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Minutes of the DVOC
March 21, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. Twenty-two members and two guests were in attendance.

The minutes of the 7 March 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.

President Art McMorris welcomed guests.


Membership Committee:

Chairperson Bonnie Witmer announced the newest members of the DVOC: Anne Bekker and Michael Sonkowsky. Bonnie also mentioned new member, Jack Beltz, who had been announced as a new member at the DVOC meeting held on 7 March 2013. Bonnie read an application for membership newly submitted by Kenneth Frank.


Editor Dave Long announced that he had a proof copy of issue 72/73 of Cassinia, which covers the years of 2006 through 2009. Dave thanked everyone who has helped make this next issue possible including Barbara Granger, Bert Filemyr, Steve Kerr and Art McMorris. Dave mentioned that the next issue would be another double issue and would cover the years from 2010 through 2013.

Bob Billings Big Year Committee:

Chairperson Art McMorris reminded members that they needed to contact the committee if they wanted to be eligible to compete in the 2013 Billings Big Year Competition. The deadline for notifying the committee of one’s intent to participate in the Billings Year is 31 March 2013. Art mentioned that the results from the last two Billings Year Competitions (2011-2012) are up on the DVOC website. A new simplified form for reporting rare species in the competition is also available online.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer briefly mentioned that legislation concerning the Keystone XL pipeline was imminent, and recommended members contact their Congressmen and President Barack Obama if they are opposed to the pipeline project.

Field Trip Committee:

Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
9 March 2013 – Barnegat Light, NJ. Led by Chris Walters, this field trip was designed with new members and students in mind. At Barnegat Light, the participants enjoyed such local specialties as Common Eiders, Harlequin Ducks, Purple Sandpipers, and Iceland Gull. Afterwards, the field trip visited Brigantine Island and saw the Marbled Godwits and Western Willets that spend the winter at that site.

Trip Announcements:
20 APR 2013 – Coastal Delaware. Leader is Lynn Jackson. This is a joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon, and will meet at Prime Hook NWR then explore coastal Delaware from Southern DE through Bombay Hook NWR.

21 APR 2013 – Franklin Parker Preserve. Leader is Tony Croasdale joined by Emile De Vito, who acts as a leader and roving historian for this trip. This year, the trip is being held a month later than last year and will look for lingering winter species and early spring migrants and breeding species.

Ornithological Moments Committee:

Chairperson Rob Bierregaard announced that Chris Walters will present an Ornithological Moment about Mew Gull identification on 4 APR 2013.
Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

April 4: Greg Budney of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds will present “The Diversity of Animal Sounds.”

April 18: Steve Kacir will present "New South Wales: Australian Surf & Turf.”


Bonnie Witmer announced that the BirdsEye Smartphone App is seeking photo contributions for an expanding database to be used in the next upgrade to the app, and are running a contest in which each photo contribution acts as an entry into the contest.

Local Notes:

Gregg Gorton reported that the Manayunk Peregrine Falcons can be viewed well from The Couch Tomato restaurant and from the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. Art McMorris and Rob Bierregaard later added that the intersection at Terrace St and Lofty St was another good location from which to observe these nesting Peregrines.

In an impromptu question and answer session, Art McMorris gave an overview and update of the Peregrine Falcons nesting in Pennsylvania, with particular attention being given to those birds nesting in the Philadelphia area.

Bert Filemyr reported that the female Rufous Hummingbird that appeared at his feeders on 16 October 2012 was still present and still molting into fresh plumage. This hummingbird has been at Bert’s yard for five months now.

Barbara Granger reported on behalf of the DVOC Youth Birding Committee that Cindy Ahern has arranged for a DVOC table and birdwalks at the Jarrett Nature Center in Horsham on 20 April 2013 as part of the celebrations for Earth Day. Around twenty species of bird were present at the nature center while Barbara and Cindy toured the grounds.

Rob Bierregaard reported that Dark-eyed Juncos were singing – a sign of spring.

Phil Witmer reported an American Kestrel was in Brooklyn, NY.

Tony Croasdale commented that American Kestrels also nest in Philadelphia, including one at an old church at 10th and Washington near Rittenhouse Square, one at Fort Dickson and one at The Drake. Art McMorris added that there was also one at the Navy Yard.

Erica Brendel reported a Red-breasted Nuthatch caching seeds in her yard.

Art McMorris reported that a Red-breasted Nuthatch was in his neighbor’s yard.

Ornithological Moment:

Rob Bierregaard presented a short program entitled “The Rift Valley Migration Corridor.”

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced the evening’s speaker, Sally Ann Sims. Sally Ann Sims presented “Room to Move? Piping Plover Nesting Habitat & Sea Level Rise in Rhode Island.”


The meeting was adjourned at 9:28PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary