State College Bird Club

April 22, 2015

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on April 22, 2015.  Approximately 40 members and guests attended, with no first-time visitors. Diane Bierly presided.


•    The minutes of the March 25 meeting were read.
•    There was no Treasurer’s Report.
•    Ro Fuller said the next meeting would be a pot-luck dinner at Shaver’s Creek at 6pm on May 27th.
•    Diane asked for suggestions on books to be donated to Foxdale in honor of Bill Toombs, who recently passed away.
•    Field Trips – Joe Verica said there would be two upcoming field trips. One was to be on April 26 for Woodcocks in Scotia Barrens. The second trip would be in May for migrating warblers in Black Moshannon, and would be announced on the listserv.
•    Elections were held for five of the Club’s officers, who will serve two-year terms. Those nominated and elected were: Diane Bierly for President (continuing); Debra Grim for Secretary; Alyssia Church for VP for Programs; Nick Bolgiano and Deb Grove for Members at Large (both continuing). Greg Grove thanked Roana Fuller for her lengthy service as VP for Programs.
•    Greg Grove read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since March 25th. Some species of note were Surf and White-winged Scoters, Sandhill Crane, Red-necked Grebe, White-eyed Vireo, and Marsh Wren.


The evening’s program was by Katie Fallon who gave a program entitled Saving the Cerulean Warbler. Fallon teaches creative writing at West Virginia University, and is the author of the book “Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird.”

Katie said that the Cerulean Warbler is the fastest declining neotropical migrant, with an 80% decline in the last 40 years. In spite of this precipitous decline, it was denied the status of a threatened species in 2006, in large part because it would impact the coal industry. The majority of Ceruleans breed in the central Appalachians, where severe habitat loss has occurred due to mountain top coal mining.

The Cerulean Warbler winters in the Andes in South America. Deforestation due to agriculture, especially coffee production, has hit the Cerulean Warbler hard. Deforestation has also occurred in its Central American migration corridor, hitting the Cerulean doubly hard.

Katie suggested that the easiest way for birders to help the Cerulean is to switch to shade grown coffee. She especially recommended buying coffee through, whose coffee is Smithsonian Certified. Cerulean-friendly coffee may also be available locally at the Nature Conservancy and Trader Joe’s. Fallon also recommended that birders work to support alternatives to mountain top coal removal.

Minutes taken by Ron Crandall