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Minutes of the DVOC
April 15, 2010
Frank Windfelder, club president, called the meeting to order
at 7:31pm. There were 23 members and 5 guests present. Guests included speaker
Dyana Furmansky of Denver, Colorado; Bob Sharp, father of youth member Nathaniel
Sharp; Michelle Rudy of Fox Books; Merritt Long; and Dan Koba.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as posted on the DVOC website.
Phil Witmer announced again that our 2010 World Series of Birding
conservation monies will go to a Tinicum NWR program aimed at decreasing bird
deaths from window strikes. He appealed for pledges for this important conservation
cause. The WSB will be held on May 15th this year.
Phil also announced that the Audubon Society was offering advocacy training for some interested persons. Anyone interested should contact Phil Witmer for more information.
Connie Goldman announced the application of Hank Ballerstedt, long time birder, known to numerous DVOCers through his 17 yrs participation at Militia Hill Hawk Watch.
Saturday, 4/17 – a shared Wyncote/DVOC trip to Coastal Delaware led by Lynn Jackson. See the website for details.
Sunday, 4/18 – Steve Kacir spoke of his upcoming trip for rails and other night birds along the Delaware&Chesapeake Canal. The clear skies and low wind predicted could mean a very good night for these birds to call. Meeting time will be 3:30am, additional info on the website.
Also on Sunday, 4/18 – Jeff Holt will lead a trip to Riverwinds in NJ and the National Parks dredge spoils. Target will be for early migrants. Meet at the Riverwinds nature trail at 7:00am.
On 4/24, Jane Henderson will lead a trip through Washington Crossing State Park with a focus on Spring warblers. Meet at 8am in the Flourtown day use area.
The upcoming trip to Rushton Farms has been cancelled for now. A recent injury has Doris McGovern unable to run in the planned bird banding there. Look for possible re-scheduling of the trip for Fall.
Over the weekend of 4/30 – 5/2 will be Colin Campbell’s trip through coastal Delaware. A new venue for camping has been chosen for this year, at Cape Henlopen State Park Campground.
Contact Colin or see the website for details.
Orni Studies – in Todd Fellenbaum’s absence, Art referred members to the web site for a listing of future orni studies.
Programs – Vice President Art McMorris announced the
following upcoming programs:
On 5/6 – Andy Wilson will present “Results of the Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas – a Sneak Preview”
On 5/20 – Hernan Arauz “Birding in Panama: The Avian Crossroads”
On 6/3 – Cathy Haffner “Sharing the Shoreline: Status, Research and Recovery of Great Lakes Piping Plovers”
Our 2010 Banquet speaker has now been arranged. Scott Weidensaul will speak on the topic “Messing Around with Birds for Fun and Science”
Steve Kacir needs volunteers interested in being substitute readers, etc for the RBA. Contact Steve for more information.
Erica Brendel announced an upcoming photo show featuring Carpenter’s Woods, at the Allen’s Lane Art Center. Some photos will depict birds including the Screech Owls that nest in the area.
Bert Filemyr, member of the world series of birding team the DVOC Lagerhead Shrikes, announced that the team has a blog this year, available for those interested to get a picture of what the team is doing with respect to planning, etc. Posts may be sent to the blog on the day of the WSB, so DVOCers can follow along, periodically getting updates on the team’s progress, etc.
Frank Windfelder announced that Doris McGovern needs participants for sections of the area’s North American Migration Count. If you could help in Philadelphia or surrounding areas, contact Doris by email. The count takes place on May 8th. Marty Dellwo also has information on the count.
Local Notes - the following reports were given:
On a recent day trip to Belleplain with Todd Fellenbaum and
Tony Croasdale, Steve Kacir saw Ovenbirds & Louisiana Waterthrush. They
went to Cape May for the Brown-headed Nuthatch reported there, and also had
Cattle Egrets at the Rea Farm.
Erica Brendel updated reports on the Screech Owl nest in Carpenter’s Woods. One bird only is now leaving the nest, and comes to feed the other bird in the nest. It’s now presumed there are eggs.
Win Shafer – the youth birders class he holds at Episcopal Academy have found Rough-winged and Tree Swallows and also Yellow-throated Warbler on the school’s campus. In response to a question from Barbara Granger, Win explained that this is a class of 7th graders, and, as for the birding, they “love it!”
Art McMorris announced that the peregrine eggs on the PA turnpike bridge hatched last Sunday! 4/11 is very early for hatching in our area. Judging by bird pair presence and behaviors, 36 possible nest sites have been identified this year. While not all nests are successful, this number of sites is significantly higher than last year.
Members discussed a failed Philadelphia eagle nest, and Steve Kacir verified via quick web searching, that eagles have in the past re-nested if the failed nest was early enough in the season.
Colin Campbell saw a Broad-winged Hawk over Ashland Nature Center, DE today. Chris Walters also has seen Broad-winged Hawk.
Bonnie Witmer gave an account of a pair of Canada Geese who chose a pansy flowerbed as their nest site at her place of work, a psychiatric facility. The proximity of this nest to people has fueled interest in these birds and in the phenomenon of bird nesting. Both Staff and patients have “adopted” the pair, are observing their nesting, have hung protective caution tapes around the nest area as a barrier.
Marty Dellwo reported a quiet day overall last weekend at Tinicum, with few warblers present. The woodcocks seem to have dispersed and/or quieted down.
Nathaniel Sharp has had 4-5 Chipping Sparrows at his feeders, with 1 or 2 singing.
Frank Windfelder had a Brown Thrasher in his yard, clearly a migrant.
The meeting’s Ornithological Study was presented by Steve Kacir, his topic being “Notes on an Aberrant White-Winged Gull” Steve took members photographically through the thought process and research behind the final confident identification of a pale gull. (See Steve’s presentation, posted on our website, for the ID!)
Our main program was presented by Dyana Furmansky, author of “Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy,” a biographical account of the life and accomplishments of Rosalie Edge. Many of us know of Rosalie’s accomplishments on behalf of hawk conservation at Hawk Mountain. Dyana enlightened club members with aspects of this woman’s life, and the full breadth of her conservation work, which included the designation of Olympic National Park, prevention of the lumbering of part of Yosemite National Park and the prevention of the diversion of waters from Yellowstone Falls, and many other significant projects. She is perhaps the first to have spoken out as an “environmental” advocate, as opposed to the initial view of conservation as that of saving only those species that were seen at the point in time as valuable resources. In response to her outspokenness, Rosalie was labeled a “hellcat” and a “common scold” by conservationists of the day. Dyana agrees with the assessment that Ms Edge’s accomplishments, in spite of her relative obscurity today, make her the most important conservationist between the times of John Muir and those of Rachel Carson. Dyana’s book, blog and future projects are aimed at correcting the lack of appreciation for this vastly accomplished woman.
Connie Goldman, for Secretary Bob Horton