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Minutes of the DVOC
February 7, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM. Seventeen members and eight guests were present.

The minutes of the 17 January 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.


Membership Committee:

Chairperson Bonnie Witmer announced the newest member of the DVOC: Dr. Doug Tallamy. Bonnie also read new applications for membership from Cindy Ferguson and Jack Beltz.

Bob Billings Award Committee:

President Art McMorris briefly described the Bob Billings Big Year Award Competition and announced the winner of the 2012 competition. Ken Tischner won the Bob Billings Big Year Award for 2012, tallying 369 species the year within the Billings Competition territory. Art anticipates that Ken will give a short presentation on his big year at a later date, as Mike Fritz had done for the 2011 competition. Art asked that members who plan on participating in the 2013 competition contact him or the committee by the March 31 deadline.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer announced that Laurie Goodrich at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary wrote him thanking the club for its contribution towards the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary American Kestrel Program’s American Kestrel nest box and conservation color brochure, the printing of which was accomplished through the DVOC Loons World Series of Birding Team and the DVOC’s World Series of Birding fundraising effort. The brochure is designed to help landowners participate in the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary American Kestrel Conservation Program, and Laurie wrote that the brochure program has been a big success leading to donations of kestrel boxes, people building kestrel boxes and a number of brochures being distributed to landowners at the Farm Show.

Field Trip Committee:

Linda Widdop conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
19-21 JAN 2013 – Montauk (Long Island, NY). This trip was led by Chris Walters and Erica Brendel. Erica Brendel mentioned trip highlights including Tufted Duck and Razorbill. Barbara Granger added Snowy Owl to that list. Erica mentioned that there was some damage from Hurricane Sandy still in evidence on Long Island. Art McMorris mentioned that the trip also saw a large flock of about eight thousand Greater Scaup.
20 JAN 2013 – Cumberland County, NJ. This trip was led by Tony Croasdale. Ed Mittinger reported that those attending the field trip decided to forego a search for the Cumberland County Sandhill Crane flock, which has been absent all season; instead, the field trip repositioned to New Egypt, NJ for a viewing of the three Northern Lapwings.

Trip Announcements:
10 Feb 2013 – Photography Field Trip to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. Leader is Steve Kacir. This annual photography trip to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park will meet at the parking lot for the park at 8:00AM. The trip will focus on obtaining some good photos of the local wildlife including: Common Eiders, Harlequin Ducks, scoters, cormorants, loons, etc. This is basically a half-day trip, focusing on the birds and other wildlife viewable from the Barnegat Lighthouse jetty.
18 Feb 2013 – North Shore of New Jersey Field Trip. Leader is Sandra Keller. This trip will attempt to locate overwintering waterfowl, alcids and recently reported North Shore specialties. The trip will meet at the south side of Shark River Inlet at 10:30AM.
TBA – Franklin Parker Preserve. Leader is Tony Croasdale. New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Emile De Vito will meet the attending participants in Chatsworth and guide them through the preserve. Some target species for this trip include Tundra Swan, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, American Pipit, Savannah Sparrow and Merlin. The trip will meet at the Chatsworth Firehouse (corner of 563 and 532) at 9:00am and carpool into the preserve. Afterwards, the trip may try a reliable Red-headed Woodpecker location in the pinelands, or go to Tuckerton if time allows.
Ornithological Moments Committee:

No report.

Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

Feb 21: Joel Fry, Curator of Bartram Gardens will talk about Alexander Wilson and his history at Bartram Gardens.

Mar 7: TBA

Mar 21: Sally Ann Sims will present "Room to Move? Piping Plover Nesting Habitat and Sea Level Rise in Rhode Island."

President Art McMorris announced that he had received a copy of The Unfeathered Bird by Katrina van Grouw, an informative and lushly illustrated book. Art passed around the copy for members to peruse.
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.
Steve Kacir announced that club member George Armistead would be presenting “‘pOrnithology’: The Birds and the Birds and the Bees” at the Wagner Free Institute of Science on 13 Feb 2013 at 5:30PM. Admission is free, though an $8-10 suggested donation would be appreciated. More information is available online:
Bonnie Witmer announced that Doug Tallamy, the recipient of the 2012 Rosalie Edge Award for Conservation, will be presenting a talk entitled “Treasures Among Our Natives” at Jenkins Arboretum on Feb 24. Pre-registration is required and there is a $5 fee. More information about the talk can be found here:

Local Notes:
Steve Kacir reported that on Sunday Feb 3, a pelagic trip out of Belmar, NJ enjoyed sightings of Razorbills, Common Murres, Dovekies, a Black-legged Kittiwake, Glaucous Gulls, Iceland Gulls and two white-winged gulls that defied firm identification. One of these was a fairly dark gull that may have been a very pale Herring Gull and the other was either a very small Glaucous Gull or a very large Iceland Gull. Rick Mellon mentioned that there was a small subspecies of Glaucous Gull that could be confused with Iceland Gull. Later Steve Kacir confirmed (via Google) that Rick was right for “the second time” that evening. The small Glaucous Gull subspecies Larus hyperboreus barrovianus is small enough to be confused with Iceland Gull.

Mike O’Brien reported that a flock of fourteen juncos has been frequenting 53rd and Chestnut St in Philadelphia.

Linda Widdop reported on her successful excursion to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary to see Common Redpolls. Afterwards, the attending members and guests commented on the general elusiveness of winter finches for this winter and years past.

Ornithological Moment:

No Ornithological Moment.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced tonight’s speakers, Phil and Bonnie Witmer who presented “Phil & Bonnie Go Birding: A January Trip to New Mexico.”


The meeting was adjourned at 9:10PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary