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DVOC Main Page > Meetings / Programs > December 5, 2013

Minutes of the DVOC
December 5, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:31PM. Thirty-four members and eight guests were in attendance.

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

President Art McMorris welcomed guests including Howard Eskin, Ed Mutzer, Don Perelman, Barb Elliott, Bob Sharp and Frank Windfelder’s granddaughter, Alyssa Windfelder.


Membership Committee:

Chairperson Bonnie Witmer read the application of Catherine R Higgins and announced that the application would be submitted to DVOC Council. Bonnie also announced that Carol Elwell’s application for membership had been approved by DVOC Council, and Carol had been contacted about her gift membership.

Youth Birding Committee:

Committee member Edie Parnum announced that the Youth Birding Committee would be working to start a scholarship fund, and anticipated accepting applicants after the beginning of the New Year. The committee has organized a fundraising effort via sales of fresh fruit. More details on this fundraiser can be found online:

In addition, tax-deductible donations can be made directly to the Youth Birding Committee either through the mail or via Paypal on the DVOC website:

As an incentive to youth members, the DVOC will be giving away copies of a The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by Bill Thompson III to all new youth members.

Banquet Committee:

Art McMorris announced that the 2013 Banquet was a great success with 114 attending, and featuring a delightful program by Bill Thompson III.

New Bins for New Birders Committee:

Chairperson Paul Guris announced that the committee had recently awarded binoculars to the Upper Main Line YMCA and Edwin B Forsythe NWR.

Anita Guris announced that she had brought cupcakes that could be purchased for $4 each, and all the proceeds would benefit the New Bins for New Birders Program.

Bob Billings Big Year Committee:

Chairperson Art McMorris announced that the committee had instituted simplified rules for reporting rare birds. Under the new rules, participants in the Bob Billings Big Year competition would not need to document any species that is on a the state list but not on the review list for the location where the bird was seen. In addition, the form to document rarities has been simplified. Official state lists will be posted on the DVOC website.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer reported that Pennsylvania House Bill HB 1576 had been tabled for now and that Senate Bill SB 1047 had been referred to game and fisheries. Both Phil and Art McMorris cautioned that simply because these bills are not moving forward does not mean that those who support responsible wildlife management practices and endangered species protections can become complacent. When such legislation fades into the background, legislators may try to pass the bills while the public mistakenly believes the issue has passed. Members are encouraged to contact their legislators and reiterate their opposition to these bills and remain vigilant.


No Report.

Field Trip Committee:

Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
30 NOV 2013 – Beginning Birding Trip to Barnegat and Forsythe NWR. Leader was Sandra Keller. The trip found three different Snowy Owls, missed a Eurasian Wigeon and had a very successful day overall.

Trip Announcements:

Win reminded members of upcoming Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) including the following CBCs: Glenolden, Southern Bucks and Cape May. Win also reminded members of the upcoming 2014 DVOC Montauk Field Trip led by Chris Walters and Erica Brendel. The trip will take place over Martin Luther King weekend, and often fills up quickly. Members interested in attending should sign up early both to ensure a spot on the trip and to help the leaders plan for lodging.

Ornithological Moments Committee:

Committee Member Art McMorris announced that the next meeting’s Ornithological Moment would feature Rob Bierregaard and a review of the 2013 Osprey Migration.


Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

DEC 19: Kevin Loughlin “Not All Who Wander are Lost ...”


President Art McMorris announced that Alan Brady suffered a stroke. Howard Eskin added that Alan is doing OK, but not great. Alan is receiving visitors and members should keep Alan in their thoughts and prayers. Art passed around a get-well card for Alan for members and guests to sign.

President Art McMorris announced that William Suarez, one of the top field trip leaders for the Caribbean, had recently relocated to the US.

President Art McMorris announced that Pete Dunne, who was still recovering from a stroke last March, would be retiring from the Cape May Bird Observatory next summer.

Paul Guris announced that he would be running territories for the Cape May and Cumberland County Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs). The Cape May CBC takes place on Dec 15, and the Cumberland CBC takes place on Dec 29. Paul is looking for interested birders to take part in both counts. Contact Paul if interested.

Paul Guris announced that See Life Paulagics would be running an 8hr pelagic out of Belmar, NJ on 1 JAN 2014. The annual pelagic trips to find Dovekies have also been added to the See Life Paulagics schedule, with a trip out of Lewes, DE on 18 JAN 2014, a trip out of Cape May on 25 JAN 2014 and a trip out of Freeport, NY on 1 FEB 2014. More details can be found online:

Paul Guris announced that he would be leading on the Searcher during their five day pelagic cruise out of San Diego beginning on the Labor Day weekend. Paul may also offer a tour of the Salton Sea to interested members before the trip. More information about this trip is available online:

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.

Secretary Steve Kacir announced that DVOC had been offered a discounted price for a new publication if members order five or more copies all together. The book is Biological anomalies--birds: A catalog of biological anomalies, Ed. William R Corliss, a collection of anomalous phenomena in birds. Steve Kacir plans to order a copy, and any interested members should contact Steve if they are interested in purchasing a copy. As of now, two copies will be ordered, and the price of each copy of the book drops $8 if the order is for at least 5 copies of the book.

President Art McMorris announced that the 118th Annual Members Meeting will take place at Jenkins Arboretum on 2 JAN 2014.

Local Notes:

Win Shafer found a Snowy Owl at Episcopal Academy in Delaware County. The Snowy Owl later flew to White Horse Rd in Chester County, where other birders got to enjoy seeing it.

Paul Guris recapped recent See Life Paulagics pelagic trips. The trip out of Lewes, DE on 16 NOV 2013 was able to get seventy miles out to sea and enjoyed seeing Great Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, phalaropes, Northern Fulmars and Cory’s Shearwaters, including one which might have been of the nominate race. The trip out of Cape May on 23 NOV 2013 found Manx Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Northern Fulmar and Black-legged Kittiwake. The trip out of Freeport, NY on 24 NOV 2013 found Cory’s Shearwater.

Paul Guris found a chickadee at his feeders that looked good for a hybrid Carolina Chickadee X Black-capped Chickadee on one side of its body, but looked like a classic Carolina Chickadee on the other side of its body.

Frank Windfelder found a Snowy Owl at Northeast Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Frank was talking to workers at the airport and discovered the Snowy Owl was later hit by plane.

Frank Windfelder mentioned that the Eurasian Wigeon was still being seen at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum and that he found an Orange-crowned Warbler at Pennypack on the Delaware.

Bonnie Witmer mentioned that she saw an Eastern Phoebe at Tyler State Park on Wednesday.

Howard Eskin talked about Selasphorus hummingbirds in Pennsylvania, noting that Scott Weidensaul recaptured and released a hummingbird originally banded on 1 March 2013 at the exact same house in Harleysville, PA that it had returned to this winter.

Ornithological Moment:

Art McMorris presented a summary of the 2013 Peregrine Falcon nesting season.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced Paul Guris who acted as the master of ceremonies for the 2013 DVOC Members’ Photography Night. Judges for the contest were present: Anita Guris, Steve Mattan and Steve Kacir. Paul Guris acted as the logistical wizard for the contest: receiving submissions, compiling photos, providing the compiled submissions to the judges and preparing the slideshow presentations of the submitted works and the winners.

Paul efficiently cycled through the submitted photos, presenting short commentaries on the photos along the way. Afterwards, Paul presented the award-winning photos while Anita Guris distributed prizes for the winners. Cupcakes and a Nikon microfiber lens cleaner were awarded to members receiving honorable mentions and third place winners. Second place winners received a $10 Amazon gift card. First place winners received a $25 Amazon gift card. The winner of the Avocet Award received a $100 Amazon gift card. The winner of the Peregrine Award received a gift certificate for a pelagic trip with See Life Paulagics. DVOC thanks the following for the contributions towards significantly underwriting the cost of photo contest prizes: See Life Paulagics, Steve Mattan, Steve Kacir, Art McMorris, Bert Filemyr, Phil Witmer, Bonnie Witmer, Anita Guris and Paul Guris.

The breakdown of the winners was as follows:

Birds Category:
Honorable Mention - Marv Hyatt, Purple-tipped Whitetip
Honorable Mention - Rob Hynson, Musk Lorikeet
Honorable Mention - Patty Rehn, Firebird (Tufted Coquette)
3rd Place - Rob Hynson, Lord Howe Woodhen
2nd Place - Patty Rehn, Shake it Baby (Atlantic Puffin)
1st Place - Frank Windfelder, Immature Snowy Egret

Fauna Category:
3rd Place - Nathaniel Sharp - Submerge (Humpback Whale)
2nd Place - Ann Reeves - Toad Stool (Fowler's Toad)
1st Place - Patty Rehn - Wheelin' Around (Wheel Bug)

Flora Category:
3rd Place - Patty Rehn - Lance (Lanceleaf Rose Gentian)
2nd Place - Marv Hyatt - Gardenia
1st Place - Dick Bell - Teasel

Scenery Category:
3rd Place - Patty Rehn - Fiery Flow (Kilauea Volcano, HI)
2nd Place - Marv Hyatt - San Xavier del Bac Mission, AZ
1st Place - Patty Rehn - Pink Sunrise (Bosque del Apache, NM)

Birders Category:
3rd Place - Nathaniel Sharp - Birding from the Hilton (young birders workshop on Eastern Egg Rock Island, ME)
2nd Place - Ann Reeves - Lincoln's (Patty Rehn at Pennypack on the Delaware, PA)
1st Place - Patty Rehn - Enthusiasts (PA Young Birders winter bird count)

Avocet Award for Artistic Achievement
Patty Rehn - Fiery Flow (Kilauea Volcano, HI)

Peregrine Award for Photographic Excellence
Patty Rehn - On the Prowl (Jaguar in the Pantanal, Brazil)

Webmaster Bert Filemyr has posted a pdf file including all the winning photos on the DVOC website:


The meeting was adjourned at 9:30PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary