State College Bird Club

January 23, 2013

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on January 23, 2013.  Forty-eight members and guests attended, including two first-time visitors. Nick Kerlin presided.

•    The minutes of the December 12 meeting were read.
•    Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report.
•    Megan Orient reported that the club has 56 paid members and had collected $860 in dues money, including $35 for the spring hawkwatch.
•    Greg Grove read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since December 12. Some notable species included redpolls, an Oregon Junco, Red & White-winged Crossbills, and Lapland Longspurs.
•    Nick Kerlin noted that a date had been set for the “Bird Day” at Wiscoy Pet Foods store. It will be held March 9th from 10am to 2pm. Four volunteers are needed to handle 2 hour shifts.

•    Field Trips – Joe Verica reported that he was hoping to organize at Bald Eagle State Park field trip.

Upcoming events
•    Deborah Grim reported that the PA Native Plant Society was sponsoring a talk by Steven Schwartz at Webster’s Bookstore on February 6.

The evening’s presentation was by Greg Grove who presented a program on the Winter Raptor Survey. The WRS has been held annually between mid-January and mid-February for the years 2001-2012. Its goal is to determine the winter distribution and to detect long-term trends of open country raptors in Pennsylvania. Greg presented maps showing counts per hour over the 12 years.

Some key findings were a dramatic drop in Kestrels in southeast Pennsylvania. Northern Harriers showed an upward trend in the Susquehanna Watershed during the early years of the Survey, then a decline. Greg speculated that the early upward trend was the result of the start of the CREP program in Pennsylvania. Rough-legged Hawks were most prevalent in North-Central counties. Roughlegs showed no specific trend but great variability, probably as a result of winter weather extremes.

Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.