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New York State Ornithological Association, Inc.

59th Annual Meeting
SUNY College at Oneonta, Oneonta, NY
September 30, 2006


The 59th Annual Meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. (NYSOA), hosted by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, was called to order at 9:10 a.m.  Roll call of member clubs revealed there were 40 delegates from 26 clubs, and a quorum was present.  Valerie Freer made a motion to approve the minutes from the 2005 Annual Meeting and Jane Graves seconded.  Motion passed unanimously

President's Report by Andy Mason:
Andy stated our organization is in good shape and meeting our mission statement.  Andy then introduced the officers, directors, and committee chairs to the delegates.  Andy reviewed the change in governance issue and reported to the delegates that this issue has been tabled because there was no strong support for the change.  Andy also reported the deaths of Paul DeBenedictis in May and John Bull in August.

Reports and Elections:
Brenda Best reported that we currently have 575 annual members and 54 life members.  Because Four Harbors Audubon Society did not renew their membership, we have 48 member clubs.  Audubon New York applied for membership.  Dorothy Crumb made a motion to accept the application and Tim Baird seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

The Treasurer’s Report dated December 31, 2005, was issued and Bill Reeves discussed the various funds and our income and expenses.  Our major source of income is membership dues, and our major expense is for our publications. The Auditing Committee Report was presented and clearly states that our statements fairly present our financial condition.

Valerie Freer reported that the Atlas is proceeding on schedule, with publication in Spring 2008.   The database has been corrected and finalized.  Maps are updated and final.  Effort data is now complete for both atlases.  The book will be approximately 600 pages. Original artwork will be exhibited at the State Museum at the time of publication.

Shai Mitra, editor of The Kingbird, is working on correcting the publication backlog.  With the most recent NYSARC report, a new Checklist of the Birds of New York State is in the works.

Tim Baird, editor of our newsletter, New York Birders, is looking for contributions and suggestions.  Member clubs should be sending their newsletters to Tim.

Carena Pooth reported that the most heavily used section of our website is the NYSARC section.  Carena has uploaded the minutes of past Board meetings as well as the checklist changes needed to comply with NYSARC and the American Ornithologists’ Union changes.  Carena also thanked photographers who have submitted their pictures for use on our site.

Gail Kirch reported that letters were written to NYSDEC regarding the Bob Marshall area and low elevation boreal forest areas in the Adirondacks, the Wakely Mountain fire tower and helipad and Sawyer Mountain summit, and to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the 15-year plan for Shawangunk NWR.  NYSOA has developed a draft position on wind power, and it was recommended that a committee be set up for input on this issue.  John Confer agreed to serve and others will be contacted.  John Ozard reported the DEC staff person who is working full time on wind power, birds, and bats is Brianna Gary.

NYSARC held an annual meeting in September 2005 and Shai Mitra feels face-to-face meetings are valuable.  NYSARC has finished its review of 2004 submissions and is ahead of schedule.  Jeff Bolsinger is the newest member.  Changes to NYSARC operating guidelines are in process.  The Board has approved investigating putting NYSARC records into electronic form, but because these records are not open to the public, we are looking more at preservation than archiving.

Bill Ostrander reports that the Lillian C. Stoner award will be given to three students this year.   There were no club grants given this year.  Certificates of Appreciation were given during the year to:

  • Management, owners, and directors of the Empire State Building for exemplary bird conservation practices
  • Robert Schumann, owner, and Dick Zeccola, caretaker of Nuthatch Hollow Nature Preserve for providing a welcoming and “birdy” environment for meetings of the NYSOA Board of Directors
  • Mike Grager and family, Cathy and Louis DuBois, and Cindy and Don DuBois, Northern Hawk Owl hosts, for welcoming flocks of birders to their homes
  • Kevin Griffith, Genesee Region Editor, The Kingbird, March 1983 to September 2005, for dedicated service and 93 regional reports

New York eBird, a joint project between NYSOA, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Audubon New York, is up and running.  We hope birders across the state will enter their sightings so that we may use the data for regional reports for The Kingbird.  Lab personnel are setting up the geographical layer for Kingbird Regions.

Proposed by-laws changes were presented to the delegates:

  1. In Article IV, Section 3. Council of Delegates:  one delegate is authorized for a member club with regular dues-paying members less than 101 (was 1-100)
  2. Article XI, Section 1, NYSARC shall consist of seven members, (was an uneven number of), add with advice from the Committee after “appointed by the President,” and change the term to three years (was five)
  3. Article XI, Section 2. Resignation of Members:  is new.
  4. Article XI, Section 3. Removal of Members:  is new.
  5. Article XI, Section 4. Vacancies:  add after “…President, with the approval of the Board, shall within three months of the effective date of the vacancy, appoint…”
  6. Article XI, Section 5. Responsibilities of the Committee.  Section Title is new.

Nancy Kern made a motion to approve the by-laws change to Article IV as proposed.  Barbara Butler seconded.  Approved unanimously.

Bob Mauceli made a motion to approve the by-laws change to Article XI as proposed.  Gail Kirch seconded.  Approved unanimously.

Bob Mauceli presented the report from the Nominating Committee.  Nominated for 2006/07 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 2008 class are Kathryn Schneider, Jane Graves, and Carena Pooth.  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 Nancy Kern seconded.  Motion was approved unanimously.

Phyllis Jones collects our documentation; indexing and organizing at Cornell continues.  Phyllis received lots of papers on the Stoner Award dating from 1977 to 2002.

Our next Annual Meeting will be held in Batavia, is scheduled for the first weekend in October 2007, and will be hosted by the Buffalo Ornithological Society.  More information is forthcoming.  In 2008, the Rochester Birding Association will be our host and the meeting is planned for September 19-21 at the airport Marriott.  No host has come forward yet for 2009.

There were no resolutions presented.

The Nominating Committee for 2007 consisting of Bill Lee, Gail Kirch, and Tim Baird was elected unanimously after a motion by Valerie Freer, seconded by Bob Mauceli.  With a motion by Berna Lincoln seconded by Chita McKinney, the Auditing Committee for 2007 consisting of Irving Cantor, Peter Capainolo, and Emanuel Levine was elected unanimously.

John Ozard, the NYSDEC representative, presented a handout showing the status of projects they are working on:

  1. Shorebird Conservation Literature Review
  2. Long Island Colonial Waterbird and Piping Plover Survey
  3. Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log
  4. August Wild Turkey Sighting Survey
  5. Fall 2005 Wild Turkey Harvest and Leg Collection
  6. Spring 2006 Wild Turkey Harvest
  7. Wild Turkey Youth Hunt
  8. Assessing Harvest and Survival Rates of Male Wild Turkeys
  9. Wild Turkey Winter Flock Survey
  10. Black Tern Survey
  11. Grassland Birds
  12. Golden-winged Warbler Habitat Restoration
  13. Boreal Birds Study
  14. Migratory Songbird Stopover Habitat
  15. Common Loon
  16. Marsh Bird Conservation
  17. Breeding Waterfowl Surveys
  18. Mute Swan Survey
  19. Northern Bobwhite Quail Surveys
  20. Osprey surveys planned for 2007
  21. Peregrine Falcon Surveys
  22. Short-eared Owl Study
  23. Spruce Grouse Surveys
  24. Bald Eagles of the Upper Delaware R.
  25. Bald Eagle Productivity
  26. Wintering Bald Eagle Surveys
  27. Common Tern
  28. Double-crested Cormorant
  29. Type E Botulism
  30. Breeding Bird Atlas
  31. Bird Conservation Areas
  32. Grassland Restoration in the St. Lawrence Valley
  33. Hudson River Birding Trail
  34. Avian Influenza

Old Business
The issue of governance has been tabled for now.  This may be re-visited in the future if strong interest is expressed.

New Business

Motion to adjourn was made by Gail Kirch, seconded by Gail Seamans, and approved unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 11:32 a.m.

Awards presented during the Saturday evening banquet:
            John J. Elliott Award, given for the best article contributed to The Kingbird each year, was awarded to Patricia J. Lindsay for co-authoring “An Unprecedented Spring Incursion of Southeastern North American Landbirds to Coastal New York” which appeared in The Kingbird Vol. 55 No. 3.
            Lillian Stoner Awards went to Jackson Mesick nominated by the Audubon Society of the Capital Region, Matt Podolsky nominated by the Cayuga Bird Club, and Brian Glidden nominated by High Peaks Audubon Society.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda Best
Recording Secretary