April Meeting Minutes
Cayuga Bird Club Ithaca NY Minutes, Membership Meeting, April 8, 2019 Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by Diane Morton. New members and visitors were welcomed. March meeting minutes, posted to cayugabirdclub.org, were accepted. Thanks to Lois Levitan and Susan Suarez for cookies! Passed around pamphlets about Delaware Bird-a-thon. Recent field trips and events: March 24: Meena Haribal led an all-day trip along the lake to Montezuma Many snow geese at Knox-Marsellus Marsh; one Ross’s Goose, spotted by new participant Molly Jacobson. April 7: Suan Yong led a half-day trip to Dryden Lake. Started at Lab of O, where birds seen included Common Raven, Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, a silhouetted Eastern Meadowlark singing, Field Sparrows, and a Northern Mockingbird. At Dryden Lake: Long-tailed Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, a Bonaparte’s Gull, singing Swamp sparrows and a Bald Eagle on its nest. Jody Enck reported on the March 30 community nest box build. The event was organized by the club’s Conservation Action committee and held in the utility building at Stewart Park. Community members put together nest boxes to take home for $10 each (pre-ordered). 19 boxes were put together. We also showed nest boxes that we will be putting up in wet areas of Jetty Woods/Lighthouse Point and at Stewart Park. Sandy and Ed Buckles displayed informational posters about cavity-nesting birds, Prothonotary Warblers, and Purple Martins to highlight some of the club’s projects at the South end of the lake. Thanks to all of the club members who helped at the community nest box build. Jody and other members of the conservation action committee have begun working at Cornell Botanic Garden’s Lighthouse Point Natural Area, removing invasive Privet to improve habitat. The club’s Purple Martin house was put up on April 8 - along Fall Creek south of the boathouse in Stewart Park. Thanks to all who painted the martin house and helped with putting it up. The city of Ithaca helped with siting and put in the ground stake for the pole. Photos of the martin house were available at the meeting. The club will have bird walks at Stewart Park on Saturdays in April and May, beginning at 9:00 am, meeting near the boathouse. Jody led the first walk and had 12 participants. The club has purchased five new pairs of binoculars to use on these walks. Suan Yong will be the leader for the next walk on April 13. Many CBC members also helped at the Stewart Park Clean up day on March 30 that was organized by Friends of Stewart Park. Upcoming field trips and activities: The club is offering more trips this spring in part because Cornell’s Spring Field Ornithology (SFO) course is an online version this year and does not include local field trips. Cayuga Bird Club is offering some SFO-style field trips, which will have small groups of up to 10 people with one leader. Steve Kress, who has taught the Spring Field Ornithology course for over 40 years, will be a trip leader for two of our Cayuga Bird Club field trips- on April 27 to Montezuma, and on May 11 to Greensprings Natural Cemetery and Arnot Forest. Pre-registration is required for those trips as well as several others. The club web calendar at cayugabirdclub.org has detailed information for all of our spring field trips, including how to register. Five trips require registration. There are seven trips scheduled before the next monthly meeting in May. April 12, Bob McGuire and Suan Yong will be leaders to look for displaying American Woodcock, and also to listen and look for owls. Register by emailing Bob at email@example.com by Thursday, April 11. April 14, Gladys Birdsall will lead a 1/2 day trip up the East side of Cayuga Lake, starting at 7:30am from Stewart Park. April 20, Liisa Mobley will lead a morning trip at Monkey Run South, meeting at the end of Monkey Run at 7:30am. April 27, there will be a full day trip to Montezuma, dividing people into groups of 10 or fewer people, SFO-style, led by Steve Kress, Meena Haribal. and Diane Morton. This trip requires preregistration. May 4, Josh Snodgrass will lead an all day trip at Finger Lakes National Forest, beginning at 7:30am at Teeter Pond in the forest. This field trip is on eBird Global Big Day. Saturday, May 11, will be a morning trip at Greensprings Cemetery/Arnot Forest, with Steve Kress and Diane Morton. This trip requires pre-registration. May 12, Chris Tessaglia-Hymes and Ken Kemphues will lead a walk through the Hawthorn Orchard in East Ithaca.This trip requires pre-registration. Sign-up sheets were passed around for trips that require registration. People can also register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Other upcoming events: Monday April 22 - at 7:30pm, Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Andy Johnson, Associate Producer of Conservation Media at the Cornell Lab, will give a seminar: Birds of the Wildest Isle: Expedition Report from St. Matthew Island, Alaska. The trip is featured in this month’s Living Bird magazine. May 4 - eBird Global Big Day. You can contribute to this worldwide project by submitting checklists of your bird sightings to eBird on May 4. May 13 - Next Cayuga Bird Club meeting. Carl Steckler and Meg Richardson will give a talk on Birding the Caldera of a Supervolcano in Arizona. Gift to Delaware Bird-a-Thon The Delaware Ornithological Society, in partnership with The Conservation Fund, is holding the Bird-a-Thon to raise funds to purchase the last remaining private property in Mispillion Harbor, where breeding Horseshoe crabs provide critical food for migrating shorebirds such as the endangered Red Knot. We received notice of the event from Matt Sarver, a former Cornell student who is now an ecologist in Delaware. Diane relayed the executive committee recommendation that the club make a donation of $250 to the Delaware Bird-a-Thon toward purchase of this important stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds. The club’s contribution would come from our Evans fund, set aside for conservation purposes. We currently have $641 in this fund. A motion was made and seconded that Cayuga Bird Club make a donation of $250 to the 2019 Delaware Bird-a-Thon toward the purchase of land in Mispillion Harbor for migrating shorebirds. The motion was carried by voice vote (unanimous). Information on how to make a personal donation or to participate in the Delaware Bird-a-Thon is available in pamphlets passed around at the meeting or at Delawarebirdathon.com. Gift to Honduran Ornithological Association Our online auction of items donated by Richard Tkachuck netted $441. We are using $291 of that as part of the $2500 for the conservation action committee’s projects at the south end of Cayuga Lake that the club approved in February. Richard also approved of using $150 from our auction to make a donation to support a bird-watching and conservation organization in Central America. Asociación Hondureña de Ornitología (ASHO) organizes the Lake Yojoa Birding Blitz in Honduras, to gather data about species distribution and to promote awareness of the importance of Honduras for migratory birds. A motion was made and seconded to donate $150 from the sale of items donated by Richard Tkachuck to Asociación Hondureña de Ornitología. This motion was carried by voice vote (unanimous). Ken Kemphues read the list of Cayuga Lake Basin birds. 118 species were reported in the basin last week. Diane Morton introduced the program speaker, Dr. David Toews. Dr. Toews is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Penn State University and did his postdoctoral research in Irby Lovette’s lab at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Dr. Toews has worked on studying hybrid zones in warblers for over ten years. His talk was entitled Mistakes Happen! Hybridization in Wood Warblers. Dr. Toews told a fascinating “detective story” using DNA analysis to determine the unusual genetic background of an odd warbler found in Pennsylvania, and discovered it to be the hybrid offspring of a Brewster’s Warbler (hybrid) mother and Chestnut-sided Warbler father. Dr Toews also discussed avian hybridization and speciation.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm. Respectfully submitted Poppy Singer Recording Secretary