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DVOC Main Page > Meetings / Programs > April 2, 2015

Minutes of the DVOC
April 2, 2015

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

President Phil Witmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
Total present: 41 including 11 guests.

Special guests included:
Liz Billings
Karen Walter

Committee Reports

Bonnie Witmer announced that Gabriel and Tova Hauser, and Dennis Miranda have all applied for memberships.
Editor Dave Long announced that the latest (double) issue of the club journal Cassinia is finished and now at publishers, for printing.
No report.
Youth Birding:
No report.
Orni Studies:
Rob Bierregaard reported on his fascinating work tracking migration of Ospreys. This spring Migration season this year is shaping up to be a fascinating one and he recommended that folks check his website.

Steve Kacir mentioned that a popular club member will return to town on April 16th, when Nikolas Haass will give a brief Ornithological moment covering a potential new storm-petrel from the South Pacific, the “Polynesian Storm-Petrel”.
New Bins for New Birders (NB4NB):
No report.
Bob Billings Big Year:
Art McMorris introduced Bob Billing’s wife Liz and daughter Karen Walter, who were on hand to see 2014 winner Marty Dellwo presented the Billings Award. Marty beat an impressive slate of contestants winning with a total of 306 species.

George Armistead noted the Philadelphia Bird Race website is up, and ready to receive registrations and donations. Donations are of course appreciated, but more than anything else, they want people to participate in the events. More information can be found on the website at:
Phil Witmer reminded folks that BirdPhilly shirts are available for sale for $15.
Field Trips:
Tony Croasdale noted the upcoming field trips on the 18th Apr. That day there are 3 field trips including one led by Lynn Jackson to Coastal Delaware, another to Wister Woods led by Tony and David Hewitt, and another to West Laurel Hill Cemetery led by Gregg Gorton.
Bob Horton reminded folks that he is leading a field trip to Lakehurst, NJ on June 9th. That trip requires advance registration.
Linda Widdop reminded folks that they can spread the word and sign-up for DVOC/BirdPhilly walks using MeetUp.
Steve Kacir reminded folks that on April 16th, Michael Oates will give his talk on Red Knots & Migrations Shorebirds called "Shooting Sex and Gluttony: A Documentarian's Journey". And he noted that on May 7 Dr. Jason Weckstein of the Academy’s ornithology department will give a talk titled, “An Ornithological Expedition To The Most Endangered Amazonian Area Of Endemism: The Belem Center Of Endemism”.
Trip Reports: No report


Art McMorris announced that sadly, life member Joe Koplin had finally succumbed to his long battle with cancer. Husband of life member Bernice Koplin, Joe joined the DVOC in 1998 and was a Fellow of the DVOC. For many years Joe and his wife ran the DVOC banquet. Art brought a card for all to sign for Bernice.
Paul A. Guris announced 2 upcoming pelagic trips, departing from ports in Cape May and Brooklyn. The one on April 11th going out of Brooklyn is sold out already.

Mike O’Brien announce that he has bluebird boxes for sale. Profits go to Holy Family homes. They are on sale for $35; and he will also take donation of old bird books and used binoculars.

Phil Witmer announced that the Audubon Center at Mill Grove is hosting a fund-raiser at the Philly Furniture Show called the “whiskey + wood + wrens” party on April 10th.
Phil also noted that the Friends of Patuxent Adopt a Whooper Committee have dubbed the month of May as Magnificent Whooping Crane Month, and there will be a kids day on May 9th.
Contact Ken Lavish at if interested. And lastly he noted that Bob Wallis has donated several books to sell at the meeting, the profits of which go to DVOC.
125th Anniversary Committee:
Anita Guris informed everyone that the ad hoc committee was getting ready for the gala on Oct. 10th and are committed to keeping the price under $50/head. In order to offset expenses we have a couple other events planned. Bonnie Witmer spoke about a silent auction where there will be an evening of music at the American Birding Association Headquarters, and requested items for donation to bid on, like books, artwork, leading a bird walk, and they also need help setting up on Aug. 22nd.
Anita Guris reminded everyone to save the date for the DVOC Picnic at Guris Home on June 20th.

Local Notes:

George Armistead noted how he’d heard several Tundra Swans going flying over Center City the night of March 30th.
Matt Halley and Tony Croasdale saw many Bonaparte’s Gulls and a Caspian Tern while birding that day (April 2nd) the Susquehanna River, and then they popped into the ABA HQ.
Paul A. Guris noted that he and Anita had seen 150-200 Pine Siskins in the yard on certain days during the winter.
Linda Rowan, who monitors the Peregrine Falcon nest at the PA Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bristol, reported that the female falcon from that nest was found injured in the snow in February, and was taken to rehab, where she is recovering. In the mean time, the male falcon has attracted a new mate.
Mike O’Brien was birding in Salem County and enjoyed seeing 3 Horned Larks, 6 Eastern Meadowlarks and at Mannington Marsh saw hundreds of ducks, and also found a Bald Eagle nest near to the road at Jill Rd off of route 40 in the Woodstown area.

Main Program

Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien - "Snowy owls: the ultimate nomads."


The meeting was adjourned at 9:18pm. The usual suspects then assembled at Cherry Street Tavern.
Respectfully submitted,
George L. Armistead, Secretary