September 14-16, 2001
Richard E. Miga
At 9:19 a.m, Saturday, September 15, 2001, President
Mary Alice Koeneke called to order the meeting of the Council of
Delegates. This meeting in Liverpool was the 54th Annual Meeting
of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs, Inc. and was hosted
by the Onondaga Audubon Society.
A roll call of member clubs showed that 42 delegates
represented 26 of 51 member clubs. The minutes of the 53rd Annual
Meeting were approved as presented (motion by Valerie Freer, Bill
Reeves, second). Mary Alice appointed Valerie Freer and Barbara
Butler to the Resolution Committee.
Mary Alice Koeneke presented the following President's Report:
The New York State Federation of Bird Clubs has been very active
in many activities involving birds and birding throughout New
State in 2001. The Federation has surpassed 50 member clubs. The
New York State Breeding Bird Atlas project - Atlas 2000 is currently
completing its second year of data collection - once again recognition
of the tremendous amount of time and effort put into this project
by NYSDEC staff: Kim Hunsinger, John Ozard, Bob Miller,
and Bob Budliger the National Audubon Atlas representative. Also
was the Cornell Department of Natural Resources staff - Charlie
Smith and Milo Richmond along with Federation Coordinator Valerie
Freer, who serves as chair of the Atlas 2000 Committee.
Some of the other activities and successes of the Federation this
past year were:
- Three more provisional member clubs have asked for membership
bringing our total membership to 52 clubs! Family and Individual
memberships have also increased.
- NYSARC continues to bring the State ornithological records
up to date under the fine organization of Angus Wilson, chair
and the rest of the committee. Annual reports including some photographs
are now on the FNYSBC website. Gerard Philips was appointed to
fill a vacancy on the committee formerly held by Ken Able. Jim
Lowe, NYSARC secretary, stepped down and has been replaced by
- The Federation web site continues to expand public awareness
of the Federation and its activities: Federation membership has
increased through an electronically available membership form
on the web site. Barbara Butler, Kevin McGowan and staff at Cornell
continually update and fine-tune the pages.
- FNYSBC sponsored a team at the Montezuma NWR Muckrace and provided
gift Federation memberships to the youth participants in the Muckrace
for the third year in a row. FNYSBC supported the 5th Annual Lake
Ontario Migratory Bird Festival in Mexico, NY.
- The FNYSBC was represented at conservation meetings/hearings
throughout the year including the ongoing Double-crested Cormorant
and Jamaica Bay Bike Path issues and the NY State BCA program.
The Federation also continues to support the CARA legislation.
- The Kingbird and NY Birders, our
two wonderful publications, are our most public face and continue
to publish quality articles and information for NY State's birding
community. Special thanks go to Manny Levine, Phyllis Jones, Willie
D'Anna, Bob Spahn and all of the Regional Editors for keeping
us in the know. The Kingbird also had its
cover updated with a new rendition of its namesake species as
well as the addition of color. Also Sue Adair was recognized for
her work in editing New York Birders.
- A new project, the publication of a monograph: Summary
of the Hamlin Beach Lakewatch Fall and Winter Bird Data 1993-1999
by Brett Ewald and Dominic F. Sherony is now complete and it is
hoped that the FNYSBC may occasionally provide this service for
other ornithological monographs.
FNYSBC has accomplished a lot this past year and this next year
will bring a third year of atlasing, activities, issues and other
projects. If you wish to become more involved in the FNYSBC speak
to any of the Board members. If you know of individuals who might
like to become membersspread the word. Take brochures to your
club meeting and other birding activities. Thank you!
Bill Reeves presented the Treasurer's Report, distributing a detailed
2000 Annual Financial Report.
||Member Clubs Awards
|Temporarily Restricted Fund
||John J. Elliott Fund
||Lillian C. Stoner
Total Fund Balances and Total Assets were $135,158.25, an
increase of $10,222.00 from those totals at the end of 1999.
Bill Reeves also reported on the activity of the General Operating
Fund. He indicated that our major source of income is individual
memberships, and suggests that the Federation maintain its financial
condition by encouraging members to upgrade their membership category.
Our major expense is our quarterly journal, The Kingbird,
accounting for about 77% of our annual expenses.
Manny Levine reported for the Auditing Committee. The committee
members, Manny Levine, Irving Cantor, and Peter Campainolo reported
that the financial statements fairly represent the financial condition
of the Federation, and the operating records of the Federation to
be in good shape.
Valerie Freer reported that as of July 2001 there are: 742 Individual
Members, 71 Life Members for a total of 813 Members. She also noted
that the Life Members are decreasing. There are now 51 Member Clubs
representing approximately 33,000 individuals.
of New Clubs
Three clubs have requested membership in the Federation: Four Harbors
Audubon Society (700 Members), Pfeiffer Nature Center (119 Members),
and South Shore Audubon Society (2000 Members). With a motion by
Tim Baird, seconded by Barb Reuter, the clubs were accepted into
Valerie Freer reported that the project is going well and the deadline
for reports will be through the week after the Federation meeting.
She thanked all Regional Coordinators and volunteers for their efforts.
Manny Levine reported that Federation checklists are available
at Federation booth. The Kingbird is in good shape
and the September 2001 issue is going to press. The use of color
photographs is being investigated as to cost. Sue Adair indicated
that the October issue of New York Birders is presently
being worked on.
Committee Chair Mary Alice Koeneke reported that the Federation
has taken an active role in statewide conservation issues as well
as those impacting local clubs. Specific items addressed for the
past year included:
- The Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). This legislation
is being tracked and updates are reported on the Federation website
as well as alerts for letters and phone calls.
- Mary Alice has been involved with the Cormorant issue in Lake
Ontario since 1992 and reports that things are comparatively quiet
this year. Most cormorants are nesting on the Canadian side of
lake this year. Very little activity has been going on regarding
bass fish consumption and Little Galoo Island this year. NYSDEC
continues its ecological studies of Little Galoo.
- The Jamaica Bay bike path situation continues to be Federation
monitored in support of the New York City Audubon chapter in addition
to signing on to the letter requesting the park to compromise
on the proposed path. Al Ott, Joe O'Connell and Nellie Larsen
are to be commended for their continued work on the issue.
- The Chesapeake Bay issue regarding our state involvement as
a watershed and of the many state birds wintering there continues
to be monitored. This is in keeping with the resolution adopted
by the Federation at the 2000 meeting. Governor Pataki with his
signing supported resolution, as well as the National Audubon
Society resolution was adapted from the Federation's.
- The Federation also sent comments to the USFWS on the document
proposing the designation of critical habitat for Great Lakes
Piping Plovers; areas have since received the designation. Also
the Long Island Piping Plover breeding situation at the west end
of Jones Beach continues to be monitored. John Fritz, co-chair
of conservation for the downstate area and LI keeps well informed
of the issue.
- The Federation thanked Commissioner Bernadette Castro for ensuring
that the fall hawk watch platform was constructed as promised.
Peter Nye gave the annual report from the DEC. He reported that
Bob Miller had retired and will be missed. Pete reported that DEC
is working cooperatively with other agencies and organizations to
monitor and manage many bird species as part of their wildlife management
program. This includes the:
Statewide Breeding Bird Atlas in conjunction with Federation
and Cornell University. New York is first state in nation to repeat
its Breeding Bird Atlas Project. Approximately 850 volunteers
surveyed 1600 blocks. Breeding maps can now be downloaded from
DEC website. The Atlas database now holds over 86,000 species
Bird Conservation Planning. DEC staff participated in
a three-day workshop on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative
(NABCI) and related planning efforts in the Lower Great Lakes-St.
Lawrence river bird conservation region. Follow up meetings are
planned for developing management and habitat restoration projects
for identified focus areas that then can be submitted as grant
Bird Conservation Areas (BCA). The New York State BCA
(modeled after the National Audubon IBA program) is based on legislation
supported by the Department and passed by the Legislature. The
BCA program seeks to provide a comprehensive, ecosystem approach
to conserving birds and their habitats on state lands and waters,
by integrating bird conservation interests in agency planning,
management, and research projects, within the context of agency
Raptor Management. In an ongoing effort to restore the
bald eagle population in New York State, staff has taken several
management actions to augment reproductive success, monitor habitat
use, and survey wintering eagle populations.
- Wintering Bald Eagle Research and Surveys. A total
of 126 aerial and ground surveys were conducted. Numbers in
2001 (350) were nearly same as 2000 data (349). It was another
record breeding year for the bald eagle in the state as 56 breeding
pairs had 47 successful nests producing a total of 83 fledged
- Peregrine Falcon. 2001 was a record setting year, in
nearly all categories, for peregrine falcons in the state. 45
pairs bred and 41 were successful in producing 97 young.
- Osprey. A bird of special concern continues to be monitored
statewide. The population seems to be growing steadily. Record
numbers in 2001 were likely due to favorable nesting, hatching
and rearing conditions, compared to the spring and summer of
2000, which was extremely wet.
Colonial Waterbird Management. This is a complex issue,
ranging from nuisance birds (e.g., double-crested cormorants)
to threatened and endangered species (e.g., terns, piping plovers).
The management of colonial waterbird species requires the cooperation
of many individuals, organizations and the DEC. Specific species
being studied include the double-crested cormorant, ring-billed
gull, great egrets, great blue heron, black-crowned night-herons,
piping plover, black terns, and Roseate terns.
Maps. In 2001 DEC developed the Monitoring Avian Productivity
and Survivorship (MAPS) program. During the initial year 278 total
birds of 26 different species were captured. This is a national
data gathering effort with over 500 such stations in the United
Spruce Grouse. The results of recent work indicate a decline
in the population of Spruce Grouse. DEC believes there is a need
for expanded population studies and possibly for active management.
Canada Goose Migration Studies. Utilizing satellite telemetry
on geese from the Finger Lakes region, results revealed that central
Quebec was an important source for those birds, not previously
known. Using the transmitters, DEC is determining the extent and
timing of "molt migration" by non-breeding Canada Geese.
It is known that the birds fly north, but where they go and when
they return is not known.
Mid-Winter Waterfowl Surveys. Two winter waterfowl surveys
were conducted in New York during January 2001. One count is the
annual aerial survey by DEC, and the other is the traditional
survey coordinated by the Federation. These counts help determine
long-term population trends as well as help determine appropriate
hunting regulations. As expected Federation counts were higher
than DEC, especially mallards, Canada Geese and many diving duck.
Results will be published in the Kingbird.
Grass Seed and Shrub Establishment Program. The "Pheasant
Management Plan" which calls for the purchase of $10,000
of warm and cool season grass seeds and shrubs has been used to
establish a 103 acre site. These sites will be monitored over
the next few years to determine success. It is hoped that these
projects will be successful and encourage others to initiate similar
Loons. The Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program (ACLP)
was "hatched" in late spring of 2001. It is a cooperative
research and education program designed to study the natural history
of the Common Loon. During the summer of 2001, 42 of 56 (75%)
potentially returning banded loons were confirmed to return to
Adirondack bodies with most returning to the locations where they
Game Bird Management. Game birds including waterfowl and
upland species, due to the many demands placed upon them, were
monitored statewide by DEC. Species studied were Canada Goose,
American Woodcock, and Mourning Dove. The Woodcock (1968-2001)
shows an annual population decline of 2.5% in the northeast primarily
due to the continued decline in quality and quantity of habitat.
Bryan Swift - Annual count was held during January 13-21, 2001
with target date of January 14. State covered by approximately 250
observers with all regions completing counts on time. A total of
397,764 birds (46 species) were documented. The total count was
an all time high, up 4% from 2000, and 48% above the 28-year average
(1973-2000). The top ten species, accounting for 87% of total, were
Canada Goose, Greater Scaup, Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, Common
Goldeneye, American Black Duck, White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter,
Future counts are set for:
2002 - January 12-20 (target date - Sunday, January 13);
2003 - January 11-19 (target date - Sunday, January 12);
2004 - January 10-18 (target date - Sunday, January 11).
Kevin McGowan reported that the 1998 report is in the March 2001
issue of the Kingbird V.51 No. 1. Submissions to the
committee are up. Jeanne Skelly has information regarding reports.
Barbara Butler reported that the Federation checklist is updated
immediately on the website. There is a new section on reporting
marked birds. The featured site is the Shawangunk Grassland. Hits
to the site peaked at 30 per day in May 2001. Since than they have
fluctuated downward and are now going back up.
Tim Baird. The following awards will be presented:
- Gordon Meade Award - Dorothy Crumb
- Presidents Award - Bob Miller
- John J. Elliott Award - Andew Guthrie and Angus Wilson
- Lillian Stoner Award - Sarah Mae Pascoe
Certificates of Appreciation Awards to:
- Angus Wilson - NYSARC activity
- Jeff and Sue Capolito and Mr. & Mrs. Williams for permitting
birders access to view Wood Storks on their property.
Valerie Freer. Nominations for 2001-2002 are:
President - Tim Baird
Vice-President - Dick Miga
Corresponding Secretary - Berna Lincoln
Recording Secretary - Brenda Best
Treasurer - Bill Reeves
Directors - Bob Miller, Bill Ostrander, Mike Galas
Nominations were requested from the floor. Kevin McGowan motioned
and John Confer seconded that nominations be approved unanimously.
Trip Committee Report
Bill Lee reported on the following field trips conducted during
the past year:
- Niagara River December 2-3, 2000 for white-winged and
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- Cape Vincent, Point Peninsula, and Amherst Island, Ontario
February 10-11, 2001 for
Gray Partridge, Snowy Owl, Long-eared Owl, Saw-whet Owl and Boreal
owl for a few brave souls.
- Bear Mountain State Park, Doodletown Road and Iona Island
June 2, 2001 for Hooded and Worm-eating Warblers, Black Vulture
- Whiskey Hollow, Onondaga County June 16, 2001 for Hooded
and Mourning warblers, Acadian Flycatcher
- Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge August 25, 2001
for Wilson's Phalarope, Hudsonian Godwit and Gull-billed Tern
Bill gave a special thanks to Willie D'Anna for leading the Niagara
River trip, Phil Meisner of Sullivan County Audubon for leading
the Bear Mountain trip, Joe Brin of Onondaga Audubon for leading
the Whiskey Hollow trip, and Mike Bochnik of Hudson River Audubon
(formerly Yonkers Audubon) for leading the Jamaica Bay trip. Attendance
varied from low teens on Niagara River to 30+ on the Cape Vincent
County Listing Report
Berna Lincoln reported that approximately 90 to 100 members submit
reports. These data are published in New York Birders.
Archives and Bibliography Report
Phyllis Jones informed the members that an Bibliography Committee
consisting of Barb Butler, Valerie Freer, and Walt Sabin has been
Election of Nominating Committee
Mary Alice Koeneke, Stan Lincoln and Kevin McGowan were nominated
to serve on the Nominating Committee. Phyllis Jones motioned and
Chad Covey seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
Election of Auditing Committee
Manny Levine, Irving Cantor and Peter Campainolo were nominated
to serve on the Auditing Committee. Kevin McGowan motioned and Barbara
Butler seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
Election of Finance Committee
Mary Alice Koeneke, Bill Reeves and Berna Lincoln (Chairman) were
nominated to serve on the Finance Committee. Andy Mason motioned
and Bill Watson seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
Future Annual Meetings
The 2002 Meeting of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs
is scheduled for Binghamton, NY on September 20-22, 2002.
Meeting Adjourned 11:17 AM.
Richard E. Miga
September 15, 2001