Bird Club Meeting
September 23, 2020
Online Zoom Meeting
Presiding: Doug Wentzel
Recording: Peggy Wagoner Saporito
Due to the corona virus pandemic and the need for social
distancing, we are again holding our online-only Bird Club
meetings using Zoom Technology and will do so for the entire Fall
2020/Spring 2021 session. Thanks to Joe Gyekis for working with
our speakers to make this happen. To see this entire meeting
(announcements, updates and interesting bird sightings as well as
the speaker’s presentation) go here.
Treasurer’s report (Jean Miller): $1537 in checking, $18,069 in
savings. Deposited: $275 in dues; Paid out: $105 to secure the
Bird Club Field Trips: October 17: 10:00AM-noon, Join Joe Gyekis
for birdwatching from Beaver Parking deck as part of Cornell Lab’s
Big Day. Number of participants is limited, face masks and
social distancing are required. Contact Joe
Michelle Smithbauer, Environmental Ed Specialist at Bald Eagle
Sate Park, encouraged all interested birders to participate in the
Fall Migration Round-Up, a friendly competition between two State
Parks; Bald Eagle and Gallitzin. From Sept. 26-Oct. 2, find and
log as many different bird species as you can within park
boundaries. Whichever park tallies the most species in that week
long birding period wins. Anyone can participate, but are limited
to submit for one park only. All eBird submissions within park
boundaries during that week will be counted as Fall Migration
Round-Up submissions and paper checklists for those without eBird
are provided at the parks.
The Big Sit, sponsored by New Haven Connecticut Bird Club, will
take place on Oct 10-11. To participate go to your favorite
birding spot, sit and record your bird sightings on ebird. More information.
Board member update
• As new VP of Field Trips, Susan Smith has hit
the ground running with several outings that have already taken
place and another to come this fall. She is open to additional
field trip ideas (with social distancing) that anyone may have.
• A big thanks to Jon Kauffman who, for the past
4 years, was VP of Field Trips and has helped Susan transition
into her role. Jon will continue to be a SCBC board committee
member “at large”.
• Greg Grove is stepping away from his role as a
SCBC board member, but will still be involved with our bird club.
A big thank you to Greg for all he has done for the club during
his time on the board.
• Zoey Greenberg, one of our former official
hawk counters, (fall 2019, spring 2020) will be our Membership
Chair for one year working remotely while she pursues a Masters
degree in Montana. To
Bob Fowles, our website coordinator recently secured the website
in anticipation of adding paypal as a feature on the site to make
it easy to pay membership dues. In the meantime, dues can still be
paid by mail by sending to Jean Miller. More
information and the payment form.
A new SCBC logo featuring a whip-poor-will, drawn by graphic
designer, Allissa Pendorf, with input from a board subcommittee of
Susan Smith, Jon Kauffman and Nick Bolgiano is being finalized.
The new logo is meant to attract more attention to the bird club
and can be used in a variety of formats.
The new Centre County coordinator for Pa Bluebird Society, Joanna
Taylor, is coordinating existing programs (Soaring Eagle Wetland,
Circleville Rd Park and others) plus new ones for Bernel Rd and
Oak Hall parks. Joanna is looking for help to install, monitor and
purchase materials (boxes, poles, predator guards) at the new
locations. Any bird club members interested in assisting can
Chyvonne Jessick, president of the Penn State student bird club
spoke briefly to encourage SCBC to help with student member
recruitment (as much as possible in Covid times) in the PSU club.
Also, late last spring, Chyvonne received a research grant to
quantify bird collisions into PSU buildings. With the help of Dr.
Julian Avery and Joe Gyekis, she has been collecting data during
the summer and will continue into the fall to determine which
buildings are the worst offenders.
Nick Bolgiano, Jon Kauffman and Greg Grove have worked on updating
our bird species paper checklist. Jen Lee volunteered to do
layout. Anyone with ideas/information about local printers, please
Interesting Bird Sightings:
As we did last March and April, to streamline online meetings, the
Checklist was not read but Greg Grove gave us some highlights of
birds that have been seen in the area during August-September.
Greg noted there has been an increase in the number of people
reporting sightings in ebird, probably due to the fact that more
people are staying at home and seeking outdoor activities away
from crowds. As a result he had a long list of interesting and
unusual sightings for this area, as well as reports of the
migrants (warblers, hawks and others) and winter visitors like Red
Breasted Nuthatches that appear in our area at this time of year.
Speaker: Don Bryant: Claws and paws: a pictorial tour of the
endangered raptors and megafauna of southern Africa
Don, a long time faculty member in the PSU Dept. of Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology, has traveled the world extensively to
photograph birds of prey and has shared many amazing photos on our
listserv. Don participated in two small group tours in South
Africa with Raptours, Inc. in January 2012 and January 2019. They
visited primarily Kruger National and Kgalagadi Transfrontier
Parks. Not only was Don able to see and photograph many of the 83
raptor species, but also many other bird and mammal species that
inhabit South Africa. He showed us outstanding photos and
discussed many of the species including eagles, buzzards,
accipiters and non-accipiter goshawks, kites, falcons and owls as
well as the eleven species of Old World Vultures. Vulture
populations throughout Africa have sadly declined 60% in the last
20 years due primarily to poisonings, both for use of body parts
in traditional medicine and by wildlife poachers trying to evade
detection, as well as electrocution, lead poisoning and collisions
with wind turbines. Of these 11 species, seven are in danger of
extinction in our lifetime.
Don encouraged anyone with the means and interest in seeing all
types of wildlife, not just raptors, but the iconic large African
mammals, and many species of fascinating birds to participate in
“Raptours” with guides who are incredibly knowledgeable about all
species and the locations to find them. Anyone who has questions
can contact Don.