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Minutes of the DVOC
December 21, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 66 members and 7 guests.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Chairperson Connie Goldman mentioned that Barry Dancis, who was in attendance, has announced his intention to join the club. New member James Maloney was also present.

Conservation: Chairperson Debbie Beer raised two issues:
First, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), after stalling for six years and missing numerous deadlines required under the Endangered Species Act, has issued a decision not to list the Cerulean Warbler as a threatened species. The National Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and regional conservation organizations that petitioned the agency in 2000 to list the Cerulean as threatened expressed grave concerns over the songbird’s future without the comprehensive protections provided by the Act.
The Cerulean Warbler population has dropped almost 82 % throughout its U.S. range over the last 40 years, making it the fastest declining warbler in the country. The rate of decline has quickened and the threats to its survival, particularly from mountain removal mining, have worsened while the group’s petition has been pending before the FWS.
Second, she spoke about Green Plan Philadelphia. This involves an open space planning process that will provide a long-term roadmap for using, acquiring, developing, funding, and managing open space in our city’s neighborhoods. As a resident of the Philadelphia area, you can play a key role in providing input to this planning effort. Go to www.greenplanphiladelphia.com for details.
Field Trips:

Details of the following trips are listed at www.dvoc.org:

Friday, January 5th - Pelagic Christmas Count to the Hudson Shelf Valley out of Belmar, NJ.

Saturday, January 6th – Philadelphia Midwinter Census, coordinated by Keith Russell

January 13th-15th (Saturday thru Monday) - Montauk & Long Island, led by Erica Brendel and Chris Walters

Upcoming Ornithological Studies:

Chairman Art McMorris announced the following upcoming presentations:

Thursday, January 4th – Jane Henderson, “Sorting Out White-crowned Sparrow Subspecies”

Thursday, January 18th - Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of PA Audubon, “Progress Report on the East Park Reservoir Project”

Upcoming Program:

Thursday, January 4th – Annual Meeting – Christmas Count results and election of club officers, council members, and fellows, followed by refreshments.

Nominating Committee:

Chairman Colin Campbell again announced the slate of officers, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. They are Chris Walters (President), Paul Guris (Vice-President), Frank Windfelder (Secretary), and Naomi Murphy (Treasurer).

The new incoming councilors will be JoAnn Raine and Steve Kacir, replacing Doris McGovern and Martin Selzer, whose terms have expired. The other Council members are as follows:

Past President Adrian Binns
Art McMorris, our Editor, who is appointed by Council.
Jeff Holt & Mike Lyman (their terms expire in 2008)
Connie Goldman & Nate Rice (their terms expire in 2009)
The four current club officers, as above.

Announcements:

Al Bilheimer spoke about a powerful laser light that tour leaders use to point out birds. Adrian Binns suggested that you should purchase the most expensive one for its better quality.

Chris Walters announced that Field Trip Chairman Adrian Binns will have three committee members, Rob Hynson, Bob Horton, & Martin Selzer. Rob Hynson has also joined the Checklist Committee.

Dan Kunkle, Executive Director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, is trying to establish a wildlife trail system for eastern Pennsylvania. Go to www.wildlifeinfo.org .

Paul Guris reminded us as noted under Field Trips, that he is running a Pelagic Christmas Count to the Hudson Shelf Valley on Friday, January 5th. Go to www.paulagics.com for details.

Paul also mentioned that the New Jersey Records Committee has finally decided on a fixed set of coordinates for geographically acceptable New Jersey sightings of pelagic species, yet to be published.

Local Notes:

Recently, Anita Guris watched a Barn Owl fly over her house in Green Lane, Montgomery County, Pa.

On Tuesday, December 19th at dusk, Bert Filemyr observed three Short-eared Owls at Jakes Landing Road, Cape May County, NJ.

Also on Tuesday, Doris McGovern saw a Short-eared Owl at the “bridge to nowhere” off of Stafford Avenue near Tuckerton, NJ. She saw 63 Common Eiders at the Barnegat Light jetty.

Not so Local Notes: On Orchard Oriole found by Adrian Binns was the first record for Trinidad.

Ornithological Studies: Deborah Danila gave an interesting presentation entitled, “Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration, 2006”. It turns out that Saw-whets are both migratory and nomadic. This year was not a particularly good one for banders at the Hidden Valley station. Did you know that you could adopt an owl? Go to http://www.nedsmithcenter.org/ , and click on “Saw-whet Owl Program”.

Main Program: Scott Weidensaul’s presentation, "Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul", was all it was hoped to be and more. He enthralled the large audience in attendance.

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary