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Minutes of the DVOC
March 15, 2007

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. In attendance were 50 members.

Membership Committee: Connie Goldman announced that lapsed member David Lauer has been re-admitted. Ross Geredien, who was announced as a new member at the last meeting, was in attendance.

Conservation: Chairperson Debbie Beer spoke about a number of issues:

1) Schuylkill Township in Chester County, PA is undergoing efforts to protect a Bald Eagle nest.

2) Now is the time to start monitoring Eastern Bluebird trails.

3) Earth Day is April 22nd. Go to http://www.worldwildlife.org/earthday for details.

4) The Fish & Wildlife Service will decide on June 29th whether or not to de-list the Bald Eagle, currently protected under the Endangered Species Act.

5) It was announced on March 13th that a Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee has been formed. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is currently seeking nominations for the group, which will advise him on effective measures to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats related to land-based wind energy facilities.

By some estimates, wind power could provide clean and renewable electricity to meet up to 20 percent of the nation’s energy needs. “We know that wind power may be key to providing a vital new source of clean, renewable energy for America,” said Kempthorne. “But we also know that wind turbines can cause bird and bat mortality and may have other ecological impacts. This committee will help us examine issues such as site selection and turbine design so that we can develop wind resources while protecting wildlife.”

Field Trips: Co-chairman Rob Hynson ran this part of the meeting.

Andy Fayer led the Saturday, March 10th trip to Southern Bucks County, PA. Highlights were Glaucous, Iceland and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Tom Reeves reported on the Saturday, March 10th trip to Conowingo Dam and Muddy Run, PA. Conowingo had twenty species of ducks, 30 Bald Eagles, and 100 Great Blue Herons. Muddy Run had thousands of Snow Geese and many Tundra Swans.

Jeff Holt reported on the Sunday, March 11th trip to Mill Grove and the John James Audubon Center. Eleven people were treated to a tour of the museum, and were able to look at a volume of Audubon’s “Birds of America”.

Chris Walters reported on the Sunday, March 11th Youth Trip to Barnegat Light, NJ. A number of youths from the Upper Main Line YMCA and Cindy Ahern’s son and friend were in attendance. Highlights were many Harlequin Ducks and about 200 Purple Sandpipers.

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

Saturday, March 24th – Pedricktown and Mannington Marsh, Southwestern New Jersey, led by Frank Windfelder

Saturday, April 7th – Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Rail Trip, Delaware, led by Steve Kacir

Saturday, April 14th – John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, led by Denis Brennan

Saturday, April 21st – Brigantine NWR (Forsythe Division), led by Andy Smith

Sunday, April 22nd – Riverwinds and National Park dredge spoils, NJ, led by Jeff Holt

Upcoming Programs:

Program Chairman Paul Guris announced the following presentations:

Thursday, April 5th – Book Auction - The auction is open to the public and to Internet bidding (via e-mail). There will be a Silent Auction and a Live Auction. Go to www.dvoc.org/MeetingsPrograms/MeetingsPrograms2007/BookAuction2007.htm . Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, April 19th - David La Puma, "Radar Ornithology"
Thursday, May 3rd – Blake Mathys, “Great Kiskadees in Bermuda and Trinidad”
Announcements:

There are two upcoming trips for American Woodcock at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Doris McGovern will lead on Saturday, March 17th and Tom Reeves will lead on Sunday, March 25th. Meet at 6:00 PM.

“Pennsylvania Birds” is a quarterly publication of the Pennsylvania society of Ornithology. Doris McGovern is the compiler for both Philadelphia and Delaware Counties. If you want to report bird sightings in the December, 2006 to February 2007 time frame, send them to her. She can accept data in Microsoft Excel format.

John Goschke mentioned that, ‘Wissahickon worth Preserving” by Jamie Stewart, a publication of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, will be available in April. Their website is located at www.wvwa.org .

Anita Guris mentioned that the upcoming pelagic trip out of Cape May on March 18th is sold out, but there are still spaces on the April 7th trip out of Lewes, DE. Go to www.paulagics.com for details.

Paul Guris will be co-leading three trips out of North Carolina, aboard the “Country Girl”, co-led by Mary Gustafson and Mike Fritz. The dates are June 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Paul will also be leading a “Searcher” pelagic trip out of San Diego, September 3rd to 7th, 2007.

This year, our annual fund raising drive will support three years of Summer Internships at the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Bird Department. We are committed to donating $3,000.00 for the project. Funds are raised through pledges, based upon the results of our DVOC-Nikon World Series of Birding Team. You can pledge so many cents per bird, or a fixed dollar amount. Pledges can be made on our website, and a pledge form will be available at the next meeting. Current members of our DVOC/Nikon Team are Paul Guris, Mike Fritz, Bert Filemyr and Eric Pilotte. Help us scout, so that our team can come up with a big number!

Today, Chris Walters, Paul Guris, and Nate Rice met with new Academy of Natural Sciences President Dr. William Brown. One of the discussion items was our commitment to the above internship program. Chris mentioned that we want to explore other ways to exploit our relationship with the Academy.

Bert Filemyr announced that Merchandise with the DVOC Logo is now available on our website at http://www.cafepress.com/dvoc . Lagerhead Shrikes Merchandise is available at http://www.cafepress.com/nikondvoc . Both can also be accessed through www.dvoc.org .

Tony Croasdale announced two benefits to raise pledges for his “Bristleheads” team in the New Jersey World Series of Birding competition. Pledge money will be used to benefit a wildlife sanctuary in Borneo. His own band, playing mostly Punk Rock music, will appear on April 6th at the Mill Creek Tavern, 4200 Chester Avenue. His father’s band, “The Immortals”, playing Irish/Celtic Folk music, will appear there on April 26th. Both gigs are at 9:00 PM, at a cost of $6.00.

The Urner Ornithological Club is having its annual banquet on April 26th. The affair will be held in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, at a cost of $60.00. Kenn Kaufman is the speaker.

Local Notes:

Lydia Reichner recently saw Fox Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pine Siskin, and Eastern Phoebe in Burlington County, NJ.

Tom Reeves saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch in Tyler State Park.

Ross Geredien saw a Pine Warbler in Valley Forge, PA.

On Tuesday, March 13th, Connie Goldman and company had a Ross’s Goose at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, PA. She noted that Tundra Swans seemed to be in the process of migrating out of the area and presumably heading north.

On Sunday, March 11th, Doris McGovern, Frank Windfelder and others saw a Rough-legged Hawk at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in SW Philadelphia.

Frank and Debbie Beer saw a female Surf Scoter at the Naval Business Center on March 13th.

While looking for the Eurasian Teal in the Delaware County portion of Tinicum, Martin Dellwo saw a Greater Yellowlegs.

Colin Campbells’s recent reports included another Cooper’s Hawk pigeon kill at his feeder in New Castle County, Delaware. Downstate, he saw both Ross’s Goose and Northern Shrike at Prime Hook, Piping Plover at Cape Henlopen, and Osprey at Port Mahon.

Ornithological Studies: Steve Kacir gave an informative presentation on “Poisonous Birds”. Certain species actually have toxins in their feathers.

Program: Mark Garland’s topic was "Tropical Birds Do the Coolest Things", in which he had great slides and great insights about neo-tropical birds. His hummingbird photos were particularly outstanding.

Respectfully submitted,
Frank Windfelder, Secretary