State College Bird Club

April 24, 2013

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on April 24, 2013.  Approximately 32 members and guests attended, including two first-time visitors. Nick Kerlin presided.

•    The minutes of the March 27th meeting were read.
•    Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report.
•    Ro Fuller announced that the final club meeting of the Spring would be a potluck at Shaver’s Creek on May 22.
•    The election of officers was held with the following officers elected to 2-year terms:
President: Diane Bierly; VP Programs: Ro Fuller (continuing); Secretary: Ron Crandall (continuing); Members at large: Nick Bolgiano and Deb Grove.
•    Don Kiel gave an update on the Gray’s Woods wetland project. He reported that Jim Julian had led several bird walks and tours there, and that a Breeding Bird Survey was being organized. Don also said that the group was working on a bird checklist, and that birders were encouraged to send photos and other information on bird sightings to either him or the Clearwater Conservancy.
•    It was noted that the Spring Tussey Mountain Hawkwatch had been completed, and that the final tally of Golden Eagles was 177.
•    Greg Grove read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since March 27.

•    Doug Wentzel noted that the Birding Cup was scheduled for May 3rd - 4th and that about 20 teams were signed up.
•    Nick Kerlin said that the PA Migration Count would be on May 11th, and that club members should let him know if they were interested in participating.
•    Field Trips – No report.

The evening’s presentation was by Penn State grad student Nate Fronk, who gave a talk called “The Effects of Landscape Changes from Marcellus Shale Development on Birds.”  Nate said that Marcellus Shale gas drilling started in 2003, and now includes 6000 wells, 3000 of which are producing. His analysis used Breeding Bird Survey data from North Central Pennsylvania to compare counts of forest songbirds from before 2003 to counts in 2011-12.  Some species classes showed declines while others showed increases.  The results, In particular, showed that core forest birds had significant declines from Marcellus Shale development. Chipping Sparrows, by contrast, showed the biggest increase of any species. Early successional species showed no relationship to the development. The effects are expected to accelerate as development continues to increase.

Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.