State College Bird Club Meeting
March 25, 2020
Foxdale Village

Presiding: Doug Wentze

Recording: Peggy Wagoner Saporito
Attendance: 44

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, we held our first ever online-only Bird Club meeting using Zoom Technology. Thanks to Joe Gyekis for working with our speaker to make this happen. See the entire meeting here (some quick announcements and the speaker’s presentation).

Checklist: To streamline this online meeting, the Checklist was not read.
Treasurer’s report (Jean Miller): Deposited: $160; Paid out: $800 ($750 for Hawk Watch, $50 for speaker).

Field Trips:

All Field Trips scheduled for April have been put on hold. Continue to check our website, and the listserv for updates.

Bird Club Elections:

Voting for 4 positions will occur during the April meeting. Candidates include:
•    VP of Field Trips – Susan Smith
•    Treasurer: Jean Miller (returning)
•    2 Board members: Bob Fowles and Jon Kauffman
Contact Greg Grove, head of elections, if anyone is interested in throwing their hat in the ring.

Tussey Mountain Hawk Watch

Zoey Greenberg, this season’s official counter, gave an update. The Golden Eagle migration appears to be a bit later than usual this year with 110 counted to date. Other species such as Osprey have just begun to migrate.

Zoey has been thoroughly enjoying her time as counter on the mountain and is very grateful to Jon Kauffman and Nick Bolgiano who have helped her master the art of raptor identification. Likewise, we are very grateful for Zoey’s dedication, enthusiasm and the fascinating information she includes with her daily hawk count updates. All the best to Zoey in her future pursuits!

Speaker: Lauren Schricker: “Making the most of managed forest: using automated recording units to monitor bird arrival and diversity in Sproul State Forest”

Lauren is a second year Ph.D. student at University of Pittsburgh, Biological Sciences Dept., Dr. Justin Kitzes lab (the same lab as our October speaker, Tessa Rhinehart; see October 23, 2019 Bird Club minutes. Lauren’s research involves using bio-acoustic recorders (AudioMoth) located along a Breeding Bird Survey route in Sproul State Forest, a working, second growth forest. During the past 40 years, Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) have been conducted each June by knowledgeable birders who listen for three minutes at each stop along the designated route. AudioMoth recorders placed in these locations during the entire breeding season, April-June, record the dawn chorus for three hours each day. These recordings can supplement BBS and greatly expand our understanding of bird species presence and distribution. It is still early in Lauren’s research with one season of data from audio recorders used in 2019. Plans are in place to repeat seasonal recordings over the long term to gain a more in-depth understanding of bird species population dynamics over space, time and through changes in climate. In addition to her work in Sproul Forest, Lauren is using audio recorders in Montana to compare amphibian species found in bison and cattle grazing lands. These audio recording research and analysis techniques are also being used to develop educational materials to be incorporated into biology and computer science curricula.