State College Bird Club
25 Feb. 2009
The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on 25 Feb. 2009. Thirty-two members and guests attended; Deb Grove presided.
Dorothy Bordner read the treasurer's report and checklist. Attendees reported 86 species within a 25-mile radius of Old Main since 1 Jan. 2009. A possible Cackling Goose was reported at the Duck Pond, but the observer wanted confirmation before claiming it. It was not included in the checklist. The Secretary was unable to attend this meeting, and the January meeting had been cancelled due to inclement weather, so no minutes were read.
Board members suggested that the Club donate $400 to the Tussey Mtn. hawk watch; The motion was approved by the membership.
James Dunn, a native of South Dakota, presented a slideshow about birding there. He finds the state to have a far greater variety of habitat and birding opportunities than many people might think. The birders there are few, but friendly, even posting their phone numbers on their listserv. Jim divides the state into three regions—east of the Missouri River, west of the river, and the Black Hills.
The east area has potholes and moraines and lots of habitat for breeding waterfowl and waders, wrens and rails. Trees are smaller, less dense, and more sparsely distributed than in Pennsylvania, so every clump of trees has great potential for good birds.
Piping plovers and least terns breed on the sand bars of the Missouri, and owls winter on its islands. Dams on the Missouri provide open water in winter that attracts many interesting gulls and other birds.
West of the river is drier, with grasslands, badlands and mesas. Large concentrations of pheasant attract large numbers of wintering predators such as bald eagles, golden eagles, gyrfalcons and snowy owls. Here breed Sprague's pipits, burrowing owls, grouse and prairie chickens. Poorwills are found among the cedars on the mesas.
The forests of the Black Hills offer three-toed, black-backed and Lewis's woodpeckers, goshawks, Virginia's warblers and the country's easternmost dippers.
South Dakota is a meeting of eastern and western species. All seasons are rewarding for birding; migration is particularly rich.
Minutes taken by Debra Grim
Nan Butkovich, Secretary