June 2013

-by Linda Orkin

Birds fly, and that’s one of the things we love about them. Time flies, and that’s one of the things we don’t like about that. We come to another final newsletter of our bird club year. It truly feels like only a moment ago that we were setting out in September on a whole new familiar set of beginnings. My first mention refers to two of these, our new newsletter editors and our switch to an all email newsletter format. Richard and Cyndy Tkachuck have turned out a wonderful newsletter each month this year, even succeeding at this while netting toucans and aracaris in Costa Rica. Thanks to all the members who have been flexible and modern in their thinking and have embraced this electronic publication. It is lovely and informative and far reaching. We are lucky.

We have had wonderful speakers stimulating our intellect and teaching us: about genetics (no more tanagers, just cardinals), meteorology (a night in which the overflow crowd engendered strict enforcement of occupancy rules), birds of India, the joys of volunteering, the symbolism of ancient Rome, meanderings along the coast of Chile, an evening of bird soap opera, wanderings in Texas, and our especially wonderful evening of member photos. Thanks so much to Laura Stenzler for her work on contacting and securing all of these lecturers. 

Field trip leaders took us near and far to find birds in all kinds of weather, and this year was notable for the inclusion of more students and club members’ determination to make sure transportation was available for them. We have tried a few new formats such as Share your Patch with limited success, and many of us will go on a kayak bird “walk” at Montezuma this July. Thanks so much to Paul Anderson for his great work on our field trips. We wouldn’t be much of a bird club without them. 

We formed a new committee, the Conservation Action Committee, thanks to Candace Cornell; and there are actually five members, all with special areas of concern, as we contemplate the anthropogenic dangers that birds face each moment of their lives. The committee meets each month, and Candace has written several pertinent articles along with publishing minutes from each meeting. 

We have a new historian, Jane Graves, who has been assiduously researching and compiling club history, especially in the context of the community at large. Several of her articles have appeared in the newsletter and have been read with much interest. This work is especially valuable as we approach our 100th year as a club. Thanks to Jane for this work. 

We have formed a committee to organize the hosting by the Cayuga Bird Club of the annual meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association in September of 2014. Donna Scott agreed to be chairperson and, together with Colleen Richards and Marie Read, has already booked hotel and banquet space, found a speaker, and set aside the Laboratory of Ornithology for the Friday night events. 

Carol Schmidt has, as always, done a fantastic job of making sure that all of our wonderful events are well advertised, thus ensuring great attendance and energy. 

Anne Marie Johnson was quick to design and commission a beautiful poster for the bird club when I asked for her help. This will be great when tabling, as Jane Graves and I did at the Native Plant Symposium. Some other events at which we will table include the Celebrate the Waterfront event at the Farmer’s Market in July and the Dryden Lake Festival, also in July. Thanks Anne Marie, for helping us to stand out. 

We continue to sell guide to basin birding and native plant books at a good pace. I would like to take this moment for thanking Susan Danskin, our treasurer, for her service in all things financial and her attention to detail, which often has kept me out of trouble. She does a big job keeping track of all of us. 

Deserving also of thanks are Becky Hansen for a great job taking minutes; to Colleen Richards for arranging all of our speaker dinners; Marie Read, Laura Stenzler, and Bob McGuire who take their roles as directors very seriously and are always available for solid advice. I end with hope that I have not forgotten any one person, but would like to also thank all club members for their support and enthusiasm. 

It has truly been an inspiring year. Now, I hope you will all, both members and not yet members, come to the picnic at Myer’s Point, 6:30 p.m., June 10, dish-to-pass. That will be the topper!