State College Bird Club

September 25, 2019

State College Bird Club Meeting (SCBC), September 25, 2019 Millbrook Marsh Nature Center 

Presiding: Doug Wentzel

Recording: Peggy Wagoner Saporito
(First meeting of 2019/2020; Lots of news to report)

Attendance: 41

Checklist:  The list included the last four weeks: August 26th up to and including today within a 25-mile radius. A good mix of summer residents and fall migrants gave us a total of 142 species recorded.

Treasurer report (Jean Miller): Checking account total:$2,290, Saving account total: $18,567

Upcoming Field Trips/Activities:
Walk at  ChicoryLane Farm  This Saturday, September 21, 2019 (7:30 am-10 am). Leaders: Joe Gyekis and James Lesher.

Bald Eagle Hawk Watch, Saturday October 5, 2019 (10 am-2 pm with option to leave early).  Join Jon Kauffman and Susan Braun for an opportunity to enjoy migrating raptors and songbirds at this newly opened hawk watch location that will only be available to visitors during this fall migration season.

The Big Sit: Sunday October 13, 2019. Join participants on the board walk at Shavers Creek Environmental Center any time during the day or evening to observe all of the bird activity (and other wildlife).

Fall Hawk Watch News: 

Nick Bolgiano discussed the Bald Eagle Mountain Hawk Watch, a special one season project. The request was granted for $1000 from the SCBC savings account to support this effort.

Kaitlin McGee is our official Bald Eagle Mountain Hawk Watch counter for this fall migration season. She comes to us from California with previous raptor migration experience and is excited to be in Pennsylvania for the first time.

This fall SCBC is sponsoring four (4) different hawk watch locations, three of which have full-time counters throughout the fall migration season. Season totals at these locations have been impressive so far, primarily Broad-winged hawks:
Jacks Mountain: 6306 Total: 5968 Broad-wings
Stone Mountain: 4022 Total: 3751 Broad-wings
Bald Eagle Mountain: 4247 Total; 3994 Broad-wings
Jo Hayes Lookout is sporadically monitored
Visitors are welcome anytime at any of these locations.

Old Business:
An update on proposed development that would negatively impact Old Crow Wetland was given by Greg Grove. He encourages anyone interested to attend Huntingdon monthly township meetings; contact Greg for more information

New business/announcements:

Congratulations! to Nick Bolgiano who was honored with the Poole Award by the Pennsylvania Ornithological Society for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to understanding birdlife in Pennsylvania. (Now we have 2 award recipients represented on the SCBC board; Greg Grove received the award in 2018.)

Doug made a number of requests for help on a variety of Bird Club activities. If you are willing to help or have ideas, please contact Doug Wentzel at:

        Anyone interested in leading bird walks at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center?
        Anyone interested in helping SCBC with FaceBook presence?
        The need to update the State College Bird Checklist to reflect current taxonomy and to replenish the dwindling supply was discussed. SCBC could partner with other organizations such as Millbrook Marsh to print and distribute new checklists.
        We need help with a SCBC membership survey regarding our meeting venue, field trips, other ideas.
        Interested in being an event coordinator for our May potluck? Ideas such as a photo contest at the potluck were mentioned at this meeting.

Speaker: Ian Gardner, "Confusing Fall Warblers".

We were treated to a variety of great fall warbler photos and many tips on how to distinguish those confusing fall warbler. Ian also touched on ideas of how we can help warblers by planting native plants in our yards as well as discussing warbler behavior and migration routes. Having grown up in State College, attending Penn State, and working with Wildlife and Fisheries in Fort Indiantown Gap, Ian shared with us his favorite local birding spots (Scotia Barrens, Old Crow Wetland and even the grounds of the abandoned PA State Lunatic Hospital in Harrisburg). Thanks Ian!