October 25, 1995 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting

Schlow Library

Program: Slide show: "Backcountry Travel by Canoe in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota," and video, "Birding with a Camcorder and Irish Luck," by Bob Snyder.


November 4, 1995 (Saturday)

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Field Trip to Bald Eagle State Park (waterfowl, Snow Buntings?)

Led by George Young

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot


November 8, 1995 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting

State College Senior Citizen's Center (Fraser Street Parking Garage)

Program: "Habitat Modelling for Louisiana Waterthrush in Pennsylvania," by Dianne Prosser.


December 13, 1995 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting

State College Senior Citizen's Center (Fraser Street Parking Garage)

Program: Christmas Count Planning and Holiday Party

*Please bring a favorite holiday goodie to share*


December 17, 1995 (Sunday)

State College Christmas Count

Compiler: John Peplinski

238-6541 (H); 865-2204 (O)


Dinner and checklist will be held at Village Eatinghouse, Boalsburg; details to be announced


December 31, 1995 (Sunday)


Bald Eagle State Park Christmas Count

Compilers: Harry Henderson and Eugene Zielinski

Harry: 865-0733 (H); 863-2473 (O)

Gene: 353-8212 (H); 231-9255 (O)



Field Trips


June 10, 1995. Damp dim weather kept the birds singing most of the day for the June field trip to the Allegheny Front and Black Moshannon State Park. We first visited the hayfields of the Allegheny front near Hannah, where Grasshopper Sparrows were observed taking dustbaths in the road while Bobolinks skylarked overhead. The next stop at Wolf Rocks CCC camp produced a variety of warblers, numerous Alder Flycatchers, and a kingfisher. The Mosse Hanna Trail at Black Moshannon State Park was flooded but the trailhead produced more Alder Flycatchers, Swamp Sparrows, and Northern Waterthrush, mostly by song. The lunch stop yielded Yellow-rumped Warblers in the mixed forest near the dam. The afternoon was spend dodging showers and pishing warblers in the hemlocks along Smay's Run. The highlight of the afternoon was when Harry Henderson pished in a cloud of warblers and a Barred Owl at the headwaters of Smay's Run. Shortly thereafter he pished in a thunderstorm and we all went home.


A total of 76 species were observed by a goodly crowd of birds and RVOC enthusiasts.--George Young


October 8, 1995. Favorable winds and migrating raptors combined to produce an enjoyable field trip/hawk watch at the Tussey Mountain/Colerain Overlook, led by George Young. Thirteen people enjoyed looks at a number of birds, including 44 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 10 Cooper's Hawks, 2 Merlins, 17 Red-Tailed Hawks, 9 Kestrels, 1 Osprey, and 3 Black Vultures. Harry Henderson also snagged a bonus bird en route to the field trip, spotting a Goshawk along Nixon Road.




1995-96 Field Trip Schedule


November 4, 1995 (Saturday)

Bald Eagle State Park

(waterfowl, Snow Buntings?)

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Leader: Harry Henderson

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot


December 17, 1995 (Sunday)

State College Christmas Count


December 31, 1995 (Sunday)


Bald Eagle State Park Christmas Count


January 20, 1996 (Saturday)

Manure Chase!

(Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, Longspurs?, Hawks . . .)

Leader: George Young

9:00 a.m. - noon

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot


February 17, 1996 (Saturday)


Early Birds of Huntingdon County

(Bald Eagles, migrant waterfowl, wintering landbirds)

Leader: Dave Kyler

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot


March 17, 1996 (Sunday)

Local Owls

(Great Horned, Screech, Saw-whet, and Barred)

Leaders: George Young/Harry Henderson

6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot


April 14, 1996 (Sunday)

Bald Eagle Big Day

(Waterfowl, spring migrants . . .)

Contact Harry Henderson for information

Midnight to midnight, but mostly in the morning

Picnic Meeting at Noon


May 11, 1996 (Saturday)


Combined State College Big Day/ North American Migration Big Day

Contact Eugene Zielinski for more information

Midnight - midnight.


June 9, 1996 (Sunday)

Breeding Birds of the Allegheny Front and Black Moshannon

(Breeding birds of woods and bogs)

Leaders: Harry Henderson/George Young

7:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., with picnic lunch at Black Moshannon

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot



North American Migration Day


It seems kind of strange to be writing about a spring migration count as fall warbler migration is winding down, but I would like to thank and congratulate all of the participants in the 1995 North American Migration Count. As usual, the weather was sunny and beautiful, but that didn't matter this year, as we were able to find 151 species and 9378 individuals. (We had 111 species and 3224 individuals in 1993, and 145 species and 5885 individuals in 1994.) The count had a few new participants, and covered some new areas this year; one birder even did a short hawk watch on Tussey Mountain. All in all, the participants spent a total of 161 hours looking for birds, and covered 87 miles by foot and 462 miles by car.

A number of interesting records were turned in for the count, including Northern Saw-whet Owl, Short-billed Dowitcher, Swainson's Thrush, Mourning Warbler, Brewster's Warbler hybrid, Lincoln's Sparrow, and an amazing nine Red-headed Woodpeckers.

Here are the top ten birds of the count (in terms of numbers):

1. American Robin (625)

2. European Starling (516)

3. Common Grackle (413)

4. Ovenbird (383)

5. Chipping Sparrow (370)

6. Red-winged Blackbird (368)

7. Rufous-sided Towhee (361)

8. Gray Catbird (357)

9. Common Yellowthroat (321)

10. Barn Swallow (289)


As you can see, all of the birds listed above are either permanent residents or summer breeders in Centre County. There were only about 20 ("true" migrants (i.e. those that neither breed nor winter regularly in the County) recorded on the count; here are the top ten:


1. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (45)

2. Solitary Sandpiper (17)

3. White-crowned Sparrow (14)

4. Greater Yellowlegs (8)

5. Lesser Yellowlegs (6)

6. Common Loon (5)

7. Least Sandpiper (5)

8. Double-crested Cormorant (4)

9. Osprey (3)

10. Swainson's Thrush (3)


A good summary of the statewide results of the count appears in the April-June 1995 edition of Pennsylvania Birds. Unfortunately, it is slightly incorrect on Centre County's total for species and individuals (I probably forgot to mark some items on the reporting form.) According to my calculations, of the 32 counties participating, Centre came in third in terms of number of species. (Butler had 153, and Cumberland had 163; Centre was fifth in terms of number of individuals.) An excellent job!


Again, thanks to the following participants:

Dorothy and Blanche Bordner, David Brandes, Ed Budd, Nancy Ellen and Michael Kiernan, Kathryn Byrnes, Jonathan Jones, Alison Norris, Nell and Todd Fredericksen, Alice and Ted Fuller, Charlotte Pryor, Margaret Pryor, Harry Henderson, Mark Henry, Don and Pearl Laird, Alan and Fran MacEachren, John and Becky Peplinski, Bob Snyder, William Toombs, and George and Sue Young.


- Eugene Zielinski


Bird Notes

April 11 to October 15, 1995


Abbreviations: BEMt = Bald Eagle Mt., BESP = Bald Eagle State Park, BMo = Black Moshannon State Park, PSRP = Penn State Retention Pond, SB = Scotia Barrens, SVL = Stone Valley Lake (Huntingdon Co.), WSP = Walnut Springs Park


Spring migration was rather strange, with the warm weather in mid-March and early April encouraging some species to arrive in the area early such as Chimney Swift (5 April), Tree Swallows (16 March), Yellow-throated Warbler (14 April), Am. Redstarts (20 April), Worm-eating Warbler (20 April), Louisiana Waterthrush (6 April), Bobolink (27 April); but then migration slowed with the return of cooler weather and some species, especially flycatchers, were slow in arriving back on territory. This was especially noticeable for Acadian, Alder, and Great Crested flycatchers. There were no large movements of warblers during the spring.


Fall migration was steady and average with no large waves of passerines noted in the area. This is probably the result of warm weather with the lack of significant cold fronts.


74 C. Loons were seen April 12 at SVL (JM) following a rain earlier in the afternoon. The first spring report of Double-cr. Cormorants was of 5 at Colyer Lake (fide ST).and 12 at SVL on 9 April (GG). Other Double-cr. Cormorants seen during the period at BESP included 7 on 21 April (EZ), 2 on 24 April (BS), 26 on 15 May (BS), and 1 on 27 May (JP,BP). At least 2 were reported near Howard through June (BS). An Am. Bittern was at Hutchinson Pond (Huntingdon Co.) from 27 April to at least 13 May (GG). Two Great Egrets were at a farm pond near Linden Hall on 31 July (LH), while 1to 2 were seen at the man-made wetland just east of the Bald Eagle truck stop during the last two weeks of July (BS), 1 at Hutchinson's Pond on 30 July & 1 Aug. (GG), and 1 near Milesburg on 22 Aug. (AF). A Glossy Ibis (rare) was at the PSRP from 23 -26 May (TF). One Snow Goose was seen migrating with 25 Canada Geese over SB on 6 Oct. (JP,BP). 29 Wood Ducks were at Toftrees Pond on 1 Oct. (ST). The two Green-winged Teal at CFP on 13 Oct. were the first ones reported for the fall (WL).


3 Black Vultures were seen near Fairbrook on 17 Sept. (JP,BP), while 3 were observed by birders on the hawk-watching field trip to Colerain on 8 Oct. One Osprey was at BESP on 10 Sept. (fide WL), 8 at Stone Mt. on 9 Sept. (GG); 10 at BEMt. on 16 Sept. (DBr); 18 on 17 Oct. at Stone Mt.(GG). 4 Bald Eagles were observed from Tussey Mt. on 12 March (DBr); 2 ad. at BESP on 15 April (BS), 3 at BESP on 23 April (m.ob);1 at BESP on 10 June (FL); 1 adult on Stone Mt. (GG) on 1 Sept.; 3 imm on Stone Mt on 10 Sept. (GG); 2 on BEMt on 16 Sept. (DBr); 1 imm. at BEMt. on 26 Sept. (TO). The best local Sharp-shinned Hawks flights were 146 on 7 Oct. and 132 on 8 Oct. at Stone Mt. (GG). A pair of N. Goshawks was seen in SB on 8 April (TF,DF). Fall sightings - 1 on 24 Sept. at Stone Mt. (DK); 1 at BMo on 28 Sept.(JP,BP), 1 along Nixon Rd. on 8 Oct. (HH). Broad-winged Hawk flights included 144 on Stone Mt. on 10 Sept. (GG), about 400 on 15 Sept. on Tussey Mt. (DBr), and 354 at Stone Mt. on 18 Sept. (GG).


North-bound Golden Eagles included 1 on 11 March and 2 on 26 March at Jack's Mt. (RS), while the 15 observed on 12 March from Tussey Mt. (DBr) represent the area's highest single-day total for spring migration. One Golden Eagle flying near Fairbrook on 16 Oct. was a fairly early fall record (JP) . Some of the Merlin records include 1 near Penn State Campus on 25 April (TF), 1 at BEMt on 19 Sept. (TO); 2 on 23 Sept. at Stone Mt (GG), 4 at Stone Mt. on 7 Oct. (GG), 2 at Colerain on 8 Oct. (field trip). One Peregrine Falcon was seen on the Penn State Campus on 25 April (TF). Other Peregrine records included 1 at Stone Mt. on 23 Sept., 4 at Stone Mt. on 6 Oct., 1 on 8 Oct. at Stone Mt.(GG) and 2 at Stone Mt. on 15 Oct. (GG).


Shorebird reports during the period included Semipalmated Plovers - 3 on 24 May, 2 on 27 May; Greater Yellowlegs - 1 along Tadpole Rd (GG) on 12 April, 2 at BMo on 15 April (HH), 1 at BESP on 23 April; Lesser Yellowlegs - several at BESP on 23 April, 5 at PSRP on 13 May (DB,BB); Solitary Sandpipers - several at BESP on 23 April (MR,LR), 2 at Hutchinson's Pond on 25 April (GG), 4 near Fillmore on 13 May (AF,TFu), 2 at PSRP on 23 May, 1 at PSRP on 2 Aug. (AN), 1 at Gatesburg Rd Pond on 15 Sept. (JP); Semipalmated Sandpiper.- 1 at SVL on 18 May (GG), 1 on 24 May (DB) at PSRP (DB); Least Sandpiper - 1 at Fillmore on 13 May (AF,TFu); 1 Dunlin - 1 at PSRP on 15 May (DB,BB); Short-billed Dowitcher (rare migrant) - 1 at PSRP on 13 May (DB,BB).


Woodcocks had arrived and were displaying near McAlevys Fort on 7 March (GG). Reports of N. Saw-whet Owls included one heard in the SB on 8 April (JJ), 1 in SB on 13 May (JP), and 1 along the Allegheny Front on 20 May (JP,BP). Whip-poor-wills were back on territory in the SB on 21 April (JJ). The last one reported in the fall was on 10 Sept. (DG). Three very early Chimney Swifts were seen north of Huntingdon on 5 April (GG), while the one seen at Toftrees on 15 Oct. (ST) established a late fall date. A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was in SB on 3 Sept. (JP,BP).


Local birders began reporting the current flight of Red-breasted Nuthatches in early September. Red-breasted Nuthatches are now as far south as Corpus Christi, Texas, and many areas in the East and Midwest are reporting higher than normal numbers this fall. There is also evidence that White-breasted Nuthatches have been moving south this year particularly along the east coast. Winter Wren migration through the area was significant on 8 April when 28 were recorded in SB (TF,DF). Two late Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were at WSP on 28 Sept. (TO).


Swainson's Thrush sightings included 1 at BM on 13 May (GY), 1 at BESP on 13 May (MH), 1 near Snow Shoe on 13 May (AF), 1 in SB on 19 May (JP,BP), 5 near Fairbrook on 16 Sept. (JP), 1 in SB on 24 Sept.(JP) and 1 in SB on 2 Oct. (JP). 80 American Pipits were along Plainfield Rd. on 8 April (TF,DF).


The White-eyed Vireo at WSP on 28 Sept. set a new late date (TO). Philadelphia Vireos observed this period - 1 in SB on 3 Sept. (JP,BP), 1 in SB on 4 Sept. (JP,BP), 1 in SB on 14 Sept., and 1 on 28 Sept. at WSP (TO). Brewster's Warblers were seen at BESP on 13 May (MH) and in SB on 21 May (JP,BP). The only Orange-crowned Warbler reported during the period was one seen near McAlevys Fort on 1 Oct. (GG). The 1 Yellow-throated Warbler at Waterstreet (Huntingdon Co.) on 14 April (JP) established an early spring date. A fairly early Pine Warbler appeared at a suet feeder near State College on 18 Mar (ST). A late Prairie Warbler was seen in SB on 1 Oct.(JP,BP). One Worm-eating Warbler at Waterstreet on 20 April (GG) was an early date. The only Connecticut Warbler reported was the one imm. observed in SB on 17 Sept. (JP). Mourning Warblers were reported from Port Matilda on 13 May (JP,BP), and from the SB on 18 May (TF), and 19 May (JP,BP). The one Louisiana Waterthrush at Waterstreet on 6 April (DK) was fairly early.


Henslow's Sparrows were easy to find in June in reclaimed strip mines near Hawk Run and north of Grassflat in Clearfield County (GY). Two Lincoln's Sparrows were seen at Toftrees on 4 May (TF), another was near Colyer Lake on 13 May (EB), 1 was at SVL on 24 Sept. (GG), 2 at Lower Trail on 24 Sept. (DK), 2 in SB on 25 Sept., and 1 in Barrens on 1 Oct. (SF).


An early Bobolink at CATO Park near State College on 27 April (NB) tied the early spring date. Bobolinks were fairly easy to locate during the breeding season , especially in fields along the Allegheny Front where 5 were on territory in one field on 26 May, and 10 were seen in another area on 29 May (JP,BP). The large number of Purple Finches migrating this fall in the East began moving through our area early; several were noted 13 Aug.(JP) in SB, with continuous flights through Sept.


CONTRIBUTORS: Nick Bolgiano, Blanche and Dorothy Bordner, Dave Brandes (DBr), Ed Budd, Steven Feldstein, Ted Floyd, Alice Fuller and Ted Fuller (TFu), Doug Futuyma, Greg and Deb Grove, Randy Harrison, Harry Henderson, Mark Henry, Lois Holland, Jonathan Jones, Dave Kyler, Wayne Laubscher, Felix Lukezic, Joanna Moyer, Alison Norris, Tim O'Connell, John and Becky Peplinski, Mary and Lawrence Ramsey, Ron Singer, Bob Snyder, Scott Turner, Karen Wargo, George Young, Eugene Zielinski


- John D. Peplinski



State College Bird Club Hotline


Special thanks to Charlotte Pryor for updating the Hotline. Copies are enclosed with the newsletter for those persons listed on the Hotline.


1995-96 Officers

President: Jonathan Jones

Vice-President: Tim O'Connell

Corresponding Secretary: Eugene Zielinski

Recording Secretary: John Peplinski

Treasurer: Dorothy Bordner


1995-96 Dues are Due ($5)

Please pay at meeting or mail to Dorothy Bordner.