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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 5, 2014, 5:00 PM
Mark Thorne
HBC Member and Wildlife Photographer
“Gallery of Berkshire Birds”
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox    01240
 
Monday, October 6, 2014, 7:00 PM
Becky Cushing
Sanctuary Director
Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries
“50 Years of Osprey Monitoring in Southeast Mass”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
Monday, November 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Tom Sayers
Northeast CT Kestrels
“Rebuilding Local Populations of the
American Kestrel One Box at a Time”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
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
 
Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 7:00 PM
Chris Leahy
Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field
Ornithology at Massachusetts Audubon Society
“Birding Mongolia, the Last Wilderness Nation”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
Monday, April 6, 2015, 7:00 PM
René Laubach
Past Sanctuary Director
Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries
"Kilimanjaro--Trekking to the Roof of Africa"
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
Friday, May 1, 2015, 5:00 PM
HBC’s Annual Banquet/Meeting
Neil Hayward
Big Year Birder
“Neil’s Big Year”
Mazzeo's Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA
 
 
 
More Detailed Descriptions…..
 
Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:00 PM
Mark Thorne
HBC Member and Wildlife Photographer
“Gallery of Berkshire Birds”
Potluck Dinner and Monthly Meeting
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox    01240
 
Berkshire Native and Hoffmann Bird Club Member, Mark Thorne, has been studying and photographing birds and wildlife for many years.  He is especially focused on local Bald Eagles, Common Loons, and American Kestrels.  Come and see some of Mark’s spectacular photos, and hear about his methods and studies, peppered with many anecdotes.
 
 
Monday, October 6, 2014, 7:00 PM
Becky Cushing
Sanctuary Director
Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries
“50 Years of Osprey Monitoring in Southeast Mass”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
Becky Cushing
Growing up in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Becky’s interest in nature developed during summers spent on the coast with her grandparents, watching shorebirds and paddling through New England salt marshes. After graduating from Middlebury College she spent five years working at Mass Audubon’s Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Dartmouth and Westport as the Volunteer Coordinator and Osprey Project Manager. Her osprey work included monitoring and maintaining nearly 100 osprey platforms in the Westport River, Allens Pond and other locations in the region, banding hundreds of juvenile osprey, and collaborating on a project to install satellite transmitters on male ospreys to learn about their migration and fishing patterns.
 
In 2011 she returned to Vermont to complete a master’s in the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont, returning to Westport in June to continue banding juvenile ospreys. Most recently she co-authored a paper about the role of ospreys in environmental education for the Journal of Raptor Research.
 
Becky's talk entitled "Following the Osprey: 50 years of monitoring in Westport River and Allens Pond" will describe the osprey comeback story through the lens of a high density, well-studied osprey colony in Westport, Massachusetts. She'll share osprey photos and stories from her work, including the stories of individual male osprey that she followed remotely to Central and South America using satellite transmitter technology.
 
 
Monday, November 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Tom Sayers
Northeast CT Kestrels
“Rebuilding Local Populations of the
American Kestrel One Box at a Time”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
Rebuilding Local Populations of the American Kestrel
One Box at a Time
 
The American Kestrel is our smallest member of the falcon family and has been on the threatened list of Connecticut species for many years now. Tom Sayers of Tolland, CT began a nestbox project in north central Connecticut five years ago to help rebuild their local populations.
 
Come join us as Tom takes us from the early struggling years of his project to his current status as one of the most innovative, research-based programs in the eastern United States. Tom’s audiovisual presentation, including many photographs and video clips of nestlings, will cover the possible reasons for the American Kestrel’s decline, the specific habitat requirements for this species and the impact of the European starling on American kestrel breeding success. Tom will also discuss his efforts involving the color banding of nestlings and the use of radio telemetry as he tries to unravel the complex population dynamics of the birds in his study area.
 
Tom Sayers:  I was born and raised in South Windsor, CT and, from the age of 8 years old, have always spent every bit of my spare time wandering the fields and woods exploring whatever nature has to offer.  After high school, I attended the University of Connecticut to pursue a degree in Wildlife Management. In my junior I was dissuaded (by my advisor no less) from continuing my studies in that area because there simply were very, very few job opportunities in the field at the time. I went on to receive my Master’s Degree in educational psychology and spent 35 years in the Tolland Public School system as a special education teacher. I retired in 2010.
 
All throughout my teaching career I never lost my love for the outdoors.  In 2009 I began exploring ways to help the struggling American Kestrel. In the last 30 years kestrels have experienced a dramatic decrease in numbers in the Eastern U.S..  My reading on that topic lead me to articles which described the success some were having with man-made American Kestrel nestboxes. What began as a curiosity on my part in 2009 has blossomed into a very extensive nestbox project in central Connecticut which now involves over 70 nestboxes.  As my program has evolved, I have become fascinated with the science behind the population dynamics of the American kestrel. What began as simply a program of putting up nestboxes for birds and hoping for the best has developed into extensive field research on the American Kestrel.  I now employ color banding, as well as federal banding, radio telemetry, and most recently, the use of geolocators as a means of better understanding the population dynamics, degree of site fidelity, post fledging movements, etc. of the birds in my study area. The more we learn, the more we can help these birds. Some of my work can be viewed at www.nectkestrels.com 
 
 
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
 
 
Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 7:00 PM
Chris Leahy
Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field
Ornithology at Massachusetts Audubon Society
“Birding Mongolia, the Last Wilderness Nation”
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
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.
 
 
Monday, April 6, 2015, 7:00 PM
René Laubach
Past Sanctuary Director
Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries
"Kilimanjaro--Trekking to the Roof of Africa"
Berkshire Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201
 
René Laubach was director of Mass Audubon's Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries from 1985 to 2014. He’s made three trips to Tanzania. While working for Mass Audubon he led or co-led 75 natural history tours. He’s the author or co-author of seven books including AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Berkshires (2nd edition published in March 2015).
 
In August of 2014, René and his wife Christyna journeyed to Tanzania, East Africa, to join a group on a nine-day trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain on earth. The trek traversed five ecological zones, from cultivated lands and rain forest to arctic. Did they reach the 19,341 ft. high summit? You'll have to attend the program to find out!
 
 
Friday, May 1, 2015, 5:00 PM
HBC’s Annual Banquet/Meeting
Neil Hayward
Big Year Birder
“Neil’s Big Year”
Mazzeo's Ristorante
1015 South Street, Pittsfield, MA
 
Listen to Neil's fascinating story of visiting 28 States and 7 Provinces, flying 193,758 miles on 177 flights through 56 airports, driving 51,758 miles, and spending 147 hours (15 days) at sea, and having 195 nights away from home (53% of the year) to get
747 ABA AREA SPECIES + 3 provisionals.
http://accidentalbigyear2013.blogspot.com/
 
 
Saturday, June 6, 2015
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
 
 


                       

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