Minutes – December 2, 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 and ABA chases.

Call to Order: President Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:30PM
Registrants: 52; 46 members, 6 non-members (32 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 November 4, 2021 were approved. It was noted that, even though not required, a summary of the Annual Banquet were also posted.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Barb Bassett for Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Elizabeth Cesarini, Gabriel Galson, Amada Schneider, Jonathan and Carla Rinde (household membership), Frank Keaney, Ed Norman, Kashi (Christina) Davis, Annemarie Hamilton

New Applications: Karthik Nashad

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.

Billings – Art McMorris

It should be an interesting year. There have been 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/.

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.

Upcoming trips are: 12/12 Barnegat Inlet with Wyncote Audubon and 12/17 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)

Stephanie Petro-McClellan: In November, a Fox Sparrow in East Falls.  I have done a checklist a day this year.

Luc Jacobs: November 11th: Say’s Phoebe at Dixon Meadow, Montgomery County; November 10th: Greater White-fronted Goose at Norristown Farm Park in Montgomery County; Two Fox Sparrow today in Exton Park, Chester County

Martin Dellwo: On the Southeastern Pennsylvania RBA list this week, a Greater White-fronted Goose has been reported off and on at Green Lane.  Same perhaps as the Norristown Farm Park bird?

Kathleen Geist: Red-shouldered Hawk perched in a tree on the edge of my yard, West Point PA, Nov. 24

Victoria Sindlinger: I went up to Pennypack North to photograph the Mandarin Duck on Nov. 26th. The Mandarin Duck was downstream of the dam and couldn’t seem to figure out how to get back over.  The female Wood Duck that he has been associating with was upstream, calling and searching for him.  Such a bird opera.

Barbara Bassett: on November 26th and 27th, a Lark Sparrow was seen at Chestnut Branch Park, Gloucester County, NJ.


Peregrine Falcon Population Recovery: Art McMorris reported that, after many years of recovery work, the Peregrine Falcon population in Pennsylvania has now recovered. All goals specified in the Pennsylvania Peregrine Falcon Management Plan have been met or exceeded for 4 consecutive years, indicating that the population is now secure, and no longer in danger of decline. As a result, the Peregrine Falcon has now been removed from the Pennsylvania state list of Endangered and Threatened species (de-listed). Monitoring will continue for an additional 10 years, to assure that the population remains secure. Experience with Bald Eagles and Ospreys has shown that their populations have continued to grow after de-listing. Art will retire from his position as the Peregrine Falcon Coordinator with the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the end of the year, but will continue his interest in peregrines and stay in the loop. Post-delisting monitoring will be coordinated by others at the Game Commission. Art thanked the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, including many DVOC members, who have helped with the recovery effort.

Rob Fergus: Next Wednesday, December 15th, the Birding Club of Delaware County will host an evening conversation on Zoom with Jonathan Meiburg, author of “A Most Remarkable Creature”, about Striated Caracaras on the Falklands.  He is also the lead singer for the band Shearwater. So, join us at 7:30pm on December 15th  and bring any questions you have if you want to chat with Jonathan.

Barb Bassett: Here is the link to the Christmas Bird Counts: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count

Judy Foulke:  Extended an invitation to the Churchville Nature Center.  They have a pre-contact working Lenape village.

Steven Peck: After hearing Rob’s talk, provided a link to a paper on humans as scavengers: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041123163757.htm

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The next regular meeting on December 16nd will be the Members’ Annual Photo night. Photos for judging are due to Steve Mattan no later than November 26th at 11:59pm. More information can be found here: Photo Contest.

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

Evening Program

Three Million Years of Birdwatching: How Birds Made Us Human

Rob Fergus

Rob presented an excellent, thought-provoking talk that explored the link between humans and birds. For millions of years, humans have been watching and copying bird behavior.  Many of the behaviors that we take to be inherently human—including walking upright, using tools, language, writing, music, dance, sewing, pottery, home building, and flight—were perfected by birds long before we became human. This presentation looked at the shared history of humans and birds and how we may have become human by copying these behaviors from birds in our shared environment. He can be reached at fergus@rowan.edu or birdchaser@hotmail.com should anyone have further questions.


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20pm.