New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

60th Anniversary of the NYSOA Annual Meeting
a Highlight in Rochester
by Tim Baird
photos by Bob Mauceli
, Carena Pooth, and Herb Thompson

Approximately 170 birders and friends met over the weekend of September 20-22nd at the Rochester Marriott Airport Hotel to enjoy the NYSOA Annual Meeting hosted by the Rochester Birding Association and the Burroughs Audubon Nature Club.

Those who attended were able to take advantage of field trips, displays, informative workshops, poster and papers presentations, good food, a raffle, an internationally known speaker, and the camaraderie of fellow bird enthusiasts.

Field trips started on Friday afternoon and continued with excursions on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The trip leaders showed participants the rich birdlife of the Rochester/Lake Ontario region. Migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, gulls, and passerines were highlighted. Trips to the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory to observe the banding of passerines provided an up close look at several species.

Peter Harrison, photo by Bob Mauceli
Keynote speaker Peter Harrison
click photo to enlarge
Betsy Brooks tending the mist nets, photo by Carena Pooth
Betsy Brooks tending mist nets
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory
photo by Carena Pooth
click photo to enlarge

Saturday morning included the delegates meeting where the official business of NYSOA was conducted, and reports from the officers and various committees were presented.

The official business of the delegates included the election of officers, directors, and members of the Nominating and Auditing Committees. The following officers were elected: President, Bill Ostrander; Vice-president, Carena Pooth; Treasurer, Bill Reeves; Recording Secretary, Joan Collins; and Corresponding Secretary, Tim Baird. These officers will serve for one year. Elected directors to serve two year terms are Victor Lamoureux, Jane Graves, and Kathy Schneider. (Note: John Confer, an original director nominee, had to withdraw due to commitments that would not allow him the time he felt was needed to properly serve NYSOA. NYSOA appreciates John’s previous service as a director and his continued service on the Conservation Committee.) Currently, Bob Adamo, Bob Mauceli, and Andy Mason are directors entering the second year of their terms.

The elected Nominating Committee for 2009 includes Jerry Lazarczyk, Berna Lincoln, and Kathy Schneider. The elected Auditing Committee members are Irving Cantor, Peter Capainolo, and Isaac Grant.

John Ozard, Leader of the Nongame & Habitat Unit for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, updated the delegates on the projects relating to birds in New York State. The NYSDEC is trying to adjust to budget restrictions imposed by State government. The cuts in funding for the NYSDEC will impact their staff and bird related projects.

Young birders at the banquet
Young birders at the banquet

Carena Pooth, chair of the New York State Young Birders Club (NYSYBC) committee, introduced Annette Lehner to the delegates. Annette is the adult coordinator of the NYSYBC. Carena gave a presentation of the program her committee has put together for information and promotion of the NYSYBC. This program is available for presentation to NYSOA Clubs.

At the Saturday afternoon papers session, the audience heard about projects in New York State involving Arctic Tern occurrence on Long Island, Double-crested Cormorant populations in New York harbor, Goldenwinged Warbler conservation, the effects of light polarization on bird migration , the utility of data submitted to e-bird , colonial waterbird populations on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and bird habitat management at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

The Saturday night banquet is the climax of NYSOA Annual Meetings. A fine meal preceded the presentation of NYSOA awards and the featured speaker.

The Lillian Stoner Award was given to three students this year: Shawn Billerman and Tom Johnson nominated by the Cayuga Bird Club, and Jeb McConnell of SUNY Cobleskill.

NYSOA awarded several Certificates of Appreciation for service to NYSOA and birders. Deep Hollow Ranch, Bill and Loretta Groell, John Haas, Curt McDermott, and Larry Wilson received certificates for their cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders, and Brian Wheeler of American Printing Co., was given a certificate for his long and exemplary service to NYSOA for production and printing of the organization’s publications.

Valerie Freer accepting the Gordon M. Meade Award, photo by Bob Mauceli
  Valerie Freer accepting the
Gordon M. Meade Award

The John J. Elliot Award, recognizing excellence in an article submitted to The Kingbird, was given to Alex Wilson for his article: “Western Reefheron (Egretta gularis gularis) at Calvert Vaux Park, Brooklyn.” (The Kingbird, Vol. 57, No. 4, December 2007.)

Brenda Best  accepting the Gordon M. Meade Award, photo by Bob Mauceli
 Brenda Best accepting the
Gordon M. Meade Award


NYSOA presents a Gordon M. Meade Award periodically when someone has provided exceptional service to our organization. This year two people were awarded this distinction. Valerie Freer received the award for her efforts as the Steering Committee chair for the Atlas 2000 Project. Valerie’s skillful guidance of this project is a major factor in its success. Brenda Best earned this award through her exemplary handling of her duties as the Recording Secretary, membership coordinator, and publications manager for the last seven years. Brenda managed this complex and time consuming job with great proficiency.

The featured speaker, Peter Harrison, entertained the crowd at the banquet with an engaging “yarn” describing his trek round the world as a young man. Author and illustrator of Seabirds: An Identification Guide, Harrison brought humor and great (Annual Meeting...Continued from page 3) enthusiasm as he related many of his adventures on land and sea. Harrison illustrated his talk with photographs of his trip and many of the birds he encountered.

NYSOA is indebted to all of the hard work and many hours spent by the volunteers from the Rochester Birding Association and the Burroughs Audubon Nature Club. Thank you!

It is unfortunate that, as of this writing, there are no locations nor hosts for NYSOA Annual Meetings in the future. If none is forthcoming, the meeting in 2009 will likely be limited to a single day for a delegates meeting to carry out the required business of the organization.

With the success of this year’s event fresh in mind, the loss of the traditional weekend event for our Annual Meeting would be most regrettable.

Published in New York Birders, October 2008                     

More photos taken during the NYSOA 2008 Annual Meeting - Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

Ryan Kayhart with Nashville Warbler, photo by Carena Pooth
Ryan Kayhart with
Nashville Warbler
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory
photo by Carena Pooth
Ryan Kayhart measuring a Blackpoll Warbler, photo by Carena Pooth
Ryan Kayhart performing
measurements on a
Blackpoll Warbler
photo by Carena Pooth
Hope Batcheller, Brent Bomkamp, and Mary Batcheller putting together the Young Birders' poster, photo by Carena Pooth<
Putting together
the Young Birders' poster
photo by Carena Pooth
Young Birders' poster, photo by Carena Pooth
Young Birders' poster
photo by Carena Pooth
Peter Harrison (right) inspiring young birders-Left to right: Annette Lehner (NYSYBC Adult Coordinator), Greg Lawrence, Hope Batcheller, Mary Batcheller, Erich Lehner--photo by Bob Mauceli
Peter Harrison (right) inspiring
young birders. Annette Lehner, NYSYBC Adult Coordinator is at left.
photo by Bob Mauceli
              Billerman accepts Lillian Stoner Award, photo by Bob Mauceli
Sean Billerman accepts
Lillian Stoner Award
photo by Bob Mauceli
Tom Johnson accepts Lillian Stoner Award, photo by Bob Mauceli
Tom Johnson accepts
Lillian Stoner Award
photo by Bob Mauceli
Jeb McConnell accepts Lillian Stoner Award, photo by Bob Mauceli
Jeb McConnell accepts
Lillian Stoner Award
photo by Bob Mauceli

Shai Mitra presents the
John J. Elliott Award
to Alex Wilson
photo by Bob Mauceli
NYSOA Annual Meeting
60th Anniversary Logo

courtesy of

Burroughs Audubon
Nature Club &
Rochester Birding Association

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