State College Bird Club

December 11, 2013

[Note:  these minutes were read at the February 26, 2014 meeting, because the January 22nd meeting was cancelled due to weather issues.]

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on December 11, 2013.  Thirty-one members and guests attended. In Diane Bierly’s absence, Joe Verica presided.


•    The minutes of the November 20 meeting were read.
•    Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report.
•    Ro Fuller said the next meeting would be on January 22nd, and that the program would be about Cerulean Warblers, presented by Katie Fallon.
•    Joe Verica said no field trips were currently scheduled, but called attention to several upcoming Christmas Bird Counts.
•    Debra Grim read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since November 20.


The evening’s program was by Katie Ombalski of the Clearwater Conservancy who presented a program entitled "Improving Your Backyard Habitat."

Katie challenged people to make their backyard reflect their values, and to design it be inviting to the species of wildlife that you want to see. She noted the accepted American ideal of a bland, uniform lawn provides no real habitat for birds or the insects necessary to support them. One estimate Is that lawns represent the 5th largest crop in the U.S. Lawn planting, maintenance, and mowing results in a massive use of energy and water, and the by-product of such use is an unacceptable level of pollution.

Planting native trees and plants raises the insect level and variety that birds need to develop and reproduce.  Katie encouraged people to think of their backyards as a range of micro-habitats, and to design it to replicate, for example, forest edge and core forest habitats. She showed several examples of backyards that were not only ecologically sound but also quite beautiful.

Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.