February 28, 1996 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting -Schlow Library

Program: "Bird Responses to Forest Harvest Practices in NE Pennsylvania," by Todd Fredericksen


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


March 27, 1996 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting -Schlow Library

Program: "Birds and Wildlife in Botswana," by Larry Ramsey


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 (Skyline Drive Pavilion)


April 24, 1996 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting - Schlow Library

Program: Video, "On a Wing and a Prayer," featuring the work of Scott Robinson and Bird Club member Jeff Hoover. Margaret Brittingham will preside to answer questions that may be raised by the video.


May 11, 1996 (Saturday)

Combined State College Big Day/ North American Migration Big Day

Contact Eugene Zielinski for more information

Midnight - midnight.

Further details pending . . .


May 22, 1996 (Wednesday)

7:30 p.m. - Regular Meeting -Schlow Library

Program: Informal meeting to discuss local hot-spots for migrants, North American Migration Count, etc.


June 9, 1996 (Sunday)

Breeding Birds of the Allegheny Front and Black Moshannon

(Breeding birds of woods and bogs)

Leaders: George Young & Harry Henderson

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

Meet at SE Corner of K-Mart Parking Lot


From Your President . . .

Just a note from your president to say that if you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding the Bird Club, please let me know. I can be reached weekdays at telephone 238-4311 x3955, e-mail or evenings and weekends until 10:00 p.m. at 234-7773. I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can, or at least direct you to the person who can.

- Jonathan Jones



April 26, 1995.--Outgoing vice president Bob Merideth presented a personal travelogue of the Lake District in the United Kingdom. This district, located mostly in the northwestern part of England, has been the inspiration of many British naturalists. Like most of the British Isles, it is far too settled an area to be termed a wilderness, but there are plenty of open areas for hiking and hill climbing. Bob had a number of slides showing the rather austere topography of the area, as well as the farms and villages which can be found there. He also discussed the district's birds, including the seabird colonies on the west coast, and brought along a number of field guides, hiking guides, and maps of the area.

October 25, 1995.-There were two programs for this meeting, both given by club member Bob Snyder. The first was a slide show of his canoe trip through the boundary waters of Minnesota. There were many slides of the scenery, which bore a striking similarity to Black Moshannon and Bear Meadows, as well as some of the birds that can be found there. The second presentation was a videocassette which Bob had made himself. Most of the shots were of birds in Bald Eagle State Park and the Howard area, but also featured was some nice footage of summer waterbirds in North Dakota.

November 8, 1995.--Diann Prosser, a graduate student at Penn State, discussed her research on devising a habitat model for the Louisiana Waterthrush. This model, once developed and quantified by using a habitat suitability index, could then be used to determine whether a specific site could support a population of Louisiana Waterthrushes. Several steps are involved in the creation of a model: a literature review, actual construction of the model, field testing of the model, revision or fine tuning of the model, and retesting of the model. Diann discussed the habitat requirements of the Louisiana Waterthrush, and followed that by slides and comments on the sites she used for her model testing. Also briefly mentioned was some similar research being done in the Delaware Water Gap.

January 24, 1996.--Club Vice-President Tim O'Connell talked about a topic of concern to almost every feeder watcher: mortality of birds flying into windows. He noted that birds struck windows most frequently in the morning and that all ages and both sexes were equally prone to collisions. Tim had slides of the 15 birds most likely to fly into windows, including American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, and Black-and-white Warbler; he also had slides of some common birds that rarely fly into windows, such as Common Yellowthroat and European Starling. Window strikes are estimated to kill between 97.5 million and 970 million birds per year in the United States, but a number of practices can help reduce these collisions. These include putting vertical stripes on the window, putting netting over the window, and angling the top of the window away from the house. Hawk stickers, incidentally, are ineffective.


- Eugene Zielinski


Bird Notes (Highlights of Recent Sightings)

October 16, 1995 to February 16, 1996

Abbreviations: BESP = Bald Eagle State Park, BEMt. = Bald Eagle Mt., CFP = Centre Furnace Pond, SB = Scotia Barrens, SVL = Stone Valley Lake (Huntingdon Co.)

A Red-throated Loon was at SVL on Nov. 25 (GY,SY). 50 Common Loons were seen migrating past Stone Mt. on Oct. 15 (GG). The 2 Horned Grebes at Colyer Lake on Nov. 7 were the first fall reports (DD). 15 Double-cr. Cormorants were seen over the Stone Mt. hawkwatch on Nov. 4-5 (GG). The first significant fall waterfowl movement in the area occurred on Nov. 2 when 2 female Black Scoters, 100 Buffleheads and 50 Ruddy Ducks, appeared at Colyer Lake, and 15 Common Mergansers were sighted at BESP (DD). 75 Buffleheads were at SVL on Nov. 7 (GG). Other waterfowl sighted recently included 5 Green-winged Teal at CFP on Feb. 16 (TO), 1 Gadwall at CFP on Feb. 11 (EZ), 6 Canvasbacks on Jan. 25 (DD) and 1 on Jan. 30 (DB) at Pleasant Gap Fish Hatchery, 1 Redhead at a pond near Belleville on Jan. 21 (GG) and 1 at a pond near Pleasant Gap on Jan. 26 (DB), and 2 Greater Scaup on Feb. 8 (DK) and Feb. 16 (TO) at CFP.


Birders at area hawkwatching sites experienced a good fall.


Raptor Data - Fall 1995

Bald Eagle Mt.

Dave Brandes, Compiler


Sep Oct Nov Dec Totals

------ ----- ------ ----- -------

Coverage - hours 21 26 27 3 77


Osprey 16 2 1 19

Bald Eagle 4 1 5

N. Harrier 2 9 3 14

Sharp-shinned Hawk 52 204 15 271

Cooper's Hawk 8 16 7 31

N. Goshawk 1 3 4

Red-shouldered Hawk 3 1 4

Broad-winged Hawk 56 56

Red-tailed Hawk 57 412 350 6 825

Rough-legged Hawk 4 4

Golden Eagle 3 50 9 62

Am. Kestrel 22 5 27

Peregrine Falcon 1 1

Unidentified 16 10 11 37

----------------------------- ---- ---- ---- ---- ------

Totals 234 662 448 16 1360



Raptor Data - Fall 1995

Stone Mt.

Greg Grove, Compiler


Sep Oct Nov Totals

------- ------ ------ --------

Coverage - hours 98 107 53 258

Days 21 18 9 48


Turkey Vulture 132 80 212

Osprey 40 38 78

Bald Eagle 5 1 1 7

N. Harrier 13 28 18 59

Sharp-shinned Hawk 129 669 25 823

Cooper's Hawk 14 86 6 106

N. Goshawk 1 1 2

Red-shouldered Hawk 41 20 61

Broad-winged Hawk 846 846

Red-tailed Hawk 21 819 304 1344

Rough-legged Hawk 2 2

Golden Eagle 15 30 45

Am. Kestrel 49 48 1 98

Merlin 3 14 1 18

Peregrine Falcon 4 8 12

Unidentified 19 18 9 46

--------------------------- ------ ------ ---- -------

Totals 1144 1917 698 3759


One Black Vulture was seen at BEMt. on Nov. 1(KS). Most unusual was the sighting of a kettle of 67 Black Vultures near Allensville on Dec. 17 (MK,RS), apparently the largest number of this species ever reported in the area. A Turkey Vulture was near McAlevys Fort on Jan. 6 (EZ). Some of the Bald Eagle sightings included 1 at BEMt. on Nov. 28 (DBr), 3 (2ad,1 imm) at BESP on Dec. 9 (BS), and 4 at BESP on Dec. 31. Sightings of N. Goshawks included 2 at BEMt. on Nov. 10 (DBr), 1 at BEMt. on Nov. 12 (DBr), 1 near the University Park Airport on Dec. 17 (HH), 1 on PSU Campus on Dec. 26 (BS), and 1 on the BESP Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 31. The first Rough-legged Hawk reported was near Julian Pike on Oct. 29 (HH).


The peak day at BEMt. hawkwatch this fall for Golden Eagles occurred on Nov. 28 when 20 were seen (DBr). Other good Golden Eagle days there included 12 on Nov. 8, and 10 on Nov. 12 (DBr). 62 Golden Eagles were recorded during the fall season. The Merlin on Dec. 17 near Centre Hills GC provided a rare "winter" record for State College (TO,GK). Two Dunlins were at BESP on Oct. 29 (BS).


Two Snowy Owls were seen on Nov. 10 from the Jack's Mt. hawkwatch (fide GG). On Nov. 19, 2 Snowy Owls were present near Belleville (MK). A Long-eared Owl was reported from BESP on Nov. 6 (GY,m.ob). A late E. Phoebe was seen near Pine Grove Mills on Nov. 28 (AF). A single E. Phoebe was near the PSU Deer Pens on Dec. 17 (HH,JJ,SG), while two were recorded on the Huntingdon Christmas Bird Count on the same day. Another Phoebe appeared on the Lake Raystown Count on Jan. 1. Common Ravens certainly are not unusual in central PA, but the group of 20 seen flying together along BEMt. on Dec. 8 (KS) provided a rare sight. Two Gray-cheeked Thrushes were seen at Black Moshannon SP on Oct. 22 (HH).


The Bald Eagle SP Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 31 recorded 4 Northern Shrikes; 1 near Howard Gap (BS), 2 in BESP (AS,DB,JP), and another outside the park along old Rt. 220 (AS). At least one of the shrikes was still present at BESP, spotted near the Skating Pond on Jan. 25 (DD) and Jan. 28 (LR). The Palm Warbler near Fairbrook on Nov. 3 (JP) was fairly late, as was the Common Yellowthroat in SB on Nov. 11(JP,BP).


The two Am. Tree Sparrows on Nov. 4 in the SB were the first reported for the fall (JP,BP). The first report of Snow Bunting was one at BESP on Nov. 4 (BS). One of the highlights of the period was the report of 4 Red Crossbills at Bear Meadows on Dec. 17 (EZ). The following day 13 - 15 Red Crossbills were observed in the same area (TO,DP,GK,BR). 10 - 12 Common Redpolls were seen in the State College area on Nov. 25 (WT). Small numbers of redpolls have continued to be reported at area feeders through the period. The first report of Pine Siskins in the area was of 3 at a feeder on Oct. 21 near McAlevys Fort (GG). Evening Grosbeaks began appearing in the area on Oct. 28 when 6 were seen over Stone Mt. (GG).


- John Peplinski


CONTRIBUTORS: Dorothy Bordner, David Brandes (DBr), Daniel Dunmore, Alice Fuller, Shelley Gette, Greg Grove, Harry Henderson, Jonathan Jones, Margaret Kenepp, Greg Keller, Dave Kyler, Tim O'Connell, John and Becky Peplinski, Diann Prosser, Larry Ramsey, Brad Ross, Ron Singer, Bob Snyder, Karl Striedieck, Allen Schweinsberg, William Toombs, George and Sue Young, Eugene Zielinski



State College Christmas Bird Count

The 57th State College, PA Christmas Bird Count held on December 17, 1995 recorded 71 species and 12,316 individuals. The total of 71 species is 6 species above the previous ten-year average, and three shy of the all-time high of 74 species in 1985. New high totals for the count were established for the following 12 species (with previous records): Great Blue Heron - 64 (49 in 1994), Tundra Swan - 22 (5 in 1994), Canada Goose - 103 (100 in 1981), Mallard - 1118 (813 in 1993), Red-tailed Hawk - 63 (58 in 1994), Red-bellied Woodpecker - 43 (36 in 1994), Hairy Woodpecker - 43 (36 in 1987), Blue Jay - 364 (320 in 1985), Black-capped Chickadee - 650 (555 in 1993), Tufted Titmouse - 318 (288 in 1994), White-breasted Nuthatch - 213 (182 in 1994), N. Mockingbird - 54 (45 in 1991).

The 4 Red Crossbills seen on count day at Bear Meadows by Eugene Zielinski represented a new count species. The next morning, a group of birders (Tim O'Connell, Diann Prosser, Greg Keller, Brad Ross) observed 13 to 15 Red Crossbills at the same spot. Other exceptional species reported on the count included one Merlin seen near Centre Hills Golf Course by Tim O'Connell and Greg Keller, the second record for the species on the count, the last in 1991. An Eastern Phoebe seen by Harry Henderson, Shelley Gette, and Jonathan Jones near the Penn State Deer Pens represented only the second count record for that species, the last being in 1953. Interestingly, other Phoebe sightings occurred on nearby counts (2 on Huntingdon CBC, 17 Dec., 1 on Lake Raystown CBC, 1 Jan.). A Herring Gull seen 16 December at Colyer Lake (Harry Henderson), the day before the count, provided a new Count Week species for the State College, PA CBC.

Participants: Nick Bolgiano, Blanche Bordner, Dorothy Bordner, Edward Budd, Bob Butler, Kevin Carney, Mary Jo Casalena, Steven Feldstein, Nell Fredericksen, Todd Fredericksen, Alice Fuller, Shelley Gette, Ellen Grippo, Randy Harrison, Molly Heath, Harry Henderson, Mark Henry, Elisabeth Hildebrand, Jonathan Jones, Greg Keller, Alan MacEachren, Frances MacEachren, Betsy Manlove, Mike McCarthy, Marie McDonald, Roger Munnell, George W. Myers Jr., Alison Norris, Tim O'Connell, Becky Peplinski, John Peplinski (compiler), Diann Prosser, Charlotte Pryor, Mark Roberts, Bob Snyder, William Toombs, Chuck Yohn, Eugene Zielinski

Observers: 37 in the field in 19 parties, plus 1 feeder watcher (1 hour)

Time and Distance: 14.75 hours and 56.0 miles owling

Total party-hours 139.25 and party-miles 413.5;

96.25 hours and 82.5 miles on foot,

43.0 hours and 331.0 miles by car.

Weather: Temp. 27° to 32°F. Wind NW-N, 0-10 mph. Still water frozen. Moving water open. A.M.. mostly cloudy. P.M. partly cloudy.


Bald Eagle State Park Field Trip

November 4, 1995. The November field trip inadvertently split into two groups, one going after ducks and the other after land birds. Both groups found interesting birds. Waterfowl observed included Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Coot, Canada Goose, and Mallard. Long-Eared Owl was a special sighting. The combined parties tallied 42 spp. for the day.


- George Young


North American Migration Count


With the Christmas Counts behind us for another year, it's time to look forward to the 1996 North American Migration Count. This year, the NAMC for Centre County will be held on Saturday, May 11, and I again will be the compiler.

For those who may not know what the NAMC is, imagine a Christmas Count held in May. Birders go to a predefined area and count all the birds they can find, usually under comfortable weather conditions. The differences between the NAMC and a Christmas Count are that the NAMC is held on one day nationwide, and the area to be covered is a county, not a circle of 15 miles in diameter. Centre County is immense, so of course we will be breaking it into smaller coverage areas, and we need all the help we can get.

If this sounds interesting (and it is!), write to me, or talk to me at one of the meetings. If you've participated before, I'll probably get to talk to you between now and the end of April.

- Eugene Zielinski