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Minutes of the DVOC
November 1, 2012
President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:33 PM. Fourteen members and eight guests were present.
The minutes of the 18 October 2012 meeting were unavailable, so approval of the minutes was deferred until such time as the minutes had been produced.
Chairperson Bonnie Witmer announced new applicants for membership: Jared Ciocco of Pine Beach, NJ; Jordan Piazza of Pine Beach, NJ; Maryanne and James Siti of Ridley Park, PA. Bonnie announced the newest members of the DVOC: Ann Reeves and Skyler Streich.
Chairperson Phil Witmer reported that eight conservation-minded organizations have called upon the US Fish and Wildlife Service to make changes at the 28 wind turbine installation in Oakland, MD to reduce the record mortality rates for birds and bats at that site.
Field Trip Committee:
Win Shafer conducted the trip reports and trip announcements:
Oct 20 – John Heinz NWR at Tinicum, Philadelphia, PA. Leader was Win Shafer. The participants of this field trip enjoyed listening to a singing Marsh Wren, a late record for the species and for its song to be heard. Other species found during the field trip included Snow Goose, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler and Pine Siskin. The previously reported Snowy Egret did not put in an appearance that day.
Nov 3 – Saw-whet Owl Banding at Hidden Valley, PA. Leader is Debbie Beer. This annual trip to Scott Weidensaul’s Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station will give participants an opportunity to observe owl-banding and get close looks at Northern Saw-whet Owls. Bring snacks and dress for the weather. This field trip is currently full with a waiting list. The trip meets at 6:30 PM at the banding station, located along the Kittitany Ridge on Second Mountain in Schuylkill County - approximately 2 hours from Philadelphia.
Win Shafer also announced that the banding station at Rushton Farm as part of the Willistown Conservation Trust would be another venue to observe Northern Saw-whet owl banding. The schedule for when the banding station would be open to the public can be found online.
Nov 25 – Formerly the Brigantine Division of Edwin B Forsythe NWR. Leader is Sandra Keller. Due to the damage from Hurricane Sandy and subsequent closures at the refuge, this trip will likely be rescheduled or undergo a change in venue. Details at the time of the meeting remained to be determined.
Chairperson Barbara Granger announced that there were 40 registrants already signed up for the annual banquet. The banquet will take place on Nov 15 at the Sheet Metal Workers Hall. Barbara announced that a display table for PA Audubon and a few other display tables would be present. The speaker, Stephen Kress is the director of Project Puffin and will present “Restoring Endangered Seabirds: Lessons from Puffins and Terns.” Stephen Kress has been active in seabird restoration, preserving Hog Island, teaching and training others in environmental education. Disappointingly, it was revealed that there would be no puffins available during the speaker’s presentation. Bonnie Witmer is organizing a slide show featuring DVOC members that will be played during the cocktail hour. Bonnie reported that she was still seeking submissions for the slideshow. Additional details can be found on-line: http://www.dvoc.org/Banquet/Banquet.htm
Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.
On Nov 15, the DVOC Banquet speaker will be Stephen Kress, the director of Project Puffin will present “Restoring Endangered Seabirds: Lessons from Puffins and Terns.”
On Dec 6, the DVOC Members’ Photography Night will take place. Phil is seeking volunteers to act as judges and/or suggestions for judges. Phil is also seeking suggestions for a format for the Annual DVOC Members’ Photography Night.
On Dec 20, Robert DeCandido and Deborah Allen will present “Raptor Migration in South-east Asia.”
The club’s Annual Members Meeting will take place on Jan 3, 2013. During this meeting, Bert Filemyr will also make a short presentation related to DVOC history.
Phil Witmer mentioned that the DVOC Photo Night guidelines for 2012 were as follows:
Photographers can submit up to five photos for the Birds Category and for the Natural History Category. In the categories of Scenery and Birders, each photographer may submit up to three photos for each category. (Thus each photographer may submit up to 16 photos).
First, Second and Third Place will be awarded for each category.
Prizes will be awarded for the First Prize winner in each category and for the overall Best-of-Show.
Submitted photos should be of a maximum resolution of 1024 X 768.
Submissions can be sent through the mail, handed off as a CD to Phil Witmer or emailed to Phil.
Previously submitted photos are ineligible for the competition.
Art McMorris announced that Bob Sharp had told him that Nathaniel Sharp had won a Wyncote Audubon Society scholarship to Hog Island.
Art McMorris announced that the Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas (2004-2009) was soon to see publication. Delivery was expected to occur around Thanksgiving. The atlas includes 1.5 million compiled records, about five times as many as the first atlas. Around 2,000 volunteers contributed to the project, and the DVOC contributed towards the publication with a former World Series of Birding fundraising initiative. The DVOC had previously received a sneak peek of the atlas data when Andy Wilson presented a program detailing some of the results of the second atlas.
Mike O’Brien announced that the seniors of Holy Family Home Nursing Home are selling bluebird houses. The bluebird houses are high quality and cost $35 each with a discounted price of $20 for individuals or nature centers that would like to purchase six or more, allowing nature centers to put them up for sale at a profit. The birdhouses are all handmade by seniors at the nursing home.
Win Shafer reported that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he and others birded downstream of Pennypack on the Delaware and recorded 4-5 Leach’s Storm-petrels, 1 Sooty Tern, 1 Sabine’s Gull, a flock of Common Terns, all three species of scoter, Parasitic Jaegers, Red Phalarope and Sanderling. Art McMorris commented that some of the Leach’s Storm-petrels at the Delaware River fell prey of Peregrine Falcons. Marty Dellwo added that the Delaware River had Long-tailed Ducks and Brant after the hurricane, and that two Leach’s Storm-petrels were found there on the morning of 31 OCT 2012.
Win Shafer reported that a Red Phalarope, Cave Swallows and a Northern Shrike were at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum on 31 OCT 2012.
Bert Filemyr reported that a Selasphorus Hummingbird Sp. appeared at his feeders on 16 OCT 2012 and was still present as of 1 NOV 2012. Bert reported that he had taken excellent photos of the bird’s spread tail feathers, but that the field marks were not diagnostic in the photos. Phil Witmer later remarked that Scott Weidensaul had told him that there were a number of Selasphorus Sp. hummingbirds in Pennsylvania currently, but that Scott’s schedule was preventing him from being able to band those birds. Several members indicated that other hummingbird banders in the state should also be contacted about autumn hummingbirds.
Marty Dellwo found a Black-throated Blue Warbler in his Philadelphia yard two weeks ago.
Mike O’Brien asked if anyone knew anything about what had occurred in Cape May for the Autumn Weekend, as Hurricane Sandy had interrupted that event. Bert Filemyr responded, saying that the migration had not been exceptional during the Autumn Weekend, but that the usual suspects were around. Bert mentioned that Evening Grosbeaks were in Seaview that Thursday and that Richard Crossley had spotted a Townsend’s Solitaire in his yard.
No Ornithological Moment.
Vice President Phil Witmer introduced tonight’s speaker, Bob Curry who presented “Advances in Chickadee Hybridization: Birds and Methods on the Move,” during which we learned about the many animals that like to eat chickadees, compete for nest sites with chickadees and/or destroy valuable scientific equipment. We also were treated to video footage revealing the murderous nature of the House Wren. The talk concluded at 9:26PM, but the question and answer period was still going strong by 9:55PM
The meeting was adjourned at 9:55PM.
Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary