Minutes – November 3, 2016

7:30 PM Academy of Natural Sciences

Meeting called by President Phil Witmer

Secretary: Bonnie Witmer filling in for Linda Widdop

Attendees: 14

Guests: Lauren Diamond

Opening Remarks Phil Witmer

Phil Witmer welcomes members and guests to the meeting. October 6 meeting minutes were approved by members in attendance.

Committee Reports

Membership: Bonnie Witmer

Bonnie Witmer announced the new members since the last meeting:
Perri Strawn
Stuart Wilder
They were welcomed into membership in October.

Banquet: Navin Sasikumar

Navin Sasikumar reported on behalf of Brittany Stewart and Barbara Granger.
He reminded that we are urging members and their friends purchase their banquet tickets. The Annual Banquet will be held on November 17th, 2016 at:
Sheet Metal Workers International Association
1301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19147 USA

Tickets are available on-line on the DVOC website, using Paypal or by check by downloading the Banquet ticket form from the website and mailing them both to Bert Filemyr.
Katie Fallon our speaker for the banquet will present on:
“Coffee, Coal and Cooperation: Saving the Cerulean Warbler”
Phil Witmer added that the Cerulean Warbler numbers are in decline, and this is a timely subject.

Cassinia: Matt Halley

Matt Halley reported that he discovered that there was a reference on the Witmer Stone Wikipedia page to the DVOC. However, there was no link to a DVOC page, as none had been created. Matt completed the process to add a page on Wikipedia about the DVOC. He reported that he also added a page for Cassinia.

Matt also reported that the next issue is on target to be published in the Spring of 2017. It will be issue # 77. He also added that the editorial board is ready to accept materials for issue # 78.


The next meeting, on December 1, 2016 at 7:30 PM will be held at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The program will feature Dr. David Hewitt. His talk is entitled: Cities aren’t Like Ecosystems, Cities are Ecosystems

December 15, 2016 is the DVOC Members’ Photo Contest
The program will be hosted by Marty Dellwo.
Patty Rehn and Steve Mattan will be judging the contest. If you are interested in being a third judge, contact Marty Dellwo.

Field Trips

November 5, 2016 Debbie Beer will be leading a field trip to the Hidden Valley NSWO Banding station (6:30-10:30 PM). The site is the “Hidden Valley” Banding Station, Kittatiny Ridge, Second Mountain, Schulkill County, PA.
Contact Debbie Beer to check on available spaces, or cancellation in case of poor weather.
Phil Witmer stated bad weather is a reasonable cause for cancellation. There is danger to a bird caught in a net and hanging there for close to an hour between net checks. A bird, unable to remain active and shed the moisture on rainy or snowy nights is in danger of suffering from hypothermia.

Matt Halley stated that recently Rushton Farms banding station captured 29 NSWOs in one night, a record for Rushton Farms.

Matt Halley stated that in an article in the Wilson Journal a study was written up on the relationship between the moon cycle and the peaks in numbers of NSWOs captured at banding stations.
Bob Mercer stated that on a night with a lunar eclipse, it was evident that during the time of the eclipse of the full moon, more owls were captured.
Phil Witmer added that the NSWO is the most likely of the owls to predated, so they are more secretive during the full moon. Also, during the full moon, the owls are more likely to be able to see the nets.

November 6, 2016 8:00 – 10:30 AM, Martin Selzer will be leading a trip to Andorra Meadow for late fall migrants. The meeting place is Tree House
Wissahickon Environmental Center, 300 W Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118.


Phil Witmer shared information on two upcoming events:
Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen Memorial Field Trip Series
“Search for Eagles” the first Sunday of December 2016, January, February, and March 2017
These free field trips take place at the Delaware Water Gap.
For information, contact: jack@brandwein.org or by telephone: 570.296.6752

“Festival of the Birds” at Presque Isle May 5 – 7 2016
Scott Weidensaul is the guest speaker

Rick Mellon showed slides from a German article on Bird ID.

Local Notes/Sightings

Matt Halley reported a Red-breasted Nuthatch in the previous week.
He also reported that he was told by Jason Weckstein that he saw a Common raven fly over his Wynnewood yard. Jason also reported a Fox Sparrow in Hazelton, PA.

Marty Dellwo reported seeing an American Bittern, Eurasion Widgeon, “Storm Widgeon” and Common Gallinule at FDR Park.
He also reported sightings at Pennypack on the Delaware: Dicksissel, Vesper Sparrow and a Clay colored Sparrow. He also reported that Frank Windfelder saw a Lark Sparrow.

Rob Bierregaard reported seeing his first yard Dark-eyed junco of the year, and then a V of Snow Geese flyover.
He also reported that an observer photographed a very pale Clay colored sparrow from the Cape May Hawk Watch platform.

Phil Witmer reported the first White throated sparrows arrived this week.

Bert Filemyr asked the group a question, “should I travel the 6 ½ hours to New Hampshire to try to get the White wagtail that has been seen there?” He gave the details of the movements, visibility and invisibility of the bird. Most said, “don’t go, stay home and help your wife paint, as you promised”.

Bob Mercer reported seeing and hearing a Ruby-crowned kinglet singing in his yard on October 18th.

Navin Sasikumar reported seeing a Black-capped chickadee in his yard in Philadelphia. He stated that he is 95% sure that it was a black-capped and not a Carolina.
Art McMorris reported that about 10 years he observed a Black-capped and a Carolina chickadee perched near to one another in his yard.

Matt Halley reported finding a full Northern flicker wing while walking past the 30th Street Station. He stated that he brought it home, froze it and then back to the ANS Ornithology lab. The specimen has now been prepared and is in the ANS collection. He stated that he believed the bird to be a victim of a Peregrine falcon.

Jill Saul reported finding a Golden-crowned kinglet, an apparent victim of a window strike.
Matt Haley gave instructions on what to do if one finds a dead bird and wants to bring the bird specimen to the Academy. Full instructions on “What to do with a dead bird” are on the DVOC website.
Art McMorris warned that finding a group of dead birds could be an indication of poisoning and one should not touch the birds.

Main Program – Cassinia: The History of DVOC’s Journal and Issue #77

Club historian Bert Filemyr, and journal editor Matt Halley walk us through the storied history of our club journal, and where it is today and where it is headed in the near future as well.


Phil Witmer Adjourns the meeting at 9:35 PM