State College Bird Club

February 25, 2015

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on February 25, 2015.  Approximately 50 members and guests attended, including four first-time visitors. Diane Bierly presided.


•    The minutes of the January 28 meeting were read.
•    Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report. The checking account balance was given as $1016.34.
•    Ro Fuller said the next meeting would be on March 25th, and that the program would be by Nick Bolgiano who will give a program on Distribution Changes for Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, and American Kestrels in Eastern North America.
•    Field Trips -- Diane Bierly said she was hoping to lead an owling outing sometime in the next week. Also, a BESP waterfowl field trip is being planned, and the PA Ornithology Society will have a field trip to the Tussey Mountain Hawkwatch on March 22.
•    Nick Bolgiano introduced the new Tussey spring hawkwatch counter, Jason Bojczyk.
•    Membership chairperson Megan Orient said that the club had 63 total memberships, comprised of 38 single, 16 family, and 9 supporting memberships.
•    Greg Grove read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since January 28th. A species of note was a Trumpeter Swan.


The evening’s program was presented by Kathleen Kolos, research assistant at Shippinsburg University, who gave a presentation called the Breeding Ecology of Northern Saw-whet Owls in Three Study Regions of Pennsylvania.

After the 1st Breeding Bird Atlas, it was thought that the Saw-whet owl, the smallest owl in the Eastern US, was a rare breeder in Pennsylvania. The 2nd Atlas and Toot Routes conducted in 2000-2001, however, showed that breeding was fairly common and quite widely distributed.

Kathleen’s project focused on the effect of vegetation differences in the breeding areas of saw-whet owls. She revisited the Toot Routes with new breeding studies conducted in 2013-2014. She divided the breeding range into NW Pennsylvania, central Pennsylvania, and south-central Pennsylvania. Her logistic regression analysis showed that, while there were no specific habitat requirements for breeding, there was a difference in habitat favored for foraging and roosting. Her research suggested that old growth forests are often used, and that saw-whet owls are probably vulnerable to forest fragmentation.

Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.