Minutes – March 4, 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 was some bird chit chat.

Call to Order: President: Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:38pm
Registrants: 60; 31 signed on for the meeting (some had more than one person per device).

Linda welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers. 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.

At the Council Meeting on Feb. 23rd, money was approved for a summer intern at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Jason Weckstein was notified.

A public announcement will be made after March 11th concerning the Bird Safe Philly initiative, of which DVOC is a founding member.

Minutes from the last regular meetings on Feb. 18, 2021 were approved.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Linda Widdop for Bonnie Witmer

New members: Jenn McIntire, Susan Williams Reinstated: Sally Leathersich; New Member Applications: Tanya Burnett, Harvey Tomlinson, Jr., Sarah and Karie Zaritsky.

Conservation Committee: Anne Bekker

Once the Bird Safe Philadelphia Coalition information is announced, Anne will be looking for volunteers to monitor routes in Center City and to deliver injured birds to rehabilitation centers.

Billings: Art McMorris

Billings Big Year Winners were announced. The DVOC congratulates Victoria 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’ family present. Tori and Debbie will give us brief talks about their Billings Big Year efforts.

For 2021, go birding! All birds seen within the DVOC area count to the total. For competition rules, see Billings Big Year Competition.

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.

There is a joint program, Timberdoodles!, with Rancocas Nature Center. Steve Mattan and Patty Rehn will be leading this joint trip. The woodcock display program is 2 parts: one virtual and the other on-site at the Rancocas Nature Center. Registrants can do either part of the program or both. There is currently a waitlist.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The speaker for the next meeting is: Sandy Lockerman. The topic is: Hummingbirds – Jewels of the Air.

More information at https://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/ for this and other upcoming meetings.


Nilesh Shah: “Restoring Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs along the Atlantic Coast”  Wyncote Audubon Society meeting, March 19, 7:30 – 8:30 PM.  Registration required.

Linda Rowan: Silver Lake Nature Center is beginning Saturday morning bird walks from March 20th through May from 7:30 to 9:00 am.  The location is 1306 Bath Rd. Bristol, Pa 19007.  It is an easy walk on trails and boardwalks.

Gregg Gorton: A Go Fund Me has been created to help Barbara Granger’s family defray medical costs.

Local Notes [via the chat]

Braydon Leary: Saw many hawks on that really snowy day.  Had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and our first Red-shouldered Hawk in our yard on March 1st.  Have start seeing Eastern Bluebirds in our bluebird box.  Swedesboro, Gloucester county, NJ  Short-eared owl and Eastern Meadowlark, Featherbed Ln, Salem County, NJ.

Lois Bryman: A Merlin was in the middle of the street torturing a live bird, Chester County. Red-shouldered Hawk and two Redheads in a pond, Knolls of Birmingham, West Chester County, PA.

Linda Rowan: Last weekend we had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the yard for 3 days.  It was getting the sap from the Maple trees.  Our resident pair of Red-Tailed Hawks have been working on their nest on the  power tower and were seen copulating on the weekend. They have nested here for about 7 years Levittown, Bucks County, PA.

Dan Efroymson: Male Red-Shouldered Hawk copulate with a female Red-Tailed hawk last week. Ft. Mifflin Rd, SW. Philadelphia, PA.

Steve Mattan: We had a Red-shouldered Hawk take a Common Grackle in the yard. Birmingham, Burlington County, NJ.

Kathleen Geist: Doesn’t often get Red-tailed Hawk as a yard bird, but had a duo of crows harassing a young one in my neighbor’s tree.  The ruckus did not bother my feeder birds at all.  West Point, Montgomery County, PA.

Patrick McGill: Seven American Woodcocks peenting right around 6pm near Heinz, Philadelphia, PA.

Barb Bassett: First Tree Swallows along Coral Ave on 3/2 Cape May Point, NJ.  Actual northbound migrating Canada Geese, multiple flocks coming across Delaware Bay, viewed from Coral Ave Cape May Point, NJ on 3/3 on SW winds.

Vinobha Pannerselvam: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been visiting my suet all winter.

Martin Dellwo: Iceland Gull, “Northern” Red-tailed Hawk, multiple White-crowned Sparrows, Merlin, American Kestrel and a skunk were seen on the Army Corps of Engineers land (restricted access) on Feb 21.  A small flock of Redpolls were seen by some (not me).  A pair of Peregrine Falcons were seen at the nest box on Girard Point Bridge, Philadelphia, PA.  And, I almost forgot the best, we saw a seal (probably Harbor) in the Delaware River and a Red-throated Loon.  Recently had both Canada Geese and Snow Geese flocks fly over Rittenhouse Square.  These were both new species for that hotspot location in eBird. The Lincoln Sparrow has continued in Rittenhouse Square as of a couple days ago.  It has been there for almost 3 months.

Anne Becker:  Delhaas Woods, Bristol, PA is a great place for Rusty Blackbirds about now.

Evening Program:

The Emilie Snethlage Expedition: Women Studying Birds in the Amazon Forest


The talk covered the adventures of eight women– bird specialists– in one of the remotest areas of the Amazon Forest. Glaucia Del-Rio and Anna Hiller will talk about the first ornithological expedition led and undertaken exclusively by women, the Emilie Snethlage Expedition. The expedition honors an amazing woman, one of the most important Amazonian ornithologists, who described almost 40 bird taxa in the beginning of the twentieth century. Of all the Amazon’s major tributaries, the only one Emilie Snethlage never sampled was the Juruá River.

Glaucia and Anna talked about the Juruá birds, their days in the field and the remarkable scientific discoveries that were made during their trip.

They also documented the species seen by entering observations into eBird.
Thank you!!


After the presentation, Glaucia and Anna fielded questions and the lively discussion continued until Linda Widdop adjourned the meeting at 9:50 pm.