State College Bird Club

September 23, 2015

State College Bird Club Meeting, 9/23/2015
Meeting location: Foxdale Village. Approximately 47 attendees, at least 8 first-time visitors. Diane Bierly presided. Debra Grim recorded minutes.


•    Minutes of April 22 meeting read.
•    Treasurer report: Current balance $1,404.59.
•    Please pay dues to Diane Bierly--$15 regular, $25 family, $40 supporting.
•    Checklists are still available at 20 cents each.
•    See Greg Grove to buy a copy of Birds of Central Pennsylvania at $12.
•    Alyssia Church announced the next meeting (Oct. 28) speaker would be Abigail Barenblitt on "Shaking a tail feather: The courtship behavior of Satin Bowerbirds and Lance-tailed Manakins"
•    Joe Verica was not present to discuss field trips, but members noted the recent trip to Scotia Barrens produced a nice flock of warblers.
•    Big Sit weekend will be Oct. 10-11. Shaver’s Creek, Millbrook Marsh, Muddy Paws Marsh all will host circles. Diane hadn’t heard whether there will be a circle at Bald Eagle State Park.
•    Shaver’s Creek will have one last migration morning walk on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 a.m.
•    The next walk at the Arboretum will be Friday Sept. 25 at 8 a.m.
•    There will be two more Tuesday bird walks at Millbrook Marsh on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 at 7:30 a.m.
•    Save Our Allegheny Ridges & Jacks Mountain will host a public meeting on Oct. 24 at the Calvary Bible Church, 100 Calvary Lane, Lewistown, PA at 7 p.m. Shaver’s Creek will give two short programs with a live golden eagle before the formal meeting; the live golden eagle program will be right outside the church at 6:15 and another one at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of the public meeting that starts at 7 p.m. is to share Dr. Trish Miller’s report on her golden eagle research showing how golden eagles use Jacks and Stone Mountains not only during migration, but also throughout the winter.
•    See Jon Kauffman to donate used books on nature to the Alice Fuller used bookshelf at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.
•    Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 7:30 pm, Shaver’s Creek guest speaker Katie Fallon will share her research and interest in Turkey and Black Vultures
•    Juniata Valley has shade-grown coffee and Golden-winged Warbler t-shirts for sale. They are also organizing a group trip to Honduras in February to explore the farm where the coffee is grown. Find out more on the JVAS website,
•    Checklist was read and 137 species were reported. Species of note included Mourning Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-Plover.
•    Treasurer’s report: $1,404.59 in the bank account.


Emily Bellush works for Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Research Institute as a Golden-winged Warbler biologist and conservation planner.

GWWAs are not listed but we have seen a 61% decline in their numbers in Pennsylvania because of habitat loss, nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds, and hybridization with Blue-winged Warblers. Habitat was historically created by forest removal events such as fire, tornadoes or beaver, and stays suitable for only a few years before becoming too overgrown for GWWAs. Funds are available to landowners to restore habitat. The program is popular with landowners. Pheasants Forever is a partner. Working Lands for Wildlife started in 2012 to help landowners manage for GWWAs and other wildlife species that use similar habitat, such as turkey, woodcock, and ruffed grouse. Biologists and foresters perform studies to evaluate requirements for GWWAs and also direct that land is cleared, invasive plant species removed, deer excluded and an appropriate mix of species is planted or allowed to grow from the local seed bank. More than 8,000 acres of habitat creation is planned for Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. Monitoring will evaluate the results, and habitat creation will be ongoing so that new areas become available to GWWAs as the old ones become too forested.