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The PGC’s Kestrel Conservation Initiative: Teamwork makes the dream work!

Dan Mummert - PA Game Commission’s wildlife diversity biologist for southeastern Pennsylvania

 

Since 2016 the PGC has been ramping up their conservation efforts for the American Kestrel throughout southeastern PA. This talk will provide information about these small, declining falcons and highlight some of the accomplishments made and information learned from this study. The talk will also help highlight the importance of teamwork in conservation projects such as this and explain how the success of this kestrel program has only been possible with the continued help of a dedicated team of partners and volunteers including the West Chester Bird Club.

 

For the past 18 years, Dan Mummert's work has been focused on the conservation of the state’s rare and declining species of birds and mammals. Before being hired by the PGC, Dan worked as a wildlife biologist in California, Utah, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, and western Pennsylvania. Dan studied wildlife conservation in college and received his B.S. from the University of Delaware and M.S. from Northern Arizona University.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration Project

Sandy Lockerman
 

For the past 25 years, the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg, Dauphin County has been conducting a fall migration project on PA’s smallest owl: the northern saw-whet owl. Sandy is a licensed bander with the project and she will discuss the project and some of the findings that they have discovered over the years.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

Here a Sparrow, There a Sparrow: Identifying those Little Brown Birds in the Weeds

R. Craig Hensley - Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
 

Among the challenges birders find in the field are the LBJ's, those nearly identical (to the untrained eye) Little Brown Jobs, or the many sparrows found across North America. However, with effort and an eye for detail, our native sparrows can be readily learned and through that discovery, their subtle beauty, enjoyed. Join birder, educator and biologist Craig Hensley of Texas -- yes, Texas, for a look at the sparrows not only of Pennsylvania, but also take a peek into their diversity in Texas. And yes, have your field guide handy, for you will be challenged at the end!

 

Craig Hensley is a life-long educator, naturalist and professional biologist. He has been a birder since plucking cherries from the backyard tree for his mother's cherry pies, competing with robins for their deliciousness in his home state of Iowa. He has worked as an Interpretive Naturalist and educator from Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, to Kansas, Missouri and most recently, Texas. He has a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and a M.S. in Zoology with an emphasis on birds. His experience with Pennsylvania, while limited, is memorable -- he remembers tall trees, lots of trees from one end of the state to another. One of his bucket list goals is to visit Hawk Mountain during migration. Craig is a father to two grown children (one a birder, one coming along ever so slowly) and five beautiful grandchildren.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

Stress Physiology in Tree Swallows (Official Title is TBD)

Jennifer Houtz - PhD Candidate | Vitousek Lab

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University

 

Jennifer will be describing her research regarding stress physiology in tree swallows

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

The Bird Collision Problem in Philadelphia

Keith Russell - Program Manager for Urban Conservation for Audubon Mid-Atlanti
 

Birds have been colliding with buildings and other human structures since the 19th century and much of the work that has been done historically to help us understand the phenomenon was done in Pennsylvania, and this includes pioneering research conducted in Philadelphia by the DVOC during in the 1890s. This talk will review what we have learned about the problem in Philadelphia and what has been done in recent years in Philadelphia to address it.

 

Keith Russell is based in Philadelphia where he works on a variety of bird conservation issues including bird collisions with human structures, birds and nocturnal lights, non-native plants, and migration stopover habitat. His work uses education, monitoring, research, advocacy, mitigation work, and habitat restoration to improve conditions for birds in ways that have also broadened engagement in the environmental movement.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

TBD

Rob Fergus
 

TBD

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

Southeast Arizona’s Most Wanted Birds

Luke Safford - Director of Engagement & Education for the Tucson Audubon Society

 

Elegant Trogon, Red-faced Warbler, Montezuma Quail, Violet-crowned Hummingbird…many of us remember the first time we saw one—whether in real life or in the pages of our Sibley or Golden Guide. We'll discuss what makes birding in the Tucson area so amazing and how to go about planning your first (or next) trip to the Sonoran Desert and Sky Islands of Southeast Arizona.

 

Luke's responsibilities include overseeing the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival, field trips and event programs, the Tucson Audubon Nature Shop, and student education opportunities. He started birding and keeping a lifelist when he was six years old in Washington State thanks to his grandparents. His favorite place to bird is at Sweetwater Wetlands where he's been leading a weekly walk with Tucson Audubon since he moved to Tucson in January 2015.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

A Fascination With Birds: Photographs from Avian Hotspots

Laura Densmore is a second generation photographer. Her father ground his own lenses and built his own cameras during the depression. From a very young age she absorbed his lessons on composition and attention to detail.

 

Laura lives in Pennsbury, Chester County. She has traveled to numerous locations in search of birds. She has photographed: puffins on Skellig Michael and the Snaefellnes Peninsula in Iceland, various auks on St. Paul’s Island, which is closer to Siberia than to mainland Alaska, and gannets on Bass Island in Scotland.

 

Closer to home, she travels yearly to Florida for large wading birds, to south Texas for warblers and other migrating travelers, Arizona for desert birds as well as takes images out her back window.

 

She has studied with: Alan Murphy, Greg Downing, Ron Rosenstock and taken intense instruction from Rick Holt in Photoshop.

 

Her avian work tends to be portraiture and bird behavior in natural settings.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

Do birds prefer or avoid invasive non-native plants when nesting and feeding?

Ian Stewart - Ornithologist working at the Delaware Nature Society.
 

This presentation describes an experiment conducted recently in southeastern PA where most of the invasive non-native plants were removed from 10 woodland plots but left in place in 10 comparable plots to see if it affected their use by nesting birds. It also describes an observational study conducted in the fall to see if insect-eating birds prefer to feed in native or non-native plants. These results will be of interest to anyone involved in restoring habitat for bird conservation.

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

TBD

Presenter TBD
 

TBD

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird.

Katie Fallon

 

Vultures are often overlooked, underappreciated, and unloved, despite the vital roles they play in healthy ecosystems. Worldwide, vultures are primarily scavengers; they can help stop the spread of disease by quickly and efficiently removing dead animals from the landscape. Unfortunately, due to poisoning, direct persecution, habitat loss, and other threats, vultures are more likely to be threatened or endangered than any other group of raptors. But in the Western Hemisphere, Turkey and Black Vultures counter this trend and are increasing in number. Based on Katie Fallon’s recent book, this fun presentation will explore the life and times of the noble Turkey Vulture, including its feeding, nesting, and roosting habits, migratory behaviors, and common misconceptions. Katie will also discuss what it’s like to be up-close-and-personal with Turkey and Black Vultures through her work with the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.

TBD

Presenter TBD
 

TBD

 

Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.