26 May 2004

            The May meeting of the State College Bird Club was held on May 26.  Greg Grove presided for president Jim Dunn. 18 members and guests met at the State College Borough Building at 7:15. The minutes of the April meeting were read by  Deb Grove and approved by members. Dorothy Bordner delivered the Treasurer's Report.

             Dorothy Bordner read the checklist: species of birds which were seen between April 29 and  May 26.   181 birds were seen.  Noted birds were a canvasback at Lake Perez, sora at Tadpole road, laughing gull, ruddy turnstone, white-rumped sandpiper, and dunlin at BESP, sandhill crane over Mooresville and summer tanager at Sunset Park.

            Upcoming Field Trips:

Bob Snyder at Black Moshannon May 29

            The evening program was presented by Adam Rohnke, a graduate student at Penn State. His research involves investigating the extent of  West Nile Encephalitis Virus in the Centre County area as well as mode of transfer.

            West Nile Encephalitis Virus was described in Uganda in 1937 and first found in the US in 1999. Mode of transfer to the states could be through trans-Atlantic migration, domestic animal and pet trade, jet liners or the tire trade. It spread south and west from New York in 2000 and 2001 and moved to the Midwest in 2002 and the plains by 2003. Overwintering could occur in reservoirs such as people, mosquitos or birds.

            Rohnke is studying the incidence as well as long-term trends by sampling birds in Toftrees and the Barrens. He uses mist-nets over various transects of these areas to obtain birds. Blood is removed and tested. Banding is also performed to track the individuals.  He plans to obtain 1000 samples and repeat individuals will give an incidence of survival.