27 October 2004

            The October meeting of the State College Bird Club was held on October 27.  President Jim Dunn presided. 24 members and guests met at the State College Borough Building at 7:15. The minutes of the May 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 September 23 through October 27.   140 birds were seen.  Noted birds were American bittern by Jay Zook in the Belleville area, brant on Lake Perez, and northern shrike at BESP.

            Upcoming Field Trip is  to BESP on Nov 7

            Members voted to contribute $100 to the Lower Trail, Rails to Trails, to help with the recent devastation of Hurricane Ivan. The SCBC is a member of the organization. Members approved paying dues of $30 to the Nature Conservancy.  Ted Fuller asked for funds for a Christmas tree at the Ag Arena to be sponsored by the Bird club. $65 was approved. Contact the Fullers if you are willing to help.

            The evening program was presented by Matt Marshall who is an ecologist for the National Park Service. He is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, Memphis and Georgia. His talk entitled " Assessing the Value of Reclaimed Strip Mines for Grassland Birds" addressed the declining populations of grassland birds due to the loss of habitat because of conversion to intensive farming. Greater than 90% of the tall grass prairie habitat which originally existed has been altered.

            A surprising increase in these birds, however, has been seen in minelands converted to grassland. His ongoing project looks at 9 counties in western PA where detection and enumeration of three species has hopeful early results. Henslows, grasshopper and savannah sparrows are the target species  and density and nesting success points to greater survival and reproductive success in these areas.
            Studies will also point to the best way to reclaim these areas to promote a possible 20% of  the global populations of some of these species.