Minutes – February 18, 2021 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Academy of Natural Sciences is closed due to COVID-19. Zoom Meeting: Instructions for meeting registration and how to use Zoom were announced on website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM The Pre-Meeting discussion revolved around the Redwing sighting in Maine and everyone’s favorite bird sound.

Call to Order: President: Linda Widdop

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

Registrants: 80; 47 signed on for the meeting (some had more than one person per device).

Minutes from the last regular meetings on Feb. 4, 2021 were approved.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

2021 New member applications: Jenn McIntire, Susan Williams

Billings: Art McMorris

Billings Big Year Winners were announced. The DVOC congratulates Tori Sindlinger and Debbie Beer, who tied to win the 2020 Bob Billings Big Year award. Tori and Debbie each saw an impressive 272 species of birds in the DVOC program area in 2020, in spite of all the restrictions due to Covid (e.g. no pelagic trips)! The award will be presented to Tori and Debbie at the April 15 DVOC Zoom meeting, with members of Bob Billings’s family present, and Tori and Debbie will give us brief talks about their big year efforts.

For 2021, go birding! All birds seen within the DVOC area count to the total. See https://dvoc.org/about/committees/billings/ for competition rules.

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

There is now a Field Trip Committee consisting of Linda Widdop, Bob Horton, Win Shafer, Holger Pflicker, and Alan Crawford. They are putting together the guidelines and field trip list which will be posted on the website.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The speakers for the next meeting are: Glaucia Del-Rio and Anna Hiller. The topic is: The Emilie Snethlage Expedition: Women Studying Birds in the Amazon Forest

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


Linda Widdop and Bonnie Witmer attended Barbara Granger’s sad but wonderfully done Zoom funeral. Barbara assisted in editing the Cassina.

Nilesh Shah announced that tomorrow, 2/19 at 7:30, Wyncote Audubon sponsoring a presentation on “Habitat and Bird Abundance at Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust”.  The event requires pre-registration.

Judy Foulke invited everyone to the Feb. 23 meeting of Bucks County Birders. Dr. Jay Kelly will speak on the affects of deer and invasive species on the forest understory. Meeting is at 7pm. Please email Bucksbirders@gmail.com for a Zoom link.

Barb Bassett recapped the Great Backyard Bird Count that was held February 12-15, 2021. Data was submitted via eBird: GBBC Results. This page starts at the World results but can be changed to any location.

Lower 48603212.4
Source: eBird 2/18/21

Victoria Sindlinger noted that it is a good idea to carefully drag carcasses to the side of the road so the vultures feeding on it wouldn’t get hit by cars.

Local Notes [via the chat]

Victoria Sindlinger: 2/6 Fort Mifflin 5 weird domestic goose x Canada Goose hybrids; 2/10 Woodlands Cemetery, West Philadelphia (special for the site) 3 Hooded Mergansers; only the 2nd eBird record (1st was 3 days earlier by Carrington Stephenson); Houston Meadow on Feb. 11, 5 Common Redpolls feeding in birches; 2/14 Rough-legged Hawk up at Pennypack Street, Philadelphia.

Kathleen Geist: A common bird, but back very early, 1st Common Grackle at my feeder on Tues. Feb. 15 (MontCo, Lansdale area).  Red-winged Blackbirds have been popping in for a couple of weeks.

Braydon Leary: 2/15 past Heinz observation tower Ring-necked Duck; watched Northern Cardinals at my feeder where the female is very pushy and makes the male keep feeding her seeds

Linda Widdop: American Tree Sparrow and Hermit Thrush continue at my feeders in Rydal, Montgomery County, PA

Hudson Moore: American Tree Sparrow continuing at my feeders in Delaware County, PA.

Linda Rowan: During the GBBC, Fox Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows, House Sparrows Levittown, Bucks County PA

Robert Horton: Western Tanager, Monroe, NJ

Cecilia Deemer: Common Ravens (hectoring my neighborhood Great Horned Owl) finally a new yard bird for me after 16 years! Pennsauken, Camden County

Linda Widdop: Rough-legged Hawk at Burlington County NJ Fairgrounds. See my FB post: https://www.facebook.com/linda.widdop.1

Barb Bassett: 2/16 Canvasback – new yard bird, Clarksboro, Gloucester County, NJ; 2/11 Snow Bunting, American Pipit, Dream Park, Gloucester County, NJ; 2/10 Pink-footed Goose, Rough-legged Hawk, Short-eared owls – Featherbed Lane, Salem County, NJ; 2/10 Greater White-Fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Rt. 44, Mannington, Salem County, NJ

Steve Mattan: Barred Owl, Woodcock, Pileated Woodpecker, American Tree Sparrow, several Fox Sparrows our place Burlington County, NJ; Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, Common Redpoll Birmingham, Burlington County, NJ

Nathaniel Sharp (out of area): During the GBBC in northern Vermont, the state’s 3rd record of the nominate subspecies of Hoary Redpoll (A. h. hornemanni) and also stumbled upon a feeder full of Pine Grosbeaks, one of which was singing loudly!

Victoria Sindlinger: Also, this somewhat-relevant blog may be of interest to some – here is my personal ode to vultures: https://www.woodlandsphila.org/blog/2019/9/6/birding-at-the-woodlands-all-about-vultures-happy-vulture-day?rq=Vulture

Evening Program:

Katie Fallon gave a wonderful presentation about vultures. They are fascinating birds found throughout the world. They have shown intellect by solving puzzles for food. Katie is on the Board of Directors for Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.


After the presentation, Katie fielded questions and the lively discussion continued until Linda Widdop adjourned the meeting at 9:58 pm.

Links were provided on some of the additional topics discussed. George Armistead provided some links about historical King/Painted Vultures: https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/news/birdwatching/floridas-lost-vulture/ and https://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.3613.1.3

Navin Sasikumar provided the link to the Cassina article about Batram’s Painted Vulture: https://dvoc.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Cassinia_74-75_Bartrams-Painted-Vulture.pdf

Katie’s web site, http://www.katiefallon.com/ gives information on ordering her books on vultures and Cerulean Warblers.

Nicole Gerard: https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2021/02/released-into-the-wild/?fbclid=IwAR3l9zHpJJy4mCUt7r7X0ESdTAle95650voOOzQZKC2VFpQq2uRdll8G7gY