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Minutes of the DVOC
October 17, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:36PM. Twenty-one members and three guests were in attendance.

The minutes of the 3 October 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.

President Art McMorris welcomed guests including Pat Rieker.


Membership Committee:

Chairperson Bonnie Witmer read the application for membership submitted as a gift membership for Carol Elwell.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer read from an email sent by New Jersey Audubon Society about Piping Plovers and the development of the general management plan for Gateway National Recreation Area, which includes Sandy Hook. NJAS supports management plan C and recommends that birders use the public comment period to support this plan. Pete Bacinski noted that another group was supporting management plan B, but that NJAS believes plan B to be a poor choice for Piping Plover management. Art McMorris mentioned that since another group is supporting plan B, it is all the more important for birders to support plan C. Public comments can be made online:

Phil read from an email sent by National Audubon about the proposal for the migratory rufa subspecies of the Red Knot and the western population of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on the proposals. More about this is available online:!documentDetail;D=FWS-R5-ES-2013-0097-0001!documentDetail;D=FWS-R8-ES-2013-0104-0001

Phil announced that the California ban on lead ammunition was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

Phil read from an article noting that 99% of human-related bird deaths in Canada can be attributed to window-strikes and predation by domestic cats. More on this can be found online:


No Report.

Field Trip Committee:

Committee Member Marty Dellwo conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
No Reports.

Trip Announcements:

2 NOV 2013 – Saw-whet Owl Banding at Hidden Valley, PA. Leader is Debbie Beer. The DVOC continues it's longtime tradition of visiting Scott Weidensaul’s Saw-whet Owl Banding Station during the peak of Saw-whet migration. This popular field trip provides an opportunity to observe and learn from the experts on banding Saw-whet Owls. Meet at the banding station at 6:30 PM, located along the Kittatinny Ridge on Second Mountain in Schuylkill County - approximately 2 hours from Philadelphia. Dress warmly. Expect to be out till 11PM. This trip is limited to 15 participants - registration required. Contact Debbie Beer at debbeer(at) or 610-955-4098. Provide name(s) in your party and cell phone number. First come, first served. There is often a waiting list; please make sure you attend if you register.

2 NOV 2013 – Conowingo Dam, MD. This is a joint field trip for DVOC and the Birding Club of Delaware County. Leader is Tom Reeves. Birding on the Susquehanna River where there is a nice concentration of Bald Eagles around Conowingo Dam. Meet at 9 AM at Fisherman’s Park at Conowingo Dam.

Ornithological Moments Committee:

No Report

Banquet Committee:

Chairperson Barbara Granger reminded members that registrations for the banquet were due by 8 NOV 2013. Barbara mentioned that she plans to have resource tables at the banquet including a table for Willistown Conservation Trust and a table for the speaker, Bill Thompson III. Barbara is seeking individuals who could provide transportation to the banquet for senior members and other members unable to drive to the banquet.


Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

NOV 7: Doug Tallamy will “Plant a Better Bird Feeder.”

NOV 21: The Annual DVOC Banquet featuring speaker William Thompson III, editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest.

DEC 5: Annual DVOC Members Photo Night and Photo Contest.


President Art McMorris announced that changes in the food and drink policies of the Academy of Natural Sciences means that the 118th Annual Members Meeting may mean that the party will not have alcohol or that the meeting will have to take place at an alternate location. Art explained that Anita Guris and Bonnie Witmer were looking into alternate locations and that there was a good likelihood that the Annual Members Meeting would take place at an alternate location (that location is yet to be announced).

President Art McMorris announced that the procedures for delisting the Bald Eagle from the Pennsylvania Endangered Species list had commenced. Currently still listed as threatened in the state, the Pennsylvania population of Bald Eagles has recovered from a population low of 3 pairs in 1983 and risen to a population of 271 pairs. The criteria for delisting have been met, and the state Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking for public comment. Please send email comments to by the Nov 29 deadline.

President Art McMorris announced that Jessica Pellien of Princeton University Press (PUP) had sent him an email about new bird-related titles published by PUP and passed around the email for members to read.

Mike O’Brien announced that he would again be offering bluebird boxes for sale at the usual rates of $35.00 each or $20.00 each for orders of six or more bluebird boxes.

Mike O’Brien announced that he is seeking donations of books about birds and nature to build a natural history library – presumably for Holy Family Home.

Bonnie Witmer announced that the US Fish and Wildlife Service organizes an annual Sandhill Crane Survey and that the survey includes Pennsylvania for the first time this year. Interested parties can volunteer to help with the survey. More information is available online:;id=743406

Phil Witmer announced that he had received a thank-you letter from Brian Raicich at the Upper Main Line YMCA (UMLY), thanking DVOC and the New Bins for New Birders Committee for the recent donation of binoculars to UMLY.

Local Notes:

Vincent Nichnadowicz reported that Gerry Dewaghe and his wife Chris found a Gray Kingbird at the recently reopened Brigantine Division of Edwin B Forsythe NWR today, and that he had been able to see the bird. Gerry and Chris stayed at Brigantine for three hours, helping new arrivals find the Gray Kingbird. Linda Widdop also saw the Gray Kingbird that day.

Vincent Nichnadowicz reported that this year has been an invasion year for Blue-footed Boobies, which have been found regularly in California and as far north as British Columbia and as far East as Arizona. Vincent stated that up to thirty Blue-footed Boobies have been seen on the west coast and that he had personally seen them at Playa del Rey and the southern end of the Salton Sea, where he saw twenty Blue-footed Boobies. Vincent noted that the last time this species has been seen so frequently in North America was 1960. View the invasion on eBird:

Don Jones reported that he had enjoyed a good fallout of migrants in his yard, including five Blackpoll Warblers, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

Mike O’Brien reported that a female Eastern Towhee was seen Sunday and yesterday, chased by a Northern Mockingbird.

Ornithological Moment:

No Ornithological Moment.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced the evening’s speaker, Pete Bacinski who presented “Bosque Del Apache And The Land Of Birding Enchantment.”


The meeting was adjourned at 8:58PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary