January Meeting on February 4

The January meeting of the State College Bird Club was held on February 4th due to bad weather in January. Greg Grove presided in Jim Dunn's  absence. 21 members and guests met at the State College Borough Building at 7:15. The minutes of the December meeting were read by Gene Zielinski, secretary, and approved by members, Dorothy Bordner delivered the Treasurer’s Report.

             Dorothy also read the checklist: 98 species of birds were seen between Dec 11 and Feb 4th. Noted waterfowl were red-throated loon, horned grebe and red-necked grebe (at BESP??), lapland longspurs at Williams road, an ovenbird in Stone Valley on the Huntingdon Christmas Bird Count, pine warbler in State College, northern shrike at BESP and Black Moshannon and a rufous hummingbird in Port Matilda. It was also noted that there was an increase in sightings of white-crowned sparrows.

            Gene Zielinski, club secretary and Centre County compiler, will be leaving for Georgia soon. He was recognized again for his many years of service to the Bird Club.

            The February 8th manure chase led by Ro Fuller and Mark Henry was put on hold until road access improved.

            The February meeting will feature birds of Africa and at the March meeting Bob Mulvihill will update members on the Breeding Bird Atlas project which will proceed over the next few years. All members are invited to help.

            The Tussey Mountain Spring Eagle Watch will start February 25 and go through April 6th. Tom  Magarin will be the official counter. Less than $500 is still needed to fund this years watch. Shavers Creek will be in charge of building a platform and engineers will be asked to design it.

            Tanya Dierolf, a senior at Juniata College, was the speaker for the evening. She is majoring in Environmental Studies and her project  which is under the supervision of Chuck Yohn, is "Osprey Reintroduction at Raystown Lake." She is a native of Boyerstown and is also an Americorp volunteer.

            In 1979 ospreys were put on Pennsylvania's extirpated list -- another victim of heavy DDT use. Through hacking efforts, young osprey were reintroduced in PA and moved to the endangered list. In 1998 there were 40 known nesting osprey in the state and they were moved to  threatened status.

            Through a collaboration with Juniata College Raystown Field Station, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, a plan was set up to hack 6 per year at Lake Raystown for 3 years.

The goals are to:

1) Re-establish an inland breeding population on the Juniata River.

2) Provide educational opportunities for students and the community on this species of concern.

            Osprey were brought to a hacking site at the age of 4-5 weeks on June 23rd. Using a feeding stick and a one way mirror, nestlings were monitored and fed carp, trout, catfish and perch.  All 6 were successfully fledged by mid-July and were observed catching fish on their own before they disappeared, presumably migrating south to Central America and Peru.

            Success will be measured by return to the nesting area. Males have a higher site fidelity and will be expected to return to nest at Lake Raystown after 3-4 years of maturing in their southern home. The public are welcome to volunteer in monitoring osprey this summer as well as sponsor a nestling for $100.