Minutes – January 7, 2021

Annual Members’ Meeting 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 was designed to assist with any technical issues and have attendees ready for official meeting at 7:30 PM. Now that attendees are used to the format, the Pre-Meeting has turned into a birding discussion. The conversation tonight talked about short-eared owls at Featherbed Lane, Salem County, NJ and Matt Haley explained how the specimens at the Academy are time capsules.

Call to Order: President: Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:31pm
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. However, tonight was a special night. A bit different than the normal Members’ Meeting Night Pot Luck.

January 9, 2020
January 7, 2021

Registrants: 59, (some had more than one person per device)

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

Minutes from the last regular meetings on Dec 3, 2020 and Dec 17, 2020 were approved. Our minutes are published in the Cassina and used by natural history museums around the country.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New member applications: Scott Burnet, Brian Storey, Pauline Rosenberg, Carla Rinde, Susan Harrison, Rich Carter, Alex Meredith-LeRoux, John Smallwood, Daniel Kalamarides, Christopher Lewis, Luc Jacobs, Michael Golightly

Conservation: Anne Bekker

The Conservation Committee had no new news. Anne thanked the current committee members and asked if anyone wanted to join the committee to email her, anne.sarah.bekker@gmail.com.

Billings: Art McMorris

Art asked everyone to email him the number of species you have seen in the DVOC area during 2020. If a leader, Art will ask for your full list and rare bird sightings. These are due January 30, 2021. The rules of the Billings Contest can be found here: https://dvoc.org/about/committees/billings/

Go birding!!

Nominating Committee: Art McMorris

The election of DVOC officers and councilors is held each year at the “Annual Members’ Meeting” each January. The results of the election held at today’s meeting are as follows:

Officers (for 1-year terms):

President: Linda Widdop
Vice President: Gregg Gorton
Secretary: Barbara Bassett
Treasurer: Martin Dellwo

Councilors-at-Large (for 3-year terms):

Linda Timlin
Mike Walter

DVOC congratulates the elected officers and councilors, and thanks retiring councilors Lauren Diamond and Rob Bierregaard and continuing councilors Anne Bekker, Brian Quindlen, Katrina Rakowski and Dan Efroymson for their service to the club.

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

The DVOC will continue to holding off any further field trips due to COVID-19 restrictions. For future field trips, Linda reminded everyone that you do not need to be an expert birder to lead a field trip. One just needs to be familiar with a spot. Then pick a location, date and time.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The speaker for the next meeting will be Tom Johnson: Photographing Birds in Flight.

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

Honorary Member and Fellows

Linda Widdop announced, “Fellows shall be chosen from among the Active Members of at least one year’s standing as a recognition of the high quality of their ornithological work or contributions to the Club. They are nominated by 2/3 of Council and elected by majority vote of membership.”

2021 Fellows

Dan Efroymson – for commitment to Council and assisting in various capacities

Brian Quindlen – for commitment to Council, working with Youth Birding committee and various youth activities

Linda Timlin – for assisting with meetings, photo documenting meetings and banquets. She is also nominated to Council starting in January

Judy Stepenaskie – for commitment to Conservation Committee at DVOC and other clubs, work with Peregrine project and other volunteer involvement

Stephen Maciejewski – for his commitment to building collision documentation working mostly alone and tirelessly to retrieve and document dead birds in Center City Philadelphia.

Congratulations to all! Well deserved.

2021 Honorary Member:

Harry Armistead

Gregg Gorton explained that Honorary Members are “Ornithologists who have attained special prominence in their ornithological work and contributions to the Club may be chosen at the annual meeting to be Honorary Members of the Club.” Honorary Members are not selected every year. This year the DVOC chooses Harry Armistead as an Honorary Member. In the history of the club there have been 58 Honorary Members and now Harry makes #59. A complete list of all Honorary Members from 1900 to Present is available here.

Harry has compiled results of the Cape Charles, Va., Christmas Count for 48 years and has organized 131 migration counts at Blackwater NWR, Va.  He was a regional editor for American Birds for 15 years (1979-1993), Book Review Editor for Birding magazine from its founding in 1968 until 1981, and he continues to pen superb book reviews for Birding, the ABA Blog, and other outlets.  In fact, the current issue of Birding features one of his reviews and his photo is there among the issue’s authors, which is an unusual honor for a book reviewer: https://www.aba.org/the-great-global-quest-for-penguins/

For many more of his reviews: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?authorName=Henry%20T.%20Armistead

Congratulations Harry. Overdue and well deserved!

Annual Treasurer’s Report

Marty Dellwo presented the Annual Treasurer’s Report per Club by-laws. The Club is doing well and in the black.


The Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census is coming up. Contact Keith Russel if interested. https://dvoc.org/birding/philadelphia-mid-winter-bird-census/

Tomorrow is the Tri-county Birding Challenge wrap up on Zoom. Rob Fergus posted details on the Philly Bird Chat and DVOC Facebook page.

Local Notes [via the chat]

Alan Crawford : Snowy Owl at Forsythe NWR, Atlantic County, NJ on Sunday; Greater White-fronted Goose at Shunpike Pond, Lower Twp., Cape May County, NJ on 1/1

George Armistead : “Queen” Eider at Manasquan Inlet, NJ

Barb Bassett : Pine Warbler, Clarksboro, Gloucester County, NJ at a sunflower chip feeder

Nilesh Shah : 2 Sandhill Cranes at Pine Run Reservoir, Bucks County, PA on New Year’s Day

Bob Rufe : Townsend’s Solitaire – Sussex Co., DE – Jan 2, 2021

Victoria Sindlinger : Selasphorus sp. at the stakeout in Philly County yesterday morning. Lincoln’s Sparrow at Philadelphia Art Museum/Waterworks yesterday afternoon.  Cackling Geese at Tinicum, Philadelphia County, PA. Jan. 4 2021

Rob Fergus : At Marcus Hook in Delaware County, PA last two weeks, Greater White-fronted Goose, 50,000 Snow Geese, Lesser Black-backed Gull (hard to get in Delco).

Martin Dellwo : Cumberland Co., NJ, CBC had it’s usual flock of Sandhill Cranes at Husted Landing, 34.  Also, a Red-breasted Nuthatch; Bullock’s Oriole at Manasquan Reservoir.

Rob Fergus : At least one Short-eared Owl continues at PHL airport. It was most recently seen on Jan 6, 2021 on Delaware County, PA side.

Linda Widdop : 6 Short-eared Owls in Featherbed Lane, Salem County, NJ 1/7/21.  Grasshopper sparrow at Benjamin Rush State Park last week.

George Armistead : One big highlight but out of the region, Cape Charles Virginia a flock of 28 Vesper Sparrows.

Debbie Beer : Sandy Lockerman, the bander of the Allen’s Hummingbird that spent 11 days in my Springfield Delaware County backyard Dec 9-19, said there’s a 99.9% likelihood that the Selasphorus hummingbird in East Falls, PA is that same individual. Based on the visual similarities, the banding, and the location proximity.

Anne Bekker : 7 red crossbills Wharton State Forest, NJ a little more than a week ago

Evening Program:

by Bert Filemyr, our de facto Club Historian

In years past, the next part of the Annual Members’ Meeting would be reports of the local Christmas Bird Counts. With the information now readily available, Bert Filemyr delves into the DVOC archives. This year’s topic is the founding of the DVOC. Bert took us back in time to the late 1800s.


Linda Widdop adjourned the meeting at 9:12 pm.
All were invited to continue the conversation at a virtual Cherry Street Tavern.