State College Bird Club

March 26, 2014

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on March 26, 2014.  Approximately 50 members and guests attended, including six first-time visitors. Diane Bierly presided.

•    The minutes of the February 26 meeting were read.
•    Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report.
•    Ro Fuller said the next meeting would be on April 23rd, and that the program would be by Nan Butkovich on San Diego Birding.
•    Diane Bierly noted that officer elections would be held at the April meeting, and she still needed one volunteer for the nominating committee.
•    Diane called attention to a saw-whet owl study that needed volunteers. She has contact information for the study.
•    Megan Orient said to see her for membership information.
•    Greg Grove gave an update on the status of efforts to prevent construction of wind farms on Jacks and Stone Mountain. He also had a supply of commemorative Jacks Mountain patches, which are for sale for $5 to help in the wind farm fight.
•    Don Kiel gave an update on the Gray’s Woods wetland project. Patton Township owns the 43-acre tract, and the Clearwater Conservancy helps manage it. Don noted that a consulting firm recently gave a recommendation to mostly preserve the tract. He encouraged birders to count and report  birds seen there. Don noted that 92 species had been counted in the first year of surveys.
•    Greg Grove read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since February 26th. Some species of note were the Pink-footed Goose and Northern Goshawk.

•    Field Trips – Joe Verica reported that there had been a field trip to BESP the previous Sunday. Also, a field trip was being planned for Bald Eagle Valley in late April.

The evening’s program was by Ian Gardner, who gave a presentation on Northern Goshawk monitoring and habitat suitability. The goshawk is the largest accipiter. Ian said it declined dramatically in the 20th century, and is considered threatened in Pennsylvania. Re-establishment of forests in Pennsylvania and protection of the goshawk have facilitated a modest comeback.

Ian is working on a 2-year study monitoring the goshawk. He is using a grid system to map primary, secondary, and non-habitat areas. He is using logistic regression to build habitat models. The Allegheny Plateau and Ridge and Valley areas, including the Central Appalachians, are some of the areas where goshawks were observed. Several wildlife agencies are planning further field studies.

Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.