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Minutes of the DVOC
December 20, 2007

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. In attendance were 30 members and 2 guests.

Membership Committee: Chairwoman Connie Goldman announced that Charles S. Danila have been accepted for membership.

Conservation: Chairwoman Debbie Beer announced that she has about 10 copies of the 2006-07 CBC Audubon report for Delaware Valley states. These are available for people to take if they want to read about last year’s results.

Her main report focused on the 2007 Hawk Mountain raptor-counting season, which ended on December 15th. There is now an accumulation of nearly 70 years of data. While the numbers indicate a barely-average season this year – 19,404 raptors between August 15 and December 15 - the highlights make it interesting:

- The season began with a bang when a Swallow-tailed Kite soared over the lookout on August 18. This sighting was the first record for Hawk Mountain, as the species is a southeastern bird.
- A week later, counters spotted an immature, dark-morph Swainson’s Hawk, another rarity and only the 14th record for the sanctuary.
- Season records were set for: Turkey Vultures (636), Black Vultures (140), Bald Eagles (231) and Merlins (231).
- Sharp-Shinned Hawk and Osprey both logged above-average numbers.
- Surprisingly, the count of Red-Tailed Hawks (2,393) was 35% below the species’ 10-year average of 3,663.
- Other disappointing numbers included Northern Goshawk (43), Red-shouldered Hawk (223), Rough-Legged Hawk (4), Golden Eagle (99) and Peregrine Falcon (38). In contrast, last year Golden Eagles set a record, and Peregrines tied theirs!

This year’s totals cannot be considered a trend, but must be considered in the context of many years of data.

Field Trips:

Rob Hynson ran this part of the meeting.

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

Friday, January 4th, Hudson Shelf Valley CBC Pelagic, led by Paul Guris, $95.00 covers everything

Saturday, January 12th, Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census, compiled by Keith Russell

Saturday-Monday, January 19th-21st, Long Island including Montauk, led by Chris Walters & Erica Brendel

Saturday, January 26th, Cape May, NJ, led by Martin Selzer
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Upcoming Ornithological Studies:

Chairman Art McMorris announced the following upcoming presentations:

January 3rd – Steve Kacir, “Paleo-ornithological Study”

January 17, 2008 – Frank Windfelder, “Black-capped vs. Carolina Chickadee: How Can You Really Tell?”

Upcoming Programs:

Program Chairman Paul Guris announced the following presentations:
Thursday, January 3rd, Annual Meeting - Election of Officers and new Council Members and Fellows, Treasurer’s Report, Endowment Trustees Report, Christmas Count Reports, Refreshments
Thursday, January 17th - Jeffrey Hall, "Birds on the Rocks (Seabirds in the Canadian Maritimes)"
Thursday, February 7th - Nathan Gregory, "Impacts of Controlled Fires and Traditional Livestock Grazing on Bird Communities in Kenya"
Nominating Committee:

Chris Walters, with Chairman Colin Campbell in attendance, announced the slate of proposed officers, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. They are Paul Guris (President), Frank Windfelder (Vice-President), Art McMorris (Secretary), and Bert Filemyr (Treasurer). Art remains as Cassinia Editor.

The new incoming councilors will be Debbie Beer and Tom Bailey. The other Council members for 2008 will be as follows:

Past President (gasp!) Chris Walters
Connie Goldman & Nate Rice (their terms expire in 2009)
Steve Kacir and JoAnn Raine (their terms expire in 2010)
The club officers, as above.

Announcements:

Anyone who has Christmas Count Summaries should submit these to either Frank Windfelder or Debbie Beer.

Chris Walters once again thanked Bernice and Joe Koplin for the great job they did in organizing the Annual Banquet on December 5th.

Paul Guris solicited help on the Cumberland County, NJ Christmas Count, to be held on December 30th. Contact him at paul AT paulagics.com if interested.

Connie Goldman is working on our new DVOC Business Cards. She should have some at the next meeting.

Anita Guris announced that the 2008 schedule for See Life Paulagics is up on the website. Go to www.paulagics.com .

Local Notes:

On December 3rd, Chris Walters saw a Pileated Woodpecker at a tract he has been monitoring for 5 years. It was the first one he has ever had at this Bryn Mawr, PA location.

On December 9th, Bob Horton saw 13 Bonaparte’s Gulls at Assunpink Wildlife Management Area in New Jersey.

On December 14th, Hart Rufe and many others saw the Long-billed Murrelet that was at Lake Nockamixon in Southeastern PA.

Anita Guris mentioned that her feeders in Green Lane, Montgomery County, PA, have attracted about 20 Purple Finches.

On Tuesday, Connie Goldman saw some interesting Delaware birds, a Wilson’s Warbler at Dragon Run Park, a Red-shouldered Hawk at Bombay Hook, Short-eared Owls at Port Mahon, and Horned Larks and Snow Buntings at Cartanza Road.

Yesterday, Tony Croasdale had a Rough-legged Hawk and a Northern Saw-whet Owl at the John Heinz National Wildlife at Tinicum.

Yesterday, Frank Windfelder had a bird at FDR Park in SW Philly which he believes is a Cackling Goose. He needs someone to go there and photograph the bird, so it can be submitted to the experts.

Ornithological Studies: Adrian Binns educated us on “Separating Hooded and Altamira Orioles in the Rio Grande Valley”

Program: Rob Fergus, Senior Scientist at National Audubon, gave a very informative presentation entitled, "What Is It Like to be a Bird? How Birds See the World.


Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary