Minutes – September 15, 2016

7:30 PM Academy of Natural Sciences
Meeting called by President Phil Witmer
Secretary: Bonnie Witmer, filling in for Linda Widdop
Attendees: 40
Guests: Jill Saul, Liz Porter, Nina Desianti, Laura Montagna, Brad Montagna, Elaine Whitman, Raja Stephenson, Julia and Danny (did not sign guest list in book)

Opening Remarks Phil Witmer

Phil Witmer welcomed everyone back from the 3-month hiatus and asked that members give feedback regarding the lapse in meetings over the summer.

Committee Reports

Membership: Bonnie Witmer

Bonnie Witmer announced the names of all those admitted to membership since the last meeting. Some had been announced in June but were not present at the meeting to be introduced:
Scott Ahern
Caleb Hunt
Victoria Sindlinger
Yuxi Zhao
Jennifer Euhling
Sage Crystal

Bonnie named new applicants pending admission into membership:
John Vassallo
Karen Rankin-Baransky
Heather Kostick

Programs: George Armistead

Next meeting, October, 6, 2016 a presentation will be made by Linda Widdop, entitled, “Frontiers in Pennsylvania – Birding Potter, Cameron and Potter Counties”
George Armistead announced a “Birding and Beers” evening in collaboration with Wyncote Audubon. The event is in the planning stages – details will follow.

Field Trips: Navin Sasikumar, filling in for Tony Croasdale

9/17/16 7 – 9 AM Bird Banding Station at Rushton Farm Preserve, led by Patty Rehn
9/17/16 7:45 – 8:45 AM Fort Washington State Park, led by Jane Henderson
9/24/16 8 – 10 AM Tacony Creek led by Keith Russell
9/24/16 9 – 12 PM John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, led by Tony Croasdale

Witmer Stone Award: Greg Gorton

Nominations are being sought for the Witmer Stone Award. Please send nominations to Greg Gorton, Nikolas Haass or Debbie Beer.

Cassinia: Matthew Halley

Matt announces that he has received enough material for the upcoming issue. He stated that the target date for publication is Spring 2017.
Matt announced that a formal obituary for Steve Kacir is being prepared. He asked that DVOCers send to him, brief remembrances to add informal remarks for a tribute to Steve.
Matt announced that there are currently no deadlines for submissions for the following Cassinia issues. He expects that Cassinia will be back on its former publication schedule.

Annual Banquet: Brittany Stewart

Brittany announced that the date of the banquet is November 17, 2016. The committee is currently working on the menu. Barbara Granger added that they will be streamlining the registration and payment process


Bert Filemyr will be stepping down as webmaster and Navin Sasikumar will be taking on the responsibility. Navin and the membership thanked Bert for his tireless efforts to keep the website current and functioning as a resource to the membership and birding community.

Members who have favorite birding spots are asked to lead a field trip. Send your ideas to Tony Croasdale and he can add new filed trips to the website.
Win Shafer announced that the Rushton Farm Banding Station is an excellent place to visit, from 6 – 10:30 AM.

Art McMorris gave a Pennsylvania Peregrine report. He announced that there were 46 pairs and 34 nested successfully. 85 young peregrine falcons fledged. He stated that the Peregrine Falcon is currently listed as “Endangered”; last year and again this year the population met all benchmarks for upgrading to “Threatened”. With the benchmarks being met for 3 years the upgrade will be made. The next upgrade after “Threatened” is to be “Delisted”. Art further explained that the Game Commission looks for a stable, secure population and takes into consideration all of the ramifications of delisting.

Local Notes/Sightings

Many reported that it has been a big Red-breasted Nuthatch year.
George Armistead stated that a Bairds Sandpiper, Yellow legs and other great shore birds continue in the sand bars at HNWR.
Nikolas Haas stated that a Laughing Gull has been seen in Australia – hardly local but of interest.
Rob Bierrgaard reported on his Osprey research: from Newfoundland, Cape Cod to the mid-Atlantic Coast. He suggested going to ospreytrax.com to track the banded Opsreys
Marty Dellwo announced that a Western Kingbird has been seen in Whitemarsh Township at Dixon Meadow.

Main Program

Matt Halley delivered a fascinating presentation: Thomas Jefferson, Birder-in-Chief.
Nikolas Haass gave a brief presentation on pelagic birds off of the coasts of Australia.


Phil Witmer Adjourns the meeting
Next meeting will be on October 6, 2016