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Minutes of the DVOC
Febreuary 3, 2005

Guest President Ron French filled in for the elusive Adrian Binns, currently touring Holland. Amsterdam may never be the same. Ron called the meeting to order at 7:45. 48 members and 7 guests attended. The minutes for January 20 were approved as read, except for one reference to Frank Windfelder's choice of undergarments.

Committee Reports
Membership Committee: Connie Goldman announced 3 new members; Brian Raicich, Brian Quindlan, and Ashley Hazen all from the Upper Mainline YMCA. New member candidates were Harry McGarrity and the Rancocas Nature Center. Anybody interested in joining DVOC was encouraged to see Connie at the end of the meeting.

Cassinia: No report.
Web Site: No report.

NB4NB: Paul Guris again explained the program to the members. He also mentioned that a request for help was already received from a program in Belize, though our focus is more local. The Bushnell scopes won in the World Series of Birding are now available for sale to support this program. The cost for an 80mm Elite ED scope with a tripod is $600 ($650 if it needs to be shipped). This setup is generally retailing for about $800-850.

Conservation: No report.
Archives: No report.

Field Trips: Martin Selzer reported on the following trips:
• The January 22 gull trip and January 23 Barnegat trip were both cancelled due to snow.
• Martin reported that his January 29 north shore of NJ trip had Razorbill, Redhead, Bald Eagle, and other waterfowl.

Martin announced the following field trips:
• February 11-13 to Ontario with Adrian Binns for the northern owl invasion.
• February 18-20 is the annual New England trip with Adrian Binns.
• February 26 to southern Delaware with Martin Selzer, from Indian River northward.
• March 13 to Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island, done in conjunction with the kids from the Upper Mainline YMCA.

Programs: Chris Walters announced the following upcoming programs:
• 02/17: Martin Wikelski will present “Migration of Swainson’s and Hermit Thrushes.”
• 03/03: Carolee Caffrey will present "Effects of West Nile Virus on Crows and Other Wildlife".
• 03/17: Our own Martin Selzer and Jane Henderson will present "A Birding Adventure in the Yukon Territory"

Announcements
• Chris Walters: The President and Vice President of DVOC sent a letter to the Academy of Natural Sciences expressing concern about the elimination of the position of Leo Joseph, Curator of the Ornithology Dept. The letter mentioned the club's close ties with this department, and worry about future support of ornithology. The reply from the Academy generically said they maintain support for ornithology, but offered no other information.
• Ron French: Ron hit a milestone by getting his 700th ABA area bird, a male Crimson-collared Grosbeak in Texas.
• Paul Guris: Announced there was room on the Feb. 26 pelagic out of Lewes, DE and the Mar. 6 pelagic out of Cape May, NJ.
• Chris Walters: Project VIREO at the Academy needs a volunteer to help scan images. PC skills are a must and knowledge of PhotoShop would be helpful.
• Frank Windfelder: On February 24, our own Naomi Murphy will be presenting a program on butterflies at the Palmyra Cove Nature Center.

Local Notes
• Joanne Raine: Took a trip with PEEC (Pocono Environmental Education Center) for wintering Bald Eagles. They saw 56, including 14 immature birds kettling together.
• Paul Guris: The January 29 inshore pelagic found Razorbills, 4 Thick-billed Murres, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 3 Iceland Gulls (1 adult, 1 2nd year, 1 1st year), Black-headed Gull, many scoters, and other waterfowl.
• Colin Campbell: Reported that the Black Guillemot at Indian River Inlet Marina has been there for 5 days. A drake Harlequin, immature drake Common Eider, and Thick-billed Murre were all at Henlopen.
• Andy Bernet: Island Beach had Rough-legged, Goshawk, and 9 Harlequin Ducks.
• Frank Windfelder: The Palmyra Big Year is up to 63 species as of the end of January, of which he saw all but a few. A Rough-legged Hawk was the 270th species for this site.
• Bob Mercer: Cardinal, Carolina Wren, and Carolina Chickadee have all started singing.

Ornithological Studies
This evening had a veritable cornucopia of ornithological information. Despite this, we still managed to get through all of them in quick order and get our speaker on at a reasonable time. The following were presented:
• Erika Scarborough from John Heinz NWR presented an update status of the Athos I oil spill and the associated work done by Tri-State Bird Rescue. Some of the disturbing facts were that 57 miles of shoreline were impacted and that tarballs were found as far away as the Chesapeake Bay. A total of 446 birds were brought in, and 376 were released.
• Paul Guris showed photographic highlights of the Jan. 29 inshore pelagic out of Belmar, NJ. Species shown included Razorbill, Thick-billed Murre, Iceland Gull, and Black-headed Gull.
• Colin Campbell presented photos of the Delaware Black Guillemot and Thick-billed Murre.
• Connie Goldman presented photos of a Boreal Owl seen recently on Amherst Island that showed a dark bill. She discussed the variability of bill color within this species.

Program
Randy Little presented “For the Birds: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Sapsucker Woods”, a history of the laboratory and the people instrumental in its creation and expansion. The common thread he used was the evolution of sound recordings of bird song. It is difficult to comprehend how they were able to get the recordings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.


The meeting adjourned at 9:45.

Respectfully submitted,
Paul A. Guris, Secretary