State College Bird Club
November 19, 2014
The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on November 19,
2014. Approximately 35 members and guests attended, including two
first time visitors. Diane Bierly presided.
• The minutes of the October 22nd meeting were read.
• Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report. She said the balance in the checking account was $557.17.
• Ro Fuller announced that the next bird club meeting
would be on December 11, and the speaker would be Don Bryant, who will
give a program on birds and raptors in Spain.
• Field Trips – Diane mentioned that a field trip led
by Alyssia Church was scheduled for November 22nd at Shaver’s Creek.
• Diane Bierly noted the upcoming Christmas Bird
Counts. Some dates for them are State College & Huntingdon on
December 14, Lewistown on Dec. 20th, Lock Haven & Raystown on Jan.
3rd, and Bald Eagle on Jan. 4th. Contact the appropriate count
coordinator if you wish to participate.
• Greg Grove noted that this had been a banner year
for Golden Eagles at the Stone & Jacks Mountain Hawkwatches. Both
are on record setting paces.
• Greg also read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since October 22nd.
The evening’s presentation was by Lillie Langlois, a Penn State grad
student. She presented her research on Marcellus shale gas development
and forest bird communities. She noted that Marcellus gas development
in Pennsylvania is in its very early stages with only 11,000 well
permits issued as of 2012 out of a projected 90,000 wells.
Lillie’s particular interest was the effect of forest fragmentation on
neotropical migrant birds in Lycoming County. To quantify the change in
fragmentation, she used 2005 land cover data compared to 2012 aerial
imagery. She found that pipelines, rather than well pads, were the
biggest contributor to forest fragmentation.
As of 2012, Langlois conservatively estimates a 1% loss of core forest
on public land, and 2% on private land compared to 2005. She said
that, although this might not sound like much, it was probable the loss
would accelerate given the continued explosive growth in drilling
Point bird counts were conducted at 66 sites in Lycoming County to
assess changes in specie guilds. Lillie’s results showed a relative
loss of forest interior birds as compared to early successional and
human-associated birds. Cowbirds, in particular, had shown large
increases, leading to a secondary loss of vulnerable forest birds
Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.