Minutes – June 6, 2019

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:34pm

Call To Order:

President: George Armistead
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton


Members present: 35; guests: Sara Busch, Will Bassett, Joel Wolfram, Georgia Spangenberg, Felipe & Silvia Garcia (Tori Sindlinger’s Grandparents), Jessica Im, Dan Conway

Reports from Council: 


Committee Reports:


Bonnie Witmer

New members: Edwin Coyle, Vernon La Via, Bull Gervasi

Applicants: none

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

Discovery Center Bird Walks

June 8 and June 22, 2019@8am

Fairmount Park, East Reservoir

3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia

Leaders: June 8 – Keith Russell; June 22 – George Armistead

–>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

Details for all walks/trips can be found at:
http://dvoc.org/activities/field-trips/ and http://birdphilly.org/events.html

Up-coming Program:  

Linda Widdop

This is the last Program until September 19, 2019. 


August 3, 2019@1pm – at the Guris’ House in Green Lane, PA. This is a pot-luck, but the Guris’ will provide:  beer, iced tea, mixed alcoholic punch, ice, paper products and two grills for your meat or veggies.  Bring a CHAIR!

To sign up, and for more information, go to:  http://dvoc.org/blog/2019-dvoc-annual-picnic/ 


Bonnie Witmer: The Audubon Climate Watch Bird Survey will take place at 12 sites on June 12, 2019, with a focus on White-breasted Nuthatch and Eastern Bluebird. Contact Bonnie for more information.

Local Notes:

Rob Fergus: Five White Pelicans were spotted in flight by Sheryl Johnson the evening of June 4th, and then Rob and others found them behind the airport along the Delaware. Keith Russell reported Kentucky Warblers at Houston Meadow and along Forbidden Drive. There were four big flights of smaller shorebirds at Bucktoe in Chester County, including turnstones and knots. Also, a Nelson’s Sparrow was found at Pine Run Reservoir/Dam in Bucks County.

George Armistead: Breeders at Andorra Nature Center (in the vicinity of the Wissahickon Environmental Center–aka The Tree House) used to include Kentucky, Hooded, Blue-winged and Cerulean Warbler, but they are now gone. Perhaps that is related to the deer eating the understory, or perhaps that was always a “fringe” territory that is not used now due to the shrinking populations of those species. Also, at the Maryland Ornithological Society Convention last weekend, Jeff Gordon led a group at Eastern Neck NWR and found a Black Rail calling in mid-day! George then found it there still calling (kee kee kerr!), and he also saw a Mississippi Kite. He noted that very few Black Rails are still left in our general area.

Linda Widdop: The Delaware Bayshore Surveillance Project (near The Villas at Ohio Street (??) in Cape May County) had a high count of 100 Red Knots, 600 Sanderlings, and 600 Semipalmated Sandpipers. Sixty-seven photos of individual banded birds were taken!

Marty Dellwo: There is a new trail at Pennypack on the Delaware, and he found “a lot of Orchard Orioles there.”

George Armistead: This is a good time of year to find unusual birds that are wandering around, as Dan Lane noted during his visit recently. Thus, on June 13, 2013, Alexander Zorach found maybe the craziest vagrant–a Tropical Kingbird along the Crescent Trail (near the Grays Ferry neighborhood of Philadelphia). So, keep your eyes peeled!


Evening Program:

Birds among the Modern & Ancient Maya

Speaker: Rob Fergus

Rob gave a very rich talk on an unusual subject based in ethno-ornithological research that he and a colleague have been engaged in for fifteen years among the Maya of the Yucatan and Guatemala. He introduced us to the Mayan languages (more than thirty) and to relevant aspects of Mayan culture as he detailed his many interactions with modern Maya regarding their knowledge of local avifauna. He also linked some of his findings to past images and descriptions of birds among the ancient Maya, using illustrative slides. Rob’s passion and humor were evident and he enthralled the audience, who responded with many questions and much discussion after his talk.

(Note birds depicted as god-like figures….)
The field work has involved many trips to parts of the study area over 15 years.
Rob interviewing villagers about their knowledge of birds (note open field guide)

Meeting adjourned at 9:23pm

After-meeting Gathering at Cherry Street Tavern:

After the formal meeting, a dozen members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat for the final gathering before the Picnic in August and the next formal meeting in September…