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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.

 


HOFFMANN BIRD CLUB’S PROGRAM OF MEETINGS AND PROGRAMS
FOR THE 2015 – 2016 SEASON

Our Birding Season of Field Trips and Meetings runs from September to August.  Our new schedule will be posted in August!

[more detailed descriptions below…]

Friday, September 4, 2015, 5:00 PM
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Craig Braack
"The Warblers of Magee Marsh"

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox    01240

Monday, October 5, 2015, 7:00 PM
Scott Surner
President of the Hampshire Bird Club
“The Chicken Run”

Going for Colorado’s Grouse Grand Slam!
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Monday, November 2, 2015, 7:00 PM
Strickland Wheelock & Henry Mauer
“Birding Churchill & Southern Manitoba”

Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Monday, December 7, 2015, 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

Monday, March 7, 2016, 7:00 PM
Dr. Daniel Shustack, PhD
Mass College of Liberal Arts
“Feathers”

Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Monday, April 4, 2016, 7:00 PM  -  Rescheduled to Monday April 18 7 pm due to snowstorm!
Morgan Tingley
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
at the University of Connecticut

“Changing New England Forests and the Birds Within Them”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Saturday, May 7, 2016, 5:00 PM
HBC’s Annual Banquet/Meeting
Chris Leahy
Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field
Ornithology at Massachusetts Audubon Society
“Birding Mongolia, the Last Wilderness Nation”

Mazzeo's Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA

Friday 6/10
Picnic & Birding at Pleasant Valley
427 West Mountain Road, Lenox
5:00 PM Birding-6:00 PM Picnic

Main courses (including a vegan choice) and beverages are provided. Bring a side dish or
dessert to share. Please bring your own place setting to help lighten the impact on the Sanctuary.



More Detailed Descriptions…..

Friday, September 4, 2015, 5:00 PM
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Craig Braack
"The Warblers of Magee Marsh"

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox    01240
5:00 PM: Informal Birding
6:00 PM Potluck Dinner
7:00 PM Meeting

In northwest Ohio on the south shore of Lake Erie is Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.  The 30 or so miles shoreline surrounding the refuge is prime viewing territory for up to 50 different species of migrating warblers, vireos, tanagers and other passerines.  (In the early 1800s this area was called The Great Black Swamp which caused the wagon-trains of west coast bound settlers to divert many miles south.)  As part of the Ohio River major migration flyway, one particular part of the refuge serves as a "funnel" for the birds, a 3/4 mile long boardwalk called Magee Marsh. The marsh was well known to serious birders and bird photographers for many years and, of course, the photographers tried to keep a secret.  This all drastically changed just over 6 years ago when members of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory started a birding festival called, and aptly so, "The Biggest Week in American Birding." In 2014, staff of Ottawa NWR conducted a traffic count and stated over 65,000 people visited Magee Marsh in May. 

The program will cover many "do's and don't’s" of the whole experience such as where to stay, eat, what best to wear, when to visit in late April and May, what's in my camera bag,  (I'm a Canon shooter but Nikon users are welcome to attend!) etc., etc...

Craig Braack is active in two camera clubs, and also has been active in the Allegany County Bird Club for many years and President for 10 years, He’s travelled to all 50 states, 6 provinces, 35 National Parks, Iceland and two trips to Costa Rica.  His North American bird life list stands at 451.


Monday, October 5 or 6, 2015, 7:00 PM
Scott Surner
President of the Hampshire Bird Club
“The Chicken Run”

Going for Colorado’s Grouse Grand Slam!
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

April is the month to look for the many species of “Chickens” that call Colorado home. This trip covered 2,100 miles in about 9 days, and we hit a variety of habitats in our quest for Colorado’s Chickens.


Monday, November 2, 2015, 7:00 PM
Strickland Wheelock & Henry Mauer
“Birding Churchill & Southern Manitoba”

Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Manitoba is one of the North America's finest birding areas being an excellent place to find some of the "most-wanted " species. Drumlin Farms trip June 6th - June 14th focused on explored several of Manitoba's Ecozones that were the breeding sites of many of these sought after rarities. These Ecozones ranged from the Hudson Bay [Churchill] to the Boreal forest to the east of Winnipeg to the Prairies in the SW corner of Manitoba.

Our program will take you to each Ecozone as our trip unfolded. Between the excellent bird photographs [many in breeding plumages] and habitat shots by Henry Mauer at each site, our description of the bird species we encountered in these various habitats, I hope that you will experience the same excitement that we all did on this trip. Our trip ended with many birding highlights between the 220 species seen that included 26 species of shorebirds, Great Gray Owls, Common Crane, Sprague's Pipit, 3 species of Longspurs, Am. Three-toed Woodpecker, Ct Warbler, LeConte's & Harris's Sparrows, etc.

Strickland Wheelock fell in love with birds around when he was 5 years old, and has never lost the passion to observe and share with others his many years of experience. Strickland leads birding trips throughout NA including many local trips in NE, has a Master Banding Permit for passerines and raptors with Saw-whet Owls being the main focus in the fall.  When not birding, Strickland runs a woolen manufacturing company seven days per week, and actively plays competitive tennis.  Strickland is married, has 6 children, and has 12 grandchildren to love, and lives in Uxbridge MA.
 
Henry Mauer has traveled NA with his wife Deb birding and photographing birds. Henry and Deb this year are traveling NA with the goal of seeing over 600 species each which will
happen!!   When not traveling, they run the “Young Birder's Club” at Drumlin Farm which has grown under their leadership. These children compete in the Superbowl of Birding and Birdathon with great results.  Henry & Deb live in Salisbury MA when not traveling.


Monday, December 1, 2014, 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


Monday, March 7, 2016, 7:00 PM
Dr. Daniel Shustack, PhD
Environmental Studies Faculty
Mass College of Liberal Arts
"The Secondary Market for Bird Feathers:
What Happens When Birds Don’t Want Them Anymore?"

Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201


"The Secondary Market for Bird Feathers:
What Happens When Birds Don’t Want Them Anymore?"

Every year billions of birds drop and replace trillions of feathers.  Yet these molted feathers do not build up in the environment.  This is a peculiar observation when we consider that feathers are composed primarily of keratin, a tough and decay-resistant protein.  Although useless to many organisms, discarded or molted feathers are useful to certain other species.  For example, some rodents and birds will commonly use feathers in their nests and rodents are known to gnaw on feathers.  Several species of insects, fungi and bacteria consume primarily feathers as a food source.  Sometimes feather-using species do not even wait for the bird to drop the feather before they start to consume it.  Humans also have many uses for feathers including as tokens, adornments, sources of artistic inspiration, insulation, writing instruments, and in industrial applications. This talk will consider the many uses of feathers beyond their functions as bird plumages.

About Dan:

Education:
Ph.D. in Natural Resources, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2008

M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 2004

B.S. in Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 2000

Courses Taught:
Ornithology, Environmental Resources: Science and Management, Introduction to Environmental Systems, The Environment of South Florida, Green Living Seminar: Issues and Approaches to Avian Conservation

Many publications, and for more information see:
http://www.mcla.edu/Academics/undergraduate/environmentalstudies/faculty/danielshustack/index 



Monday, April 4, 2016, 7:00 PM  -  Rescheduled to Monday April 18 7 pm due to snowstorm!
Morgan Tingley
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut
“The Past, Present, and Future of America’s Forest Birds”

Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

The Past, Present, and Future of America’s Forest Birds

The Carolina Parakeet, the Heath Hen, the Passenger Pigeon – when we contemplate how our country’s bird life has changed, we often focus on the handful of species we have lost entirely. But our environment, and particularly our native forests, have been changing for centuries, and so too have the birds we love. Whether deforestation, climate change, or the recent plague of invasive insect pests, the rate of change in our forest communities is rapidly increasing.

Join Ornithologist and Conservation Biologist, Dr. Morgan Tingley, as we look at the past, present, and future of America’s forest bird communities. Taking us on a journey over centuries, we will walk in the footsteps of past explorers and ornithologists, comparing their world to the one we see today. From the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada, to the cove forests of the Smoky Mountains, to the deep woods of New England, we will tour a changing landscape and learn about what changes may yet be in store.

Dr. Morgan Tingley is an Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. He holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford (UK) Universities, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an elective member of the American Ornithological Union and currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Cooper Ornithological Society. More information can be found at his website: http://www.morgantingley.com/


Saturday, May 7, 2016, 5:00 PM
HBC’s Annual Banquet/Meeting
Chris Leahy
Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field
Ornithology at Massachusetts Audubon Society
“Birding Mongolia, the Last Wilderness Nation”

Mazzeo's Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA

Birding Mongolia, the Last Wilderness Nation

Mongolia today is one of the least despoiled countries on the planet, extraordinarily rich in spectacular, development-free landscapes, extensive wildlife habitat and healthy populations of native plants and animals, including Snow Leopards and over a million Mongolian Gazelles in the largest unfenced grassland in the world. It is also extraordinarily rich in birdlife including some of Central Asia’s most localized species such as Altai Snowcock, Black-billed Capercaillie, McQueen’s Bustard, Oriental Plover, Relict Gull, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Mongolian Lark, Koslov’s Accentor, Mongolian Ground Jay, Pere David’s Snowfinch, Saxaul Sparrow, and Mongolian (Trumpeter) Finch. As well as many spectacular Eurasian specialties such as, Dalmation Pelican, Black Stork, White-tailed Eagle (and many other raptors), up to six species of cranes, Pallas’s Gull, Asiatic Dowitcher, and a host of Old World warbler, chats and buntings.

Chris Leahy holds the Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at the Massachusetts Audubon Society and  has been exploring Mongolia and leading birding/natural history tours there  since 1982. He is currently working on Mongolia’s first comprehensive guide to the country’s birds with a Mongolian co-author. His talk will focus on the birds of Mongolia’s vast deserts, steppes, forests, and wetlands as well as the country’s unique nomadic culture and the conservation challenges it currently faces.

Christopher Leahy holds the Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He has been a professional conservationist for more than thirty-five years, most recently as the Director of Massachusetts Audubon’s Center for Biological Conservation.

His interests in natural history are comprehensive and he is a recognized authority on birds and insects. His natural history books owe their popularity to his ability to describe the living world with clarity and wit. His published works include The Birdwatcher’s Companion  (first published by Hill & Wang, 1982 and reissued in a comprehensively revised edition by Princeton University Press in 2004), The First Guide to Insects (Houghton-Mifflin, 1987), Introduction to New England Birds (Massachusetts Audubon, 1990), An Introduction to Massachusetts Insects (1983, Massachusetts Audubon), and The Nature of Massachusetts (Addison-Wesley, 1996).  He is the editor of a series of authoritative books on the flora and fauna of New England and a principal author of State of the Birds: Documenting Changes in Massachusetts Birdlife (Mass Audubon, 2011).

In addition, Chris has designed and led birding/natural history tours to over 75 countries on all of the continents and is especially fascinated with the world’s great remaining wilderness areas and biodiversity hot spots such as Bhutan, Gabon, Madagascar and Mongolia. He grew up in Marblehead and has lived in Gloucester with his family since the 1970’s.



Fri 6/10 Picnic & Birding at Pleasant Valley
427 West Mountain Road, Lenox
5:00 PM Birding-6:00 PM Picnic
Main courses (including a vegan choice) and beverages are provided. Bring a side dish or
dessert to share. Please bring your own place setting to help lighten the impact on the Sanctuary.






                       

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