The newsletter of the Baltimore Bird Club

August-September 2002 -- Online Edition


  1. New Web Address for the BBC
  2. Western Kingbird at Fort McHenry by Jim Peters
  3. British Birder in Maryland by Steve Sanford
  4. Join The Big Sit!
  5. Dues Are Due
  6. Conservation Committee Report 2001-02
  7. Birding Topics: Stalking the Orchard Oriole by Elliot Kirschbaum
  8. Postcard from Scotland by Hank Kaestner
  9. Postcard from Japan by Hank Kaestner
  10. Irvine Nature Center's 11th Annual Native Plant Seminar and Sale
  11. Field Trip Reports by Steve Sanford and Joseph Lewandowski
  12. Baltimore Bird Club Annual Report - 2001-02 by Anne Brooks
  13. BBC Mail Order
  14. May Count 2002 compiled by Steve Sanford
  15. Back Yard Birding and Beyond by Gail Frantz
Deadline for next CHIP NOTES:August 25, 2002 (the next issue will be August-Spetember 2002). If possible, please email material to

Otherwise, Send material to:
Please help CHIP NOTES get out on time.
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New BBC Web Address

The Baltimore Bird Club now has a new, easier-to-remember Internet address:

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Western Kingbird at Fort McHenry
By Jim Peters

Western Kingbird at Fort McHenry
Photo by Steve Sanford

On Thursday May 9, 2002 while working at the banding station at the Fort McHenry Wetland I noticed Mr. John Arbalada looking through his binoculars at something in a large sycamore tree next to the seawall a quarter of a mile from my position. Mr. Arbolada, a retired Delta Airlines employee, has taken an interest in accompanying me when I monitor, and often reports to me when he has found a bird he can't identify.

Shortly, John came out to the banding station and described a bird he had never seen before. He said the head was gray and it had a bright yellow breast. I assumed he had seen a Great Crested Flycatcher and showed him a picture of one in the Sibley Guide to the Birds. He was sure it wasn't that bird and leafed through the pages and then pointed to the Western Kingbird as being identical to the bird he had seen.

Immediately we walked to the sycamore grove to get a positive ID. Sure enough we found a Western Kingbird with the textbook field marks. A search of the records shows that in the fall of 1981 Park Ranger Warren Brelenberg found a Western Kingbird on the Fort grounds, but no details were given. Their normal breeding range is well to the west of the Mississippi River. They are very uncommon visitors to Maryland, more likely in the fall.

After the bird was posted on MD OSPREY I began daily observations and was joined by a great many birders from different chapters of MOS and some out-of-state birders as well. The bird seemed very territorial and was especially aggressive toward a pair of Eastern Kingbirds who were trying to build a nest in the sycamore grove. On one occasion it it forced an Eastern Kingbird out of the air and down onto the lawn. Another time it chased one of the Easterns out across open water all the way to the Rocky Point area of the Port of Baltimore before returning to its favorite perch on a dead sycamore limb.

Eventually I was able to conclude that the Western's aggression toward the Eastern was not a fight over turf but his attempt to drive the Eastern male away so it could bond with the Eastern female.

Later in May I observed the Western sitting in the Eastern Kingbird nest on the clutch of eggs for about a minute. He moved off the nest when the female returned and sat close by. On May 29th Fish Crows found and destroyed the nest and ate the eggs (observed). Shortly after, the Eastern Kingbird female began a new nest using salvaged material from the old one and carrying it up high into the canopy. I observed the Western Kingbird repeatedly following the female between the old and the new nest as the new one was built. Apparently after a new clutch was laid, the Fish Crows again returned and discovered the nest and also destroyed it even though the pair was extremely aggressive in its defense.

From this time forward the Western Kingbird moved about the Fort property foraging for insects but showed no further interest in any nesting activity. It began to wander off the property and sometimes would be gone for more than a day at a time. The Western remained at the Fort for a total of 44 days through Friday June 21 when it was observed in the trees of the sycamore grove and on the post and rail fence. Searches of the Fort property and the Locust Point area for several days following the 21st yielded no further sightings of the bird.

Pictures of the Western Kingbird at Fort McHenry can be seen at:

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British Birder in Maryland
By Steve Sanford

Elliot, Steve, Tony, and Gail

This May Elliot Kirschbaum, Gail Frantz, Marian Dodson, and I, Steve Sanford, had the pleasure of escorting a visiting British birder, Tony Eveleigh, in central Maryland and the Delaware Coast during the period from May 3 to May 13. Tony lives in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England, between Gloucester and the Welsh border. It was his first visit to the US. Consequently, he had lots and lots of life-birds waiting for him. He obviously did his homework by planning his trip to our area, which was combined with a visit to his daughter in Baltimore, at precisely the peak of spring migration. He was well rewarded - as were we.

We started Friday, May 4, at Soldiers Delight in western Baltimore County. We ticked off most of the target species with delightful ease: Pine, Prairie, Black & White, and Hooded Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Ovenbird, Field Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, as well as migrants such as Myrtle, Black-throated Blue, and Black-throated Green Warblers. At Powell's Run Road we added Blue-winged Warbler and Swamp Sparrow. At the Liberty Dam trail one of the biggest thrills was Tony's life-sighting of a Scarlet Tanager.

On Monday, May 6, Tony, Gail, and I went to Patuxent North Tract. We had good sightings of Blue Grosbeak, Prothonotary Warbler, Wood Thrush, and Orchard Oriole among others. Finally, to our great relief, in late afternoon, we got good looks at a Summer Tanager.

On Tuesday, May 7, Tony joined the Lake Roland field trip (which had 93 species!), and got a number of good lifers there such as Baltimore Oriole, and Wilson's, Canada, and Worm-eating Warblers. In the afternoon we went to Carroll County west of Manchester for one of Tony's best life-birds: Red-headed Woodpecker. We also ran into Sharon Schwemmer who originally made us aware of this wonderful area for Red-headed Woodpeckers. It turns out Tony may be a relative of hers!

On Wednesday, May 8, Elliot and Marian took Tony to Bombay Hook and various locations along the Delaware Bay. Some of the better new lifers for Tony were Clapper Rail, American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Marsh Wren, and Seaside Sparrow.

Thursday, May 9 - Gail and I took Tony out to Susquehanna State Park and vicinity, hoping especially for Bald Eagle, and Cerulean and Yellow-throated Warblers. The weather was drizzly and dreary, quite English in fact, as was the countryside. Cerulean Warblers were thick about two miles north of the old mill. As always, they were hard to see but Gail finally spotted one and led us to a good view. Yellow-throated Warbler succumbed a little to the south. We were getting really nervous about Bald Eagle but in late afternoon we spotted a pair of immatures down river from Conowingo Dam on a small island. Then we found two adults on the high-tension towers. Thank Goodness. We certainly could not let Tony go home without a Bald Eagle! As an unplanned bonus, we found a long overdue Pileated Woodpecker on the road.

Friday, May 10 - Gail, Elliot, Tony and I spent the morning at Milford Mill Park in Baltimore County near Liberty Road and the Beltway. It was really cooking with warblers (14 species) and other good birds. Tony finally got one of his most coveted life-birds - Veery - with long and good looks at it. He had chased accidental Veeries a number of times in Britain without success. Other good lifers seen by Tony were Rose-breasted Grosbeak, including one good male, Blackburnian Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Eastern Wood-Pewee. In the afternoon Tony, Elliot, and I went to Fort McHenry. We got great looks at the vagrant Western Kingbird there (see the separate story on this). Of course, this way-out-of-area bird was a completely unexpected life-bird ("twitch") for Tony. Jim Peters also led Tony and Elliot to a Lincoln's Sparrow.

Over the weekend, on his own, Tony found himself a Barred Owl, and a Blackpoll Warbler at Great Falls. Also, in the evening at the Johns Hopkins stadium near his daughter's apartment, where he was staying, he found a Common Nighthawk despite driving rain.

Monday, May 13, was the last day. Tony, Elliot and I birded Cromwell Valley Park in the morning. The number of Baltimore Orioles there was amazing! By good fortune we ran into Jim Meyers, who he led us to some Great Horned Owls. On roads north of Oregon Ridge we saw Bobolinks, including adult males, as well as a totally unexpected bonus: a singing Dickcissel. Then we joined Gail in early afternoon to look for some more life-birds she staked out for Tony. Alas, the nesting American Kestrels on Longnecker Road did not materialize. But a Grasshopper Sparrow on Piney Grove performed magnificently, posing like a beauty star on various fence posts and wires. AND, as another unexpected bonus, along came a Savannah Sparrow to be Tony's last American tick.

Tony's final tally for the whole visit was 164 species with 118 of them being life-birds. This reflects the fact that a lot of our birds get over to Britain as vagrants, and that we share a number of species such as Common Loon, Mallard, and Barn Swallow, not to mention Starling and House Sparrow.

Tony remarked how colorful our birds were on average compared to the birds at home in Great Britain. We heard many exclamations of "stunning!" and "superb!" throughout the visit. This certainly heightened our appreciation of how beautiful our common birds such as Cardinals, Blue Jays, and American Goldfinches are, not to mention the fairly common but seasonal warblers, tanagers, and orioles. Tony was a delightful birding companion, and an excellent, energetic birder. I think we got at least as much enjoyment and excitement from introducing him to our birds as he got from seeing them. It also has refined our knowledge of what birds can be found at this wonderful season and where to look for them.

I have posted more pictures of the Western Kingbird at Fort McHenry and of Tony, Gail, Elliot, and me at:

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Join The Big Sit!
A Star Spangled Birders Team For 2002!

Captain - Jim Peters

The Big Sit! is an international twenty-four hour bird-a-thon in that the object is to tally as many bird species as can be seen or heard within 24 hours while sitting in a 17 foot circle. With the exception of the Evening/Overnight Monitoring, participants may decide the length of time of time they wish to spend at the big sit!

If you participate in the Big Sit! at Fort McHenry on Oct 13th:

-between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, you may chose the length of time you wish to spend at the Big Sit!
- be sure to bring binoculars and you may also want to bring a telescope
-for your comfort, you might like to have drinks, snacks, chair, insect repellent
- there will be restroom facilities available at all times.

See below for Evening/Overnight Monitoring which requires special arrangements.

1) If you are able to attend either of the Evening/Overnight Monitorings, it will be necessary for you to commit to the hours of midnight on Saturday, Oct 12 to Sunday, October 13 at 8:00 am or October 13 from 4:30 pm until midnight when the Big Sit! concludes.

2) Bring flashlight or spotlight for Evening/Overnight Monitoring.

3) Bring binoculars (and telescope if you wish).

4) For your comfort bring along: pillow, blanket or cover, drinks, snacks, chair, insect repellent.

A Fort McHenry Ranger will be on duty during the Evening/Overnight Monitoring hours.

For any additional information concerning Evening/Overnight Monitoring, please contact Jim Peters: (410) 429-0966 or Gail Frantz: (410) 833-7135 email:


Team captain Jim Peters and The Star Spangled Birder's team, tallied 55 species and a total of 860 birds over 16 hours.

Species seen included: both Night-Herons, Merlin, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Kinglets (Ruby & Golden-crowned), Palm Warbler (Eastern and Western), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Towhee, Junco, Sparrows: Savannah, Field , White-crowned , Swamp.



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$ Dues Are Due $

It's time to send in your yearly membership dues. Please send them in the dues envelope included with this Chip Notes. If you have any questions, or if the envelope was not included, please contact our Membership Secretary:

J. Catherine Bishop
6111 Bellona Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21212
(410) 435-9569
e-mail: .net

Dues are $40 for an individual or $50 for a household. See the enclosed dues envelope for full details on all categories.

You may notice that dues have increased $20 for most membership categories. Both the Baltimore Bird Club and our parent organization the Maryland Ornithological Society voted to increase dues by $10 for the coming year. Both organizations are facing increased operating costs, largely due to increases in costs to copy and mail publications such as the Chip Notes, Yellowthroat, and Maryland Birdlife. It has been 10 years since the MOS last increased dues. We hope that everyone will understand the necessity for occasional dues increases and continue to support both the BBC and the MOS.

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Conservation Committee Report 2001-02

The BBC Conservation Committee goals are to increase communication both among BBC members and with the general public, and to involve more people in protecting birds and preserving bird habitat.

Activating Members

Members have been notified of conservation issues through articles in Chip Notes and an e-mail alert system. At our suggestion, BBC will be using recycled content paper for future mailings.

Community Action

Lake Roland: The bridge needs repair. The City and County are discussing other improvements. Peter Lev and Dot Gustafson attended community forums about the park. In October 2001, Peter Lev sent out a Board-approved letter urging 30 City/County Councilpeople and other officials to consider rezoning Lake Roland -- from residential to something like "natural preserve," or "nature conservancy."

Cromwell Valley Park: In the Fall of 2001, Peter Lev, Dot Gustafson and Georgia McDonald got approval for a mowing schedule on selected fields, so as not to interfere with nesting grassland birds. Georgia is recruiting people to remove invasive exotic plants. The BBC Board allocated $200 for a young volunteer to build an educational kiosk for Cromwell Valley Hawk Watchers.

West Nile Virus: In February 2002, we mailed out Board-approved letters to 9 public health officials and 18 environmental groups, sharing our concerns about aerial spraying of pesticides. In April, Anneke Davis, Peter Lev and Carol Schreter met with Cyrus Lesser, Mosquito Control Chief of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, whose staff sprays these pesticides at the request of local health officials.

Chimney Swift Roost Sites: Old chimneys used by migrating Swifts are fast disappearing as urban buildings are torn down or modernized. A Spring 2002 Swift Watch team of more than 20 BBC members started looking for communal roost sites, so as to give the building manager information about migrating Chimney Swifts.

Public Education

A Baltimore Sun feature story "A Swift Passage," (October 14, 2001) informed the public about how Chimney Swifts use old chimneys. BBC's best public relations story is member Jim Peters at Fort McHenry. His work restoring a wetland is attracting considerable attention. Kudos to Jim, who is not a member of the Conservation Committee, but is in the vanguard of BBC's conservation work.

The BBC Conservation Committee meets monthly. Join us. Or, you may bring up issues for consideration. As of April 2002, we are:

Anneke Davis, Chair
Adriana M. Frangos
Dot Gustafson
Peter Lev
Carol Schreter
Paula Warner

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Birding Tips:

Stalking the Orchard Oriole
By Elliot Kirschbaum

May 4, 2002: Nancy and I birded the North Tract of Patuxent NWR If you go to New Marsh and follow the trail as it swings to the right around the pond, you will see a small deciduous tree very near the edge of the water, in which an Orchard Oriole appears to be building a nest. Now if you stand between the tree and the pond, and fix your binoculars intently on the place where you saw the oriole rustling leaves, and then take one or two steps backward to try and obtain a better view, you will find the you have stepped into a thorn bush that is hanging out over the water. Having thus disrupted your balance you will, in apparent slow motion, sit down in the thorn bush and do a complete backward somersault into the pond.

I not only know the above to be true, but that after you emerge from the pond, clothing and equipment relieving themselves of large quantities of pond water, you will carry with you throughout the remainder of you day's birding and lunch at Chevy's, not only the memory of the experience, and various cuts and scratches, but the distinctive aroma of the pond as well.

I am still laughing, and I hope you will too.

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Postcard from Scotland

Dear Chippers,

My travels - and these cards - may be ending as my consultant contract with McCormick is over at the end of June. It's been a great career of traveling - during the 35 years I've seen over 6300 species of birds.

I'm currently in Scotland, where I have enjoyed the birding. Some late-to-migrate Barnacle Geese on the Solway Firth were my first lifers of the trip. Next stay was the Cliffs of St. Abbs which have immense numbers of breeding fulmars, kittiwakes, murres, and auks. The Rock Pipit there was lifer number 2. Then I went into the Highlands and saw the third lifer - Rock Ptarmigan. Finally, the last two lifers were Capercaille Grouse and Scottish Crossbill at the RSPB (the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Osprey Center near Aviemore.


Hank Kaestner

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Postcard from Japan

April 12, 2002

Dear Chippers!

I can't believe that this will be my last McCormick business trip, as I will retire at the end of June. This trip was to Indonesia, but I took advantage of the situation by getting off the plane in Tokyo, then flying north to Hokkaido Island in order to see wintering birds. I was lucky that 2 Steller's Sea-Eagles were still around (hundreds spend the winter there) as well as pairs of White-tailed Eagles. I saw many magnificent Red-crowned Cranes, and 6 species of alcids from Cape Nossapu.

Best, Hank Kaestner

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Irvine Nature Center's
11th Annual
Native Plant Seminar and Sale

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Plant Sale open to public
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Seminars 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Workshops 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Registration $55 ($45 for Irvine donors)

Call 410-484-2413 for brochure
or visit

Irvine Nature Center
8400 Greenspring Ave
Stevenson MD 21153

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Field Trip Reports

Compiled by Steve Sanford - Cylburn reports by Joseph Lewandowski

We had a great spring migration this year. Warblers and other migrants were generally quite numerous and varied, especially compared to last spring. Except for a weird hot spell in mid April, the weather was usually cooler than normal, if not downright cold. A constant flow of fronts through the region probably contributed to the quality of migration.

We had a number of out-of-area visitors on our trips from places such as California, England, Australia, and Nigeria! All seemed to have a good time birding with us, as we did with them, and they got lots of new life-birds.

In this compilation the Lake Roland and Cylburn Sunday reports are grouped together after the others.

March 3 - Loch Raven - The trip featured close looks at Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and American Wigeon, which was helpful for those without scopes. Weather was overcast. 38 species. 9 participants. Leader: Debbie Terry.

March 16 - Middle Creek WMA, Penna -The normal spectacle of tens of thousands of Snow Geese was not present for this trip, but with a little driving the group found a field with perhaps 3000. We had great looks at a pair of Bald Eagles changing the guard at their traditional nest. Waterfowl included a surprising 25+ Oldsquaw, several hundred Tundra Swans, Shovelers, and Ring-necked Ducks. One of the better birds, unfortunately seen only by the leader, if you can believe him, was a Red-headed Woodpecker. New for the season for many participants were numerous Tree Swallows, and an Eastern Phoebe. 52 species. Weather: cloudy and seasonably cool. 8 participants including 4 joining us from Pennsylvania. Leader: Steve Sanford.

April 4 - Cylburn Nature Walk - On this cool, crisp morning 14 participants (10 new to these walks), showed up. Flowers (the main focus of these trips) were numerous, including Virginia bluebells, Dutchman's Breeches, trilliums, May apples, and trout lilies. 11 bird species including Pine Warbler. Leader, Chris Manning, read several poems by BBC member Burton Alexander.

April 11 - Cylburn Nature Walk - This week there were 20 participants. New flowers included jack-in-the-pulpit. 9 bird species. Leader, Chris Manning, read several more poems by Burton Alexander.

April 18 - Cylburn Nature Walk - The early heat wave of this period was quite a contrast to the previous weeks with sun and temperatures in the 80's. Some new blooms observed were columbine, wild ginger, and shooting stars. 8 bird species. 8 participants. Leader: Chris Manning.

April 21 - Southwest Area Park - Despite chilly, cloudy weather, the 6 participants were rewarded with some early warblers: Yellow, Black and White, and a singing Northern Waterthrush, as well as solitary and Spotted Sandpipers, Caspian and Royal Terns, and 3 Pheasants (heard only). 54 species. Leader: Dave Walbeck.

April 25 - Chimney Swifts in Hampden. It rained until 3 PM, so swifts entered the chimney early, starting before 6:55 PM. Six observers counted 4,716 Chimney Swifts entering the Free State Bookbindery chimney, 3110 Elm Avenue, between 6:55 and 8:25 PM.

April 27 - Liberty Dam Trail - As the season advanced, the 13 participants encountered 7 warbler species including Yellow-throated and Worm-eating, on this sunny but cool day. A Scarlet Tanager was not only the first of the season for many, but a life-bird for two visiting birders, one from California, and one all the way from Nigeria. There were also several good sightings of Barred Owls. 49 species total. Leader: Paul Noell.

May 4 - Milford Mill Park - As usual at this season, this little wooded oasis in the middle of the vast suburban desert was quite productive with 15 species of warblers. Perhaps the best was a well-seen male Blackburnian. Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, and Baltimore Oriole added to the color-fest. The weather was sunny and somewhat cool. 61 species. (An extension by some to the Marriottsville Road area brought this to 80 species and 19 warblers.) 20 participants. Leader: Simon Calle.

May 9 - Chimney Swifts in Hampden - It was cloudy day with rain. The swifts arrived early, now using the Mill Center Chimney. Two observers counted 2,063 Chimney Swifts, most dropping into the chimney between 6:30 and 7:00 PM.

May 19 - Owings Mills Mall Wetlands - Despite the ever-increasing development, this little wetland across from a giant shopping mall is still quite birdy. Some highlights were Wilson's Warbler, Northern and Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, and Willow Flycatcher. The skies were clear, with unseasonably cool temperatures. 62 species with 8 warblers. 12 participants. Leader: Keith Eric Costley.

May 25 - Delaware Bay - Scott Crabtree writes: "The BBC group set out to see the annual shorebird migration stopover, coordinated with the horseshoe crab egg-laying. Sheer numbers of shorebirds were staggering, with some significant surprises. We dipped completely on Sanderling in its "red-backed" breeding plumage, and only found a handful of Red Knots. On the other hand, we found both Red-necked and Wilson's Phalaropes at Bombay Hook. To take advantage of tides and horseshoe egg exposures, we greatly modified the usual route. While starting at Woodland Beach first, we then skipped Bombay Hook, proceeding directly to Port Mahon Rd, spending enough time there that it involved lunch. Following that the southward trek to Little Creek was foiled due to a road closure for security surrounding the Dover AFB Air Show. We ended the afternoon at Bombay Hook." Sunny and warm. 80 species. 10 participants. Leaders: Scott Crabtree and Pete Webb.

June 2 - Birds along the Jones Falls - Leader Brian Rollfinke writes; "Despite the heat, we spent a very enjoyable morning exploring several scenic spots along the otherwise urban river. Highlights included close looks at 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and Northern Rough-winged Swallows by the "Round Falls." Along the Woodbury stretch of the Jones Falls (the future site of Loyola's new athletic complex , unfortunately) we were literally surrounded by Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Warblers, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. We discovered an active Baltimore Oriole nest, but the treat of the day was a fledgling Orchard Oriole being attended to by both Mom and Dad at very close range! Sunny and warm in the 70's." [Editor's note: Sounds mighty cool in July!] 15 participants. 45 species.

June 9 - Soldiers Delight Summer Tanager Search - Leader Keith Eric Costley writes: " The search was constrained to the old parking lot north of the overlook and the White Trail. We did not see or hear Summer Tanager during the four hour walk. We managed to find 53 species including seven warbler species: Pine, Prairie, Black and White, Ovenbird, Yellowthroat, Hooded, and Yellow-Breasted Chat. While walking along Deer Park Road, near an old driveway, we found a Blue Headed Vireo collecting spider web. Other birds: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Acadian Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, and Indigo Bunting." 12 participants.

June 15 - Carroll County Field Birds - The weather was mostly sunny and pleasant and the birding was excellent. Singing Dickcissels were in good view on Bull Frog Road at the very western end of the county. That vicinity also had small flocks of Bobolinks and some Eastern Meadowlarks. Other goodies included: 4 Red-headed Woodpeckers at 2 different locations; singing Vesper and Grasshopper Sparrows on Jasontown Road; and a singing Scarlet Tanager, as well as Yellow Warblers and Carolina Chickadees feeding young at Roops Mill Road. 65 species. 15 participants. Leader: Pete Webb.

Lake Roland Trips

March 26 - The first Lake Roland trip of the season was cold and drizzly. Suitably, the most notable sightings were Common Goldeneye and Gadwall. 34 species. 10 participants. Leader: Adelaide Rackemann.

April 2 - The weather remained rather cold, but at least it was clear. 23 people showed up to see 30 species including Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Some got a good long look at a Barred Owl only about 15 feet away. Leader Chris Manning.

April 9 - The highlight on this partly sunny, windy day was a beautiful male Pileated Woodpecker. Also seen were both kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Palm Warbler, and Blue-winged Teal (which were to be present at almost all the subsequent trips). 53 species. 23 participants. Leader: Patsy Perlman.

April 16 - The weather was sunny and unseasonably hot, into the mid-80's and humid. The 58 species included 6 warblers, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Broad-winged Hawk, the first of the season for many. The 20 participants included a visitor from California who attended several more BBC field trips in the next few weeks, picking up a number of life-birds. Leader: Matilda Weiss.

April 23 - The weather resumed being unseasonably cold, as it would remain for most of April and May, but sunny. This week our out-of-town visitor was from Nairobi, Kenya. The trip featured the first Yellow Warbler and Warbling Vireo of the season, six species of hawk, and the sighting of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest. 59 species (5 warblers). 20 participants. Leader: Dot Gustafson.

April 30 - This trip, at the beginning of the heart of migration featured a Golden-winged Warbler at the north end of the lake. For all but one of the 17 participants it was heard only, but leader Debbie Terry, who had to leave early, passed a message to the group via a runner that she saw it on the way out. With 3 warblers added by Paul Noell on a solo side-trip, there were 13 warbler species: Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Parula Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler (Paul), Prairie Warbler (Paul), Palm Warbler, Black & White Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird (Paul), and Common Yellowthroat. The group enjoyed several brilliant, singing Baltimore Orioles. There were 5 species of shorebird, and Blue-winged Teal. Paul Noell spotted our first Black-crowned Night-Heron of the season and generously shared it with all before going off on his solo excursion. 73 species total.

May 7 - The calendar said this was the heart of warbler migration, and indeed it was! There were 19 warbler species, including Wilson's, which seems to have been much more common this year than normal. The 22 attendees included Tony Eveleigh from England on his first birding visit to the U.S. The 19 warblers were: Nashville, Northern Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Pine, Prairie, Black & White, American Redstart, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler ("Wow!"), Wilson's, and Canada. 93 species overall! Leader: Shirley Geddes.

May 14 - The weather turned rather wintry - cool, cloudy, and very windy. The big thrill was an apparent Golden Eagle, but it was later determined to be an immature Bald Eagle, which is still pretty nice! There were 10 warbler species, including Wilson's again. Some other species were Spotted Sandpiper, Osprey, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Cedar Waxwing. 63 species. 19 participants. Leader: Ruth Culbertson.

May 21 - It was still unseasonably cold (42-55 degrees!). Nevertheless, migration was still alive and well with 14 species of warbler and 75 species overall. The warblers were: Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll, Black & White, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Kentucky, Common Yellowthroat, and Canada. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, once common at the lake, finally made an appearance at the dam, along with a Black-crowned Night-Heron. Many of the 21 participants also enjoyed great looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Leaders: Elliot Kirschbaum and Gail Frantz.

May 28 - On this last lake Roland trip of the season migration made it's last stand in the form of Blackpoll Warbler. Otherwise, summer residents, such as Baltimore Orioles at a nest dominated. Both Yellow and Black-crowned Night-Herons were also present again. 62 species. 10 participants. Leader: Gail Frantz for Josie Gray.

Cylburn Sundays

By Joseph Lewandowski

March 24, 2002 - Spring is always different in Maryland. We can have some hot, sunny, days and we can have cold and snow. On this, the first Cylburn walk of the season, six birders came out on a cool, sunny day to look for birds. It is always interesting to see Cylburn this early in the season. Trees and plants are not in bloom, few wildflowers are out, and the recently planted plants are just beginning to emerge. But as naturalists, we see the signs of past events. Foundations of old structures are seen around the Arboretum. Last year's birds nests can be spotted in the trees. Good woodpecker trees can be easily seen. With this all in view, few birds were sighted. Twenty birds made it to our list. We did see a Great Blue Heron fly overhead, a good view of a Phoebe, a Bluebird, and a Rufous-sided Towhee were our notable birds of the day. The Cardinals and Song Sparrows kept us company as we strolled the trails, caught up on old times, and hoped for better birding to come.

March 31, 2002 - With daffodils dotting the landscape, nine birders greeted this cool, overcast day to look for birds. Sightings were few, with only 23 bird species seen. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Black-and-white Warbler, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and a Rufous-sided Towhee were a few of the birds seen. We did spot a Box Turtle, soaking up some water in a small puddle by the trail. This was the first Box Turtle I spotted at Cylburn and a good indication that Spring is right around the bend.

April 7, 2002 - Seven birders greeted this cool and sunny day. Sounds like a repeat of past trips. Twenty-two birds topped our species list. The Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawk were the only real notables on this trek.

April 14, 2002 - On this warm, cloudy, overcast day, seventeen birders visited Cylburn. With a temperature in the 60's, 40 species of birds were spotted. Birders had a look at a Field Sparrow, Cooper's Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler as the notable birds of the day.

April 21, 2002 - Over 70 birders descended Cylburn as the Audubon Society sent out two busses to visit our Arboretum. With their conference in town for Audubon staffers, twelve groups of birders set out to blitz the area in a short time. The weather was cool and overcast, but the group I was with found 21 species. Notables included a Palm Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. It is always enjoyable to show individuals, who may not be birders, the enjoyment of our natural outdoors.

May 5, 2002 - Yes, you know it was cool and sunny with temperatures in the 50's. But this was the Cylburn walk to be on - and for the ten birders on the trip, we hit 47 species. A Hooded Warbler, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-rumped Warbler, N. Waterthrush, Yellow Warbler, Orchard Oriole, Killdeer, Cooper's Hawk, Black-throated Green Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Solitary Sandpiper were the best birds seen. Tulip petals were gone and a water vapor mist was rising off the garden beds; but that did not stop the birds from showing up today.

May 12, 2002 - The word got out and 15 birders showed up and another 47 species bird count was achieved. Today was mild and sunny. The tulips were long gone of splendor but the irises were in great color and the city gardens were coming to life. Black-throated Blue Warbler, Warbling Vireo, both orioles, the three woodland thrushes, N. Waterthrush, Least Flycatcher, Wilson Warbler, Canada Warbler, Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, and Magnolia Warbler were our good finds of the day. We saw some painted turtles sunning themselves by the water and with hawks soaring overhead, it was a grand day to be birding.

May 19, 2002 - This was Tulip Dig Sunday at the Arboretum and many people were out digging up the tulip bulbs. With the temperature in the 30's, it was cool and sunny for the six birders on the grounds. A Veery, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwings, Barn Swallow, Hummingbird, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Wood Thrush, Indigo Bunting, Redstart, and Yellow Warbler were some of the great finds in the area. Thirty-two species in all were seen this day.

May 26, 2002 - The weather was again overcast with the thermometer reaching the 50's. Nine birders came out for the last walk of the Spring season. We again had a low count of 29 bird species and a Scarlet Tanager, Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Redstart, Blackpoll, Indigo Bunting, Bluebird, and Red-eyed Vireo were the interesting finds this day. While maybe not a spectacular season, Cylburn was interesting. Till the Fall.

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Baltimore Bird Club Annual Report - 2001-02

Prepared by Anne Brooks, Treasurer - April 9, 2002


MEMBERSHIPS $ 7,570.00 NET IN SALES $ 353.54 CHECKING INTEREST $ 32.18 SAVINGS INTEREST $ 226.89 DONATIONS: General $ 2,612.32 Museum $ 507.00 TOTAL RECEIPTS $ 11,301.93


Itemization: Subtotals: MOS DUES $ 3,660.00 $ 3,660.00 CHIP NOTES: printing $ 1,410.00 postage $ 364.54 $ 1,774.54 PROGRAMS: Honoraria $ 280.00 program booklet $ 653.00 field trip $ 50.00 postage $ 27.22 trip reports $ 2.94 00-01 expen. $ 60.48 $ 1,073.64 BIRDLINE $ 264.37 $ 264.37 MEMBERSHIP SECRETARIAT directory $ 225.00 postage $ 240.34 envelopes (dues) $ 100.00 clasp envelopes 9x12 $ 3.09 inkjet labels $ 36.41 reimb dues overpay $ 25.00 copies $ 5.76 $ 635.60 MUSEUM : busses $ 565.00 map $ 375.00 MSInsuranceFund $ 250.00 permit $ 10.00 Ass. of Museums Memb. $ 25.00 Meyer Seed $ 82.07 maintenance $ 20.09 $ 1,327.16 CONSERVATION COMMITTEE: postage $ 29.27 copies $ 50.07 phone $ 15.38 $ 94.72 HOSPITALITY $ 62.37 $ 62.37 ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS $ 85.00 $ 85.00 INTERNET $ 100.00 $ 100.00 FUNDRAISING: printing envelopes $ 75.00 xerox enclosures $ 71.64 preparation of encl. $ 3.26 bulk mail costs $ 59.22 $ 209.12 OFFICERS: postage $ 84.14 printer paper $ 12.49 copies $ 6.29 $ 102.92 PAPER FOR APPLICATIONS $ 35.15 $ 35.15 TOTAL EXPENDITURES $ 9,424.59


Receipts $ 11,301.93 Expenses $ (9,424.59) Estimated Balance 4/9/02 $ 1,877.34 Savings Account Balance $ 9,044.78 Martin Fund Balance $ 36,804.69
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BBC Mail Order

The Baltimore Bird Club is now offering its merchandise for sale through its mail order section. The following items are available. All prices include shipping costs.

Baltimore Bird Club's Birding Site Guide - $12.00
Baltimore Bird Club T-Shirt - $18.00 (only XL left)
MOS Patch - $3.50
MOS Decal - $3.50

Please make your check or money order payable to "The Baltimore Bird Club" and send your order to: Joseph Lewandowski, 3021 Temple Gate, Baltimore, Maryland 21209.

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May Count 2002
Baltimore City and County - May 11, 2002

Organized by Debbie Terry - Compiled by Steve Sanford

The May Count for Baltimore City and County on May 11 was pleasant and productive with 165 species tallied including 30 warblers. The weather was seasonably warm and sunny. The top bird, naturally, was the Western Kingbird at Fort McHenry as described in the article on page 1. Other than that, it was just a good representation of the kind of list we hope for, with no egregious misses. We had 53 people counting in 23 parties.

Many thanks to our counters: Bill Balfour, Denise Bayusik, Pete Blank, Anne Brooks, Brent Byers, Mary Byers, Mary Jo Campbell, Catherine Carroll, Mary Chetelat, Keith Eric Costley, Ruth Culbertson, Joanne Dreyer, Johanna Ferguson, Gail Frantz, Russell Fraker, Helene Gardel, Shirley Geddes, Josie Gray, Kevin Graff, Phyllis Grimm, Dot Gustafson, Carol Highsaw, Jim Highsaw, Kye Jenkins, Sukon Kanchanaraksa, Elliott Kirschbaum, Nancy Kirschbaum, Elise Kreiss, Paul Kreiss, Sharon Mariulis, Michele Melia, Gil Myers, Alice Nelson, Andrew Nelson, David Nelson, Lou Nielson, Leanne Pemburn, Mark Pemburn, Patsy Perlman, Jim Peters, Mac Plant, Linda Prentice, Roger Redde, Brian Rollfinke, Steve Sanford, Jean Sawyer, Gene Scarpulla, Carol Schreter, Wendy Taparauskas, Debbie Terry, Drew Thornblad, Pete Webb, Marion Wilson

The results:

Common Loon                     9
Double-crested Cormorant       61
Great Blue Heron               72
Great Egret                     2
Cattle Egret                   10
Green Heron                     6
Black-crowned Night-Heron       5
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron      4
       night heron sp.          1

Glossy Ibis                     2
Black Vulture                  11
Turkey Vulture                165
Canada Goose                  314
Mute Swan                       1
Wood Duck                      23
American Black Duck             6
Mallard                       343
Blue-winged Teal                2
Green-winged Teal               2
Common Merganser                1
Ruddy Duck                      7

Osprey                         28
Bald Eagle                      3
Sharped-shinned Hawk            4
Cooper's Hawk                   4
Red-shouldered Hawk            15
Broad-winged Hawk               4
Red-tailed Hawk                29
    buteo sp.                   1
American Kestrel                3
Peregrine Falcon*               1
Wild Turkey                     3

Black-bellied Plover           14
Semipalmated Plover             6
Killdeer                       13
Greater Yellowlegs              3
Lesser Yellowlegs              37
Solitary Sandpiper             55
Spotted Sandpiper              73
Semipalmated Sandpiper         33
Western Sandpiper*              1
Least Sandpiper                85
Dunlin                          5
Short-billed Dowitcher          5
Common Snipe                    1

Bonaparte's Gull                1
Ring-billed Gull               45
Herring Gull                  485
Great Black-backed Gull       267
  gull sp.                      5
Caspian Tern                  200
Common Tern                     1
Foster's Tern                   2

Rock Dove                     122
Mourning Dove                 206
Black-billed Cuckoo             1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo           15
Great Horned Owl                3
Barred Owl                      3

Common Nighthawk                1
Whip-poor-will                  3
Chimney Swift                 905
Ruby-throated Hummingbird      15
Belted Kingfisher               4

Red-headed Woodpecker           1
Red-bellied Woodpecker        110
Downy Woodpecker               20
Hairy Woodpecker               12
Northern Flicker               46
Pileated Woodpecker            27

Eastern Wood-Pewee             59
Acadian Flycatcher             58
Least Flycatcher                2
empidonax sp.                   3
Eastern Phoebe                 70
Great-crested Flycatcher       50
Western Kingbird***             1
Eastern Kingbird               80

White-eyed Vireo               63
Blue-headed Vireo              12
Yellow-throated Vireo          18
Warbling Vireo                 31
Philadelphia Vireo*             1
Red-eyed Vireo                254

Blue Jay                      205
American Crow                 390
Fish Crow                      36
  crow sp.                     21
Purple Martin                   8
Tree Swallow                  133
N. Rough-winged Swallow       122
Bank Swallow                    2
Cliff Swallow                  40
Barn Swallow                  308

Carolina Chickadee            186
Black-capped Chickadee          4
Tufted Titmouse               180
White-breasted Nuthatch        54
Brown Creeper                   1
Carolina Wren                 120
House Wren                     89
Marsh Wren                      6

Ruby-crowned Kinglet           16
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher         126
Eastern Bluebird               76
Veery                          58
Swainson's Thrush              28
Wood Thrush                   141
American Robin                381

Gray Catbird                  406
Northern Mockingbird          154
Brown Thrasher                 11
European Starling             541
American Pipit                  1
Cedar Waxwing                 224

Blue-winged Warbler             4
Tennessee Warbler               4
Nashville Warbler               5
Northern Parula               106
Yellow Warbler                 99

Chestnut-sided Warbler         23
Magnolia Warbler               60
Black-throated Blue Warbler   128
Yellow-rumped Warbler         347
Black-throated Green Warbler   69
Blackburnian Warbler            3

Yellow-thoated Warbler          6
Pine Warbler                   13
Prairie Warbler                37
Palm Warbler                    1
Bay-breasted Warbler            5

Blackpoll Warbler              24
Black-and-white Warbler        54
American Redstart              66
Prothonotary Warbler            3
Worm-eating Warbler            12

Ovenbird                       94
Northern Waterthrush            4
Louisiana Waterthrush          24
Kentucky Warbler               13

Common Yellowthroat           215
Hooded Warbler                  2
Wilson's Warbler                4
Canada Warbler                 19
Yellow-breasted Chat            5

Scarlet Tanager               102
Eastern Towhee                 47

Grasshopper Sparrow             2
Chipping Sparrow              170
Field Sparrow                  52
Savannah Sparrow                1

Song Sparrow                  136
Lincoln's Sparrow               3
Swamp Sparrow                  28
White-throated Sparrow         91
White-crowned Sparrow           3

Northern Cardinal             332
Rose-breasted Grosbeak         32
Indigo Bunting                112
Bobolink                      315
Red-winged Blackbird          369
Eastern Meadowlark             13
Common Grackle                362
Brown-headed Cowbird           96

Orchard Oriole                 38
Baltimore Oriole              157
Purple Finch                    1
House Finch                   159
American Goldfinch            395
House Sparrow                 256

Total individuals           13464
Total Species                 165

Hours foot                    119
Hours car                      18
Miles foot                   80.5
Miles car                     124
Hours feeder watch            1.5
Hours stationary             14.5
Hours night                     1
Parties                        23
Observers                      53
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Back Yard Birding and Beyond

By Gail Frantz

Oh, No - West Nile Virus and Now This!

While waiting for a friend, Adelaide Rackemann heard a bird singing in the yard. "You have a warbler in one of your trees." remarked Adelaide. Her friend responded with a worried expression on her face, "Is that a disease?"

  • Patsy Perlman was thrilled in April when she spotted a gorgeous Red-headed Woodpecker on Slade Ave. The bird remained in the area for about one week.

Windsor Mills

  • From Elise Kreiss, March 10: The Hermit Thrush first seen last weekend is still with us. Equally atypical for us is the Rusty Blackbird and the Rock Dove that took up most of one hanging feeder with its great bulk, dwarfing the Mourning Doves. In addition to the usual crew, we also had two Song Sparrows this weekend, and a Fox Sparrow. [Typical recent weekend turnout: Mourning Doves, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, one American Crow, Chickadees, Titmice, two White-breasted Nuthatches, two Carolina Wrens, White-throated Sparrows, Juncos, Cardinals, House Finch, Goldfinch, House Sparrows.] Today, also, a Cowbird. Makes you think about taking the feeders down. April 4: ... had two male Purple Finches at the feeder, yesterday! This was the closest I've seen any male PUFI. As with the last one at Point Lookout, all my previous "Could this be a Purple Finch?" were blown away by the reality of these two fine rose-colored birds. A male Cowbird has been courting in the same hanging feeder. After each of his extravagant bows, I always expect him to see him tumble down, beak first, into the seed! April 22: Elise was the first to report a Ruby-throated hummer in her yard! May 21: We have some fledgling Carolina Wrens in back of the office today. I got a close look at one - - it landed on my bare left forearm!


  • In April, Doris Fields of Old Hanover Road hung a Bluebird box on an oak tree outside her kitchen window. Almost immediately a pair of Bluebirds took up residence. Sometime around the 10th of April Doris noticed a male Cowbird attempting to enter the box. This behavior continued for over a week. Fortunately the entrance hole was too small and the Cowbird was unable to get inside the box. Doris reported that the pair of Bluebirds defiantly attacked the intruder every time he tried to commandeer the box.
  • Mary Jane and Robert Collison of Piney Grove Rd were disappointed this spring when not one of their six hand crafted bluebird boxes were chosen for nesting. Instead the Bluebirds preferred a wren house shaped and painted like a red caboose. Naturally the opening was too small so Robert enlarged the hole. The Bluebirds took it over immediately, the female laid four eggs and as of May 11, was incubating them.

Sparrows Point

  • March 19 report from Roberta Ross: Ospreys Back at Sparrows Point and flying around with branches in their beaks. Spring is here!


  • On March 19 Keith Costley "found a ton" of Savannah Sparrows in Owings Mills, Soldier's Delight and in his own backyard!


  • April 16 from Tim Carney: Wow, check this out. I have nesting Mourning Doves and Red-bellied Woodpeckers AND I saw a Palm Warbler and anywhere from 3-10 Hermit Thrushes today AND I've had Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows visit my "oasis garden" water feature. On April 22, Tim chased an Ovenbird around the woods at his home for over an hour. He was thrilled to finally get a perfectly lighted look at the bird. A lifer!

Pretty Boy Area, Freeland

  • From Jeanne Bowman, June 1: Six Bluebirds just fledged- flew the coop. Tree Swallows nesting in plastic gourd just over head - near porch. Catbirds eating oranges, that I cut in half, placing them on a headless nail in a tree branch, bluebirds like the bugs that the oranges attract. Indigo Bunting has taken over the last post on the thistle feeder tube and will not be budged by the House Finch or Goldfinch. Many Cardinals busy feeding their young. Pesky House Wrens fill every birdhouse with sticks, just never learned to share. Also a dozen or so Cedar Waxwings and several Baltimore Orioles. We wouldn't talk about the Grackles except they keep the Crows away. I love the sound of them all in the morning.


  • Leakin Park March 9, Elise Kreiss: A walk in Leakin Park a few blocks away on Saturday morning yielded three Sapsuckers; about three more than I usually see; two of them together; a Creeper, and the first two Phoebes we've seen this year; one of them calling. Other birds: Canada Geese overhead, Mallards; a Red-shouldered Hawk shared the sky with an Accipiter and a Turkey Vulture; Ring-billed Gulls; Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy, Pileated Woodpeckers and Flickers; Crows, Chickadees, Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, Robins, Mockingbirds, Starlings, a few very vocal Towhees, one in particular having a variety of things to say and at length; numerous White-throated Sparrows, two Savannah, two Song and one Fox Sparrow seen; Juncos, Cardinals, Grackles, House Finch, Goldfinch.

Loch Raven

  • Intriguing sighting from Richard Krejci: On Friday evening, March 26 at about 5:30pm at the Loch Raven Blvd. & Cromwell Bridge Road intersection I was sitting at the red light in my truck. I just happened to look up and noticed a large bird flying overhead in a southerly direction. It had an unusual shape and coloration for any of the birds that I am aware of in the area and I was hard pressed to identify it right away. However, on returning home, I looked in several of my birding books and , to me without hesitance, I identified it to be a young or possibly a female Frigatebird. The size & shape are unmistakable...I have, in fact, seen a number of Frigatebirds when I was vacationing in Belize several years ago. The more I think about it the more I am convinced that what I saw was in fact a Frigatebird. I have seen Great Blue Herons, Osprey & Bald Eagles on the fly in and around the area. It was none of these, but the relative size of the bird was in this range. The tail was primarily closed but slightly split at times. I sure hope that someone along the Maryland or eastern US coast reports a sighting of this magnificent bird sometime soon.


Let us hear about your Back Yard and Maryland Birding too!!!

Call or write to:

Gail Frantz
13955 Old Hanover Rd.
Reisterstown MD 21136

Tel: 410-833-7135


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