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~ HOFFMANN BIRD CLUB ~

 

 


 

 

 

   

   

Monthly Meetings are held at Berkshire Life Insurance, 700 South St., Pittsfield, MA or Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, 427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox, MA.. They are free and open to everyone interested in birds. Come enjoy the scheduled program and light refreshments. Bring a friend.

Summary of Meetings Details below

 



Friday, September 6, 2013, 5:00 PM
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Don Calloway – HBC Member
“Bhutan: Birding and Conservation in the Land of the Thunder Dragon”
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox 01240

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 7:00 PM
Kimberly A. Peters, PhD
Chief Scientist/Director of Bird Conservation at Mass Audubon
“Western Mass Grassland Birds” & “State of the Birds 2013”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 7:00 PM
Andrew Vitz, Ph.D.
State Ornithologist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
“Bird Conservation in the Commonwealth”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Monday, December 2, 2013, 7:00 PM
“HBC Member’s Night”
Bring 10 slides or digital images and holiday sweets
to share and sign up for the Christmas Count!
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Due to unpredictable weather conditions, monthly meetings are not scheduled in January or February. Field trips continue.

Monday, March 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
“Memories of Alaska”
HBC Members Share Their Trips to Alaska
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:00 PM
Rosalind Renfrew, PhD
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
“Studying And Conserving Birds That Do Not Stay Put: The Case Of The Bobolink”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Saturday, May 3, 2014, 5:00 PM
Banquet/Annual Meeting
Shaun Carey
Migration Productions
 “Epic Journeys” -- A Documentary by Migration Productions
Mazzeo's Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA

Friday, June 6, 2014, 5:00 PM
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 West Mountain Rd., Lenox
5:00 PM: Informal Birding
6:00 PM Potluck Dinner
7:00 PM Meeting



PROGRAM DESCRIPTION DETAILS:

Friday, September 6, 2013
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Don Calloway – HBC Member
“Bhutan: Birding and Conservation in the Land of the Thunder Dragon”
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox 01240

5:00 PM: Informal Birding
6:00 PM Potluck Dinner
7:00 PM Meeting/Program

Program Description:
1.  A brief introduction to where Bhutan is geographically located and a few brief comments on their culture, environment and ecosystems.  Don will also briefly discuss the logistics, costs and opportunities for Birding in Bhutan.
2.  An overview of about 60 diverse bird species, including photos, brief comments on natural history and of course photos of the two species Don most wanted to see but didn't.
3.  A brief discussion of Bhutan's commitment to conservation and the difficulties they face in achieving that goal.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Kimberly A. Peters, PhD
Chief Scientist/Director of Bird Conservation at Mass Audubon
“Western Mass Grassland Birds” & “State of the Birds 2013”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Kimberly A. Peters, PhD has over 18 years of experience working with terrestrial and coastal birds. As the Chief Scientist/Director of Bird Conservation at Mass Audubon, she is responsible for developing a Bird Conservation Strategy to address the needs of threatened and declining bird species through research programs, partnerships, responsible stewardship, and public outreach. Prior to joining Mass Audubon in October 2011, Kim worked for New Jersey Audubon Society as Senior Scientist/Director of Research and Monitoring from 2005-2011. At NJAS she was heavily involved with the organization’s well-known Delaware Bay and South America shorebird banding projects, which were aimed at documenting changes in shorebird stopover and overwintering ecology. She oversaw their airfield research program, which examined avian response to grassland management on commercial and military airports across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. She also advised and assisted with the Atlantic City Wind project, for which she was responsible for assessing avian mortality caused by wind turbines, and provided statistical and design support for a variety of other programs within the organization.
http://www.massaudubon.org/Birds_and_Birding/staff.php

Program Description:
According to Mass Audubon’s recent State of the Birds assessments and Breeding Bird Atlas, the grassland breeding birds of Massachusetts are in steep decline. Kim Peters, Mass Audubon’s Chief Scientist, will discuss the reasons behind these declines, pressures the birds continue to face, and the importance of intensively managed grasslands to maintaining high-priority species in the Northeast. Particular attention will be given to the role of commercial and military airfields, which frequently support breeding populations of regionally important grassland birds but can also attract species that are potentially hazardous to aircraft operations.  Based on work conducted by NJ Audubon and Mass Audubon, Dr. Peters will discuss these relationships, offer potential ‘win-win’ solutions, and explore what these findings mean in the context of current regulatory conditions at Westover Air Reserve Base.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Andrew Vitz, Ph.D.
State Ornithologist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
“Bird Conservation in the Commonwealth”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Andrew Vitz, Ph.D., received a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University where he studied the effects of forest management on migratory songbirds.  Following graduate school, he was an avian ecologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pennsylvania, where, among other things, he directed a large-scale bird banding operation.  Andrew is currently the State Ornithologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife.  

Program Description:
Andrew will be discussing some of the major avian issues currently being addressed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The emphasis will be on current and future projects including those on grassland birds, shrubland birds, mature-forest birds, American Kestrels, Bald Eagles, and Peregrine Falcons. 



Monday, April 7, 2014
Rosalind Renfrew, PhD
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
“Studying And Conserving Birds That Do Not Stay Put: The Case Of The Bobolink”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Rosalind Renfrew, PhD, obtained a BS in Wildlife Biology at the University of Vermont, and an MS and PhD in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She was thrilled to return to Vermont in 2002 to direct the Breeding Bird Atlas and initiate research on the wintering ecology of Bobolinks. During the last 12 years she has combined her passion for migratory grassland birds and her interest in agricultural issues both on North American breeding grounds and on South American wintering grounds. She is leading efforts to achieve on-the-ground local grassland bird conservation, while bringing together biologists from Canada to Argentina to conserve migratory species like the Bobolink throughout their entire life cycle.
Rosalind was thrilled to return to Vermont in 2002 to direct the Breeding Bird Atlas and initiate research on the wintering ecology of Bobolinks. Long-distance migrants provide opportunities to connect cultures, economies, and perceptions; a critical component to tackling environmental challenges that threaten birds and humans alike.
Rosalind enjoys outdoor activities whenever she gets the chance, although her adventurous side has been curtailed lately while she raises her 4-year-old, Jackson. She is currently working on the atlas publication and website, and continues her Bobolink research on this side of the hemisphere.

Current Projects:
Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas 
Bobolink Wintering Ecology (try pronouncing “Dolichonyx oryzivorus!”)

[see: http://www.vtecostudies.org/biosstaff/rrbio.html for an extensive list of her publications]

Program Description:
The effervescent song of the Bobolink fills our hayfields during the summer, but where are they the rest of the year, and why should we care?  Dr. Rosalind Renfrew will take you along on the journey to reveal the complete life of "our" migratory Bobolinks and share her latest discoveries. In the face of widespread population declines of most grassland bird species, Rosalind will discuss her research on Bobolinks in the context of how biologists are now attempting to address threats to migratory species at a hemispheric scale.  Long-distance migrants provide opportunities to connect cultures, economies, and perceptions; a critical component to tackling environmental challenges that threaten birds and humans alike.  Rosalind will also answer questions about the recent Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas II, of which she was the principal coordinator.



Saturday, May 3, 2014
Banquet/Annual Meeting
Shaun Carey
Migration Productions
 “Epic Journeys” -- A Documentary by Migration Productions
Mazzeo's Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA

5:00 PM: Cocktail Hour
6:00 PM: Dinner
7:00 PM: Annual Meeting/Program


Shawn Carey was originally from Pennsylvania.  Shawn moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 and has been photographing birds and other wildlife for about 20 years. He’s been teaching wildlife photography for Mass Audubon for over 12 years. He’s on the board of directors for Eastern Mass HawkWatch where he serves as their Vice President. He’s also on the advisory board for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center. He is past board member for the Brookline Bird Club and past council member for the Nuttall Ornithological Club. Shawn co-founded Migration Productions in 1996 with Jim Grady and the two have produced all its productions. Shawn also provides almost all digital photography used in the productions. “I LOVE the natural world; if it walks, crawls, flies, swims or slithers…I’ll photograph it!”
[see: http://www.migrationproductions.com/ ]

Program Description:
“Epic Journeys” is a documentary by Shawn Carey and Jim Grady.
Each year millions of shorebirds make an amazing round-trip journey between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. Migration Productions’ newest video, “Epic Journeys”, looks at three shorebird species—Red Knot, Piping Plover and Semipalmated Sandpiper—and the challenges these species face during each of their monumental annual treks.
In spring Red Knots travel from south to north, stopping and concentrating by the thousands in the Delaware Bay area in New Jersey where they fuel up on Horseshoe Crab eggs in order to complete their long final flight to the Arctic. The film examines how the decline in Horseshoe Crab populations has impacted the very survival of this species.
The cute and perky Piping Plover is a species that breeds on beaches in coastal communities in Massachusetts and is currently surviving despite heavy skunk and fox predation and invasions by beach buggies in the 1980′s to the point where their breeding numbers fell to record low numbers. “Epic Journeys” shows how improved beach management programs in Massachusetts since 1992 have aided the plover’s numbers to increase and come back in the last 20 years.
Finally “Epic Jouneys” features Semipalmated Sandpipers that gather in massive and dramatic numbers in New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy in Canada before taking wing and flying 3000 thousand miles southward to South America.

“Epic Journeys is a 30-minute look into the amazing migration and challenges undertaken by three iconic shorebird species – Red Knot, Piping Plover and Semipalmated Sandpiper. The amazing footage and corresponding interviews pertaining to the lives of these species ultimately underscore the delicate nature of the migratory or nesting needs of practically all shorebird species. Every birder, conservationist, and wildlife manager can profitably view and take to heart the messages contained in Epic Journeys.”         --Paul J. Baicich and Wayne R. Petersen, co-editors, The Birding Community E-bulletin


 


                       

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