Next 3RBC Membership Meeting

Noah Strycker
Noah Strycker in Antarctica
(photo by Noah Strycker)

Birding Without Borders: An Epic World Big Year

In 2015, bird nerd Noah Strycker of Oregon became the first human to see more than half of the planet's bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. Noah will tell us about his amazing global adventures at the Three Rivers Birding Club meeting on Wednesday, October 4, 2017.

Noah set a world Big Year record in 2015, and his book about the experience, Birding Without Borders, will be released in October 2017. Anything could have happened on his odyssey, and a lot did. He was scourged by blood-sucking leeches, suffered fevers and sleep deprivation, survived airline snafus and car breakdowns, mudslides and torrential floods, skirted war zones, and had the time of his life!

Birding on seven continents and carrying only a pack on his back, Noah enlisted the enthusiastic support of local birders to tick more than 6,000 species, including Adelie Penguins in Antarctica, a Harpy Eagle in Brazil, a Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Thailand, and a Green-breasted Pitta in Uganda. He shared the adventure in real time on his daily blog Birding Without Borders, and now he reveals the inside story. This humorous and inspiring presentation about his epic World Big Year will leave you with a new appreciation for the birds and birders of the world.

Noah, age 31, is Associate Editor of Birding magazine, the author of two well-regarded books about birds, and a regular contributor of photography and articles to all major bird magazines as well as other media. Strycker has studied birds on six continents with field seasons in Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Australia, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the Farallon Islands. He also works as a naturalist guide on expedition cruises to Antarctica and Norway's Svalbard archipelago, literally spreading the inspiration of birds from pole to pole.

His first book, Among Penguins, chronicles a field season working with Adelie Penguins in Antarctica (Oregon State University Press, 2011) and his second, The Thing with Feathers, celebrates the fascinating behaviors of birds and human parallels (Riverhead Books, 2014). Noah is also a competitive tennis player, has run five marathons, and hiked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. He is based in Oregon, where his backyard has hosted more than 100 species of birds. Visit his website Noah Strycker.

The meeting will be held on October 4, 2017 at the Phipps Garden Center, 1059 Shady Avenue in Shadyside. Doors open at 6:30 PM for socializing, a business meeting begins at 7:30, and the program starts at 8:00. The usual fine snacks will be available.

Future Programs:

  • December 6 — Annual Slide-Slide featuring photos taken by our members - always a treat!!
  • February 7 — David Yeany, Conservation Planning Specialist at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • April 4 — Tom Stephenson, one of the authors of The Warbler Guide

What's New? (8/21/2017)

   The July/August 2017 issue of The Peregrine is now available. Also, see a gallery of Wayne Laubscher's spectacular winter birds.

   Please read the Membership Meeting Minutes from August 2, 2017.

   3RBC Outings for September, October, and November 2017 have been posted.

   Powdermill featured in Birding magazine
Paul Hess, our editor of The Peregrine, also writes a column - "News and Notes" - for the American Birding Association's Birding magazine. See his June 2017 column which includes a look at the work done at Powdermill Nature Reserve in Westmoreland County. The column also covers eggs of the Common Murre and the Black Rail. The piece on Powdermill is the third part of Paul’s column.

   Check out Steve Gosser’s beautiful array of spring warblers on his blog at The Warblers!! Spring 2017.

PSO Pileated

   PSO Annual Meeting Will Feature Ted Floyd
For a tremendous birding and educational experience, go to the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology’s annual meeting September 15-17 at Carlisle, Cumberland County.
A long list of outings include the Blue and Kittatinny Ridges in the Michaux and Tuscarora State Forests, the Audubon Hawk Watch at Waggoner’s Gap during the peak of Broad-winged Hawk migration, a mix of history and birds at the Gettysburg battlefields, and many other hot spots in this diverse ridge-and-valley region.
The annual banquet program this year will feature Pittsburgh native Ted Floyd, now living in Colorado, who is editor of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Birding magazine. Ted’s presentation is titled “Birding in the 21st Century.” He will explain the many ways birding has changed in the past decade.
Ted has a unique approach to the topic: All of his photos on the screen will be created on the day of his program − something that would have been impossible back in the days of 35mm slide presentations. “We will see how eBird, birding apps, Xeno-Canto, smartphones, digital cameras, inexpensive recorders, social media, etc. have affected every aspect of birding. Such technical advances during the past decade have made birding far different from what we engaged in during the past century,” Ted says.
The PSO newsletter has full information about the meeting, field trips, and how to register. Beginning birders will be welcomed warmly. Experienced members will pass along their knowledge.

   Bird Conservation Groups Have Won a Fight Against a Great Lakes Wind Project
Here is some good environmental news for a change! The American Bird Conservancy and Black Swamp Bird Observatory of the Magee Marsh area have successfully halted a planned wind turbine project in a major bird migration corridor close to the shores of Lake Erie. See the complete story here Great Lakes Success Story.

   Steel Valley Trail Council's recent Raptor Row Ride organized by Roy Bires with help from other 3RBC members was a great success. See Mary Ann Thomas's article and a video on the ride at Raptor Row Ride.

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   Be sure to visit our club's Facebook page for up-to-date news on happenings with the club, member photos, or links to other birding sites.

   Thanks to Jack Solomon for compiling a list of all the 3RBC Speakers from 2001 to December 2017.

   A Birding Interview with the Bobs: Robert C. Leberman and Robert S. Mulvihill

   Hays Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring! Roy Bires has volunteered to coordinate the monitoring of the Hays Bald Eagle nest site. To help, contact Roy at His phone numbers are 412.241.5014 (home) and 412.216.7130 (cell).

Items to Note!

Subscribe to Bird Watcher's Digest — Not a subscriber to Bird Watcher's Digest? Why not subscribe and the club will receive 50% of the subscription fee.

Pennsylvania Birds — See what you've been missing! The Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology (PSO) publishes previews of the current issue of Pennsylvania Birds online, which consist of the cover, table of contents, and a featured article. Anyone who does not subscribe or perhaps does not even know about PSO can now actually see a little bit of what they've been missing, and hopefully be encouraged to join PSO!

Let's Have a Young Birders Club in Pittsburgh!

On Jan. 8, 2017, at 1:30 pm, a meeting was held at the Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd, 15217, in Squirrel Hill to see who was interested.  FEC and the  Pgh. Parks Conservancy graciously provided Jack Solomon a room to hold this meeting.  

The most important purpose in setting up this meeting was to find out if there was anyone around who would step up and make this club happen. This effort is not yet sponsored by 3RBC or any other organization, but it's hoped that will happen. 

See more on the results of this meeting in the February 1, 2017 meeting minutes and page 12 of the March/April edition of The Peregrine.

The Ohio Young Birders Club is held up by National Audubon as a leading example of a club for young birders. Can we get anything like it in Pittsburgh?

Here's some valuable information about how to go about forming a young birders club Young Birders Club Toolkit (PDF).

2016 was another busy year for the Three Rivers Birding Club! Mike Fialkovich has compiled a summary of the club's 2016 activities and has also compiled the 2016 Birds Reported in Allegheny County summary.

Image Gallery

Mission of 3RBC

To gather in friendship, to enjoy the wonders of nature and to share our passion for birds!

© Photo Credits:
Sherron Lynch, Brian Shema, Chuck Tague