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Minutes of the DVOC
October 19, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 60 members and 4 guests.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Chris Walters informed us of DVOC Council’s decision not to share our mailing list. A one-time exception has been made, which will allow the Academy of Natural Sciences to mail us a solicitation for membership. In turn, we will be able to do the same with the Academy’s 4600 email addresses.

Conservation: Chairperson Debbie Beer spoke on Project Feeder Watch. For those who look at their backyard feeders, Project Feeder Watch is the perfect way to turn this activity into an important action for conservation. We’re looking at them anyway, so why not count them and report the data for important scientific study? From November through April, participants count species and email the numbers to Project Feeder Watch. The project is conducted by people of all skill levels and backgrounds, watching birds in backyards, schools and nature centers.

Bird enthusiasts sign-up for Project Feeder Watch and pay a small annual participation fee. The fee covers the materials, newsletter, staff support, web-site design and data analysis. Kits are shipped about 3 weeks after signing-up, including instructions on how and when to count the birds. Participants count birds that appear in the count site (feeder or birdbath), and note the highest number of individuals viewed at one time. This process ensures that the same bird is not counted more than once. Participants report all data via website or on paper forms.

If you can commit a small amount of time weekly to count birds at your backyard feeder, consider participating in Project Feeder Watch. The data you collect can really make a difference. For more information or to sign-up, go to www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw .

Field Trips:

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

Saturday, October 21st - Birding the Native Grasslands at the Pennypack Environmental Restoration Trust, led by Shaun Kass.

Saturday, November 4th – Field Trip Chairman Adrian Binns has arranged a tour of the Philadelphia Zoo, led by Wendy Lenhart. Please let Adrian know if you are going, because Wendy needs numbers. There is a zoo fee and a parking fee.

November 4th or 5th (Saturday or Sunday) – Bake Oven Knob, led by Frank Windfelder and Bill Murphy – the actual date will be chosen a few days beforehand.

Saturday, November 11th – Saw-whet Owl banding at Hidden Valley, PA, led by Scott Weidensaul – This trip is now full, and there is a waiting list, so let Adrian know if you are not coming.

Upcoming Programs:

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

Thursday, November 2nd - Rafael Galvez - "Hawks and Owls of Georgia"

Thursday, November 16th – Annual Banquet - Join fellow club members and guests to hear Pete Dunne speak about "20 Things That Have Changed Birding".Bernice Koplin spoke briefly about this great DVOC event. Go to the website for a reservation form.

Thursday, December 7th - Mary Gustafson - "Vagrant Hummingbirds in Eastern North America"

Ornithological Studies: Chairman Art McMorris announced the following upcoming presentations:

Thursday, November 2nd – Rob Hynson – “Vagrants in Britain”

Thursday, December 7th – Adrian Binns – “Newcomers to the Delaware Valley”


Paul Guris announced that he is running a pelagic trip out of Lewes, Delaware on Saturday, October 21st. Go to www.paulagics.com for details. He is also running three December trips.

Chris Walters reminded us that the “Birders Beware” statement is still posted on the website. Hard copies are also available at the front desk. Before you sign up for any birding tours, make sure you research the integrity of the tour company first.

Kevin Karlson mentioned that copies of the Jaeger Tours schedule for 2007-2008 are available at the front desk Adrian Binns is now leading these tours. Kevin spoke about his recent article in the Summer, 2006 edition of Living Bird, entitled “Birding by Impression”. The article will be available on the web in January.

Local Notes:

On Sunday, October 15th, JoAnn Raine saw a group of 30 American Pipits on a pile of cow manure in the general area of Allentown, PA.

Gabe Johnson noted that a recent group of 30 scoters at Sandy Hook was joined by a diving Mallard.

Two weeks ago, Nikolas Haass saw the juvenile Harris’s Sparrow that was at Sandy Hook.

On Sunday, October 15th, Chris Walters and Frank Windfelder enjoyed both a Dickcissel and a Clay-colored Sparrow right at the Cape May Hawk Watch.

Linda Rowan reported that recently, both an adult and an immature Peregrine Falcon were spotted at the Burlington Bristol Bridge.

Bob Rufe reported that in Delaware, a pair of Peregrines at the Brandywine Building fledged four young. A Cinnamon Teal was at Ted Harvey Wildlife Management area on October 7th.

Art McMorris reported that 42 Peregrines had fledged in Pennsylvania this year, a record number.

Nikolas Haass spoke about the Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher that had made a brief appearance at Higbees Beach on Friday, October 13th.

Herc Hoffman and Alan Brady recently saw a Lark Sparrow in Bucks County, PA.

Frank Windfelder has now seen 100 species this year on his property in Northeast Philadelphia, the latest additions being a Swamp Sparrow and a Hermit Thrush.

Ornithological Studies: Nikolas Haass undertook the complicated task of delineating the various races in the Western Reef Heron/Little Egret complex.

Main Program: Kevin Karlson spoke on the topic, "Shorebirds Made Simpler: A New, Exciting Approach to Birding". Did you know that a Short-billed Dowitcher has a straight undercarriage in flight, and that a Greater Yellowlegs has an Adam’s apple?

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary