What's New ???....

This is where we like to keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings at Wyncote Audubon; all sorts of special events for members and non-members alike.

Please check back often.

18th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
February 13 - 16, 2015

Today, Valentine’s Day, (February 14th), volunteers from the Wyncote Audubon Society sponsored a Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) event at Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington, Montgomery County. The volunteers conducted a morning count from 9:00 AM to Noon and an afternoon count from Noon to 3:00 PM. A special thanks to Wyncote Audubon volunteers Leigh Altadonna, Tom Armstrong, Greta Brunschwyler, Ruth Pfeffer, and Jennifer Sherwood for conducting the count and for helping educate the children and families that stopped by Briar Bush. The photographs show some of the children and their parents that stopped and learned more about birds today. Many of the common feeder birds were present throughout the day. One highlight was a Brown Creeper that returned to a small Birch Tree outside the Griscom Bird Observatory several different times throughout the morning. The results of the GBBC at Briar Bush will become part of the data reported through ebird.

The GBBC is an international event that is taking place this year from February 13-16, 2015. It is sponsored by the National Audubon Society, The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada. It is a means for birders to participate as citizen scientists and report data on the birds they see and count during this time period. Last year’s GBBC tallied 17.7 million birds and 4,296 species in counts reported from 135 different countries. Over 144,000 checklists were submitted last year.

Safely dispose your unwanted waste

Montgomery County has scheduled a number of Recycling and Collection events in 2015 to safely dispose unwanted Household Hazardous Waste and Tires. Three paper shredding events are also scheduled to destroy confidential documents.

Please bring only those materials that are designated for collection.

Please be sure to check the list of dates for the location nearest your home.

Click the links below for dates, times and examples of acceptable and unacceptable wastes.

General Announcements

  • 1/25/14 .... WAS Scholarship Winner Announced
    We are pleased to share with you that Jenn Sherwood has been selected as one of only 30 Hog Island Scholarship Winners this year. She was selected from a field of hundreds of applicants. Her application was outstanding and validates her selection by Wyncote Audubon to receive our support for a Griscom Scholarship. This award is for $495 from National Audubon and Wyncote Audubon will pay the balance. Congratulations Jenn and enjoy Hog Island.
  • 1/5/15 .... Call for Volunteers:
    Do you like birds? Do you want to support bird conservation?

    The Dale Twining Birding Records Project is currently seeking volunteers to enter historical birding observations into an online database. No specific skills are required, but a basic knowledge of birds and computers is helpful. Additional training will be provided. Volunteers can help from home or join our meetings at Briar Bush Nature Center.

    If interested, please contact us

  • 12/7/14 .... Record BIG DAY in Peru
    Former WAS member and youth scholarship winner, Glenn Seeholzer, is now a grad student at L.S.U. He was also a member of the record-breaking BIG DAY team in Peru this year. Check you this U-TUBE video to learn more about Glenn's work at LSU.
  • 12/4/14 .... from Bird Safe Pittsburgh
    Cities pose a huge problem for migrating birds. This report is just in on the results of efforts in Pittsburgh to monitor the number of animals killed from collisions with tall buildings. It is a very sobering report; more so because it represents only those animals found by volunteers and not the many that went un-counted.
  • 12/3/14 .... WAS Volunteers Hard at Work
    Wyncote volunteers are working very hard transcribing over 60 years of birding notes compiled by late WAS member, Dale Twining.

  • 11/14/14...... The November issue of The Audubon Newsletter is now available.
  • 10/1/14.....Good Things From Briarbush
    Bert Filemyr will be giving at talk on Oct. 8th on the ornithological history of the Delaware Valley. For more information on this and other programs .
  • 9/21/14.....From the Morris Arborteum
    A press release for the upcoming Connections lecture with John W. Fitzpatrick, The Louis Agassiz Fuertes Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, presenting "Birds Can Save the World". For information .

    October is also the last month to see the Arboretum’s three season celebration of Our Feathered Friends so be sure to stop by.

  • 9/19/14..... Special Issue on National Audubon's Climate Initiative
  • 9/17/14...... Militia Hill Hawk Watch
    Check out an article about the hawkwatch from The Reporter.
  • 9/16/14..... Audubon Climate Change Intiative
    Please consider making a contribution to National Audubon's efforts on climate change and the impact on birds and habitats. Check this out.
  • 9/9/14 .... Climate Change Initiative
    There was a significant release of an important scientific study about the impact of climate change on birds. Audubon is in this for the "long haul" as climate change is the single most significant threat to birds going forward.

    See Here for more info

  • 9/5/14... Great Read
    The latest issue of BIRDING Magazine has a fascinating article on birding in Peru written by DVOC member Gregg Gorton. Mentioned in the article is former WAS scholarship recipient Glenn Seeholzer. Read it here.
  • 8/25/14... In Memorium: Dale Twining
    It is with great sadness that we announce the death of long-time WAS member, Dale Twining, who died this morning. Dale was a much loved member of Wyncote and he will be missed. Our deepest condolences go out to the Twining and Clymer family.

    Jane Henderson wrote a lovely tribute to Dale for the DVOC Larus several years ago. check it out.

  • 8/24/14.... BRAZIL TOUR 2015
    DVOC member Tony Croasdale is planning a trip to Brazil in August 2015 and is looking for local birders interested in joining him. For itinerary and info .
  • 7/28/14..... Welcome to Audubon Bird Town!
    Bird Town is a working partnership of Audubon and municipalities in Pennsylvania to promote conservation and community-based actions to create a healthy, more sustainable environment for birds and people. Check it out.
    The Minnesota Vikings are planning to build a new stadium. That's fine and good but the design they have chosen will be disastrous for the millions of birds that migrate along the Mississippi Flyway. Despite numerous pleas from environmentalists to reconsider, the Vikings management has chosen to ignore the advice and continue their plans.

    We need to let them know this is a mistake. Please visit Audubon Action and sign their petition

  • 5/1/14 ... Birding Events at the Morris Arboretum
    The Morris Arborteum is hosting a number of events of interest to local birders from outdoor art ("Home TWEET Home") to bird walks. For more information
  • 5/1/14 ...Germantown Academy Senior Creates Bird Guide For Nature Preserve
    For his Academy Scholars project, Germantown Academy (GA) senior Jack Beltz created a comprehensive bird guide to GA’s Preserve, which features six acres of reclaimed wetlands, wet meadows and forests in the Wissahickon Creek floodplain.

    Beltz, a resident of Melrose Park, spent four years investigating how effective the reclamation process has been on GA’s campus, specifically in regard to the local bird population. In the end, his research showed that creation of The Preserve has helped the local ecosystem and boosted the local bird population.

    “I found there were over 50 species of birds that were seen that wouldn’t have been there before the creation of The Preserve,” said Beltz. “There is a lot of new specialized species and a whole diversified ecosystem.”

    Birds observed by the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) Bird-athon include a greater scaup or “bluebill”, barn swallows, tree swallows, least sandpipers, killdeers, and a mallard couple. The WVWA also noted that the greatest diversity of bird species for this event was seen at GA’s Preserve.

    The Preserve, which was dedicated in October, 2011 and is now a certified Audubon Society Bird Habitat, now serves as a home to an entire ecosystem, including ducks, birds, frogs, fish, black snails and small reptiles. In addition to its natural beauty, it is also a valuable asset to GA and serves a multitude of scientific functions.

    Beltz gained an interest in birding in fifth grade after joining the GA’s Lower School Nature Club led by Lower School Science Department Coordinator. “I give a lot of credit to Mr. Newberger in the Lower School,” he said. Since then, he’s been birding on a regular basis with a number of local clubs, including the Wyncote Audubon Society. In his young career, Beltz has seen over 400 species or birds.

  • 3/31/14 ... Spring Clean-up Day at Crosswicks
    We conducted our scheduled workday on Saturday, March 29, 2014. The day was affected by an intermittent morning drizzle that became a steady and heavier rain later in the morning. Nonetheless, we had a few erstwhile volunteers who participated in clearing trails of branches an removing a few larger downed trees that were across the main trails. Jennifer Sherwood, Crosswicks Sanctuary Co-chair, reported that neighbors had helped in advance of the workday to chainsaw some of the trees and to move downed limbs and branches that fell during the winter storms we experienced. Thank you Crosswicks neighbors and workday volunteers.

    On Saturday, our volunteers cut and collected these limbs to form a brush pile near one of the small streams in the sanctuary. Perhaps this brush pile will be used next fall by the Winter wrens that are frequently found in Crosswicks during the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The sanctuary still appeared to be cloaked in winter garb but the Skunk cabbages were in flower in the wet woodland area near the main trail. Spring IS coming! We may schedule some additional workdays through the spring. Keep an eye on the Wyncote Audubon Society website for any announcements or updates. Thanks to Leigh Altadonna for the photos.
    Penn State University Press has graciously offered a new discount for the recently-published Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania. Audubon chapters and bird clubs helped create the Second Atlas with your observations and financial support, and PA Audubon is eager to make it as available as possible.

    The resulting book is beautiful, full of color photos of each species of nesting bird, multiple maps, and habitats. It’s a real treasure trove of information about Pennsylvania's nesting birds; a must-have in the library of anyone interested in birds.

    So, through this summer, the Second Atlas is now available for 25% off the already subsidized price

  • 9/1/13 The National Wildlidfe Federation offers all you need to know to set up a wildlife friendly garden. Check it out here
  • 9/1/13 ..... A Free on-line bird guide is now available from National Audubon at http://birds.audubon.org/birdid
  • 3/13/13 ... Visiting female Rufous Hummingbird
    A lovely western hummingbird has been visiting a feeder in Meadowbrook, PA since October 16th, 2012. Banded and identified by Scott Weidensaul as a female Rufous, she has become a regular member of the Filemyr Family.

    In addition to caring for his guest, Bert has been documenting her ongoing feather molt. The uppertail coverts are pretty much replaced, r1s and r2s still have not appeared yet, and there are changes in the primary and secondary flight feathers.

    Check out the photo documentation that Bert has compiled documenting her visit.

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Stay in touch with your representatives in Congress. Remember, they work for you !

The Facts About Cats

Whatever you think about cats (and I personally love them), they can wreak havoc in the world. For their health and safety and that of the many other natural creatures who share this world will us, read this article just published in the NY Times. . Be a responsible guardian.

Spinning Globe Image

Current Environmental Issues

Translate your love for birds and your concern for the environment into action.

Annual Christmas Bird Count

See 2002 Results
See 2003 Results
See 2004 Results
See 2005 Results
See 2006 Results
See 2009 Results

To see a cumulative report for 1998-2009

Mentor Request

I am writing on behalf of my son, Jack. At 8 ½ years old, Jack is a beginner birder and aspiring ornithologist. Jack studies the birds at our feeders, he has been on a handful of bird walks and bird counts, and almost every book that he reads is about birds. Jack has been interested in birds for about two years and he is very familiar with the common backyard birds. I have learned quite a bit about birds with thanks to Jack’s enthusiasm, but I am still very much an amateur birder. I try to seek out as many opportunities as possible for Jack to learn more about birds, but many events take place during school hours or conflict with our weekend activities. I was wondering if someone might have an interest in mentoring Jack so that he can further develop his birding skills and knowledge. Jack is always ready for a bird walk and he is very eager to learn.

We live in Ambler, Upper Dublin, about 2 miles from Robbins Park and about 10 minutes from the Wissahickon Valley Watershed and Fort Washington State Park (some of our favorite places!) Jack is usually free most afternoons after 3:45pm (except Tuesdays) and on Saturdays.

If anyone would like to mentor Jack, then please let me know. On behalf of Jack and our family, we would be very appreciative.

Thank you so much,
Alison Feldman
(215) 643-2553 – home
(215) 740-2163 – cell

National Audubon Chapter's Newsletter

The Chapter Networker is published quarterly by National Audubon Society as a resource for Chapter leaders on the Audubon website and an electronic copy is sent to all Chapter officers, committee chairs and board members.

Wyncote feels this may be of interest to community/volunteer organizers and educators as well as any WAS member wishing to become more involved with Audubon projects.

To view issues

WAS dedicates park bench to Henry Kurtz at Fort Washington State Park - May 18, 2008

Well, it finally happened, just before the rain started. The Henry Keller Kurtz memorial bench was dedicated. The local Kurtzes all turned up, with all sorts of goodies for lunch. They were setting up the picnic tables under the trees as I arrived. At 11:00 AM we gathered on the Militia Hill hawk watch deck and introduced ourselves. Then we walked down the hill to the bench and stood in a semicircle. We exchanged memories of Henry. Several of us spoke about Henry as an active Wyncote Audubon member, and included stories - many were humorous -- about Henry on field trips and in other activities.

Henry was an active Wyncote board member, and Leigh Altadonna, who was president of the club many years ago, when I joined, spoke about Henry's work as program chairman for the club. It was mentioned that Henry won the Edward Hicks Parry Award for outstanding service to the club. Marylea Klauder, founder of the hawkwatch at Militia Hill in Fort Washington State Park, spoke about Henry's involvement in the hawkwatch's early days. Henry's sons and their wives, as well as the four grandchildren, all contributed anecdotes.

A pair of Baltimore Orioles landed in the tree right over our heads and sang. It was nice. Then we all walked up the hill and gathered around the picnic tables and had lunch. Just as the family was finished cleaning up and loading the cars, it started to pour.

~Jane Henderson

Quick..... ID that cookie


DCNR Secretary Mike DiBerardinis (center) and Environmental Educational Coordinator Mike Jones (right) presented an educational display during the recent dedication of the new Militia Hill Hawk Watch tower at Fort Washington State park. Accepting the display are (left to right) Friends of Fort Washington State Park President Dick Flavell, Hawkwatch Coordinator Marylea Klauder and ParkSuperintendent Josh Bruce. Photo by Cliff Hence

Audubon offers e-mail NEWSWIRE ...

National Audubon through In the News and Newswire can help you stay in touch with issues of interest to Audubon members.

If you wish to subscribe to this service, it is easy to subscribe: simply send an e-mail message to ptravis@audubon.org . In the subject of your e-mail, write SUBSCRIBE NEWSWIRE.

Volunteers Needed

Wyncote Audubon is looking for people to serve on its board. We have several positions that need to be filled for the 2011-2012 season so if you'd like to get more involved, please contact Jane Henderson for information.