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Minutes of the DVOC
February 4, 2010

President Frank Windfelder called the meeting to order at 7:32. Twenty-nine members and nine guests were present. The minutes of the January 21 meeting were accepted as submitted.


Membership: Bert Filemyr announced one member applicant, Joan Cerceo. Bob Horton introduced a new member, Tom Smith.

Conservation: Chair Phil Witmer announced that Hog Island, Maine, a sanctuary of Maine Audubon is struggling to stay open in these financially difficult times. They are asking for volunteers to come to the island and cook or work or provide other services. Al Driscoll added that Maine Audubon took over the facilities at Hog Island from National Audubon.

Field Trips: Chair Win Shafer conducted the trip reports and announcements:

Trip Reports:

January 24 Cumberland and Cape May County, NJ. Barbara Granger reported that the group saw 8 Sandhill Cranes along with many Bald Eagles.

January 30 Conowingo Dam, MD, and Perryville, PA. Tom Reeves reported that there were very few birds sighted on this trip.

January 31 Winter waterfowl at Roosevelt Park, Philadelphia. Debbie Beer reported that the trip was moved to Tinicum (John Heinz NWR), PA. The weather was very cold. Highlights of the trip were Red-shouldered Hawk, Fox Sparrow and Field Sparrow.

Trip Announcements:

February 7 Manahawkin WMA, NJ. Led by Tony Croasdale. Please contact Tony if you plan to go on this trip. Poor weather may require the trip to be cancelled.

February 13-15 Win Shafer will be running a trip to Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, and other locations in eastern Ontario over Presidents’ weekend, Feb. 13-15 (Sat. – Mon.). Targets will be winter finches, raptors, owls, boreal birds, and whatever surprises are waiting. The first bird seen last year was a Slaty-backed Gull. This trip is full and Win has a waiting list.

February 15 North Shore, NJ Led by Sandra Keller. This trip will visit the ponds and ocean along the north shore of NJ.


Art McMorris announced the next three upcoming programs.

The Program on February 18 will be Doug Gross presenting “Recovery of Endangered Birds in Pennsylvania: the Birds, the Process, and New Challenges”. Doug will review the Pennsylvania bird species of concern list and the recovery process, using the Bald Eagle as an example of a successful recovery. He also will review other challenges we face in bird conservation in the state. Doug is Endangered Bird Specialist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and is well known for his lively, informative and entertaining presentations.

The Program on March 4 will be Julie Hagelin, presenting “Tales from a Tangerine-Scented Seabird: Sex, Perfume and Parasites of Crested Auklets” Those who have been close to a Crested Auklet breeding colony know that these unusual birds smell like freshly-peeled tangerines, but no one has taken this observation as far as Dr. Julie Hagelin, Assistant Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College.

The Program on March 18 will be Win Shafer presenting “Birds of the Appalachian Trail.” DVOC member Win Shafer and his son Blake (AKA Birdman and Li’l Wayne) spent 4 1/2 months in 2009 through-hiking the entire 2175 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine. Being in the mountains and woods in many different life zones during spring migration afforded incomparable opportunities for bird observation. Win will give a travelogue of his unique adventure and birding experience.

Art also announced the upcoming Ornithological Studies.

2/18 - OPEN
3/4 - "Eye-arcs and Orbital Rings" - Frank Windfelder.


Frank Windfelder said that the previously announced Memorial Service for former President Jonn LaVia will be held on May 1st at 10:30 AM at the Doane Academy (609-386-3500). It's at 350 Riverbank Street, Burlington, NJ 08016. It will be held in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents. The Doc LaVia Memorial Endowment will be maintained as a segregated fund, and is open to contributions, both in cash and in securities. Contributions can be sent to the Doc LaVia Memorial Endowment, Doane Academy, 350 Riverbank, Burlington, NJ 08016.

John Billings, a long-time Member and Fellow had given the DVOC $2000 in his will. He would like the money used to provide an award of $200 each year for the person that sees the highest number of birds in that year. A committee has been established to carry out this request. The Chair is Art McMorris.

The daughter of Edward Joseph Reimann sent a letter to the club letting us know of the passing of her father. He had been a long-time member of the club.

Paul Guris announced the pelagic trip scheduled for February 6 has been rescheduled to February 13 due the pending snowstorm. He also announced that he will be running pelagic trips in North Carolina over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Local Notes: Keith Russell reported on the Philadelphia Mid-winter Census. A total of 93 species were found, including 2 new species for this count, the Dickcissel and the Barn Swallow.

Howard Eskin reported on his recent trip to Barnegat Inlet, NJ. He reported Black and Surf Scoters, Common Eider, Ipswich Sparrow and American Pipit.

Debbie Beer reported Red-shouldered Hawk, Eurasian Teal and Horned Grebe on the North Shore, NJ.

Bert Filemyr reported Iceland Gull, Female Barrow’s Goldeneye, and 4 Razorbills at Sandy Hook, NJ.

Paul Guris reported 200 Common Eider and 335 Harlequin Ducks at Barnegat Inlet, NJ three weeks ago. He also reported 200 Razorbills, 2 Atlantic Puffins and 33 Common Murre during his recent pelagic from Freeport NY.

Frank Windfelder reported that the Bald Eagles at Pennypack Park, Philadelphia have not yet laid eggs. Doris McGovern reported that the Bald Eagle pair at Tinicum (John Heinz NWR), PA is building two nests.

Vincent Nichnadowicz reported a Dovekie on Long Island, NY as well as 2 Trumpeter Swans at Yaphank, NY.

Ornithological Study:

Frank Windfelder presented a study on Scaup ID.

Main Program:

Robert Kirk presented a program entitled “Behind the scenes of a field guide”.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Horton, Secretary