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DVOC Main Page > Our Members > John Tramontano
Ornithological Moment - 10/21/10 - "Wing Beat and Flight Patterns Useful in Avian ID"
"My earliest years of birding were in Massachusetts and began before the age of 10. By 15 my family had moved to southern California where I participated in numerous Big Days and Xmas Counts (L.A., Hollywood, Coastal Orange County & N.E Orange County) I was also the first compiler of the Salton Sea South Christmas Count. I published the first breeding record of the Starling in California in the Condor: 63(1).1959 as an undergraduate at Long Beach State University. I did graduate work at the University of Arizona, first under Dr. Joe Marshall and later under Dr. Stephen Russell. My master's thesis was a comparative study of Rock and Canyon Wrens and my dissertation was on breeding sympatry of six species of sparrows in an Arizona grassland. Some of my earliest birding mentors were Arnold Small, James Peters and Herb and Olga Clark. During two different tours of duty with the US Navy in the Far East, I visited the breeding grounds of the world's rarest albatross species, the Short-tailed, and later published my three observations of this species at sea in the Condor 72(1).1970. I am the founding president of the Orange County Audubon Society, in Orange County, New York. For thirty years I have taught numerous courses in biology, including Avian Biology, at Orange County Community College in Middletown, NY from where I retired as Professor Emeritus in 2000. I chaired the checklist committee of the local bird club (Edgar A. Mearns) and published the first Checklist of the Birds of Orange County, NY in 2003. The 2nd edition, published in 2005, reflected the most recent realignment of families by the A.O.U. I've been a member of the A.O.U. for over 40 years. I've been a sub-regional editor of Audubon Field Notes, American Birds/North American Birds for 23 years as well as for the New York State Journal, The Kingbird. I've led numerous pelagic trips on both coasts, as well as field trips in Arizona, California, Massachusetts and New York. As a volunteer for the Orange County Land Trust I evaluated the biological worth of new properties purchased and compiled lists of both breeding and wintering bird species to be expected on each. I continue to bird as ardently as ever. Since moving to Bucks County last May, to be nearer my first grandchild, I've joined the Bucks County Birders and am participating in both the Upper and Central Bucks Christmas Counts. Birds and birding are and have been, central to my life."
From John's Application