27 January 2005

            The January meeting of the State College Bird Club was held on January 27.  Greg Grove presided in Jim Dunn's absence. 32 members and guests met at the State College Borough Building at 7:15. The minutes of the December 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 December 9 and January 27.   89 birds were seen.  Noted birds were a northern goshawk at BESP, a phoebe at Jackson Corner, and a snow goose at the Duck Pond.

            The annual Manure Chase  which will be led by Roana Fuller and Mark Henry was announced for February 6.           

            Tom Margariam will be returning to the Tussey Mountain Spring Hawkwatch in March.

            Spring Riley, the Environmental Education Specialist for BESP, requested that members take part in helping to put together a bird checklist for the park.

            The evening program was presented by Margaret Brittingham on the Penn State Bluebird project. Bluebird boxes were set up in 1998 for another project and these were then used for further research by Margaret and her students.

 Questions asked included:

What is the success of fledging based on numbers of clutches initiated?

Success is 35 to 50%. Termination is due to abandonment, predation, other, and unknown causes.

Is success based on whether the female is experienced (after second year)  or  a second year bird?

ASY are 61% more successful and SY are 41%.

Is success correlated with weather conditions?

There are correlations between success of fledging and temperature and rainfall. These effects are even larger on younger female success.

This very interesting project is  continuing and more data will be gathered to answer further questions.


Deborah Grove