Minutes – May 20, 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 focused on bird sightings.

Call to Order: President Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:35pm
Registrants: 38 [32 members, 6 non-members]

Linda welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers. Next week’s meeting will be the last one before the summer break which lasts until the third week of September.

Minutes from the last regular meeting on May 6, 2021 were approved.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Gina and Robert Strecker, Shane Murphy, Walt Jed Campbell, Stacey Hefferman, Ryan Kipp, Rebecca Syring, Susan Nicholas, Mandi Baffone and  Justin Vavala, Judy Leigh, Laila Reilly, Terry Kirk

New Applicants: Lori Gladulich, Melanie McMenamin

Conservation Committee: Anne Bekker

Bird Safe Philly has successfully enlisted 20 buildings in downtown Philadelphia to turn off their lights between 12am and 6am from April 1st to May 30th.

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

Field Trips are starting up again. Look for new trips added to the schedule on our website: DVOC Field Trips. Read about the completed field trips.

Participants must follow all the COVID-19 Guidelines as posted on the website and must sign a participant release to attend the field trip.

Philadelphia Flower Show: Linda Widdop

Subaru America is a major sponsor of the event and will have a display at the Boat House. They have asked DVOC to lead bird walks throughout the week and we are seeking volunteers to work half day shifts. The “walks” are really just leading a group to the dock area next to the Boat House to observe any birds in the area. The walk will last 20 minutes. Subaru will have 15 backpacks with binoculars and field guides available for participants. Walks will be scheduled every hour on the schedule below.
Flower Show Shifts:
Sat June 5:  9:00 – 12:00 or 1:00 – 4:00 Show opens at 8:00 and closes at 5:00.
Sun June 6– Sun June 13: 11:00 – 2:00 or 3:00 – 6:00 (show opens at 10:00 and closes at 7:00)
We seek volunteers to commit to either morning or afternoon shift(s). Each volunteer will receive a free ticket to the Flower Show which can be used before or after your shift and/or between scheduled walks.
Please contact Linda Widdop if you are interested in participating. linda@techimpact.org

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The speaker for the next program on June 3rd, will be: Sean O’Donnell

Army Ants as a Force Shaping Avian Behavior: Lessons from Montane Raid-attending Birds

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


Navin Sasikumar: Spotted Lanternflies (SLFs) are here and people have started putting up sticky tape to catch them. If you see neighbors or people on social media use or recommend using sticky tape, please let them know that sticky tape catches more than SLFs.  Lots of birds and mammals get caught in these traps and do not often survive even if taken to rehab. Numerous beneficial arthropods including predators of SLFs get trapped as well.  While we are well past the time that most individual control methods are going to reduce their numbers in any meaningful way, I have found it more productive to redirect people to less harmful methods rather than asking people not to do anything.  To that point, I would suggest recommending people use the circular trap rather than sticky tape: How to build a new-style Spotted Lanternfly circle-trap

Navin Sasikumar: Audubon workers are looking to form a union but leadership refuses to recognize it (unlike other environmental organizations like Sierra Club).  They have even hired a notorious anti-union law firm.  Audubon has previously had numerous complaints of being a toxic workplace and a union will help protect workers who do the work of protecting the birds we care about.  Union organizers are requesting people sign the petition asking Audubon leadership to recognize the union. With enough pressure on leadership, we can make this happen for the workers and for the birds. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/recognize-our-union/

Judy Foulke: Bucks County Birders invites you to a Zoom meeting on May 25th at 7pm.  Bert Myers, Director of Environmental Education for the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, will present a program of the Peregrine Falcon’s remarkable recovery in PA.  Please email bucksbirders@gmail.com for a link.

Barb Bassett: The Cape May Point State Park has a new parking lot on Seagrove Ave. From the parking lot, there is a nice connecting trail to the main trails in the state park.

Local Notes [via the chat]

Martin Dellwo: Mike Walter, Pam Barton and I went to see the Pacific Golden-Plover on Great Bay Blvd, Tuckerton, Ocean County, NJ.  This was a state and USA Lower 48 bird for me.  Pam had her lifer Saltmarsh Sparrow.  Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been documenting via photos and audio birds found in Rittenhouse Square.

Linda Widdop: Also observed the Pacific Golden-Plover, Great Bay Blvd., Tuckerton, Ocean County, NJ.  5/14 Lorimer Park, 4 Canada Warblers.  We were at Liberty Swamp for World Series of Birding and saw a Barred Owl sitting in a small tree at the side of the impoundment looking at the water. It was probably looking for frogs and snakes.

Barb Bassett: 5/14 Clarksboro, Gloucester County, NJ: Canada Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Northern Parula, Nashville Warbler, Cape May Warbler.  5/16 Pacific Golden-Plover, Great Bay Blvd., Tuckerton, Ocean County, NJ.  5/16 Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, Atlantic County, NJ: Curlew Sandpiper, 2 American Avocets, White-rumped Sandpiper, many shorebirds, Black Skimmers.  Cape May Point State Park, 5/20: Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Black-and-White, Pine, and Blackpoll Warblers, Northern Parula, Least Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, Swainson’s Thrush.  5/19 Cape May Point: Chuck-will’s-widows were calling last night. 

Hudson Moore: John Heinz NWR in Philadelphia: Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Canada Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, and Bay-breasted Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, and Scarlet Tanager.

Evening Program: Rob Bierregaard

Barred Owls Invade! A Generalist Predator Thrives in the Suburbs & the Pacific Northwest

Rob gave a wonderful presentation and fielded many interesting questions afterwards.


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:39pm.