Minutes – Jan 23, 2020 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

7:32 PM Academy of Natural Sciences – BEES Classroom

Call to Order: President: Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:32pm
Vice President: Gregg Gorton; Secretary: Barb Bassett

Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.

Attendees: 38 members present; 1 guest

Reports from Council

DVOC Trustees’ Report for 2019:

Chris Walters gave a summary account of the financial status of the Endowment Fund. He was pleased to report that the Endowment Fund is in excellent financial shape.  Earnings from the fund are transferred to the treasurer every year.  At this point, more is transferred out than comes in.  A conservative investment strategy is used for all the funds, including the Bob Billings Big Year Competition and the Interns’ Funds .

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Rachel Adler, Lois Bryman

New Applications: Steve Kapski, Karol Weber, Theresa O’Malley, Vinobha Karthik Panner Selvam


Nothing to report.

The Migratory Bird Protection Act (MBTA), of 2020, was discussed. A bipartisan bill, HR 5552, has been introduced to reaffirm America’s commitment to conserving migratory birds and seeks to reverse rollbacks by the Trump administration.  MBTA seeks to eliminate “incidental takes” by commercial activity.  The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed over a century ago.

Billings: Art McMorris

Lists for 2019 of birds that were seen in the DVOC area are due by January 31, 2020. Send in your total number to Art first.  The number to beat is 290.

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

Free to all members and non-members

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon.  Meet in the parking lot. Moved from Saturday January 25th to Sunday January 26th due to weather forecast.

Pennypack Park – Verree Meadow

February 09, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

910 Tustin St, Phila, PA, 19111

Trip Leader: Holger Pflicke

Dueling field trips:

East Laurel Hill Cemetery Great Backyard Bird Count

February 15, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

3822 Ridge Ave, Phila

Trip Leader: Navin Sasikumar

West Laurel Hill Cemetery Great Backyard Bird Count

February 15, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

225 Belmont Avenue, Phila

Trip Leaders: Gregg Gorton and Jason Weckstein

Linda Widdop:  See websites for details: https://dvoc.org/activities/field-trips/ and http://birdphilly.org/events.html

–>Please contact Linda Widdop if you want to lead a trip outside Philadelphia: Linda@techimpact.org

–>Please contact Tony Croasdale if you want to lead a walk inside Philadelphia (for DVOC’s BirdPhilly initiative): Tony.croasdale@gmail.com

Programs: Gregg Gorton

February 6, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
The Chimney Swift – America’s Mystery Bird
Speaker: Scott Burnet
Presentation on the biology and history in America of the Chimney Swift. Details and Meeting Schedule can be found at https://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/


It is with sadness that we announced the passing of Barbara Haas.  Barbara was a DVOC treasurer.  A sympathy card was sent around the room.  It will be given to her husband, Frank.  Additional information https://dvoc.org/blog/passing-of-a-member-barbara-haas/

On March 7th, from 1-4pm, Friends of Forsythe will be holding a symposium “3 Billion Birds Gone Missing: How, Why What Can Be Done”, most likely at Stockton college. https://friendsofforsythe.org/calendar/  Linda Widdop is looking for someone to join her on the discussion panel.  There will be an opportunity to have a table with club membership information.

Doug Tallamy, author of “Nature’s Best Hope” will be speaking at West Laurel Hill on March 25th. https://westlaurelhill.com/events/natures-best-hope

Further research shows he will be speaking at several venues in the Delaware Valley: February 18th PA Horticultural Society Cherry Hill NJ Public Library. https://phsonline.org/events/natures-best-hope-feb2020/ February 4th Delaware Nature Society Hockessin, Delaware https://www.delawarenaturesociety.org/activities/events/dr-doug-tallamy-presents-natures-best-hope/

Brian Quindlen announced that next Sunday’s NY Times crossword with have a bird theme.

Local Notes

Mike Zickler was birding Taylor’s Lane in Cinnaminson.  He observed a great blue heron capture a very large crayfish.

Black Guillemot, Marty Dellwo

On January 12th, Marty Dellwo went to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, Ocean County, NJ with Linda Widdop, Barb Bassett, Mike Walter and Ken Walsh searching for the black guillemot.  At first the inlet was too foggy, so they all went out to breakfast.  Fortunately, the weather cleared.  Close views of Harlequin Ducks and an Iceland Gull were observed.  Marty and Barb stayed when the others had to leave.  Finally, glimpses of the Black Guillemot were seen along the north jetty.  Marty then drove to the Island Beach side, hiked in a mile, and was rewarded with close-up views of the Black Guillemot.

Mew Gull, Holger Pflicke

On January 23rd, Holger Pflicke found a Mew Gull on Edgewood Lake in FDR Park. Per eBird comments “likely ssp kamtschatschensis. Likely first county record.”

Glaucous Gull, Barb Bassett

On January 17th, Barb Bassett observed a Glaucous Gull at Bivalve in Cumberland county, NJ. Possibly the same bird found there by Tom Johnson during the Belleplain CBC on Dec. 22, 2019.

Evening Program:

Illuminating Sparrows of the Northeast: Brightening a Drab Stereotype

Speaker: Ian Gardner

Ian took us through a tour of the sparrows in the Northeast.  He provided pointers about identification, including voice and behavior.


Linda Widdop adjourned the meeting at 9:05 pm.

DVOC hats and Bird Philly t-shirts were on sale for $20.
All were invited to continue the conversation at Cherry Street Tavern.