State College Bird Club

October 24, 2012

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on October 24, 2012.  Thirty-three members and guests attended, including three first-time visitors. Nick Kerlin presided.


•    The minutes of the September 26 meeting were read.
•    In Dorothy’s absence, there was no Treasurer’s report.
•    Nick Kerlin read the checklist of species seen since September 26. Notable species reported were Surf Scoter, American Bittern, Evening Grosbeak, and Nelson’s Sparrow.
•    There was no new business.


•    Field Trips – Joe Verica reported that that he would lead a field trip to Bald Eagle State Park on November 4. He also said that an earlier proposed  field trip to Toftrees would not occur until Spring.
•    Nick said that he was in the last week of Bird banding at the Arboretum, and that banding would probably resume in April.
•    It was also announced that 2nd Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas should be available by Thanksgiving.

Upcoming events

•    November 14 -- State College Bird Club meeting: Dan Brauning who will give a program about the release of the 2nd PA Breeding Bird Atlas.


The evening’s presentation was by Dr. Mary Poss, Penn State Professor of Biology and Vet and Biomedical Sciences.  She gave a very interesting presentation on the Amazing Bird Diversity in South America. Dr. Poss has birded in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and Chile. She described her experiences on birding that area, and showed photographs.  Some birds she has seen included several Trogan species, as well as the Sun Bittern, Sun Grebe, and Cream-colored Woodpecker.

Dr. Poss described several encounters she’s had with Antbirds, which are a family of birds in lowland rain forests. They include species of vireos, shrikes, and many tanagers. These birds feed around ant swarms, and are rarely seen or heard elsewhere. Because there is a progression of birds appearing and singing near ant swarms, when one hears one of the sentinel birds, it is almost a guarantee of many more antbirds to follow.

Dr. Poss noted there are many species of birds that are restricted to Peru, at least 100 endemic species. New species continue to be discovered because some areas have never been birded.

Minutes taken by Ron Crandall.