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Minutes of the DVOC
October 5, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 48 members and 2 guests.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Chairperson Connie Goldman announced the admission to the club of James Maloney, Jr. Connie reminded us of the DVOC Annual Banquet raffle, the winners of which will be able to sit at the guest speaker’s table. Chris Walters held up the raffle box for all to see. Brad Whitman was one of the new members who were given a tour of the Academy’s bird collection prior to the meeting. He spoke about how Nate Rice went through the entire process of preparing a specimen, a Common Yellowthroat.

Conservation: Chairperson Debbie Beer reported on two issues:

First, the decision to designate the Red Knots as a candidate for Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection might be too little, too late. Candidate species do not receive any ESA protection – only designated species do. The September 2006 announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is a move that will likely doom the species to extinction, according to a coalition of environmental groups seeking protection for the rare migratory shorebird. Some people believe the population-decline scenarios could have one sub-species completely gone by 2010.

Second, Threatened Roseate Terns may have a rosier outlook, based on successful results from a recent experiment. After last year’s hurricanes (Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma) decimated Pelican Shoal, a traditional breeding site south of Key West, a plan was hatched to entice Roseate Terns to flock and breed at Dry Tortugas National Park.

State Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists Ricardo Zambrano and Sharyn Hood, working in cooperation with National Park staff, placed 40 plastic-dummy Roseate Terns around a newly exposed sandy zone at the park in April. The decoys were outfitted with multiple solar-powered compact disc players, amplifiers, and water-resistant speakers that constantly played Roseate Tern calls. Researchers were thrilled to find over 30 Roseate Tern nests while checking the site in July. A number of young birds have fledged and taken off for South America.

Field Trips:

Chairman Adrian Binns introduced Frank Windfelder, who spoke about the recent DVOC trip to Tuckerton and Brigantine on September 21st. Highlights were Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow and American Golden-Plover.

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

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

Saturday, October 28th (tentative) – Adrian is trying to arrange a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo with Wendy Lenhart.

November 4th or 5th (Saturday or Sunday) – Bake Oven Knob, led by Frank Windfelder, Bill Murphy, and Chris Walters

Saturday, November 11th – Saw-whet Owl banding at Hidden Valley, PA, led by Scott Weidensaul – this trip is now half full – see Adrian if interested.

Adrian is in the process of arranging a couple of weekend trips to the Niagara Falls area for gulls. The dates are November 24th-26th and December 1st-3rd. See him if interested.

Upcoming Programs:

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

Thursday, October 19th - Kevin Karlson - "Shorebirds Made Simpler: A New, Exciting Approach to Birding"

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".

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

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

Thursday, October 19th – Nikolas Haass – “The Western Reef Heron/Little Egret” Complex

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

Announcements:

As mentioned, the DVOC Annual Banquet will be held on November 16th this year. Chris Walters informed us that speaker Pete Dunne will be able to autograph any of his books, and the staff from CMBO will be there to sell them. The banquet is also where the Stone, Potter, and Conservation award winners are announced. Complete details, including a reservation form, can be found at www.dvoc.org.

Chris designated Arnella Trent as a “long distance migrant”. She came all the way from the eastern shore of Maryland to attend tonight’s meeting.

Linda Rowan spoke about Operation Migration, an organization dedicated to the conservation of migratory species. Learn how they have taught Whooping Cranes to migrate from Wisconsin to Florida at www.operationmigration.org .

Paul Guris reminded us that he is running a pelagic trip out of Lewes, Delaware on Saturday, October 21st. Go to www.paulagics.com for details.

Martin Selzer informed us that Michael Male and Judy Fieth will be the speakers at Wyncote Audubon Society’s Annual Dinner on November 12th. Go to www.wyncoteaudubon.org for details.

Local Notes:

Scott Fraser spoke about a video he had taken of thousands of grackles coming into his yard. He has an interesting blog at http://fraser.blogs.com .

On September 30th, Alan Brady saw a Northern Fulmar at a location 60 miles out in the Atlantic from Barnegat Light.

On September 21st, Ron French saw an adult Pomarine Jaeger sitting on the beach at Cape May Point.

Rick Mellon spoke about the thousands of migrating Common Grackles that used to visit Five Mile Woods Preserve in Bucks County. When they became less common, deer ticks increased.

Bill Murphy recently saw the immature Purple Gallinule that has been visiting Macungie, in Lehigh County.

Frank Windfelder reported seeing many raptors over his house this afternoon, including a Golden Eagle.

Not so Local Notes: Anita Guris was thrilled to see a Fairy Tern when she and Paul were in Hawaii recently.

By-Laws Discussion and vote: By-Laws committee member Chris Walters gave an overview of the proposed changes. Several members voiced concerns about the proposal which would change the way members can be dropped from the club. Fellow committee members Jeff Holt and Paul Guris were present to respond to those concerns.

Tom Reeves moved to call for a vote, which was seconded. The vote was conducted by a show of hands. A yes vote would mean that a member was in favor of the proposed changes. Thirty-two members voted yes, and eleven voted no.

The By-Laws have now been amended to reflect the changes. Full details can be found at www.dvoc.org . To view the old By-Laws and the accepted changes, click on the appropriate links in the left column of the website.

Main Program: "The 38B Birding Trip - Birding in Belize". Don Jones recounted the adventures of he and his friends on a birding trip to Belize. He was accompanied by his wife Jayne, Paul & Anita Guris, Al & Ann Driscoll, & Earl Harrison.

The presentation was both humorous and informative. He expected us to know what 38B means? Would you believe, 3 lodges, 8 friends and Belize?

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary