COVID Policy - We ask:
September 8, 2023, 7:30 pm in person at Albright College and streaming*
“Catching Thermals – Tracking the Migration of Broad-winged Hawks”—Rebecca McCabe, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. In 2014 Hawk Mountain Sanctuary launched a full annual cycle study of the Broad-winged Hawk. Almost a decade later, Sanctuary biologists are continuing to uncover the mysteries of this long-distance migrant. Join Rebecca McCabe as she explains how Hawk Mountain is helping to conserve Broad-winged Hawks throughout their range, from monitoring nests here in Pennsylvania to attaching tiny GPS devices to track them as they migrate between their breeding and wintering areas.
October 13, 2023, 7:00 pm in person at Albright College and streaming*
Social ‘hour’ 7 – 7:30pm. Bring refreshments to share.
“Mechanical Nature: Investigating How Birds Work” – Ian Cost, Albright College.
Albright College has an active undergraduate research program investigating all things related to the anatomy of birds! In this talk, I will describe the work that students have done in the lab, sharing detailed images of anatomy and discussing student projects in a way that anyone can understand, even if they are not well
studied in anatomy. I will finish with a little about my personal research and how everything we do can benefit birds, our pets, and even human beings while helping us to better understand evolution.
November 10, 2023, 7:30 pm in person at Albright College and streaming*
“Birding Southeastern Arizona”—Presented by BOC members. Visiting the deserts and sky islands of southeastern Arizona is on the bucket list of many people, including some who have already been there. BOC birders will introduce you to a few of the hotspots and some lesser-known locations worth visiting, illustrated with photos of some of the special birds you might see.
December 8, 7:30 pm ZOOM only*
“Looking Forward to a Third Pennsylvania Bird Atlas” – Andy Wilson, Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Studies, Gettysburg College and 2023 Poole Award winner for significant contributions to ornithology. (Joint program with the Mengel Natural History Society)
Bird Atlas projects provide periodic in-depth snapshots of bird distributions and status across large areas, such as states or countries. With a new PA Bird Atlas project starting next year, Andy Wilson will talk about plans for the five-year project. The 3rd PA Bird Atlas (PBA3) will be designed to engage thousands of birders, of all experience levels, across the state.
The talk will focus on recent innovations in atlas methods from surrounding states, and what we can expect in PBA3, including a first-ever winter bird atlas project in the State of Pennsylvania.
January 12, 2024, 7:30 pm ZOOM only*
“Mature Forest Management: Wood Thrush Habitat and Opportunities for Carbon Forestry” – N. Scott Parkhill, Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s Forest Program Manager. Join Scott as he discusses opportunities to manage mature forests for bird habitat while integrating the emerging field of carbon forestry. While more intensive forest habitat management can sometimes pay for itself with the material removed, mature forest habitat management is often a more difficult-to-fund activity for private landowners. The emerging field of climate resilient forestry, with the co-benefits of carbon sequestration and storage, offers new approaches to mature forest bird habitat management. Examining the habitat requirements of one of Pennsylvania’s favorite forest birds, the wood thrush, this presentation will show what interventions can be taken in your mature forest to help the wood thrush and many other mature forest birds.
February 9, 2024, 7:30 pm ZOOM only*
“The Difference of Birding in Ohio” – Ken Lebo, Past B.O.C. President
After leaving Berks County three years ago and moving to the Dayton, Ohio area, Ken will share his new experiences birding in SW Ohio’s metro-parks, fields, and lakes. He will also share with us some interesting differences in the other animals he studies, including moths, butterflies, dragonflies, and wildflowers.
March 8, 2024, 7:00 pm in person at Albright College and streaming*
Social ‘hour’ 7-7:30pm. Bring refreshments to share.
“A Defense of the Unholy Trio” – Bernard “Billy” Brown, nature writer for Grid magazine, co-host of the Urban Wildlife Podcast, and cofounder of local nature hub PhillyNature.org. Pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows are the most abundant and easily observed birds in urban settings. They can be entertaining to
watch and listen to. Give them a chance, and you might even appreciate their beauty. Nature writer Billy Brown discusses their history, their place in the urban food web, and why he recommends that beginning birders start with the most disrespected birds in the Philly region.
April 12, 2024, 7:30 pm in person at Albright College and streaming* “Birding PA State Parks” – Chris Kemmerer, PA DCNR. Pennsylvania has one of the largest state park systems in the country. With 124 parks across 64 counties, the system includes geographic wonders, prominent moments in American history, old growth forests, tidal waterways, and Great Lakes access. This diversity is also represented in the flora and fauna that call our Pennsylvania State Parks home. Join Chris Kemmerer, Education and Interpretation Chief for Pennsylvania State Parks, on a tour of the best birding spots in PA’s state parks.
May 10, 2024, Our “Annual Event” held jointly with the Mengel Natural History Society.
“pOrnithology: The Birds and the Birds and the Bees” – George Armistead
A review of interesting and unusual courtship and reproductive habits of birds, littered with copious innuendo and anthropomorphism to keep the concepts firmly in perspective.
(Save the date. Details will be announced early in 2024 and published in the spring newsletter.)
“Streaming platform links will be emailed to all members a few days before each meeting. Nonmembers are welcome to request a link. If you do not receive the link by the day before the meeting:
· For the meetings at Albright College, email a request for the link to Ian Cost at firstname.lastname@example.org
· For the Zoom-only meetings (December 2023, January 2024 & February 2024) email a request for the link to Mike Slater at email@example.com
Meeting held on the 2nd Friday of each month September through April.
Fall meetings (Sept., Oct. Nov. ) and Spring Meetings (Mar., & Apr.) will be held at Albright College. (see below for directions) due to planned construction at Nolde Forest.
The December, January and February are held via Zoom online.
Our May 10, 2024 Special “Annual Event” held jointly with the Mengel Natural History Society. will have details announced in our winter newsletter.
This coming season the in-person meetings will be held at Albright College in Reading, There is soon going to be construction and refurbishemnt of the McConnell Ed. building at Nolde, but we don't know exactly when or how long it's going to take.
For our in-person B.O.C Friday night meeting in September, October, November, March and April: B.O.C. will meet in Lecture Hall 256; an Interior Map of Science Hall indicates a floor plan is above, so that you can find the large Front Lobby (foyer) and our room.
Albright College Information for our meetings this coming season
Dear Baird Birding Friends -
Please read on carefully to park, navigate your way and find the meeting - and your seat! –
You can use the Visitor Parking located at the corners of 13th and Bern Streets in Reading. This is shown in the blue rectangle in the images below. Alternatively, if you have mobility concerns and do not want to walk up a hill with long, spread-out steps, you may park on Palm Street alongside/parallel to the red square marking Science Hall, with fewer steps. Use 1650 Palm Street, Reading as a GPS address
All are welcome!
Parking is also usually available in the evenings on Palm St. right beside Science Hall.
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, 2023 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.
Dec. 2023 - Zoom Meeting
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.
- 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.
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.
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)
Photo: A GPS tagged Clapper Rail at the Delaware Woodland Beach Wildlife Area (Photo: Elisa Elizondo, University of Delaware)