Minutes – May 5, 2022

Due to concerns of COVID-19, meetings will continue to be held virtually rather than in person at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Zoom Meeting: Instructions for meeting registration were announced on the website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM: The Pre-Meeting discussed the City Nature Challenge, local birding as well as birding in NYC (where our speaker is from). 

Call to Order: President Gregg Gorton

Call to Order: 7:32 PM

Registrants: 32; 37 members, 3 non-members (19 signed on for the meeting, some with more than one person per device)

Gregg welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers. 

The minutes from April 21, 2022 were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Nilesh Shah

New members since the last meeting are:

  • Shintaro Yamazaki
  • Grace Gerrow
  • Mickey and Barbara Black

23 new members have joined the club in the first four months of the year.

Field Trips – Gregg Gorton for Linda Widdop

Email Linda Widdop, linda@techimpact.org, if interested in leading any field trips. 

Upcoming field trips:

  • May 8 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Pennypack Park with Patrick McGill
  • May 8 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Walk for New Members at Shortridge Memorial Park with Gregg Gorton
  • May 11 @ 7:00 am – 8:30 am – Wednesday Spring Bird Walks at Lorimer Park & Fox Chase Farm with Linda Widdop
  • May 12 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am – East Fairmount Park – Lemon Hill with Connor Smyth
  • May 12 @ 7:30 am – 8:30 am – Spring Birding at Fox Chase Farm with Linda Widdop
  • May 14 @ 7:00 am – 10:00 am – Migratory Bird Day at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum with Gregg Gorton, John Lemonick & Rebecca Reicherter
  • May 14 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – FDR Park with Robert Karchnyak
  • May 18 @ 7:00 am – 8:30 am – Wednesday Spring Bird Walks at Lorimer Park & Fox Chase Farm with Linda Widdop
  • May 18 @ 7:30 am – 10:00 am – Fort Washington State Park – Wednesday Spring Migration with Martin Selzer
  • May 19 @ 7:30 am – 8:30 am – Spring Birding at Fox Chase Farm with Linda Widdop
  • May 21 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am –  Pennypack Park with Patrick McGill
  • May 21 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am – Upper Dublin Bird Town Walks with Wyncote Audubon (Robbins Park) with Nilesh Shah
  • May 22 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am – FDR Park with Robert Karchnyak

Participants must follow all the COVID-19 Guidelines as posted on the website.

Conservation – Anne Bekker

No report

Communication – Navin Sasikumar

No report


Barb Bassett announced that  NJ Audubon is doing a statewide bioblitz from May 9th – May 13th in New Jersey. While each day has certain taxa that are highlighted, you can submit observations of all plants and animals any day. 

Barb also announced that we have an all-women DVOC team, the Raven Luna Chicks, who are going to be raising money via the World Series of Birding on May 8th. This team includes Debbie Beer, Linda Widdop, Patty Rehn, and Lori Gladulich. They are raising funds for various DVOC initiatives and you can donate by going to the Donations page on the DVOC website. 

Barb is also doing a Big Stay during Springwatch for the World Series of Birding on May 14th Coral Avenue, Cape May Point.

Gregg Gorton announced that Hawk Mountain is again surveying for Broad-winged Hawk nests. They are interested in hearing about nests if you encounter one. Get in touch with Laurie Goodrich at Hawk Mountain.

Gregg also announced that Robin Irizarry is the new Delaware River Watershed Program Manager for Mid-Atlantic Audubon. 

Navin Sasikumar announced that the observation phase of the City Nature Challenge is now over but if you took any photos or audio recordings of birds from April 29 – May 2, you can still upload them until 11:59 m on May 8th.

Local Notes

Elizabeth Porter had a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at her feeder in Gladwyne today which is rare for her. She also had a late Hermit Thrush today at Oakwell in Villanova (private property).

Barb Basset had a 15 warbler day in her Clarksboro yard, as well as Swainson’s Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. 

Linda Rowan mentioned that they confirmed that they have at least 3 baby Red-tailed Hawks in the nest behind their house in Levittown, Bucks County. 

Martin Dellwo had an Indigo Bunting at Rittenhouse Square which is a new bird for the square. He also listed other birds that were recently in Rittenhouse Square including Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, multiple m/f Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, House Wren, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Towhee, Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Veery, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, still abundant White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Blue Jay. Marty said that Fish Crows might be looking to build a nest nearby. He also said that two American Robins are still sitting on nests but there is already a fledgling Robin seen both perched up in the trees and on the ground, and there are fledgling House Sparrows as well.

Marty also mentioned that FDR Park had Red-headed Woodpecker in the last two days. This brought a bunch of folks out, and led to someone finding a ground-roosting Eastern Whip-poor-will. Marty stuck around until dark and saw it fly off, but it did not call.

He also said that there was a reported Summer Tanager at FDR Park and another reported in the Wissahickon today.

Bonnie Witmer had Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (2 males, 1 female), Baltimore Orioles (male and female), male Indigo Bunting, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (males), and Brown Thrasher in her yard in Chester County.

John Drake went to Rushton Woods Preserve this morning and had a few lifers – Veery, Ovenbird, Worm-eating Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. He also said that lots of Gray Catbirds were in his neighborhood this week and that every bush was “meowing”. 

Programs: Barb Bassett

The next regular meeting will be on May 19 when Lisa Schibley will discuss how the International Shorebird Survey works and how we, as birders, can help them out and put in our observations so that they can get additional data that will be used in shorebird science and conservation. 

More information on the Meetings page of the DVOC website for this and other upcoming meetings.

Evening Program

Sara Kross gave an excellent talk highlighting the complex relationships between farmers and birds covering three case studies. She started with her research in New Zealand and the ‘Falcons for Grapes’ program which introduced threatened New Zealand Falcons from the high country to vineyards to help control populations of songbirds (European Starling, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Tauhou/Silvereye) that were devouring grapes and threatening harvest. 

She then talked about using Barn Owls as pest control in agricultural areas in California where farmers construct nest boxes to encourage Barn Owls to move in. Barn Owls are less territorial and have a high reproductive rate which makes them ideally suited to this purpose. She ended her presentation by highlighting how complex edge habitats in agricultural areas can support a diversity of birds which in turn can reduce pest insect abundance by over 33%. 


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:22 pm. A handful of us stayed on to chat after the official meeting ended.