May 12, 2023
Joint Banquet with the Mengel Natural History Club of Reading PA.
Speaker: Jeffrey Gordon, Past President of the American Birding Association.
(Registration deadline now extended to May 5th)
Video of the Zoom meeting
“Do Female Birds Sing? “ - Dr. Lauryn Benedict, University of Northern Colorado
They certainly do! Female bird song is more common and widespread than is generally appreciated. This presentation offers an overview of the diversity of female songs, including a few used in spectacular partner duets. Backyard birders are encouraged to advance a growing body of knowledge by listening to singing females.
Jan. 13, 7:30 pm Zoom only* “Sparrows Simplified: Making Sense of the Little Brown Jobs” - Michael Moore, Delaware Ornithological Society president.
Many birders struggle with identifying sparrows, referring to them as LBJ's (little brown jobs) or sparrow sp. This talk will help you tackle this difficult group. With discussion of finding & identifying rarities.
Dr. Robert Curry, Villanova University - Dr. Curry is returning to present new findings in the Black-capped and Carolina Chickadee contact zone where the species hybridize. This long-running study now focuses on rapid northward movement of the hybrids. Collaborative work with the Lovette Lab at Cornell has identified a strong signal linking the hybrid-zone movement with climate change. New information from graduate student research focuses on changes in the Nolde Forest population. The Zoom link will be emailed to members a few days ahead of time. Guests may request the link . But at least beforhand.
- Mike Slater, BOC Member
From far southern South America home of the Giant Hummingbird and the Green-backed Fire-crown in Chile; up the Andes to Ecuador and north through central America for tropical beauties that may be shy or outgoing and into Berks County where Ruby-throats rule in the summer and Rufous Hummingbirds occasionally visit in the fall; Mike will share some of his most memorable hummingbird pictures and experiences with us.
White-necked Jacobin photo by Mike Slater
- Vince Smith, Valley Forge Audubon Society president
Just in time for hawk migration, Vince will be teaching the basics of raptor identification. This presentation will discuss some of the tricks you can use to improve your hawk, eagle, and vulture ID skills. Some topics covered include how to tell vultures from eagles and how to tell the difference between a buteo, accipiter, and falcon.
For our 2022-2023 meetings at Nolde Forest EEC, your Board of Directors asks:
If you are feeling ill, have recently been exposed to COVID, or are awaiting the results of a test for COVID-19, please stay home.
Consider wearing a mask if you wish to minimize your risk for contracting the virus. A highly effective mask (N95, KN95, or KF94) is recommended.
As of Aug. 23, Berks County is rated by the CDC as "low" community risk, based mainly on the risks for overburdening our healthcare system and for severe disease. This Community Risk rating does not mean that the risk of contracting COVID is low at this time in Berks. Current CDC guidance regarding masking is: “At all levels, people can wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.” Individuals would do well to base their decisions on the risk to the most vulnerable person they have close contact with.”
7:30 PM at Location: Nolde Forest EEC,
(In person only, no Zoom*)
To paraphrase Thoreau, I have traveled much in Reading. A layoff and COVID-19 isolation allowed me to explore the bird life possibilities within the city limits. We'll talk about the places, the people and the birds I encountered during my City of Reading Big Year counts.
Due to recent problems with internet access at the meeting location, we are unable to have the meeting available live via Zoom as well as in person.
Mike Slater is planning on making video recordings of the meetings with the speaker's permission and making them a available here on this site a few days after each meeting.
Fox Sparrow at Angelica Park
Photo by Russ Hoffman
Mar 11, 2022 7:30pm - American Kestrel Conservation: Successful Partnership, PGC and the Birding Community - Dan Mummert, PGC, Wildlife Diversity Biologist In 2015, the American Kestrel was added to Pennsylvania’s list of species of conservation concern due to a loss of nearly half their population since the mid-1960’s throughout North America. In response, the PA Game Commission’s southeast region created a kestrel conservation initiative that is working to learn more about their local population and help in their conservation. This presentation will discuss this program and the team effort it has been between the PGC and the birding community.
Feb 11, 2022 7:30 pm - Ecology of the Northern Clapper Rail - meeting by Zoom only
Elisa Elizondo, University of Delaware, Ph.D. candidate
It's spring! Time to head for the coastal marshes with hopes of glimpsing elusive clapper rails (Rallus crepitans crepitans). The Saltmarsh Habitat Avian Research Program (tidalmarshbirds.org) is
dedicated to the study of salt marsh birds and recent efforts led by Lisa Elizondo seek to uncover more information regarding this secretive species. This program will include recent data from Delaware on clapper rail nesting ecology and movement patterns, including the first chick survival data and the first GPS tag data.
(Meeting Via Zoom Only)
Read some more about the Clapper Rail research.
Photo: A GPS tagged Clapper Rail at the Delaware Woodland Beach Wildlife Area (Photo: Elisa Elizondo, University of Delaware)
Video coming soon
- Sheila Martin,
Five species of grouse inhabit the high chaparral, northern valleys & prairies of the US. All have spectacular mating displays, yet are exceedingly difficult to find away from their display grounds. Sheila traveled to observe these thrilling but elusive birds on their leks, plus scored two even more secretive winged denizens of the high-country West. She may even include a few surprises from onward travels this summer! This inaugural meeting of the 2022-23 season will include a social. Bring snacks to share. Drinks will be provided. Please minimize use of throw-away plastic.