February Meeting: Allan Strong – “Conserving Grassland Birds in Agricultural Landscapes”

Grassland birds show some of the most dramatic population declines in North America as a result of habitat loss and intensive agricultural management. Allan Strong has studied Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows in the dairy country of Vermont’s Champlain Valley since 2002. He will present some of his research results that have led to innovative conservation practices in the region that work to support grassland bird populations and maintain economic viability for landowners.

Allan Strong is a Professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. His research focuses on avian ecology and the factors that influence habitat quality. He has taught at the University of Vermont since 1999 after receiving his PhD from Tulane University. He grew up in the Rochester area and he comes back regularly to visit his Dad -(long-time RBA member, David Strong) – and to bird.

This meeting will only be conducted via Zoom. A URL link to the meeting will be emailed out before the meeting. To participate, you will need a laptop, desk top computer, cell phone or iPad or other device with an internet connection. You do not need to have a Zoom account, the URL link will allow you to enter the “meeting” and hear and see the speaker and the presentation. 

January Meeting and Elections via Zoom!

Laura Erickson

Dear Members,

As the new year approaches, hopes for our traditional January pot luck dinner with the opportunity to socialize and have fun with member presentations and quizzes, has, unfortunately, faded with the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases (as of this writing). This is disappointing, to be sure.  However, besides having fun, our January meeting is also an important official time to hold elections of officers and directors as required by our bylaws.  On Saturday, January 16, 2021, at 6:30 pm, we will hold our meeting and elections via Zoom.  BUT, in addition to the “official” portion of the meeting, we will have time to socialize (as best we can via Zoom!), and, for this meeting, have a single speaker: Laura Erickson (see Jeanne Verhulst’s note.)  Please join us for this important and fun meeting and get the new year off to a great start!

Liz Magnanti,
President, RBA

A note…

For this special January RBA Zoom meeting, we invited, Laura Erickson, a dynamic speaker, writer, NPR radio host, rehabber, ornithologist, and former science editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Her topic, “The Love Lives of Birds,” will be educational and entertaining!  Please mark your calendars for January 16, at 6:30 pm, fix yourselves a tasty pot-luck style dinner, and join your fellow RBAers for an enjoyable evening.

Jeanne Verhulst
Vice President

Winter Dinner Scheduled January 11th! Come Hungry!

RBA Winter Dinner 2019 © Richard Ashworth

Come to our Annual Winter Dinner Party at Summerville Presbyterian Church, 4845 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY 14617 at 6:00 PM. Volunteers gladly accepted!

To make a reservation, contact Wanda Thistle or call 585-236-1834 to sign up. Wanda will need the following information: your name, the number of people attending, and the side dish you will be bringing. The main entrees this year are Roasted Turkey and Honey Basted Ham. We will be providing the place settings and cutlery. Cost is $5.00 per person. Note: The church requests that no alcoholic beverages be consumed on the premises.

There will be a White Albatross Table. If you bring something for the white albatross table, be sure to price it, and let us know if you want the sale price to go as a donation to RBA or back to you.

There will also be Evening Entertainment. If you plan to give a presentation, please let us know and how long it will take. Artwork, carvings, photos, and slides are welcome. Please email Richard Ashworth, who will be coordinating this segment, or phone him at (585) 381-2189 if you will be showing slides.

If you can help with this event, please contact Wanda Thistle 585-236-1834. Many hands make light work!

Date: January 11, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cost: $5.00

Annual RBA Winter Dinner: Come Hungry! Saturday, January 12th – Register Now!

RBA Annual Dinner - January 10, 2015 © Richard Ashworth
RBA Annual Dinner - January 10, 2015 © Richard Ashworth

RBA Annual Dinner © Richard Ashworth

Come to our Annual Winter Dinner Party at Summerville Presbyterian Church, 4845 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY 14617 at 6:00 PM.

Officers and directors-at-large will be elected by a majority vote of the members present at the annual dinner on January 12, 2019. We urge all association members to attend this event because a quorum consisting of 10% of current association members at any meeting is required for the transaction of any business including the election of the board of directors.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Andrea Patterson
Vice President: Jeanne Verhulst
Treasurer: Brian Rohrs
Secretary: Kimberly Weeks
Directors-at-Large: Kevin Ferrell, Elizabeth Magnanti, Wanda Thistle, and one more to be determined.
Past President, Amy Kahn, automatically retains a voting position on the board for 2019 and shall assist the president in the performance of the duties of the president’s office and in the promotion of the efficient operation of the association.

To make a reservation, contact Wanda Thistle or call 585-236-1834 to sign up. Wanda will need the following information: your name, the number of people attending, and the side dish you will be bringing. The main entrees this year are Roasted Turkey and Honey Basted Ham. We will be providing the place settings and cutlery. Cost is $5.00 per person. Note: The church requests that no alcoholic beverages be consumed on the premises.

There will be a White Albatross Table. If you bring something for the white albatross table, be sure to price it, and let us know if you want the sale price to go as a donation to RBA or back to you.

There will also be Evening Entertainment. If you plan to give a presentation, please let us know and how long it will take. Artwork, photos, and slides are welcome. Please email Richard Ashworth, who will be coordinating this segment, or phone him at (585) 381-2189 if you will be showing slides.

If you can help with this event, please contact Wanda Thistle 585-236-1834. Many hands make light work!

New York State Ornithological Association 71st Annual Meeting

Thanks for allowing us to host you for this great event!

The 71st annual meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA) was held October 5 – 7, 2018 in Henrietta, New York, jointly hosted by the Burroughs Audubon Nature Club (BANC) and the Rochester Birding Association (RBA).  It was the 70th anniversary of the first meeting of the organization, formerly called the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs, which was held in Rochester in 1948, with each following 10th anniversary meeting since also held here.

Saturday Night Banquet Speaker: Greg Miller

A Big Year: Life After

The banquet speaker will be Greg Miller of The Big Year book and movie fame. This is the 20th anniversary of Greg’s Big Year. He will approach the subject from the viewpoint of what followed from his adventures: the book, the movie, and his future involvement in birding. He was able to spend time on the movie set interacting with Jack Black (who played him), Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson and serving as Bird Consultant to the movie. He has become an advocate of bringing birding to as many people as possible through talks and leading tours. He has a special interest in encouraging young birders.

Greg is one of the three birders whose competitive Big Years in 1998 became the basis for the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Big Year by Mark Obmascik published in 2004 and later the Twentieth Century Fox full length movie starring Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson filmed in 2010 and released in 2011. He has been birding since a young age, started and encouraged by his father. He has been birding for over 50 years, covering all 50 states and much of Canada. Since his Big Year adventure Greg has continued birding and has been very active in promoting birding, young birders’ activities, and bird records contributions through eBird. In 2016, he embarked on another Big Year, this one non-traditional. It consisted of 11 one-week tours aimed at introducing many to target species birding, with a goal of surpassing 500 species with that limited-time, focused approach. He currently lives in Sugarcreek in the heart of Amish Country in Northeast Ohio.

 

Little Lakes Christmas Bird Count, Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

White-winged Crossbill, Honeoye, NY (© D. Sherony)

White-winged Crossbill, Honeoye, NY (© D. Sherony)

This year marks the 118th count nationwide and the 66th count for the area.  The count day is Saturday, December 23, 2017.  Birds seen during the count week of December 20 to December 26 may be called in to the leaders for inclusion in the tally.  The center of the 15 mile diameter circle is the outlet of Hemlock Lake, at the north end of the lake.  The circle includes all of Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice, and Honeoye Lakes and large area to the north.  The dividing line between the lakes is the height of land between the lakes.  It is important for the coverage in each of the 5 areas to be as consistent as possible, year to year, for meaningful evaluation of the count area.  Your participation in this worthy endeavor would be greatly appreciated.  New birders can be paired up with experienced birders.  If you are interested, contact one of the leaders.

The afternoon compiling meeting will be held at 4:30pm at the American Hotel, located at the SE corner of Routes 5 & 20 in the village of Lima.  As an expression of our appreciation for letting us meet at this location, please order something from the menu.  They are known for their tasty soups.

Pat Martin, Compiler.
Home: 582-2761, Cell 301-5485

Little Lakes CBC areas and leaders are as follows:
Conesus Lake – Jim Kimball  243-0316
Hemlock Lake – Bill Howe  505-238-1908
Canadice Lake – Phil Opdycke  385-6189
Honeoye Lake – Bob Spahn  671-5690
Northern AreaGreg Lawrence  730-2553

Rochester Christmas Bird Count – Sunday, December 17th, 2017

White-throated Sparrow - Mendon Ponds - © Candace Giles - Dec 21, 2016

 

FeatherThis is your chance to participate in Citizen Science and enjoy the company of other birders.

Join us for the 118th Christmas Bird Count of the National Audubon Society and the 114th Rochester CBC.  New observers will be paired with experienced birders. Lots of eyes make for a better count!

In the evening of the count day, December 17th, we will gather at Newport Yacht Club (on Seneca Road in Irondequoit) at 6:00 PM for pizza followed by a species tally.  The tally will start about 7:30 PM. We will be finished by 9:00 PM.  Even if not coming to dinner, join us for the tally.  There will be $5 charge to cover costs.   Self-serve wine and beer will be available for $1.  Pot luck dishes would be appreciated.   Please reply to  Norma Platt at 585-260-5221/ [email protected] by Tuesday, December 12.

To participate in the count, call an area leader.  Be sure to ask your leader for details.

Rochester CBC areas and leaders are as follows:

Braddock Bay to Long Pond Road – Bob and Susan Spahn 671-5690
Long Pond Road to Dewey Avenue – Greg Lawrence cell 730-2553
Dewey Avenue to Charlotte Harbor – Kimberly Sucy 503-2534 [email protected]
Summerville to Culver Road – Dominic Sherony 223-7353
Culver Road to Baker Road (Webster) – Tom & Nancy Poeth 872-5344
Highland Park, Genesee Valley Park, Mt. Hope Cemetery – Shirley Shaw 385-3907
Seneca Park – Andrea Patterson  [email protected]
Maplewood & Turning Point Parks, Holy Sepulchre & Riverside Cemeteries – Kim Hartquist [email protected]
Area west of Rochester-Monroe County Airport – John Boettcher  [email protected]

Norma Platt, Compiler 585-260-5221

If you cannot get out to bird in the field, watch your feeder and phone results to the area leader.

Note:  Birds seen during the count week is December 14 to 20 may be called in to the area leaders.

 

 

 

 

Rochester Christmas Bird Count – Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Christmas Bird Count

Join the Tradition of Citizen Science at its Best!

Christmas Bird Count

Join us for the 117th Christmas Bird Count of the National Audubon Society and the 113th Rochester CBC.

This is our chance to participate in Citizen Science and enjoy the company of other birders. This is a great chance for ‘newbies’ to learn by being paired up with experienced birders.  Lots of eyes make for a better count!

Last year we noted 96 species. Let’s go for 100 this year!

In the evening of the count day, December 18th, we will gather at Newport Yacht Club (on Seneca Road in Irondequoit) at 6:00 PM for pizza followed by the tally of the species. The tally will start about 7:30 PM. We will be finished by 9:00 PM. Even if not interested in dinner, please join us for the tally.

There will be $4 charge to cover the costs. Self-serve wine and beer will be available for $1. If people and willing and able, they could bring pot luck dishes to augment the pizza. We would like some idea of head count by Friday, December 8 – please call/email Norma Platt at 671-9639/ [email protected].

Call an area leader to volunteer. Different groups may start or end at different times of day on the 18th, so be sure to ask your leader for details.

Rochester CBC areas and leaders are as follows:

Braddock Bay to Long Pond Road – Bob and Susan Spahn 671-5690
Long Pond Road to Dewey Avenue – Greg Lawrence cell 730-2553
Dewey Avenue to Charlotte Harbor – Kimberly Sucy 503-2534 or [email protected]
Summerville to Culver Road – Dominic Sherony 223-7353
Culver Road to Baker Road (Webster) – Tom & Nancy Poeth 872-5344
Highland Park, Genesee Valley Park, Mt. Hope Cemetery – Shirley Shaw 385-3907
Seneca Park – Lynn Bergmeyer [email protected]
Maplewood & Turning Point Parks, Holy Sepulchre & Riverside Cemeteries – Kim Hartquist [email protected]
Area west of Rochester-Monroe County Airport – John Boettcher  [email protected]

Norma Platt, Compiler 585-671-9639

If you cannot get out to bird in the field, consider watching your feeder for some time during the day, then phoning in your count of birds seen at your feeder; all data is useful.

Note:  Birds seen during the count week December 15 to 21 may be called in to the area leaders for inclusion in the year’s species total.

 

 

Summary: RBA Shorebird Workshop, August, 2016

August 13 & 20, 2016

Shorebird Workshop 2016fThe RBA Shorebird Workshop was held at Lakeview Community Church on Saturday, August 13th. A total of 41 members signed up for the workshop and at least 39 attended the four hour session. The workshop followed the basis format laid out in The Shorebird Guide by Michael O’Brien, Richard Crossley, and Kevin Karlson Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 2006). The book was made available at the meeting as well as 28 pages of notes to accompany the class. The approach was to learn some basic shapes and acquire a background in molt and plumage characteristics of the various shorebirds with emphasis on those groups that are more difficult to identify. Although the class session was four hours long, ample brakes, snacks, and drinks were provided by the RBA volunteers.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Montezuma NWR (RBA Field Trip) - © Dick Horsey - Sep 26, 2015

Lesser Yellowlegs – Montezuma NWR (RBA Field Trip) – © Dick Horsey – Sep 26, 2015

After the class session, everyone was invited to visit King’s Bend Park in Pittsford for a brief follow-up were we studied the plumages of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Least Sandpipers in both worn alternate and juvenile plumages. Three other shorebird species seen were Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper and Killdeer.

Spotted Sandpiper - High Acres Nature Area - © Dick Horsey - May 18, 2016

Spotted Sandpiper – High Acres Nature Area – © Dick Horsey – May 18, 2016

The Shorebird Workshop field session was held on Saturday, August 20th at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Twenty-one participants began at the visitor’s center at 9:30 am and spent a long morning with a focus on shorebirds. Kim Sucy, Dominic Sherony and Dave Nutter acted as guides for the group. A total of 11 species were found, viewed and studied except for one; we had only brief and distant views of Semipalmated Sandpiper. The morning was spent at the best locations for shorebirds and finished up the day at the Seneca River canoe launch site on Morgan Rd.

‘One Cubic Foot’ gauges biodiversity of the Genesee River

Genesee River

Genesee River © Joe Philipson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What kinds of life can be found in just 1 cubic foot of the Genesee River?

Join Seneca Park Zoo and RBA this month as we find out!

Seneca Park Zoo is partnering with photographer and environmentalist David Liittschwager, RBA, and many local and regional organizations to assess the biodiversity and health of the Genesee River.

The initiative is called One Cubic Foot.

The project will heighten the awareness of water quality and other environmental issues in the River. Once declared one of the United States’ most polluted rivers, the Genesee River is coming back to life through the efforts of many, allowing the reintroduction of North American river otters and lake sturgeon.

In partnership with Liittschwager, author of A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity, a one-cubic-foot frame will be placed in nature to record every species that moves through it in a 24-hour period. (See images and find out more about the book at National Geographic.)

From the coral reef to Central Park, One Cubic Foot has been all over the world — and now, it’s coming to the Genesee River. RBA has chosen to be involved in the project because of the river’s important to birds and wildlife. The river serves as a main artery that birds follow as they migrate, and the marshes, wetlands, and other habitats found along the river sustain birds during various stages of their life cycles.

Events are scheduled throughout August (in particular, see David’s lecture on August 20th/George Eastman House), and project partners are formulating additional events to keep the partnerships and conservation discussions alive throughout the year.

Learn more on the project website or on Twitter, using @SenecaParkZoo or #OneCubicFoot.

one_cubic_foot

Case in point: Stay posted for updates about an evening guided nature tour on the Sam Patch leaving from the Reserve in Brighton. Likely dates: August 24, September 8, and October 6.

This venture will be a joint effort by the RBA, Genesee Audubon, Corn Hill Navigation, and the Zoo as part of the One Cubic Foot project.