State College Bird Club
28 September 2011
The State College Bird Club met at
Foxdale Village on 28 September 2011. Forty-five members and
guests attended; Nick Kerlin presided.
- Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s report and the checklist.
- Species of note observed within 25 miles of the Penn State
campus since 1 Sept. 2011 included a variety of ducks, which are
starting to migrate through our area. Area hawk watches reported
Northern Harriers, Northern Goshawks, Merlins, and Peregrine
Falcons. The wet fall has produced a plethora of plovers and
sandpipers, such as Black-bellied Plover, American Golden Plover, Ruddy
Turnstone, White-rumped Sandpiper, and Wilson’s Snipe. Common
Tern and Forster’s Tern were reported, as was Yellow-bellied
Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Marsh Wren,
Gray-cheeked Thrush, and Swainson’s Thrush. A wide variety of warblers
have been reported, with the highlight being a Connecticut
Warbler. Clay-colored Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow,
and Lincoln’s Sparrow were also noted.
- It’s our 70th anniversary. Volunteers are needed to design
a commemorative t-shirt. If you want to help, let Nick Kerlin
- Somebody suggested that the Bird Club needed a Facebook
page. If you’re interested in helping set it up and maintain it,
let Nick know.
- Somebody discovered that we actually have by-laws. After
learning that they haven’t been updated in several decades, Nick
decided that they needed to be brought into the 21st century. If
you want to help revise them, let Nick know.
- The Tussey Mtn. Hawk Watch received a $3400 grant, which was greatly appreciated.
- If anyone is interested in setting up barn owl boxes, contact the Game Commission.
- Membership dues are due. Individual memberships are $15,
families $25, and sustaining $40. Send your check to Greg Grove.
- The Purple Loosestrife spraying was conducted at the Julian
Wetlands/Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve. If you see some flagging,
Wildlife for Everyone has marked some European Alders which are going
to be replaced by a native species. A bird checklist is being
prepared and should be finished sometime in November.
- The PSU College of Agriculture’s Forest Fest event was this past
Sunday. An estimated 1,000 people enjoyed good food, good music,
and a wide array of forest-related exhibits. The State College
Bird Club had a well-attended booth, and many people visited the
bird-banding demonstrations that were held throughout the day.
- Nick is looking for someone to be a sub-permittee at the bird-banding sessions at the PSU Arboretum.
- Jo Hayes Vista has had approximately 1960 raptors reported so far this season.
- 9 Oct.: The Bald Eagle Storm Birds will be at their “Big Sit”
location at the Beach at Bald Eagle State Park. The circle will
be staffed from 5am-5pm.
- 26 Oct.: Margaret Brittingham will speak on the effects of Marcellus Shale exploration on bird populations.
- 6 Nov.: Bald Eagle State Park field trip – more details to come.
Alex Lamoreaux inaugurated our
2011-12 season with a presentation on the “Birds of South
Africa.” He was there as part of a study-abroad program and was
able to visit several different parts of the country and observe the
diversity of avian life, some of which are mentioned below.
Cory Shearwater and Cape Gannet are
common on the coast. Several species of cormorants are present,
including the Bank Cormorant, which is very rare. Only about 2000
pairs are left. Alex also saw the African Black Duck, which nests
in inland creeks like our Harlequin Duck.
Most raptors are seasonal
migrants. Two notable species that he saw included the European
Hobby, which is fairly rare in South Africa, and the Western Red-footed
Falcon. The latter bird was the first record for western South
He also observed some endemic
species, including the Red-knobbed Coot and the African Black
Oystercatcher, which is endangered. An endemic species in the
Cape Peninsula is the Cape Sugarbird, which is a nectar-feeder.
South Africa has several species of kingfishers, about half of which
are insect eaters. Alex was lucky enough to see a rare Mangrove
Kingfisher, which live only in the mangrove forests along the South
Minutes taken by Nan Butkovich, Secretary