Minutes – December 3, 2020 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Academy of Natural Sciences is closed due to COVID-19. Zoom Meeting

7:00 PM Pre-Meeting to assist with any technical issues and have attendees ready for official meeting at 7:30 PM. Instructions for meeting registration and how to use Zoom were announced on website and weekly digest.

Call to Order: President: Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:30pm
Linda welcomed all to the meeting. She reviewed the meeting timing is 7:30 – 8pm club business, 8-9pm program and questions, followed by a virtual “Cherry Street” at 9pm.

Participants were asked to share their local notes in the chat.

Registrants: 60, (some had more than one person per device)

Linda introduced officers: Vice President: Gregg Gorton; Secretary: Barb Bassett; Treasurer: Marty Dellwo.

Minutes from last regular meeting, November 5th, were approved.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

Bonnie was not present. No report.

Conservation: Anne Bekker

Riverfront North masterplan comments are due tomorrow. Here is the link: to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/riverfrontnorth/.

The Healthy Outdoor Public Spaces (HOPS) Bill was amended to allow the use of toxic herbicides on city-owned and used grounds to combat invasives.

The Lights Out Coalition against bird strikes continues to meet. Linda mentioned more information will be coming shortly.

Billings: Art McMorris

Art reminded everyone that the end of the year is quickly approaching. Email him the number of species you have seen in the DVOC area. If a leader, Art will ask for your full list. The rules of the Billings Contest can be found here: https://dvoc.org/about/committees/billings/

Nominating Committee: Art McMorris

This is the time of year when the Nominations Committee announces the slate of officers and council members. The election will be held at the Members meeting on January 7, 2021.

Officers: Linda Widdop: President; Vice President: Gregg Gorton; Secretary: Barb Bassett; Treasurer: Marty Dellwo. All are serving their second term.

There are 6 Councilors-at Large. Two are being elected to a three-year term.  Lauren Diamond and Rob Bierregaard are retiring. Linda Timlin and Michael Walter are nominated to take their places.

There were no nominations from the floor.

Banquet: Lauren Diamond

This year’s virtual banquet was held on November 19th, with speaker Peter Kaestner, an ornithologist whose life list is over 9,000.  Everyone enjoyed the event.

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

The DVOC is holding off any further field trips due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The next meeting will be the photo contest on December 17th hosted by Steve Mattan. The judges are Linda Timlin, Judy Stepenaskie, and Patrick McGill.

More information at https://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/


Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan Albatross) and world’s oldest known, banded wild bird has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial at the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. At least 69 years old, an observation of Wisdom at her nest place on Nov. 29. There is a book about her life: Wisdom, the Midway Albatross: Surviving the Japanese Tsunami and other Disasters for over 60 Years.

Belles Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight by own Rob Bierregaard and Kate Garchinsky, details the life of Belle, an osprey born on Martha’s Vineyard as she learns to fly and migrates for the first time to Brazil and back–a journey of more than 8,000 miles.

Local Notes

Jason Weckstein : Last Wednesday (before Thanksgiving), had a late Osprey at Valley Forge National Historical Park.  It was eating a large Brown Trout.

Barbara Granger: resident comedian American Robin (been here for a few years) that balances carefully on birdfeeder to snack on sunflower kernels; seeing first White-throated Sparrows.

Nikolas Haass (Australia): Displaying Paradise Riflebirds just an hour from our house and a fantastic show of Eastern Ground Parrots a couple of hours north.

Judy Foulke : Walked to her  compost pile this evening and heard a Great Horned Owl. He’s calling but not getting an answer yet.

Linda Rowan : About a week ago a friend here is Levittown, Bucks County had a 1st year Baltimore Oriole coming to her hummingbird feeder.

Nilesh Shah : Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – first for my yard in Maple Glen, PA

Martin Dellwo : Saw American White Pelican at Forsythe on Saturday; but no Eared Grebe; then saw American White Pelican and White Ibises at Cape May on Sunday; but no Northern Goshawks.  Question is whether the pelican was the same bird, maybe it left Forsythe?

Barb Bassett : Late afternoon report of Selasphorus hummingbird 58 Walnut Rd, Ocean City, NJ

Kathleen Geist : Immature Coopers Hawk in my yard (near Lansdale) flinging itself into the hedge, trying to catch sparrows.

Linda Rowan : Levittown, PA heard Great Horned Owls calling on Nov. 24, and 30th.

Robert Horton : I saw three Short-eared Owls interacting and hunting at The Pole Farm this evening

Patrick McGill: Had 5 juvenile Baltimore Oriole’s at Northeast Water Treatment plant and 6 Warbler species – Black and White, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned, Palm and Pine; Eastern Screech Owl making whinny call out front of my apartment last week in Germantown.

Ken Walsh: A few Red Crossbills pass during a bike ride south of Frenchtown, NJ.

Katrina Rakowski: Bald Eagles ate a common loon at Brigantine Beach. Signs of a soggy struggle in the sand at the wrack line, and eagle footprints in the sand.

Linda Widdop: Ash-throated Flycatcher at Cape May State Park on Sunday; Short-eared Owls were reported at Dixon, Heinz, and Houston Meadow.

Barb Bassett : Red Crossbills at Thundergust Lake, Parvin SP, NJ; Adult Iceland Gull at Veterans Memorial Park, Bellmawr, NJ; American White Pelican at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday; Pair of Great Horned Owls in my yard, Clarksboro, NJ.

Evening Program:

Naturalized Parrots in the U.S.A.

Speaker: Jennifer Uehling

Jennifer was an intern and fellow at Drexel. She is currently working on her doctorate at Cornell.

Jenny gave a wonderful presentation describing the naturalized parrots species in the US and their locations. The contiguous USA was once home to two native parrot species: the Carolina Parakeet and the Thick-billed Parrot. These species are now extinct here. However, over the past century, a diverse set of parrot species has been introduced to the USA via the pet trade, and 25 species have started breeding outside of captivity. This talk, based on a published paper and a forthcoming book chapter, will summarize information about the breeding species, including possible explanations for how they ended up breeding in their localities, and will provide vignettes from certain localities where parrots are especially common. This work was done in close collaboration with Drs. Stephen Pruett-Jones (University of Chicago) and Jason Tallant (University of Michigan).


Linda Widdop adjourned the meeting at 9:08 pm.
All were invited to continue the conversation at a virtual Cherry Street Tavern.