New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

NYSOA Delegates Meet in Savannah, New York
for the 2009 Annual Meeting
by Tim Baird
photos by Victor Lamoureux
and Carena Pooth

Morning at Montezuma, photo by Carena Pooth
Morning at Montezuma

On September 26th the NYSOA delegates met at the Montezuma Audubon Center facilities for the 2009 NYSOA Annual Meeting. Due this year’s lack of a member club host, NYSOA organized a single day for the annual event. Nearly 100 participants enjoyed birding in the environs of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a buffet lunch, and an informative presentation on shorebird identification. The day culminated with delegates from member clubs meeting to hear reports and conduct the official business of NYSOA.

Field trip participants encountered a rain-free morning of birding. However, water provided the focus of the day. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and its surroundings offered a spectacular display of waterfowl. Many species of shorebirds and raptors added spice and identification challenges to the thousands of geese and ducks taking advantage of the wetlands. Guided by birders familiar with the area, field trip participants were led to several productive areas for a variety of species.

Shai Mitra explains how to identify shorebirds, photo by Carena Pooth
Shai Mitra explains how to identify shorebirds

Following a buffet lunch, attendees were treated to a stimulating presentation by Dr. Shai Mitra on the identification clues for shorebirds and some of their subspecies. Shai’s talk was enhanced by excellent photographs depicting the characteristics under discussion. Shai concluded his presentation with a few quiz slides challenging the audience to use the identification clues emphasized during the talk.

Prior to the delegates meeting, NYSOA Awards Chair Andy Mason summarized the certificates of appreciation presented during the previous year to persons or groups who have accommodated birds and birders in New York State . The John J. Elliott Award was presented for recognition of an article in The Kingbird. A Lillian B. Stoner Award was given to a Jenny Murtaugh, a student at SUNY Cobleskill.

Andy Mason presents the John J. Elliott Award to Bill Reeves, photo by Carena Pooth
Bill Reeves accepting the John J. Elliott Award
presented to him by Andy Mason

The highlight of awards this year was the presentation of the Gordon M. Meade Distinguished Service Award to Bill Reeves. This award is not given every year. It is given to someone who has performed exceptional service to NYSOA. Bill’s service includes a long term presence on the NYSOA Board of Directors and several years as our Treasurer. The time commitment from Bill and his dedication to the goals of NYSOA are worthy of our admiration and lasting gratitude.

The delegates received reports from several NYSOA committees and officers at the delegates meeting. Official business included the election of the Auditing Committee and Nominating Committee members for 2010. The Auditing Committee consists of Irving Cantor (chair), Peter Capainolo, and Isaac Grant. The Nominating Committee will be Berna Lincoln (chair), Tim Baird, and Jerry Lazarczyk.

The officers elected to one year terms for 2010 include: Carena Pooth, President; Gail Kirch, Vice President; Andy Mason, Treasurer; Joan Collins, Recording Secretary; and Jeanine Smith, Corresponding Secretary. Directors elected are Bob Adamo, Jeremy Kirchman and Bard Prentiss for two year terms ending in 2011. Bob Spahn was elected to complete an open director term for one year, ending in 2010.

Andy Mason and Carena Pooth informed the delegates that back issues of The Kingbird are currently being scanned leading to a searchable, electronic format of this large repository of information about the birds of New York State. Though not all issues are currently scanned, members can try this searchable database at

Joan checks 'em in, photo by Victor Lamoureux
Joan Collins checks 'em in

Thanks to Joan Collins for taking on the organizational task of registration for the meeting and to outgoing NYSOA President Bill Ostrander and his wife, Joan, who worked hard to set up the meeting and arrange for the meal. For his two years of service as President of NYSOA, Bill Ostrander deserves a large thank you from all of us. Thanks to all of the officers, directors, and committee members who volunteer a great deal of time and effort to make NYSOA the great organization that it is. The Onondaga Audubon Society and the Montezuma Audubon Center have stepped forward and taken on the task of hosting next year’s NYSOA Annual Meeting in the Syracuse area. Details are still being worked out. Please watch for information in future issues of New York Birders and on the NYSOA website..

Published in New York Birders, October 2009

Photo Gallery - see more photos taken during the NYSOA 2009 Annual Meeting

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