September 2012

I extend heartfelt greetings to all of you. I hope that your summer was wonderful, birdful, restful… just full of all the right things. September is the time we all gear up; “back to school” still resonates no matter how old we are. As we begin another year of the Cayuga Bird Club, this year leads us straight to the centennial anniversary of the founding of our club in 1913. That is really quite an amazing thought, and to look back through the years to all of the farsighted and dedicated people is quite thrilling and inspiring. I am proud to be in such grand company. Much about the history of our club will follow so look to the October newsletter for more details about that and an introduction to our new club historian.

I am looking forward to all that this new season will bring. As usual, we will have wonderful speakers and great field trips. In addition, there are some very exciting projects that you will be hearing more about in the next month or two. I will just mention briefly that we, the Executive Committee, have had several meetings over this summer to determine the feasibility of hosting the annual New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA) meeting and have several key people lined up for this. We will be looking to the general membership to support us fully in this endeavor and will be polling you all in October. I’m also committed to shepherding the formation of a Conservation Committee to fulfill one mandate of our mission statement and to launch a Membership Committee to gently urge people into our fold. Please join us in our forward movement; please feel very invited to participate with us at club meetings and outings. We need every one of you; your interest, excitement, contributions, expertise, and friendship are what will continue to make our club a wonderful place to be.

For the second year I will be participating in the Montezuma Muckrace. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day last year, birding with such a dedicated, observant, quick minded group; and I am looking forward to being part of it again this year. Perhaps I will find the Eastern Bluebird again. A marathon day of birding is not generally the way I bird. I’m not a big chaser of rarities, a big lister of sightings, not much for birding all day long. I love the quiet moments of birding alone, and I love the energetic moments of leading beginner bird walks at Sapsucker Woods. But being invited to be a participant

in this has led me to muse about all of the ways that we intersect with the bird world. Whether it is a day-long field trip, a 24-hour long competitive fundraising event, a moment or two while running through the woods and hearing something beautiful, a half hour interlude sipping a cup of coffee and greeting all the regulars at the feeder, we all have our very personal preferences when we invite birds into our lives. We are planning to add some new field trip options that may accommodate people who have less time to spare.

The other day while walking my dogs at the Equine Research Park I saw an American Kestrel lazily pursue a lazily flying Monarch butterfly. I watched for just a few moments before they separated and each flew on its own way. It was a delight to watch this, and it led to questions I still can’t answer. Did the Kestrel know the Monarch was unpalatable? Did the Monarch know the Kestrel knew? What they knew I can’t know. But I saw something. Let’s all keep watching always.

- Linda Orkin