CHIP NOTES

The newsletter of the Baltimore Bird Club

August/September 2005 -- Online Edition

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Baltimore County Atlas News by Elliot Kirschbaum
  2. Baltimore's Own Red Tails in Love by Ajax Eastman
  3. Board of Directors Meetings by Carol Schreter, Recording Secretary
  4. Conservation Corner by Carol Schreter
  5. Join The Eco-Action
  6. Fall Lectures
  7. Update on Cromwell Valley Park by Peter Lev
  8. Baltimore's Dirty Dozen: Green Warfare by Wendy Olsson
  9. Spring 2005 Field Trip Reports Compiled by Mary Chetelat
  10. Cylburn Sundays by Joseph Lewandowski
  11. Help for Injured or Orphaned Wildlife by Kathleen Woods
  12. A Tribute by Patsy Perlman
  13. Proposed Changes to the Baltimore Bird Club's Bylaws and Manual of Operations
  14. Dues are Due
  15. Back Yard Birding and Beyond by Gail Frantz
  16. BBC Merchandise
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Baltimore County Atlas News

By Elliot Kirschbaum

Coordination changes

Paul Kreiss has joined Debbie Terry and me on our coordination team. Paul has taken the lead for our blockbusting efforts by planning, organizing, and carrying out Atlas surveys in several not Atlased or under-Atlased blocks. Additionally, he will be working closely with Debbie on a wide range of Atlas planning and implementation activities.

Paul can be reached at:

2603 Talbot RD
Baltimore, MD 21216
(410) 367-8194

Nancy and I have moved to Shepherdstown, WV, which is right across the Potomac River from Sharpsburg, MD. I will continue on the coordination team. I will concentrate on database related activities such as block assignment and data review, while Debbie and Paul will continue to perform the coordination activities that require a more local presence.

I can be reached at:

72 Heather LN
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
(304) 876-6881

County Atlas Progress

At the end of the 2004 season, we have records for 74 of the county's 79 blocks. A total of 142 species have been observed during the breeding season, with 25 possible, 11 probable, and 106 confirmed breeders. Sixteen species of warbler have been found as well as an unexpected Blue-headed Vireo carrying nesting material at Soldiers Delight and a pair of Ruddy Duck with chicks at Druid Park reservoir.

Atlasers and non-Atlasers alike can view the results of the project by following the Breeding Bird Atlas link on the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) web site http://www.mdbirds.org/..

Blockbusting

This season, blockbusting (concentrated group Atlasing in a block) has been undertaken, as of this writing, in three blocks with excellent results. Paul planned and scheduled the activities; put together a group of volunteers, including Bryce Butler, Gail Frantz, Lou Nielsen, Bob Ringler, Carol Schreter, Debbie Terry, and me; and provided maps and other necessary materials. Two visits were made to each block.

By the time you read this, additional blocks will have been done during the summer.

This activity has not only been very productive, but it was a lot of fun. Consider participating next season. Contact Paul at the above address to find out more and to volunteer.

Current Season

This is the next to the last season of the project. We have made good progress, but there is more to be done. If you are an Atlaser, check how your results so far compare to those of the 1983-87 Atlas. You should be able to come close to matching or even exceed the prior Atlas's total species count. You should also try to get at least 25% of your species to the confirmed level and another 50% to the probable level. If you need to increase your species count or upgrade their breeding status, get out to your block again before the season ends. Many confirmations are still possible late in the season.

Field Cards are due to me before the end of September. Enter your results in the Atlas Project database and send the cards to me at the address shown above.

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Baltimore's Own Red Tails in Love

By Ajax Eastman

This bizarre tale that came to my attention this past spring that was so unbelievable, I felt compelled to verify its veracity. It was told to me by a friend who said that a gentleman named James Young who lives in a high-rise apartment on McMechen Street bounded by North Avenue and Mt. Royal, was washing his car in the parking lot behind the apartment one sunny Sunday afternoon. According to my friend, Mr. Young was minding his own business when suddenly a huge bird flew down and grabbed the baseball cap right off his head, flew away, and dropped the cap in an inaccessible spot! He reached up and realized that the claws that purloined the cap, had actually drawn blood! Several days later a lady who was walking near by was also accosted by the large bird which snatched the wig right off of her head. I called Mr. Young to verify the bird which snatched the wig right off of her head. I called Mr. Young to verify the story and he not only said it was true, but that there was a very large nest behind the apartment house on a piece of right of way owned by the B & O Railroad. I grabbed my binoculars and headed down to McMechen Street, parked in front of the apartment house and walked around back. After viewing the landscape, I quickly spotted an enormous nest perched in a three branch crotch of a maple tree with a large head peering out. I couldn't make a positive identification from just the head, but soon heard several familiar "Keeers" from a male red tail hawk who was soaring above, and finally roosted on a dead snag across North Avenue.

Now most birders are familiar with the wonderful tale of New York City's "Red Tails in Love", as beautifully chronicled in Marie Winn's book, and the PBS documentary "Pale Male." If you missed either of those wonderful tales, you certainly heard about the dismantling of Pale Male and Lola's nest last winter just before nesting time, by the board of the "up scale" apartment house where Pale Male's nest resided for the past 12 years, resulting in an enormous brouhaha. Birders, New Yorkers, editors, T.V. news, etc. all rushed to defend the hawks, demanding that the hawks be allowed to build a new nest. The pigeon deflecting structure upon which the hawks built their previous nest had been removed along with the old nest so when the hawks attempted to build a new nest, there was no structure upon which to anchor the new nest and materials kept falling to the ground. The apartment house Pooh-Bahs after enormous negative publicity and picketing, finally relented and replaced the pigeon deterrent structure and Pale Male and Lola immediately commenced building their new nest. By now, presumably New York City has some new baby hawks adding to the previous broods totaling 23 fledglings, fathered by Pale Male across from Central Park during the past 12 year. It is certain that Pale Male and Lola will continue to draw the birders and onlookers who appreciate the bit of wildness in their urban midst.

I am hoping that the unnamed B & O hawks will continue to find Baltimore to their liking so that we can claim our own "Red Tails in Love."

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Board of Directors Meetings

By Carol Schreter, Recording Secretary

The BBC Board met on March 8, April 12, May 10 and June 14, 2005.

At all four meetings the board grappled with revisions to the BBC Bylaws and Manual of Operations, with the help of a sub-committee composed of Catherine Bishop, Joel Martin and Peter Webb. The proposed revisions are described in this issue of Chip Notes.

In 1989 when the current Bylaws and Manual of Operations were created, there were up to 600 paid BBC members. BBC's membership now hovers around 300 people. Just 14 new people joined this year.

Thus, it has become increasingly difficult to fill the many elected and appointed leadership positions. As the board revised the governing documents, all current leaders agreed to keep their positions for another year. Instead of having a Nominating Committee, the Board will now be responsible for finding suitable candidates.

As of June 2005, help is needed with these roles:

Other News:

Budget: BBC Treasurer Martie Dunn reports that BBC's income exceeded expenses by $1,425 for the year ending in April 2005.

Cylburn: Patsy Perlman, our Bird Museum representative, tells us that the Cylburn Carriage House will be minimally improved over the summer. It will open to the public starting in October 2005 with a temporary Nature and Bird Exhibit.

The new Gwynns Falls Trail: For bikers and hikers, a new 15 mile greenway trail connects Leakin Park to the Inner Harbor. The Conservation Committee is looking for someone willing to create a one-page handout describing: 1) the best spots for viewing birds; and 2) what birds one might see there. For more information, go to www.gwynnsfallstrail.org

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Conservation Corner

By Carol Schreter

Conservation Committee Report
2004 - 2005

This was a busy year for the BBC Conservation Committee, thanks in part to the energies of two new members, Bryce Butler and Wendy Olsson. Our most notable efforts, and successes, involved protecting public lands and public education.

Local parks

Our year started on a positive note. Lake Roland was rezoned in August 2004 from one house per acre to one house per 25 acres. To improve communications about Lake Roland, in January 2005 BBC Conservation Committee members Bryce Butler, Wendy Olsson, Peter Lev and I met with the Baltimore City Chief of Parks, Mr. Connie Brown.

Protecting State Open Space

As you may recall, Baltimore Sun investigative stories in the fall of 2004 revealed a secret deal to sell land purchased with Program Open Space funds and the existence of a Dept. of Natural Resources' (DNR) list of state properties deemed "excessable."

"The public opposition was quite amazing," according to Anneke Davis, the BBC Conservation Committee Chair. "The public said: This is our land. This is our heritage." In response, the state legislature: 1) reduced the Governor's proposed cuts to legislatively dedicated Program Open Space funds; and 2) is demanding an oversight role in any future sale of state lands. Watch for a referendum on the ballot for the November 2006 elections. [For a legislative update, go to www.PartnersForOpenSpace.org.]

Increasing the public outcry

BBC played no small role in the public outcry. First, on October 7, 2004, the Sun printed my Letter to the Editor titled "Supporting slots [and horse farms] is the wrong way to save open space." Information I provided at that time about cuts to Program Open Space funds over the previous three years prompted the Sun Letters Editor to pose this Question of the Month for November: Do you think the State should be making more of an effort and spending more money to protect and preserve open space?" The 18 affirmative responses printed in the Editorial Section on November 27, 2004, included letters from six organizations and four BBC members: Anne Brooks, Rob Olsson, Martin and Paula Schugam.

Meanwhile, Peter Lev investigated the quality of wildlife habitat of the two parcels in Baltimore County that were deemed "excessable" on the State DNR list, and sent his reaction to the MOS Conservation Committee.

In January Bryce, Wendy, Joan Cwi and I attended the Environmental Summit in Annapolis. To keep other BBC members informed and involved, Wendy activated our e-mail Conservation Alert System; she sent out messages in November and February. In April, Wendy sent BBC members a Conservation Alert about DNR's State Forest Management Plans.

For the Public

Chimney Swifts: Our most visible success this year involved the BBC SwiftWatch Team: Alice & David Nelson, Joan Cwi, Bryce Butler and me. Maryland Public Television filmed a story in the fall of 2004 about the migrating chimney swifts of Hampden. This aired in March and April of 2005 as a segment of "Maryland Outdoors" and will be televised periodically. We got three local newspapers to pre-announce the TV show. We now have a quality tape we can use for educational purposes.

Baltimore Green Week: On April 3, 2005, BBC set up a booth at Baltimore's first Eco Festival, part of Baltimore Green Week. There, we met other conservation-minded people staffing the other booths. Bryce organized the BBC booth, and was assisted that day by Wendy and Rob Olsson, Joan Cwi and me.

Shade-Grown Coffee: Our BBC flyer "Where to Buy Shade-Grown Coffee in the Baltimore Area" got a companion this year. At the request of MOS, I created a similar flyer for use statewide. This year I distributed 1,600 copies of the statewide flyer and 250 copies of the Baltimore flyer. The shade-grown coffee story was reprinted in the DNR magazine Maryland Natural Resource (Winter 2005 issue) and the newsletters of the Friends of Blackwater and the Maryland Conservation Council.

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Join The Eco-Action

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 reserving bird habitat.

Do you wish to be notified by e-mail of critical local conservation issues?

The BBC Conservation Committee meets monthly. Join us, or bring up issues for consideration. As of June 2005 we are:
Anneke Davis, Chair
Carol Schreter, Co-Chair
Bryce Butler
Joan Cwi
Peter Lev
Wendy Olsson
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Fall Lectures

September 6 "Hawk Watching At Cromwell Valley Park" (CVP) Jim and Joanne Meyers.

Cromwell Valley Park is a wonderful spot in the Baltimore area to take in the spectacular autumn hawk flights. Join Jim and Joanne Meyers the Tuesday after Labor Day at Cylburn to hear about the new hawk watching facilities at CVP and the hawks that fly over CVP on their way south.

October 4 "Important Bird Area" David Curson , Director of Bird Conservation- Audubon MD-D.C

David will introduce us to the Important Bird Areas program in MD. Those of us who attended his lecture on cowbirds several years ago at Sherwood House and have joined him on bird walks at Patterson Park, know what an informative and enjoyable evening is in store for those who come to Cylburn the first Tuesday in October.

November 1 "Seasons at the Fort" Jim Peters. Jim single-handedly took on the project of turning the urban wetlands of Ft. McHenry into a micro- habitat for resident and migrating birds. It is beautiful spot for birders to view these birds. At our November lecture Jim will share with us 6 years of monitoring birds at Ft. McHenry.

Please note these dates on your calendar. We are grateful that Shirley and Raymond Geddes will run the "social hour" which begins at 7:00 pm. Lectures begin at 7:45. Arrive early, visit with friends and exchange bird sightings and stories.

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Update on Cromwell Valley Park

By Peter Lev

The big news here is that after a year of stream remediation Cromwell will be open for all uses beginning July 1, 2005. However, the Willow Grove Farm entrance to the park will be closed because that bridge needs to be replaced. All users should come in through the Sherwood Farm entrance.

Cromwell will soon have two separate advisory groups: the Friends of Cromwell Valley Park, which has been around for a while, and a new Recreation Council group. BBC members are encouraged to become active in both.

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Baltimore's Dirty Dozen: Green Warfare

By Wendy Olsson

Stealth green threats are encroaching on Baltimore City and our entire nation, threatening bird populations and costing the nation billions annually. Unwanted invasive species, brought both intentionally and unintentionally are taking over. As these plants take over, they alter traditional bird habitats and crowd out the native vegetation the migratory birds we so love rely on for nourishment, shelter, and nesting space.

Baltimore City has modeled its new "Urban Weed Warrior" program off of an innovative Montgomery County program which has the goal of eliminating these nonnative thugs from the landscape. A tough task but necessary since many of these alien invaders do not have natural predators in this area.

Baltimore's Dirty Dozen

Common nameReproduces byCountry of origin and how it got here
Garlic MustardSeedEurope, likely introduced for medicinal purposes
Japanese Stilt GrassSeedAsia, seeds escaped from grass used as packing material
Asiatic BittersweetSeedAsia, ornamental plant-still sold, do not buy this plant
Mile-a-MinuteSeedAsia, seeds spread with nursery rhododendron stock
Multiflora RoseRose hipsAsia, introduced as rootstock for ornamental roses. Also promoted for erosion control.
Tree of HeavenThousands of seeds per tree, aggressive root systemAsia, introduced by a PA gardener in 1748, available commercially by 1840
Japanese HoneysuckleSeedAsia, introduced as an ornamental
WineberrySeedAsia, introduced as breeding stock for raspberry cultivars
English IvySeedEurope, introduced as an ornamental
KudzuSeedAsia, introduced as an ornamental
Japanese KnotweedSeed and rhizome (root)Asia, introduced as an ornamental
PorcelainberrySeedAsia, introduced as an ornamental

Pretty much any bird habitat you go to in our area has a problem with at least one of these species: Japanese Stiltgrass is a significant problem at Soldiers Delight, while beautiful Milford Mill Park is under assault by Garlic Mustard, English Ivy, and Tree of Heaven. As these plants replace our native species, native birds have shelter, food, and nesting sites which are less suitable, putting a greater threat on bird populations. Some invasive species also carry diseases which can devastate our native trees, shrubs, and plants.

So what can you do?

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Spring 2005 Field Trip Reports

Compiled by Mary Chetelat

March 3-Loudon Park. Joy Wheeler said it best. There were only 2 of us to appreciate the many habitats and easy birding in Loudon Park. Joy and Catherine Bishop enjoyed viewing  the Broadwing flight of Mockingbirds and Robins defending territories, the Eastern Phoebe", Pine Warbler and Bluebird. Sounds like a trip to keep in the program!

March 6-Loch Raven. Debbie Terry led a group of 8 (including 2 folks who were not BBC members on a walk at the Loch Raven "Old Picnic Area Trail" and Paper Mill Flats . On this cloudy cool day 34 species were seen on the Picnic Area Trail and 17 species were viewed at Paper Mill Flats, Horned and Pie-billed Grebes, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Bluebird, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, and Cooper's and Red-tailed Hawk were some of the birds seen.

March 12-Middle Creek WMA. This refuge north of Lancaster PA had its typical dazzling display of about 80,000 Snow Geese. There were also about 4000 Tundra Swans and miscellaneous waterfowl. There was a Tree Sparrow at the Visitor Center. On the way home many participants stopped at Mark Linardi's brother's house in Fawn Grove, PA for an excellent display of displaying Woodcocks at dusk. 7 participants. The weather was sunny with moderate temperatures. Leader: Steve Sanford.

March 26-Sea Watch at Ocean City. Five birders, none from Baltmiore, had a good day watching thousands of seabirds go by, some in good view, especially gannets. An excellent day for Red-throated Loon with 140, 3,500 scoters, 170 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 possible red Phalarope again, and a distant Brown Pelican at Assateague Island. Future sea watch will expand to both days and maybe first weekend of April. Leader: Kevin Graff: 40 species.

April 17-Kevin Graff-- Cylburn. 10 birders - It was a nice day to be out, but a little chilly with temperatures in the 50's warming up to 60's. 10 birders came up with two Double-crestedCormorant flyby, many gnatcatchers, heard three Palm Warblers, nice look at Eastern Towhee, and some swallows at lumberyards with a total of 38 species total. (Reported by Kevin Graff).

April 24, 26, 27 & 29-Chimney Swifts in Hampden: The BBC SwiftWatch Team followed up the "Maryland Outdoors" segment that was broadcast in March and April with 4 announced counts. The high count was 1,208 Chimney Swifts on April 29. The 26 attendees included 10 locals from Hampden and a photographer from Smart CEO magazine. Trip leaders: Alice and David Nelson, Joan Cwi, Carol Schreter

April 24-Granite Area/Patapsco Valley State Park. Keith Costley, trip leader, and 8 fellow birders were treated to 50 species. Highlights would have been the Cerulean Warbler, 2 Great Horned Owls (fl) and 4 hawk species + an Osprey. Good hunting grounds?

May 3-Lake Roland. The walk had a total of 52 species of birds, including at least 15 Solitary Sandpipers and 8 Spotted Sandpipers.Blue-winged and Black-throated Blue Warblers were new year birds for Lake Roland as well.

May 7-Patterson Park, Baltimore. Due to northeasterly winds on this day, migrants were rather scarce. Still, 35 species, including Veery, Ovenbird, Eastern Towhee and Rose-breasted Grosbeak were observed. Several newcomers to birding saw life birds and all were impressed by finding "non-urban" birds in a very urban park. At the very end of the walk (after, unfortunately, some of the people had left), a beautiful red-headed woodpecker appeared in an oak tree right overhead and put on a great show! Trip Leader: Dave Curson. 12 participants.

May 10-Lake Roland. 71 species!! A great day! Orioles all around and singing. Good views of a White-eyed Vireo. An Acadian Flycatcher doing its "Pizza" call. 9 Warbler Species. **A Semipalmated Plover**. Mid-May is ALWAYS great! Trip Leader: Ruth Culbertson. 20 participants.

May 15-Oregon Ridge: Bryce Butler led a group of 7 and they enjoyed seeing 52 species including a Wood Thrush observed on its nest and a late Dark-eyed Junco. The most fun must have been the little-grey-ball-of-fluff Carolina Wren fledgling being noisily attended by 4 adults, all encouraging the fluffball to fly up out of reach, which it finally succeeded at doing

May 17-Lake Roland. 70 species! Another great day, with 11 warbler species (including a Wilson's Warbler), the Yellow-billed Cuckoo some of us were thinking about, and an Adult Barred Owl with a young one. Trip Leader: Josie Gray. 22 participants.

May 24-Lake Roland. 5 intrepid birders braved cool, overcast and rainy weather and were rewarded with sightings of "both Night Herons", Blue-winged Teal, Wood Duck, Mallards with ducklings and Canada Geese with goslings, Semi-palmated Plover, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles and 5 warbler species among the 38 total species recorded. Trip Leader: Shirley Geddes.

May 31-Lake Roland. 51 species were tallied on this last day of May, Highlights included male and female Indigo Buntings, a pair of Belted Kingfishers making a rattling good show, the Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Herons, a Green Heron, and an appearance by the nesting Pileated Woodpecker. Trip Leader: Paul Noell. 14 participants.

.June 4-Birds of the Jones Falls. Highlights of this trip included a territorial male Kentucky Warbler singing in full view, numerous orioles of both species including 2 active nests, a beautiful pair of Wood Ducks, a 2nd -year Yellow-crowned Night Heron, and close looks at Cedar Waxwings, Yellow Warblers, and other warblers. 51 species. 6 participants. Leader: Brian Rollfinke

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Cylburn Sundays

By Joseph Lewandowski

It's time again to talk about the Sunday Self-Guided Walks at Cylburn, the oasis inside the Baltimore City limits. So without further fanfare, here goes.

March 20 - The first Sunday walk at Cylburn greeted six birders with a dark, foggy overcast day in the lower 40's. Twenty-Four species hit our bird list with a great view of a Fox Sparrow and notable birds such as the Great-horned Owl, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Wood Duck, and Carolina Wren.

March 27 - Same as last week, overcast and cool, temperature at 40F. Six birders again walked the trails, but only twenty-one bird species were tallied. Great-horned Owl, Cowbird, Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, and Carolina Wren were some of the more eventful finds.

April 3 - Bad birding day. Overcast and windy, temperature again at 40F. Three birders & sixteen bird species. Flicker, Red-tailed Hawk, Wood Duck, Red-winged Blackbird, and Carolina Wren were the best birds of the day.

April 10 - This Sunday was a little better, sunny and mild, temperature in the 50's. Ten birders came out and Cylburn is finally starting to bloom. Daffodils and the Magnolias are blooming and the tulips are starting to come up. Birding has not picked up. Only twenty-two species hit our lists. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rough-winged Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Chipping Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Canada Goose, and Wood Duck were our treat this day.

April 24 - It has cooled down here in Baltimore. Sunny, windy, and 40F again. Five birders came out and saw our first warblers, a Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Solitary Sandpiper, White-breasted Nuthatch, Pileated Woodpecker, Black-crowned Night Heron, and Rufous-sided Towhee were the best of the twenty-six species seen.

May 8 - A windy day at Cylburn with sun and blue skies. Temperature still cool, in the 50's. Eight birders trucked the trails and aggressively picked up thirty-two species of birds. House Wren, Red-tailed Hawk, Barn Swallow, Wood Thrush, Catbird, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Killdeer, Yellow Warbler, Redstart, Warbling Vireo, Brown Thrasher, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Black-and white Warbler, Parula Warbler, and a Black-throated blue Warbler were our Cylburn specials of the day.

May 15 - Temperature 55F, overcast, warm, and humid. Tulip dig time at Cylburn and the grounds are loaded with people. Seven birders and another thirty-two bird species count. House Wren, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Barn Swallow, Wood Thrush, Catbird, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Great Blue Heron, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Veery, Yellowthroat, Redstart, Grackle, and Mockingbird filled our binoculars. We even saw a box turtle on our path, a nice touch to this Spring day.

May 22 - We are getting into Spring now& Sunny skies and 60-degree temperatures. Cylburn gardeners have planted flowers in the circle before the mansion house and the trees of the Arboretum are in bloom. Of the five birders to join us today, we had our youngest birder; a baby in a backpack carrier. Need to start our new members off at an early age. Birds were not cooperative, only seventeen species. Barn Swallows and a Wood Thrush were the only notable birds.

May 29 - This was the last walk of the Springtime. Four birders came out, twenty-five birds seen. House Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift, Catbird, Pileated Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow, Great-crested Flycatcher, Veery, Acadian Flycatcher, and Warbling Vireo were of special note. To top off this trip, we spotted a milk snake and garter snake along the route.

That sums up Cylburn. Not a great Spring, but one with interesting finds along the way and of course, good company. See you in the Fall.

Joe Lewandowski

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Help for Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

By Kathleen Woods

This time of year brings many injuries to wildlife. Knowing when you should intervene and how to help is often critical to the animal's survival. A baby's best chance for survival is always its mother, and the parents will not abandon the animal.

Let us first dispel the popular myth that a mother bird will not feed its young if a human has handled it. That is absolutely not true. Perhaps the myth started with the actual fact that handling a bird or mammal w ill certainly leave your scent on the animal and thereby attract predators to the nest the parents have left scent free.

If a baby bird falls from its nest, the best thing you can do is to put the baby bird back. If you cannot get to the nest but the parents are hovering, make a nest using an old berry basket or old nest or even an old margarine tin with holes poked in it. Secure the new nest to a tree or bush near the old nest. The parents will return within one hour. Perhaps the nest has been destroyed by a storm and several baby birds are on the ground. Again, in sight of the parents, put the baby birds together and place in a safe spot in a tree or bush.

A fledgling is a baby bird hopping on the ground still being fed by a parent. This is their most dangerous time. Yards should have piles of brush for shelter., or low bushes under which to hide. Put the bird in these bushes or on a limb; the parents should return shortly.

If the bird is bleeding, weak and shivering, or attacked by a dog or a cat, it needs intervention from a wildlife rehabilitator. Put paper towels in the bottom of a box or carrier (no wire cages) with air holes in it. Put one end of the container on a heating pad, use an old sports bottle full of hot water, or nuke a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice as warming agents. Cover the bird with a towel or washcloth, pick it up and place it in the container. Keep the bird in a warm, dark, quiet placeBBC Merchandise

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A Tribute

By Patsy Perlman

At the end of a school year, often students acknowledge the impact that an impressive teacher has had upon them. Here, at Cylburn Arboretum, Joy Wheeler is an outstanding example of an influential teacher about our natural world. Joy's skills, expertise, and knowledge have enlightened generations of folks. Her love of learning is an inspiration to all, and we are so fortunate to have her here.

Thank you, Joy, for all you do!

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Proposed Changes to the Baltimore Bird Club's Bylaws and Manual of Operations

Over the last few years, Board members and Nominating Committee members have expressed difficulty in finding the number of candidates for offices needed for our regular annual elections. Further, with the membership of our Club now sitting at about 300, in contrast with about 600 members some twenty years ago, they have been questioning whether we really need as many officers as we did back then.

We have also found ourselves operating with differences between the task responsibilities outlined in our current Bylaws and Manual of Operations and the actuality of which people are really doing those tasks.

The Board has concluded, after doing a streamlining of our operating budget in order to bring our spending (per member) down closer to the levels found in other chapters, that it would be appropriate to follow the budget streamlining with a streamlining of our organization, both to reduce the load on people seeking candidates for office and also to have a reduced, streamlined re-organization of our Club offices to go along with streamlining of our expenditures and operations. The re-organization would require some changes in our Bylaws and Manual of Operations to reflect those changes and keep us legal as a non-profit organization.

What we came up with, in brief, was to reduce the number of Officers to more closely match the need and duties to be met, as follows:

We propose reducing the number of Chapter Directors from a fixed number of six to:

.. a Director for each one hundred members or part thereof.

That's the exact wording now found in our State MOS Bylaws for determining the number of State Directors each chapter (including our Baltimore Bird Club) should have representing us at Maryland Ornithological Society Board meetings.

It works out that for a club membership of 305, for example, we would have 3 Directors for each of the first three 100's plus a fourth Director for those remaining 5 members who would represent a "part thereof", that is, the beginning of a fourth set of 100. That would give us a total of 4 Directors, rather than the old fixed number of 6. To get up to 5 Directors by the "new" system, we would need a Club membership of 401.

The Corresponding Secretary, not having enough duties, will be dropped (her suggestion).

We also propose, with the reduced number of people serving on the Board, to reduce the quorum, required for attending Board members to be able to vote, be reduced from the old number of 10 to a new fixed quorum number of 7.

We also concluded that the two-year alternating terms for Directors we've had before have been too confusing, so we propose that they follow the same term as all other Officers - that is, now all elected officers and appointed officers will serve one-year terms.

Replacing officers or Directors as needed is now up to the Board.

Since nobody has volunteered to serve on the Nominating Committee (we kept last year's slate for legal purposes), we propose dropping the Nominating Committee, and leaving it the Board's responsibility to come up with a slate of officers for the next election.

Some duties currently specified by the Bylaws or Manual to be the responsibility of officers but which are actually being done by other people, will be dropped from the official document and allowed to be unofficially performed by the actual people who are doing those tasks.

And now, here are the proposed line-by-line changes, old and new versions:

BYLAWS

Article III - Membership
Section 2. The classes of membership shall be ..
Article IV - officers; state and chapter directors
Section 1. The officers of the Chapter shall be the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary .. .. Officers shall assume their duties .. Section 3. Section 4. Article V - Nominations
Section 1. Section 2. It shall be the duty of .. Article VI - Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of: (1) the officers of the chapter; (2) .. Section 4. Note: the remainder of the Club Bylaws remain unchanged; all sections to be changed are shown above, both existing (current) and proposed (new) versions.

MANUAL OF OPERATIONS

INTRODUCTIONS:
The Manual of Operations .. It shall be reviewed regularly .. by the Bylaws Committee .. and revisions .. I. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
A. The classes of membership shall be .. II. DUTIES OF OFFICERS ..
A. The officers .. set forth in ..
  • current: .. Bylaws, ARTICLE IV
  • proposed: .. article IV of the Bylaws
  • reason: wording clarity (no functional change) (1) President's duties:
    c. To serve, ex-officio .. on all .. committees
  • current: , except the Nominating Committee.
  • proposed: .. . (drop the "Nominating Committee" reference)
  • reason: Nominating Committee longer exists; see summary and Bylaws section V above d. To call for .. reports .. prior to .. (5) Corresponding Secretary's duties - III. COMMITTEES AND REPRESENTATIVES
    Section A. (was just "A.") All committees shall .. Section B. Standing Committees
    (2) Budget - Shall consist of .. (2) Budget (continued) .. for the fiscal year beginning .. (4) Dorothy Blake Martin Fund - (6) Extension Services and Equipment .. (7) Field Trips
    (b) Provide the list of scheduled trips to the ..
  • current: .. Publication Committee
  • proposed: .. Program Booklet editor ..
  • reason: there no longer is a Publication Committee. (see (11) below) (d) Maintain records of field trips. (8) Junior Activities - (10) Museum .. (a) .. maintenance and operation of the museum .. (no change)
    They have been two completely separate activities for over ten years now.

    (C) With the approval .. (2)

    So there you have the proposed changes to the Baltimore Bird Club's Bylaws and Manual of Operations - most of the changes are intended to bring the description of duties in line with what is actually being done, including eliminating the no-longer existing Nominations Committee and some others; other changes include reducing the number of Chapter Directors, eliminating the Corresponding Secretary (at her suggestion), and clarifying some of the wording.
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    Dues are Due

    J. Catherine Bishop

    It's time to send in your yearly membership dues. Please send them in the dues envelope mailed with your paper version of Chip Notes. If you have any questions, please contact our Membership Committee.

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

    Back Yard Birding and Beyond

    By Gail Frantz

    Leakin Park

    March 20, Elise Kreise: On Friday, a neighbor reported a pair of Cooper's Hawks nest-building in our Baltimore City neighborhood. The yard they've chosen backs up against Leakin Park. After reading in the last Atlas that Cooper's Hawks are not often found nesting in urban corridors, and about their secretiveness, I was surprised by their choice of location, which is easily visible from the sidewalk. Knowing it was there, and with minimal directions, I spotted the nest easily without binoculars half a block away this morning. There was no activity, and it was raining lightly. I saw a Cooper's in a nearby tree, and it flew across the road and down the street a bit, calling, before perching. Another neighbor states she saw both working on the nest, and that they ignored her presence. I don't think this hawk much cared for mine, however. It will be interesting to see if they are successful there. (We won't be giving directions for the usual reasons).

    May 22, We took a walk on the east side of Gwynns Falls today from Weatheredsville Road highlights were a Yellow-bellied flycatcher and a singing Gray-cheeked Thrush. Other birds included Scarlet Tanager, Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting.

    Cromwell Valley

    April 17, Jim Meyers: Spent a few hours at Cromwell Valley Park today and had a pretty good Broad-winged Hawk flight. Blue skies made it difficult to pick out high flying raptors, and many were only seen if they crossed in front of a few wispy clouds that appeared. Largest kettle of 31 BWs was seen at 6:40 pm. CVP Hawkwatch Totals for April 17th, 2005 Good Birding To All !

    Cylburn

    Mark J. Linardi 4/22: The last three evenings I birded Cylburn from 5:15 - 6:30. With the exception of Wednesday, each evening has gotten better with both the variety and number of species seen. Wednesday evening there was a fire in the woods which covered most of the Southern hillside opposite the "fire" trail. I walked along the Southern edge that evening because the main trail was covered with fire apparatus. Unscientifically speaking it appears that the fire caused no real harm... in fact it may have been beneficial.... like a controlled burn... I don't know. In any case, one of the benefits of the occurrence is the clearing of the path (down to bend) of the main trial. This stretch was very active last evening with BG Gnatcatchers and RC Kinglets fighting for Air Space. There were two Thrashers, a Pileated WP, a Blue-headed Vireo (which almost landed on my head... no jokes please), White-Throats, Towhees and an assortment of other species. Down at the stump dump the environment is changing because of the infrastructure being built for the second Light-Rail line. It appears the little pond that hugged the Southeastern corner will be going away. That's too bad because it occasionally contained a different species or two. It remains to be seen how that landscape will finally be completed. At least for now, we can view the stream by walking along the flattened area along the silt-barrier wall. I hope that plain, terrain remains the same. Last night, I had three or four Yellow Warblers singing and dancing through the trees at this sight... The Birds... the Warblers... they are a'coming....

    Cockeysville

    April 24, Dr. Peter Dans: Colorful birds at our feeders included a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Goldfinches and Bluebirds.

    Baltimore City

    Carol Schreter reports: Migrating Chimney Swifts of Baltimore, Hampden. Wednesday, May 4, 2005, highest count to date. Total 2,920. Migrating swifts using both chimneys for the first time this season. Counters Carol Schreter and Joan Cwi. 60 degrees, hazy and calm. Mill Center Chimney.....First IN 8:15 PM, Last IN 8:25 PM.....Counted 920 Bookbindery Chimney...First IN 8:03 PM, Last IN 8:39 PM.....Counted 2000

    Baltimore

    May 24, Elise Kriess:

    My husband I found a cup nest partly hidden in a tangle of vines yesterday. I could see a small tail sticking up. A male Goldfinch flew out of the tangle, followed shortly by a yellow bird too fast to identify, at which point the tail was no longer visible. We then saw a female Goldfinch bringing in nesting material in her beak. I make a point of this because it is indicated in the last Maryland Atlas that Goldfinch being nesting in early July and I would not have expected to see such an early start on nest building.


    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

    e-mail:

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    BBC Merchandise

    The Baltimore Bird Club offers 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.

    "CafePress" Web Page:

    Shireen Gonzaga has arranged a new web page on CafePress for the Baltimore Bird Club. The web page sells everything from T-shirts & sweat shirts to mugs, caps, notebooks and tote bags. There are baby clothes, stickers, license plate frames and even underwear! All come with the BBC logo designed by Don Culbertson. The club receives $3 for each item sold.

    You may order online at The Baltimore Bird Club Store, CafePress: http://www.cafeshops.com/baltbirdclub or call in toll free orders on Mondays through Fridays between 8:00am -5:00pm (PST) at: 877-809-1659

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