DVOC Main Page > 2014 Meetings / Programs
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Archive of Meeting Minutes

Archive of Meetings / Programs


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Meeting location at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Often used parking location

Informal pre-meeting dinner location (Asia on the Parkway)

Informal post-meeting gathering location (Cherry Street Tavern)


• All who have an interest in birds are invited to attend functions of the DVOC.

• Meetings are lively proceedings, with a featured speaker or a special forum as well as reports from the various committees, announcements, and general field notes.

Club meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. beginning the third Thursday of September through the first Thursday in June. Unless otherwise arranged, all meetings are held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA beginning at 7:30 pm. (Directions to the Academy) Less formal summer meetings are held the first Thursday in July, August, and September.

January 2, 2014
124th Annual Members Meeting- Followed by Refreshments

Since the founding of our club in 1890, the first meeting of every year has been the “Members’ Meeting.” The meeting will feature the Annual Election of Officers and Council members, election of Fellows, reports by the Treasurer and by the Trustees, and other matters of interest.

Bert Filemyr will do a short presentation on one of the founders of the DVOC - George Spencer Morris

We will then adjourn for socializing over snacks and drinks, organized by Bonnie and Phil Witmer.

2013 Annual Members Meeting
2012 Annual Members Meeting
2011 Annual Members Meeting
2010 Annual Members Meeting
2009 Annual Members Meeting
2008 Annual Members Meeting
2007 Annual Members Meeting
2006 Annual Members Meeting
2005 Annual Members Meeting

1990 Annual Members Meeting

1982 Annual Members Meeting

1948 Annual Members Meeting

1898 Annual Members Meeting


January 16, 2014
Robert Peck - "Exploring the West with John James Audubon: The Last Expedition"

In the spring of 1843, the well known naturalist and artist John James Audubon set off from New York City on what was to be his longest and last great expedition of discovery. With a small party of friends and associates, the self-proclaimed "American Woodsman," who had recently completed his landmark work, The Birds of America, traveled by boat from Saint Louis up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Yellowstone. Officially, he was gathering information and specimens for his newly launched book on American mammals, The Viviviparous Quadrupeds of North America, but he was also on the lookout for new birds while fulfilling the quest of a lifetime.

Using images of Audubon's western paintings and the surviving specimens and artifacts gathered during his nine month expedition, historian Robert McCracken Peck will describe Audubon's last great adventure and put its accomplishments into the broader context of its time.

Mr. Peck, a Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (to which Audubon was elected a corresponding member in 1831), is the author of the B.B.C. book Land of the Eagle: A Natural History of North America and co-author of A Glorious Enterprise: The Academy of Natural Sciences and the Making of American Science. He was a consulting curator for the exhibition "Audubon in the West," which traveled throughout the United States in 2000 and 2001. A fully illustrated catalog with essays by Mr. Peck and others accompanied the exhibition. In 2010 Peck and a colleague discovered Audubon’s first published illustration of a bird on an Ohio bank note.


February 6, 2014
Debbie Beer - "Birding Morocco - Wings on the Edge of the Sahara"

Amidst rolling sand dunes and windswept mountains thrive hardy tribes of people and wildlife. Earth tones color the Moroccan landscape, blending a thousand shades of tan, green and violet in a lively, attractive palette. From larks, wheatears and wagtails, to sandgrouse, scrub-warblers and storks, a surprising array of bird species lives in this climate, reflecting remarkable resiliency and diversity. These species and many more are featured in a colorful program, which highlights birding, travel and North African culture in the exotic but highly-accessible country of Morocco.

An avid birder, Debbie Beer has traveled to Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Brazil, England, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and around the U.S. to experience new species, cultures and landscapes. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in urban southwest Philadelphia remains her favorite birding destination, where she volunteers to lead weekend bird walks, and serve on the Friends of Heinz Refuge Board of Directors. She is passionate about conservation, and committed to connecting kids to nature as the Program Director for the PA Young Birders club. Debbie has recently started working for Natural Lands Trust, the region's largest land conservation organization, where she is responsible for managing volunteer outreach, and developing events that inspire, engage and connect people to wildlife and natural resources.

Minutes of this meeting

February 20, 2014
Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson - "Using Often Overlooked ID Points to Identify Confusing Warblers"
(See also April 25-26)
This meeting will be at the Palmyra Cove Nature Center

Tom Stephenson

Scott Whittle

Tom Stephenson has been birding since he was a kid under the tutelage of Dr. Arthur Allen of Cornell University. His articles and photographs are in museums and many publications including Birding, Birdwatcher’s Digest, Handbook of the Birds, Handbook of the Mammals of the World, andGuide to the Birds of SE Brazil. He has lectured and guided many groups across the US as well as in Asia, where he trained guides for the government of Bhutan. He has donated many recordings of Eastern Himalayan rarities and other Asian species to Cornell’s Macaulay Library of Natural sounds. He was on Zeiss’s digiscoping team for the World Series of Birding and in 2011 his own team won the World Series Cape Island Cup.
As a musician he played concerts and did studio work for many years, working with several Grammy and Academy Award winners. His clients included the Grateful Dead, Phil Collins and the FBI. He joined Roland Corporation in 1991, managed the recorder division, and retired recently as Director of Technology. His latest book, The Warbler Guide, is published by Princeton University Press.

Scott Whittle has 20 years of experience as a professional photographer and educator. He has an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, has held the New York State Big Year record, and has birded throughout the United States. He lives in Cape May, NJ where he leads workshops and pursues his passion for birds and photography.

Often Overlooked Warbler ID Points


Minutes of this meeting

March 6 , 2014
Robert DeCandido - Vultures and Raptors of Nepal

Somewhere between 10,000 and 40,000 individuals of the Asian sub-species of Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis nipalensis) migrate east to west each autumn along the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. These eagles breed in China and Mongolia, and instead of heading north to south, instead migrate west towards Nepal, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - some possibly as far as Africa. Along with the eagles are 30 other raptor species including 10 total eagle species that take this same route. I first watched this migration in 1999, but then a civil war interrupted my research there. In the meantime, several Nepalese scientists came to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as interns, and the project continued. Armed with a digital camera and long lens, I was able to return in 2011-2013 to capture images of migrants so close, we can sometimes hit them with stones. On a good day, it is possible to see 15 Steppe Eagles rising up in the same thermal just in front of us. We also see four vulture species on migration - these are some of the most endangered bird species in the world. Tonight I will explain why the raptors we see migrate east to west (and not north to south) - and why some of the same species we see in North America, such as Golden Eagles, are also migrants in Nepal.

For the last decade or so, Dr. Robert DeCandido has made many visits to Asia, primarily to study bird migration, particularly raptor migration. In autumn 1999 he made his first trip to the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal to watch the east to west migration of Steppe Eagles. Soon after a civil war erupted in Nepal, and Bob was not able to return until 2011. In the meanwhile, in spring 2000-01 he studied the spring migration of birds returning to the Asian mainland (Malaysia) from Sumatra. In 2003, he spent much of the year in Eilat, Israel where he helped band 10,000 or so birds and watch the raptor migration there. In autumn 2003, Bob was off to Thailand, where he helped discover a raptor migration site of global significance. In winter/spring 2005, Bob spent several months in the largest preserve in Sabah, Borneo studying the birds, insects and plants of that Malaysian state. Since 2007, Bob has been the chief research scientist for spring and autumn raptor migration in Thailand. And in autumn 2011, he was able to return to Nepal to continue his research there - and continues to visit each autumn since. Publications about Asian birds from their research have appeared in The Journal of Raptor Research, Forktail, Ardea, and The Journal of the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology. In New York City, he leads bird walks (see www.BirdingBob.com) and does research on the American Kestrels nesting on buildings there; the owls that winter and breed in New York City parks; night migration of birds as seen from atop the Empire State Building...and the long-term changes in the flora of the city. Popular and scientific articles about his New York City research are free and available upon request.

Raptor Migation Summary - Nepal Autumn 2012

Jatayu: the vulture restaurants of Nepal

March 20, 2014
Deborah Allen - "Central Park Birds Through the Seasons"

Explore the bird life of Central Park with researcher and wildlife photographer, Deborah Allen. Central Park, situated on the Atlantic flyway, is internationally acknowledged as one of the best places to observe migratory birds in spring and fall. In April and May, as songbirds travel north to nest, many will stop to rest and feed in the Ramble and North Woods of Central Park. Over the years, more than 280 species of birds have been recorded visiting the park.The talk will cover the best birding locations in the park, and we'll take a look at some of the rarer visitors, including Rufous Hummingbird, Boreal Owl, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Red Crossbill, Iceland Gull, and Varied Thrush, as well as wood warblers and the many other migratory birds that have made the park famous as a birding location. .

Deborah’s photos of Central Park birds have appeared in numerous publications, including Natural History, National Wildlife, BirdWatching, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birds and Blooms, and the New York Times. She is currently at work on a field guide to the birds of Central Park. For more information about her photography visit www.agpix.com/deballen.

Minutes of this meeting

April 3, 2014
Bert Filemyr - "Hosting a Wintering Hummingbird"

Every year a few individuals of hummingbird species that are common in the western part of the United States do not follow normal migration patterns and end up on the east coast during the fall. Most are visitors at a feeder for a day or so and then move on. A very small number of these vagrant hummingbirds choose to winter in our area. This program relates the experience of Bert and Leslie Filemyr whose yard and hummingbird feeder in suburban Philadelphia was frequented by a female Rufous Hummingbird from October 2012 to April 2013. This hardy hummingbird survived the super storm "Sandy", several snow storms, high winds, and temperatures as low as 11 degrees. This program will include information on hummingbird migration, banding, physiology, feeding preferences, and molt sequences through pictures taken during the almost six month stay of this hummingbird.

Bert Filemyr is an active field birder both in the Delaware Valley and throughout North America. He has birded extensively in all 50 states, as well as many of the Canadian provinces. Retired from a public school teaching career, he pursues his passion for birding while researching topics related to early American ornithology. He currently serves as treasurer and webmaster of the DVOC and was a member of the championship Nikon/DVOC World Series of Birding Team, the Lagerhead Shrikes. He co-authored, along with Jeff Holt, "The Composite Prints of Audubon's Birds of America".

April 25, 26, 27, 2014 Special Times, Dates and Locations!
Warbler Workshop Weekend in partnership with Friends of Heinz Refuge
Two Part Warbler Workshop by Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson
"Warblers: Identifying and Learning Vocalizations"
Plus Warbler Walk at John Heinz (Tinicum) NWR

April 25 Pre-meeting Dinner:

Steve Kacir and Debbie Beer are organizing a pre-meeting dinner with Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle for the evening of Friday April 25.

The plan for the pre-meeting dinner is as follows:

1) If you would like to attend, please contact Debbie Beer so that we can get a reservation set up for the appropriate number of people attending. You only need to contact Debbie if you want to attend the dinner. (There is no pre-registration necessary for the classroom session or the field session of the Warbler Workshop and there is no pre-registration necessary for the warbler walks at John Heinz NWR on April 27)
2) All are welcome to attend: members of DVOC, members of FOHR, guests and interested parties. There is no fee to attend, but all will who attend will pay for their own meals.
3) The dinner will take place at Ruby Tuesday's near John Heinz NWR at Tinicum. Steve, Debbie and the speakers will meet at John Heinz NWR at 5:15pm then carpool to the restaurant. The dinner will start at 5:30pm. Those who wish to attend the pre-meeting dinner may meet at the refuge or meet at the restaurant. Dinner will end at such a time as to allow the speakers to return to the refuge by 6:30PM to set up for their talk.

Restaurant info:
8680 Bartram Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153
phone: 215-365-7587

Please contact Debbie Beer by Wednesday April 23 to RSVP for the pre-meeting dinner:
[email protected]

April 25, 2014 Classroom Session (Friday)
Featuring Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson - authors of The Warbler Guide
Location: John Heinz (Tinicum) NWR
Time: 7:00 pm
Contact Person: Steve Kacir

April 26, 2014 Field Session (Saturday), as companion to the Friday night program
Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle will guide a Warblers Walk in Belleplain State Forest, NJ. This guided bird walk puts to practice the tips and skills learned in the evening program.
Location: Meet at the Mauricetown Crossway Road Wawa (near the intersection of Route 347 and 47)
Wawa Food Market
3904 New Jersey 47
Dorchester, NJ 08316
Birding will take place at Belleplain State Forest, NJ
Time: Meet at the Wawa at 6:45 am
Contact Person: Steve Kacir

April 27, 2014 Warbler Walk (Sunday) inspired by the Friday night program and the Saturday field session. (Tom and Scott will not be present for this walk)
Hosted by members of Friends of Heinz Refuge (FOHR) and DVOC
Location: John Heinz (Tinicum) NWR
Time: 8:00 am
FOHR volunteer Debbie Beer and DVOC experts co-lead a bird walk at Heinz Refuge, inspired by the Warblers Workshop. We'll look for warblers, vireos, flycatchers, orioles and other spring migrants, practicing identification by sight and sound. Bring binoculars or borrow from the Visitors Center. No experience necessary, no registration required. Dress for seasonal weather and be prepared to walk outside for 2-3 hours. Meet at the Heinz Refuge Visitors Center

DVOC thanks Princeton University Press, FOHR, Debbie Beer, Tom Stephenson, Scott Whittle and Jessica Pellien for their contributions in organizing and leading this special event.

Tom Stephenson has been birding since he was a kid under the tutelage of Dr. Arthur Allen of Cornell University. His articles and photographs are in museums and many publications including Birding, Birdwatcher’s Digest, Handbook of the Birds, Handbook of the Mammals of the World, andGuide to the Birds of SE Brazil. He has lectured and guided many groups across the US as well as in Asia, where he trained guides for the government of Bhutan. He has donated many recordings of Eastern Himalayan rarities and other Asian species to Cornell’s Macaulay Library of Natural sounds. He was on Zeiss’s digiscoping team for the World Series of Birding and in 2011 his own team won the World Series Cape Island Cup.
As a musician he played concerts and did studio work for many years, working with several Grammy and Academy Award winners. His clients included the Grateful Dead, Phil Collins and the FBI. He joined Roland Corporation in 1991, managed the recorder division, and retired recently as Director of Technology. His latest book, The Warbler Guide, is published by Princeton University Press.

Scott Whittle has 20 years of experience as a professional photographer and educator. He has an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, has held the New York State Big Year record, and has birded throughout the United States. He lives in Cape May, NJ where he leads workshops and pursues his passion for birds and photography.


This special Warbler Workshop is jointly sponsored by the Friends of Heinz Refuge (FOHR) and DVOC.

Identifying the warblers and other species singing in the field is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying aspects of birding. However learning and remembering the important ID points of difficult and similar vocalizations can be challenging.

Sonograms are an important tool that can be used to understand what makes a vocalization unique and how to differentiate similar-sounding species. This lecture or workshop explains what sonograms are and shows how they can be very helpful in identifying potentially confusing bird vocalizations.

The talk also explains how understanding a song’s structure, and the characteristics of the Elements and Phrases that make up the song, can speed up the identification process and make it easier to remember all kinds of vocalizations. There will also be a discussion of how to use a song finder to quickly identify a singing warbler using the objective, easy-to-hear qualities of a song.

The authors will also explain a simple 3-step memorization system that he has used many times to memorize 300 or more songs for a trip to a new country.

In addition, if time permits, there will be a discussion of how to study and identify the vocalizations of groups of similar-sounding species, such as western thrashers, and also how to learn the very short chip and flight calls of warblers and other species.



Minutes of this meeting

May 1, 2014
Matthew Halley - Population genetics and behavioral studies reveal the complex social life of the Veery (Catharus fuscescens), a secretive migratory songbird.

Wildlife biologist and musician Matthew Halley will present the results of a multi-year study of Veery breeding biology and behavior. Long considered to be socially-monogamous, the Veery actually exhibits a remarkable degree of variability in its mating system, both within and between years; some nests are attended by multiple males, and each male may also attend multiple nests in the same season (each with a different female). The result is a complex social network that extends through its forest habitat. Halley will present the results of a multi-locus genetic study that addresses basic questions about Veery social organization and mating behavior, and will discuss his findings in an evolutionary context.
Do we really know what we think we know about avian life histories? Halley's presentation will encourage us to re-evaluate basic assumptions about bird life and behavior, especially with regard to the Veery and other migratory thrushes.

This research was supported by the Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research at Delaware State
University, the research lab of Dr. Christopher Heckscher, the staff of White Clay Creek State Park, and the Delaware Division of Parks and

Matthew Halley is an American ornithologist with broad interests in behavioral ecology and social evolution. Having worked extensively in tropical Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Halley's enthusiasm for natural history and field ornithology is contagious. He is also a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and has played his catchy "bird songs" for audiences across the globe, including performances on the Folk Show with Gene Shay (88.5 WXPN Philadelphia) and at the 2012 North American Ornithological Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

May 15, 2014
Tanzania Birding and Wildlife with Martin Selzer

In February 2013 Martin made his second trip to Africa. This time going to the East African nation of Tanzania for a birding and wildlife safari. Join Martin as he takes us on the Northern Circuit encompassing Arusha, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, the Nou Forest Reserve, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti Conservation area as we retrace his 15 day adventure. You’ll get a feel for the diversity of habitats found in northern Tanzania. See some of the 300+ species of birds he saw and many of the large mammals for which East Africa is famous.

Martin began birding back in first and second grade when his aunt first took him to the bird banding demonstrations at Washington’s Crossing State Park and then to the Spring and Fall New Jersey Audubon Cape May Weekends. This was back when the mornings started with coffee, juice and donuts before was all set out birding around Lily Lake and the Point. Besides these trips, his early birding adventures were on many local Wyncote Audubon and Academy of Natural Sciences field trips.

Martin’s first trip outside the mid-Atlantic region was a Northeast Birding Workshop to Corpus Christi, TX in the spring of 1979. For some people it is a single bird or birding experience that hooks them on birds. For Martin, it was his aunt’s early influence on: “I would not have been bitten by the birding bug without her influence and her willingness to take me on all these trips.”

Since then Martin has birded across North America. His travels since that initial trip to Corpus Christi have now taken him multiple times to Central and South America and even a few times to Europe. Although he considers shorebirds and raptors to be his favorite families of birds, it is really the spectacle of nature that he finds truly the most appealing and attractive part of birding. Whether watching Sandhill Cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska, witnessing the wonders of the Galapagos Islands or seeing 10,000s of geese in the Netherlands, these overwhelming wonders of nature are what make travel and birding so appealing.

Martin is an active local birder, is a member of DOS, a life member of DVOC, and currently serves as Vice President and Field Trip Chairperson of the Wyncote Audubon Society.

Minutes of this meeting

June 5, 2014
Douglas Goodell - "Costa Rica - Nature's Paradise"

This program highlights some of the natural wonders, diversity, beauty, and contrasts of Costa Rica. This small country is a paradise for nature lovers and biologists, and for photographers. I will illustrate how the mountains and volcanoes separating the coastal areas lead to microclimates ranging from very wet to very dry, and from tropical to sub-alpine, and some of the flora and fauna characteristic of each. The program shows many places and species, and it also describes of some of the experiences encountered in the preparation of the photo-based book.

Doug Goodell has had a life long interest in photography, and has focused on nature and conservation subjects since 1998, with a special interest in avian photography. He is contributor to the book In the Presence of Nature (2004) and is co-author of a children's book Duck Enough to Fly (2005) and a natural history photographic book, Jungle of the Maya (2006), about Belize, Guatemala, and Yucatan. His most recent book, Nature's Paradise - Costa Rica (2012), is a photographic presentation of the natural wonders of Costa Rica. His work has been exhibited as fine-art prints at gallery's and festivals throughout the United States, and is in numerous private and corporate collections. He lectures and teaches on subjects of nature photography and digital techniques.

You can also find more information on his web site http://www.goodellphotoart.com/ and his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DougGoodellPhotos

June 21, 2014 DVOC Picnic
Hosted by Paul and Anita Guris

Click Here for information on this event!

July 10, 2014 (Informal Summer Meeting)
At the Schuylkill Center

Special Cassinia Meeting

This special DVOC meeting will focus on Cassinia, the journal of DVOC. Bert Filemyr will give a brief program putting the publication in context, both historical and modern. Steve Kacir will present a program entitled "It's Easy to Write for Cassinia." Dave Long will be present to inform members about the most recent issue of Cassinia, and the Cassinia Committee will lead brainstorming panels and creative development sessions. Let's all get together and make this the best issue of Cassinia since the first issue in 1901.

Click Here for the Cassinia Web Page

Click Here for the Cassinia Archives


From this meeting.........

Bert Filemyr's presentation on Cassinia History
Steve Kacir's presentiation on Writing for Cassinia


Saturday August 9, 2014 at Green Lane State Park, Green Lane, PA (Informal Summer Meeting)
Youth Birding Day

7 am to 7 pm
Meet scholarship award recipient James Haley Familetti, who will be presented with The Adam J. Sabatine Memorial Scholarship Award, by Mr. David Sabatine, Adam’s father.
Click Here for more information

Google map of Green Lane Park Birding hotspots as provided by Steve Kacir

September 4, 2014 (Informal Summer Meeting)
Held at the Philadephia Zoo - 4 pm

Visit the McNeil Avian Center of the Philadelphia Zoo and picnic afterwards in the Park near the Zoo. Admission is free. Meet at Gate H of the Philadelphia Zoo at 4:00 PM for a special tour of the McNeil Avian Center. Gate H is on Zoological Drive, which is the road that curves behind the Zoo. If there's still a parking attendant there when you arrive, just tell them you're meeting with Aliza and they'll let you by. You'll see the entrances are labelled alphabetically; Gate H is about halfway up and you should be able to park right there. A lot spaces will be open by that time of day. http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/planner.html. We should all plan on meeting in the mentioned parking lot at 4 p.m. and entering as a group.

Afterwards we will picnic in the park. If you have a special place you like to picnic let Bonnie and me know. We’ll present the group with a couple of choices once we’ve had the tour. We'll do pot luck. Let Bonnie and me know what you will bring so we can coordinate: [email protected] or 610.446.2618 (leave a message)

September 18, 2014
Rob Hynson - "Birding Down Under"

Australia is a lucky country. With deserts, beautiful coasts, rain forests, grasslands and deep ocean, the continent provides a large diversity of habitats and bird life. From deep sea pelagic birding trips to the urban centers, opportunities for birding and exploration abound. When early settlers sent their collections of specimens back to Britain, many specimens were branded as hoaxes, such were the oddities of evolution to be found in the Australian frontier. Over two thirds of world's seabird species have been recorded in Australian waters, and the country boasts the longest banding project of seabirds captured at-sea. These features secure Australia's place as the seabird capital of the world."

Rob Hynson grew up in London and started birding when he was about eight years old, after being inspired by birder and actor Bill Oddie of the TV series "The Goodies." After completing an undergraduate degree in London, Rob moved to St Andrews to play golf every day and work on his PhD in Biochemistry. After completing his PhD, he moved to Philadelphia to take up a post-doctoral position at Drexel University. There, Rob soon found the DVOC and joined the ranks of the club, with some special focus working on the DVOC Checklist Committee. While in Philadelphia, Rob also met his wife Carolyn MacCann, an Australian researcher, who was working as a postdoctoral fellow in psychology. Inevitably, Philadelphia's loss was Australia's gain, and Rob moved to Sydney with Carolyn, where they were we'd in 2011. The couple still resides in the Sydney area along with their son Ben. Rob has birded throughout most of Britain and a fair amount of the US from North Carolina to Maine on the East Coast as well as southern California and Michigan. Rob has visited much of the Australian continent and many of its islands. He has also birded in Japan, Antarctica and Argentina. While living in Australia, Rob discovered the camera and became as much a photographer as a birder. His photos can be seen on PBase:http://www.pbase.com/rob_hynson

October 2, 2014
Tony Croasdale - "Punk Birding"

In this talk Tony Croasdale will share photos and videos from his unconventional approach to birding. He will show how a working class kid from Philadelphia came to visit 46 countries and observe over 2,000 species of bird by his mid thirties. From touring Southeast Asia in his anarchist punk rock band, performing field research in polar bear infested tundra, to peddling a bicycle for 24 hours and over 100 miles during the World Series of Birding, Tony will show you how to apply the 'do it yourself' ethic of punk to achieving your birding dreams.

Tony Croasdale was born and raised in Philadelphia and began birding at 9. His passion for protecting wildlife brought led to discover politically charged music. As a singer in a punk rock band Tony toured the sates, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia birding wherever he went. He started working a field technician and performed field biology in Arctic Canada, Peru, Alaska, and locally. Tony returned to college in his 30s and did a semester abroad in Brazil. This led to organizing tours and leading a birding tour in Brazil. Tony received a degree in horticulture from Temple university. Tony is currently in a Biology MS program at St Joseph's University though a fellowship at the Wagner Free Institute teaching supplemental science in Philadelphia public schools. Tony currently works for the Philadelphia Water Department directing environmental education programs at Cobbs Creek Environmental Center. Tony has captained a World Series of Birding team 5 times using alternatively fueled vehicles and bicycle. His team won the Carbon Footprint Cup in 2010.


Minutes of this meeting

October 16, 2014
Steve and Laura Huber - "Birding the Glades"

Steve and Laura Huber will be returning to share with us their observations and photographs of the Everglades and the surrounding South Florida area. The program will include sightings from several accessible parts throughout the Everglades, various Wildlife Management Areas, The Audubon Society Corkscrew Sanctuary, Lake Trafford, and the Ding Darling Wildlife preserve. In addition there will be a segment on invasive species and how they have severely affected the Everglades.

A retired professor of physics and engineering and retired pianist, Stephen Huber founded Photowild 4 years ago and has been concentrating efforts on photographing birds and other wildlife. Now located in the Adirondack Mountains Steve and his wife, Laura, have been avid birders since 2008 and members of the Wyncote Audubon Society since 2009. Specializing in national parks, NWR’s, WMA’s , and remote areas, their latest adventure was to the Everglades and other parts of Southern Florida during the month of February 2013.

Minutes of this meeting

November 6, 2014
Whitney Wiest - "The future of tidal marsh birds in the northeast:
Conservation planning in response to predicted sea level rise"

Minimal pristine salt marsh habitat remains and increases in flooding from sea level rise due to global climate change pose real immediate challenges to the persistence of tidal marsh bird populations. The extreme importance of the northeast tidal marsh ecosystem and its unique wildlife requires immediate regional conservation action to address the imminent threat of permanent marsh loss or severe marsh degradation. This talk will explore how states and land protection organizations in the Northeast can efficiently spend limited conservation dollars to protect areas of concentrated bird abundance to ensure the future existence of key tidal marsh bird species.

Whitney Wiest is a Ph.D. candidate in the Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Department at the University of Delaware. She is co-coordinator of a regional marshbird survey in Northeast tidal marshes for the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP), as well as co-coordinator of the Salt Marsh Integrity Project for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Whitney has researched salt marsh birds since 2008, when she began her Master's at the University of Delaware. Prior to her graduate work, Whitney performed wetland delineations for an environmental consulting firm in northern New Jersey.

Minutes of this meeting

November 20, 2014 - DVOC BANQUET
Katrina van Grouw - A Very Fine Swan Indeed: Art, Science and ‘The Unfeathered Bird’


Katrina van Grouw inhabits that no-man’s land, slap bang between art and science. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, her formal education was in Printmaking and Natural History Illustration, but she’s also a dedicated ornithologist, a former Natural History Museum curator, a qualified bird bander, and an experienced preparatory of natural history specimens.

The book, The Unfeathered Bird, is a magnum opus twenty five years in the making, and was originally intended as a manual for bird artists. It was only much later that it blossomed into something far more ambitious. A world away from textbooks and diagrams, this is a work equally intended for scientists and artists, indeed anyone with an appreciation of birds or an interest in their adaptations and behaviour. It includes no fewer than 385 illustrations of 200 species, all made from actual specimens, many of which are shown in lifelike positions. Virtually all the complete skeletons were prepared and reconstructed at home from specimens donated from zoos, wildlife hospitals and conservation charities.

Join Katrina as she explains her aims and inspirations, shares her insights about birds beneath their feathers, and relates how her home was turned upside down as more and more specimens joined the queue.

2014 Banquet Report

December 4, 2014
Paul Guris - "Winter Pelagics in the MidAtlantic - Putting the "Birrrrr" in Birding"

The idea of venturing out on the ocean is a daunting prospect for many birders, but this can be one of the most rewarding times to look for seabirds and other marine life in the Mid-Atlantic. Dovekies, Puffins, Murres, Razorbills, Gannets, Kittiwakes, loons, ducks, cormorants, and gulls can all be found, many quite regularly. Some of these species are much more common in our area than people realize, and we're discovering some things that help us find these birds more reliably. This program is an introduction to what you could expect on one of these trips, the birds we search for, and interesting information about them.

Paul Guris has been birding the Delaware Valley area for over 40 years. His first boat trip was in his mother's third trimester, so his love of seabirds comes naturally. He is a current member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, a past member of the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee, a past president of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, the former captain of the now retired Nikon / DVOC World Series of Birding team, and the owner / operator of See Life Paulagics, a pelagic tour company specializing in trips in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Ornithological Moment : Art McMorris - 2014 Pennsylvania Peregrine Summary

Minutes of this meeting

December 18, 2014
DVOC Members' Photo Night and Contest

Click Here for the Contest Winners

Minutes of this meeting

Join us for an evening of wonderful photographs. Members will display their best work in several engaging categories. Judges will award 1st to 3rd place winners. It’s a visual feast and not to be missed. Get your photos ready.

Click Here for information on the 2014 DVOC Photo Contest.
Submission Deadline - December 1, 2014

As of 12/30, donations from four DVOC members have allowed the club to fund prizes for this contest, including a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate prize for the Peregrine Award and a $100 Amazon gift certificate prize for the Avocet Award. The photo contest organizers are seeking donations to help the club fund prizes for this year's photo contest and future photo contests. Please consider donating to DVOC in support of the annual photo contest. Those of us who submit photos and organize the contest think this is one of the club's most fun events, and we think having great prizes adds to the fun. Please consider donating to keep the tradition alive. Donations as low as $5.00 will still have a great cumulative effect in helping to make the photo night an exciting social experience for the club. You can donate in support of the photo contest by sending a check payable to DVOC and mailing it to Bert Filemyr at

DVOC Treasurer
c/o 1314 Lenore Road
Meadowbrook, PA 19046

Or you can donate online at this link: