Minutes – December 16, 2021 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

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 website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM The Pre-Meeting discussed recent bird sightings. We also discussed with Art his retirement from his position as the Peregrine Falcon Coordinator with the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the end of the year. When he took the position 18 years ago, he set a goal for himself: to make himself obsolete, by assisting the recovery of peregrines, which were an endangered species at the time, to a secure and self-sustaining population that no longer needed human assistance. Now that he has achieved that goal, he has retired, but he will still continue his interest in peregrines and welcomes any information about the peregrines in the area.

Call to Order: President Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:32PM
Registrants: 48; 43 members, 5 non-members (34 signed on for the meeting, some with more than one person per device)

Linda welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers.

Minutes from the last regular meeting on December 2, 2021 were approved. It was noted that, even though not required, a summary of the Annual Banquet were also posted.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Karthik Nashad

New Applications: No new applications.

Nominating Committee – Art McMorris

Art McMorris, chairperson of the Nominating Committee, presented the Nominating Committee’s slate of nominees for Officers and Councilors. Art acknowledged the rest of the committee: Anita Guris, Linda Timlin, and George Armistead.   The election will be held at the Jan. 6 “Annual Members’ Meeting”.

Officers (for 1-year terms)
President: Gregg Gorton
Vice President: Barbara Bassett
Secretary: Navin Sasikumar
Treasurer: Martin Dellwo

Councilors-at-Large (for 3-year terms)
Victoria Sindlinger
Patrick McGill

Art asked if there were further nominations from the floor. None were presented.

Conservation – Anne Bekker

Linda reported that the DVOC has signed the Lights Out Coalition. https://www.birdsafephilly.org/about . Chris Walters provided pro bona legal services to review the agreement prior to signing.

Billings – Art McMorris

It should be an interesting year. There have been more than 200 species tallied in Philadelphia. Keep birding! At the end of the year, provide Art the total number of bird species seen in 2021. If you are in the running for the highest total, he will ask you for detailed information.

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

Youth Birding – Katrina Rakowski

Victoria Sindlinger organized an exhibit in Red Square to commemorate the mass bird collision. It was seen by many and she created another exhibit on the Temple Campus.

First-year environmental science student and member of the DVOC Young Birder community, Calvin Keeys was recently named a recipient of the Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship through Amplify the Future. More information can be found here:


Field Trips – Linda Widdop

There are many Field Trips to choose from. Look for new trips added to the schedule on our website: DVOC Field Trips. Read about the completed field trips. Email Linda Widdop, linda@techimpact.org, if interested in leading any winter trips.

Linda reviewed the 12/12 Barnegat Inlet with Wyncote Audubon and noted the 12/17 trip to Conowingo Dam for Bald Eagles and Waterfowl.

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

Local Notes (from the chat)

Luc Jacobs: Rufous Hummingbird 12/14 in Wilmington, DE.  [Continuing since 11/14/21.]  Barnacle Goose in Westtown Lake, Chester County on 12/15.

Linda Widdop: Snow Bunting at Barnegat Inlet on Sunday 12/12. Bald Eagle over Lowes on Welsh Rd in Horsham. Six Chipping Sparrows at Lorimer Park on 12/14 which got flagged in eBird.

Anne Bekker: 12/16 – Day #2 of ginormous grackle flock in NW Philadelphia. I’ve been waiting for them to murmurate.

Barbara Bassett: 12/7 Jake’s Landing Short-eared Owls, Great Horned Owl, Northern Harriers.  12/10 Navy Yard/Red Bank Ave. West Deptford, NJ – 3 White-winged Scoters, Canvasbacks, Ruddy Ducks. 12/10 Common Goldeneye Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ.

Katrina Rakowski: Two peregrines were chasing a Red-tailed Hawk near Philadelphia City Hall.

Bonnie and Philip Witmer: We also had an enormous grackle crowd and posted a video on Facebook.  We are hearing Eastern Screech Owl(s) in our yard.

Robert Horton: American Coot, December 12, Abbott Marsh ( Hamilton-Trenton Marsh), Mercer County, NJ

Martin Dellwo: There was a murmuration of European Starlings at Island Ave and Bartram’s Ave, Philadelphia.

Judy Stepenaskie: I’ve seen murmurations of European Starlings at the Roxborough Reservoir, just before sunset when they are coming into roost.

Gregg Gorton: Rob Bierregaard had a Barred Owl right next to his house in Wynnewood, the first record for that part of Lower Merion.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The next regular meeting on January 6th will be the Annual Members’ Meeting where officers and councilors are elected. Bert Filemyr will also present From the Archives – Women In the DVOC

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

Evening Program

Thanks to Steve Mattan who hosted and to the judges – Debbie Waxler, Cliff Hence, and Navin Sasikumar!

See all the winning photos here

1st Place: Ed Norman – A Peregrine Falcon Attacks
2nd Place: Ed Norman – Great Egret Juggles a Fish
3rd Place: Susan Jarnagin – Whoopsie
Honorable Mention: Anne Bekker – Hooded Merganser
1st Place: Ed Norman – Quartet of Garter Snakes
2nd Place: Bert Filemyr – Looking At You!
3rd Place: Ian Schramm – Hentzia mitrata Jumping Spider
Honorable Mention: Ian Schramm – Eastern Cicada Killer
1st Place: Barb Basset – Bursting Forth
2nd Place: Daniel Kalamarides – Parasol
3rd Place: Victoria Sindlinger – Halo
1st Place: Victoria Sindlinger – Mammoth Hot Springs
2nd Place: Stephen Maciejewski- Endless Mountains
1st Place: Bert Filemyr – Shorebird Photography
2nd Place: Daniel Kalamarides – In Search of a Record
3rd Place: Barb Bassett – Morning Escape

1st Place: Daniel Kalamarides – The Hunters
2nd Place: Bert Filemyr – Preening
3rd Place: Anne Bekker – Nashville Warbler
Honorable Mention: Daniel Kalamarides – Berry Coordinated
Avocet Award
Barb Bassett – Diamonds in the Sky
Kacir Award
Ed Norman – A Peregrine Warns Us Away From its Nest Area


After the presentation and congratulations, the meeting was adjourned at 9:22pm.