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DVOC Minutes for December 18, 2003

37 members plus one guest were gaveled to order by President Colin Campbell for a Photography Night meeting.

The prior meeting’s minutes were approved as read.


Anita Guris, for the Membership Committee, welcomed new member Vince Nichnadowicz.

Hart Rufe, for the Nominating Committee, proposed the committee’s slate for 2004. No other nominations were proposed.

Field Trips

Bert Filemyr reported on the Niagara Falls trip December 5-8, 2003. There were 11 participants; 11 gull species were seen, including Thayer’s and California.

Martin Selzer announced upcoming field trips: a Christmas Count pelagic trip January 2 to be run by Paul Guris, the annual Philadelphia Mid-Winter Census January 10, run by Keith Russell, a new field trip to DIX WMA led by Paul Guris on Sunday, January 11, and the annual 3 day Montauk trip January 17, 18, and 19.


Colin Campbell announced the Annual Meeting will be January 8. On January 22, the speaker will be Bob Mulvihill from the Powdermill Banding Station in western PA.


Doris McGovern will be a Regional Coordinator for the upcoming PA Breeding Bird Atlas. Doris asked members to help her out by selecting their preferred blocks for atlassing. Her territory includes much of Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and even Lancaster counties.

Ornithological Studies

Colin Campbell spoke on the physics and chemistry of colors in bird feathers. This talk left this observer wondering something weird: what new colors would emerge if we subtracted three nanometers from the remaining barbules on Don Jones’ head. Colin will address this point in his next ornithological study.

Local Notes

Paul Guris’ successful December 13 pelagic from Belmar, NJ had 5,000 Kittiwake; 5 Dovekies; 15 Razorbills; and 1 Common Murre.

Martin Selzer reported 2 Ruddy Turnstones seen on Tobago Island near South America had been banded three and four years before on NJ’s Delaware Bay.

Alan Brady, reporting on the recent scarcity of American Crows, kicked off a lively discussion of the effects of West Nile Virus on Crows, and of conjunctivitis on our declining House Finches.

Featured Program – in lieu of a program, we had the annual Photo contest. A blizzard of 12 members presented slides, prints and digital images. The quality was the highest ever.

The winners by category were:

1. Birds – Naomi Murphy for her Scissor-tailed Flycatcher;
2. Birders – Bob Rufe for his shot of Dennis & Anna Bert;
3. Flora & Fauna – Steve Liebhaber for his Pine Barren Tree Frog; and
4. Landscapes – Colin Campbell for his Fitzroy Patagonia.

But the grand prize went to Kate Somerville for her stunning shot of a colorful Swampdarner Dragonfly.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher K. Walters


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