April 2013

- by Linda Orkin

A new season of Spring Field Ornithology started this past week; and for the second year, the bird club had a significant presence there. Kevin McGowan, Bob McGuire, and Marie Read all spoke to the new group about our Guide to Birding book. Kevin summarized his introduction to the book, which highlights all of the reasons that our area experiences such a diversity of bird species; Bob talked about how this new edition of the guide was conceived and then implemented as an all-volunteer effort by the bird club; and then, Marie discussed how photographs were solicited and selected, how a photo for each site was chosen for its relevance to season and reflection of habitat. This was followed by book purchases and signing. What a great way for people to be introduced to the bird club and its significant endeavors! Also, for the second year, the audience was very enthusiastic.

I also got up and spoke briefly about the Cayuga Bird Club itself and welcomed the group to the world of birding. I highlighted our meetings, speakers, and field trips and provided a sheet to fill out for a complimentary four-month membership if an attached survey would be completed. I am very passionate about making sure that people know how serious we are about attracting members. The vibrancy of the club depends on new, enthusiastic people.

I don’t have too much time left as president, and I am anxious to make sure that planning is in the works for some of our 100-year anniversary celebrations, starting in November 2013. I brought this all up at the meeting, but it bears repeating here on the front page.

We are already well into planning for our hosting of the 2014 New York State Ornithological Association’s annual meeting, and this will be a great culmination to our year. When we get down to planning the details, I am anticipating that events and memorabilia for the weekend will revolve around this anniversary and continually emphasize the celebratory aspect of it all.

NYSOA’s Young Birders’ Club is always looking for member clubs to organize field trips on their home turf for these young members, and it would seem a perfect opportunity for us to take this on in 2013/2014. Bob McGuire is currently our club’s Young Birder liaison and has agreed that this sounds like a great idea in principle and we should all be thinking about this and working on a plan to make it happen.

As a return to our roots, I would like to see the Renwick Wildwood taken under our care in a serious way again. In some old newsletters, Karl David, former club president, was reflecting that during his tenure the trails had been improved, bamboo had been obliterated (for a minute), and the woods were looking good. Since then, some clean-ups have occurred, some mulch has been laid on the trails; but the woods are in need of a good bit of TLC. Given the club’s historical origins at Renwick, it feels important to again take this area under our wing and schedule several clean-ups. We are planning signs for Renwick and these are being designed to include historical details of the club’s involvement, along with trail maps, and, of course, all the great birds you can see there. It would be great to plan at least one family field trip there to celebrate and reconnect.

Perhaps one meeting in this year could focus on past club presidents, some of our lifetime members, and an open session of sharing experiences, highlights, and learning opportunities during years of club participation.

Please be thinking about all of these suggestions. Pick out one or two that appeal to you and let me know that you are interested in helping. Come up with some suggestions of your own. A few people have agreed to get together in the next month or two to brainstorm. Let me know if you would like to be part of this process.

In closing, I’d like to send you to ebird to help with a conservation project. It happily just asks you to locate and report Rusty Blackbirds. http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/unlocking-the-rustyblackbird-mystery.

This is another chance for you to input data and help find some answers.

Happy Spring!