State College Bird Club

28 Oct. 2009

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on 28 Oct. 2009.  Twenty-five members and guests attended; Deb Grove presided.


Nan Butkovich read the minutes.  Deb Grove read the checklist.  Attendees reported  103 species within a 25-mile radius of Old Main since 1 Sept. 2009.  Species of note included Peregrine Falcon and American Pipit.


•    Local Christmas Bird Counts are calling for participants.
•    Two members, Lois Braun and Ed Budd, passed away since our last meeting.  A Suggestion was made that books be donated to the library at Foxdale and the public library in their memories.  
•    Nick Thomas, the Environmental Specialist at Bald Eagle St. Pk., will be doing a series of “Birding at the Park” field trips this fall.  

Upcoming events

•    1 Nov.: Field trip to Waggoner’s Gap.
•    8 Nov.: Field trip to Bald Eagle St. Pk.
•    18 Nov.: Joe Verica will speak about birds of Taiwan.
•    3 Feb.: Owling at Bald Eagle St. Pk.
•    8 May: Bald Eagle St. Pk. Bird Festival


Don Dearborn gave a presentation on “Mate Choice and Defense against Disease: Is Inbreeding Bad for Birds’ Immune Function?”  His work has been conducted on Greater Frigatebirds nesting at Tern Island, a tiny atoll in the French Frigate Shoals NWR in the Hawaiian Islands chain.  Studies in sea lions and Galapagos Hawks showed that diseased animals had less genetic diversity than did healthy animals, suggesting that the lack of genetic diversity made them more susceptible to diseases.  However, his work with the Frigatebirds showed that they chose to inbreed, with females often chosing related males over unrelated males, and their response to unfamiliar foreign cells was not predicted by inbreeding.  

Minutes taken by Nan Butkovich, Secretary