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March 2013 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Cayuga Bird Club Meeting, March 11, 2013  President Linda Orkin called the meeting to order just after 7:30 p.m. by welcoming members and newcomers alike. Meg Richardson and Marc Devokaitis provided the cookies, and the cookie sign-up sheet was passed around to solicit donors for the next meeting. Recent bird sightings included the massive gathering and migration of geese and the return of Red-winged Blackbirds and robins. Linda mentioned the lab’s docent program, which offers bird walks in Sapsucker Woods, as one way to be involved in the birding community. Marc Devokaitis talked about the upcoming Spring Field Ornithology course. Richard and Cyndy Tkachuck again requested feedback for the newsletter and were told how much people enjoyed the bird quiz they had initiated. Kathy Strickland did the basin bird survey.

The next meeting will be on April 8 and will feature Dave Nicosia speaking about weather patterns and migration. Dr. Caren Cooper will talk at the next Monday night seminar on March 25 on how the large data sets provided by public participation can advance science.

Vice President Paul Anderson gave the field trip report. There have been three trips since the last meeting.

  1. Ann Mitchell, Feb. 23, Around the Lake. The big highlight was Short-eared Owls at Morgan Rd.
  2. Matt Young, March 2, Southern Highlands, joint trip with the Cortland club. This trip featured lots of Common Redpolls, Hoary Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks, and a Northern Shrike.
  3. Meena Haribal, March 9, Around the Lake. Thousands upon thousands of Snow Geese as well as lots of ducks, swans, and Canada Geese were seen.
The next field trip will be on March 23, led by Gladys Birdsal, looking for early Spring arrivals. We need a volunteer to lead a trip on April 7.

Linda brought up things the club might do to celebrate its 100th anniversary besides hosting the NYSOA meeting. Some ideas were to host a NYSOA young birders weekend and to organize a few special field trips to Renwick Wildwoods to celebrate our beginnings. She also brought up for discussion the Stewart Park sign project to determine interest. It would require a large effort in fund raising. The possibility of getting a grant was raised.

The speaker for the evening was Nick Mason, a PhD student in the Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He gave a very interesting talk entitled “Complex color and simple songs? Exploring evolutionary relationships between plumage , vocalizations and habitat in tanagers.”

Respectfully submitted, Rebecca Hansen