie Witmer: Sightings in Chester County yard: Northern Flicker,  one remaining Dark-eyed Junco on April 7th, Eastern Screech Owl and Pine Warbler. 

Steve Mattan: Piney Place, Southampton, NJ, Burlington County: A pair of Eastern Phoebes have been looking at nesting sites. Six plus Yellow-Rumped Warblers have been visiting the yards. The yard still has good numbers of White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Fox Sparrows. A Pine Warbler has been visiting the suet feeder for over a month now. On Sooy Place Road, in Woodland Township, a Red-headed Woodpecker.

Elizabeth Porter: Still has Red-breasted Nuthatch in Gladwyne, and a first for the yard Pine Warbler. 

Patrick McGill: American Bitter at Heinz. Common Loon calling on the Delaware River at Glen Foerd last weekend. Iceland Gull was present as well. And 3 Osprey nests. Pine Warbler on his Germantown street on April 6th – they were also in high numbers at Heinz last weekend 

Karyl Weber: Yellow-throated Warbler at Heinz. American Kestrel right in her neighborhood in South Philly (3rd and Reed). 

Linda Widdop: Lots of Eastern Phoebes at Lorimer Park and Fox Chase Farm fields this week. 

Linda Rowan: On April 3rd they had their first of the season Eastern Phoebe in Levittown, Bucks County PA. Still seeing Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows in Bucks County. 

Kaitlyn Evans: Lots of Eastern Phoebes at John Heinz, seems like there was at least one everywhere you looked 

Martin Dellwo: Migrants are ticking up in Rittenhouse Square, with quite a few more Song Sparrows than normal (normal being zero, really); a couple of Swamp Sparrows including a singing one today, 5 Dark-eyed Juncos today, and a recent Chipping Sparrow. Starlings have started showing up; they were strangely absent all winter. 

Victoria Sindlinger: Along with several other birders, she captured an injured Red-tailed Hawk at The Woodlands in West Philadelphia and transported them to the Schuylkill Center Wildlife Clinic for treatment. After a few weeks of care and plenty of food, they are looking forward to releasing the hawk tomorrow! 

Programs: Navin Sasikumar for Barb Bassett

The next regular meeting will be on April 21st when Jack E. Davis will present, ‘The Bald Eagle: America’s Bird’. Jack is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Gulf: An American Sea and a professor of environmental history at the University of Florida. He will share the history of the Bald Eagle and its place as a symbol of the US, combining natural and cultural history to create a more complete picture of our national symbol and, in turn, America’s relationship to the environment. 

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

Evening Program

Annie Novak led us on a wonderful journey of her work as an urban rooftop farmer, how she developed her interest in birds, first seeing the birds trapped in the beams of light at the Tribute in Light (in memory of the Twin Towers) in NYC and how that led to her exploring and learning about nocturnal bird migration. She spoke about the effects of lights at night and the importance of dark skies as well as how glass plays a major role in bird mortality. She discussed ways to help educate people and mitigate bird-window-collision mortality events. Her presentation was accompanied by her beautiful and charming original illustrations of various events in her story.  

Adjournment

After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:28 pm. A handful of us stayed on to chat after the official meeting ended.