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New York State Ornithological Association

58th Annual Meeting
Marriott Hotel, Albany, NY
September 24, 2005


The 58th Annual Meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. (NYSOA), hosted by the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club, was called to order at 9:15 a.m. Roll call of member clubs revealed there were 44 delegates and proxies from 26 clubs, and a quorum was present. Tim Baird made a motion to approve the minutes from the 2004 Annual Meeting and Jane Graves seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

President's Report by Kevin McGowan

Because North Fork Audubon Society did not renew and ESF Birding Club dissolved, we currently have 48 member clubs. Dick Sloss, who was a former president, and Bob Miller, who was a Director, passed away. Our total membership currently stands at 669, including 54 life members. Some of our activities for the past year include finishing the supplemental sixth Atlas field season, appointment of Andy Guthrie to NYSARC, sending back issues of The Kingbird to an internet abstracting service (BIOSIS), offering discounted subscriptions to Birds of North America Online to our individual members, and initiating New York eBird for use in data collection. Kevin stated NYSOA continues to be a vital and active organization.

Reports and Elections

Brenda Best reported that we currently have 615 annual members and 54 life members. Over half of our annual members have joined since 1995.

John Ozard, the representative from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), gave updates on 16 different projects related to birds, including an extensive literature review of shorebird conservation biology, mapping grassland bird habitat, Common Loon satellite telemetry, marsh bird censusing, and monitoring Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, and Bald Eagle breeding.

The Treasurer’s Report dated December 31, 2004, was issued and Bill Reeves discussed the various funds and our income and expenses. The Auditing Committee Report was presented and indicates that our statements present fairly our financial condition.

Valerie Freer reported that there are more species per block in the second Atlas than the first. Lots of changes are being noted and analyzed. Kim Corwin and Kevin McGowan are co-editors. Artwork is exceptional. We are still on target for publication in Fall 2007. The Atlas website will be maintained by NYSDEC “forever.”

Shai Mitra has completed his first year as editor of The Kingbird, but states he is still learning the technical aspects of electronic files. There were also some problems with the June 2005 issue. He has a large set of diverse and excellent articles from which to choose, and scientific articles are peer reviewed which strengthens the quality of the publication.

Tim Baird advises the newsletter, New York Birders, is more about the bird-“ers” than birds and would like to get more people involved in submitting articles. Speakers Bureau is an ongoing project and field trips sponsored by member clubs will now be advertised.

Carena Pooth reported on the various updates and changes to our website, including the addition of the Avian Records Committee (NYSARC) reports database. Usage has grown and spikes were seen when the CBC calendar and the NYSARC reports went live.

Letters were written to NYSDEC regarding deer and their impact on habitat, ATV use on state lands, and oil/gas exploration on state lands. The Conservation committee continues to monitor wind power, but a ”position” has not been finalized for NYSOA.

Shai Mitra reports NYSARC held an annual meeting in 2004 and another is scheduled for 2005. Andy Guthrie is now serving on the committee. The online report form is being used. The review list of species will be changing and this will be in the September issue of The Kingbird.

Andy Mason reports that two annual awards will not be given this year. We received no nominations for the Lillian C. Stoner award, and the Eaton Birding Society advises the Elon Howard Eaton Memorial Award is suspended for this year only. There were also no club grants given this year. Certificates of Appreciation were given during the year to:

• George J. Marleau for his dedicated efforts on behalf of nesting Peregrine Falcons in Syracuse
• Jay and Stanley Domin of Dutchess County for maintaining excellent habitats for a variety of birds and for their hospitality to the birders observing them
• Seymour Schiff and Alvin Wollin for their long and dedicated service to NYSOA and to ornithology in New York as Region 10 editors of The Kingbird
• Vicki Rothman for her cooperation, hospitality and able assistance to visiting birders who came to see the Lark Sparrow in her yard
• Jerry LeTendre for his cooperation, hospitality, and able assistance to visiting birders viewing the Great Gray Owl at Cape Vincent

Bill Ostrander presented the report from the Nominating Committee. Nominated for 2005/06 officers are President – Andrew Mason; Vice President – William Ostrander; Corresponding Secretary – Timothy H. Baird; Recording Secretary – Brenda Best; and Treasurer – William B. Reeves. Nominated for two-year terms as Directors for the 2007 class are Phyllis Jones, Berna Lincoln, and Robert Mauceli. There were no nominations from the floor. Dorothy Crumb made a motion that the secretary cast one vote for the entire slate as read, and Barbara Butler seconded. Motion was approved unanimously.

Bill Lee reported on four field trips that were held before he resignedas Field Trip Chair: Franklin Mountain for Golden Eagles, Niagara River for Little and California Gulls, Cape Vincent/Amherst Island for Great Gray Owl, and the Adirondacks for Spruce Grouse.

Phyllis Jones has three boxes of items to go through to check for duplicates before submitting them to the archives. Items are stored at Cornell; they own our archives and take care of it forever. Phyllis asks that documents from our outgoing president be given to her.

Berna Lincoln stated that about 80 people, some of whom were new, participated in the County Listing program last year.

Our next Annual Meeting is scheduled for September 29-October 1, 2006, in Oneonta, hosted by the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. We do not have a host club for 2007 or 2008.

There were no resolutions presented.

The Nominating Committee for 2006 consisting of Joan Collins (chair), Sue Adair, and Bob Mauceli was elected unanimously after a motion by Jane Graves, seconded by Andy Mason. With a motion by John Confer seconded by Andy Mason, the Auditing Committee for 2006 consisting of Irving Cantor, Peter Capainolo, and Emanuel Levine was re-elected unanimously.

Old Business

The issue of governance and voting rights of individual members was discussed. Clubs have not been advised of the proposals suggested by the ad hoc committee. These will be written up and put in New York Birders. The board has taken no action but has not dismissed the issue. Feedback from clubs and further discussion is needed. It is club delegates who will be deciding this issue. It was also proposed to ask individual members if this issue was important to them.
In general, communication with clubs needs to improve. Board Meeting minutes could be placed on the website or sent to clubs.

eBird is moving forward now that Version 2 is available.

New Business

Barbara Butler reported on a new trend seen in Dutchess County of clearing out the under story of any trees/brush with a diameter smaller than 8” and asked if this was being seen in other parts of the state.

Motion to adjourn was made by Bob Mauceli, seconded by Berna Lincoln, and approved unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 12:11 p.m.

Awards presented during the Saturday evening banquet:

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following Atlas Regional Coordinators: Michael Bochnik, Barbara Butler, Kim Corwin, Chad Covey, Dorothy Crumb, Renee Davis, Bob Donnelly, Ken Feustel, Mark Fitzsimmons, Valerie Freer, Jane Graves, Bard Prentiss, Bob Long, John M. C. Peterson, Bill Purcell, Dick Rosche, Dave Russell, Tom Salo, Dominic Sherony, Bob Spahn, and Carol Weiss.

John J. Elliott Award, given for the best article contributed to The Kingbird each year, was awarded to Kevin J. McGowan and Robert G. Spahn for their article entitled, “A Probable Couch’s Kingbird x Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Livingston Co., New York” which appeared in The Kingbird Vol. 54 No. 1.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda Best
Recording Secretary