Our Next Three Rivers Meeting

Luke DeGroote
Luke DeGroote

LEARN HOW WE CAN HELP
TO SAVE OUR AREA'S BIRDS
AT OUR AUGUST 4 MEETING

Many of our members may not know about a remarkable collaborative effort to preserve bird diversity in the Pittsburgh region. We will hear about the project, which includes many volunteer participants, at 3RBC's online meeting on Wednesday, August 4.

Luke DeGroote, who oversees bird studies at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Powdermill Avian Research Center in the Ligonier Valley, will tell us about the effort in his program titled "The Allegheny Bird Conservation Alliance: Making Pittsburgh a More Livable City for Birds."

He'll explain how Powdermill Nature Reserve teams up with other conservation organizations in our region to help declining bird populations through research, restoration, and education. This effort includes community involvement to mitigate bird window collisions, restore native plants, and reduce pesticide use.

Luke received his Master of Science degree in Natural Resources from the Ohio State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies songbird migration, avian disease, breeding phenology, and avian perception of glass. Luke's aim is to promote avian conservation through research, partnerships, and outreach.

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This will be a Zoom meeting online starting at 7:00 PM ET, giving you access time to log on. The business meeting will begin at 7:30 PM, and Mark's presentation will start at approximately 8:00 PM, but tune in early since it may begin before 8:00. Details on how to join the event, including Zoom passwords and other instructions, will be supplied a few days before the meeting.

FUTURE PRORGRAMS:

  • October 6, 2021: Jean Iron - "The Nature of Arctic Birds"
  • December 1, 2021: Our Annual Slide-Slam

Last Updated on 7/18/2021

Items of Interest


   VIEW THE JULY/AUGUST EDITION OF OUR NEWSLETTER -- THE PEREGRINE Peregrine Falcon

The JULY/AUGUST Edition of The Peregrine is avaiable here: July/August 2021. See also Tom Moeller's photo gallery to accompany his "Observations" column: Pet Robins.



   BOTH THE WRITTEN MINUTES AND THE VIDEO RECORDING OF OUR JUNE 2, 2021 MEETING ARE AVAILABLE

Read the Meeting Minutes for our June 2, 2021 gathering featuring Mark Bonta's presentation "Fire Hawks: Arsonists or Land Managers?" here: Firehawks.
The video for this meeting is on our Zoom Meetings page.

   MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS AFFECTS BIRDS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA Sick House Sparrow

Audubon partners with local conservation agencies to identify the disease and stop the spread.

For the past several weeks, Audubon and our wildlife partners have been fielding troubling reports of sick and dying birds across the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia areas. To date, there are also reports of sick birds in Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. While we aren't yet certain of the potential cause of these reports, we wanted to share details on what is known at this point based on information provided by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center.

Currently, symptoms can include eye swelling, closed, weeping, or crusted eyes, lethargy, eye lesions and neurological signs. Until we learn more about the cause of the sickness and death, we suggest taking preventative measures to reduce the possibility of the disease spreading among birds congregating around bird feeders. These steps, which are also suggested by the National Wildlife Health Center, include:

    •  Take down birdfeeders until more is known about the cause and spread of the disease
    •  Clean birdfeeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution
    •  Avoid handling sick birds, but if necessary, wear disposable gloves
    •  Keep pets away from birds (good advice under any circumstances)

Won't it cause additional harm to remove birdfeeders that are familiar food sources for backyard birds?

Many of you may have concerns about ensuring birds have access to familiar food sources, including birdfeeders. We understand and want to provide a bit of reassurance that the impacts of these temporary precautions will have minimal impacts on the birds you love. Fortunately, it's the summer breeding season and most bird species are relying on caterpillars and other insects to feed their young, natural food sources that are readily available in nature.

Additionally, birds are resilient and crafty creatures who will adapt to changes in food supplies with relative ease, finding new opportunities when familiar options are no longer available. We hope this issue is identified and resolved as soon as possible and you can resume the use of feeders. In the meantime, for the safety of the birds, we encourage everyone to work together and err on the side of caution.

If you find sick or dead birds, we encourage you to submit a report to your state or District wildlife conservation agency. Please find contact information for each state agency below and use the links to submit reports or access more localized updates:


If you are collecting dead birds, please use disposable gloves and place them in a sealed plastic bag after use. If you are disposing of a dead bird, follow the same precautions when placing in your household trash receptacle. For more information, please refer to the interagency statement from the U.S. Geological Survey and partners investigating the bird mortality event.


Other Important Items


WE ACCOMPLISHED SOME THINGS IN 2020 IN SPITE OF COVID RESTRICTIONS

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, our 2020 activities were limited. Steve Thomas did compile the one live and three Zoom meetings we had, along with a few other items in our agenda. See the year's history here: 2020 Events.
And despite the pandemic, Mike Fialkovich's list of birds observed in Allegheny County outdid the numbers in 2019. See his comprehensive list here: Allegheny County Birds - 2020.


YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK TOO!
Facebook Icon
Three Rivers has its own Facebook page where the latest birding news from the web, upcoming events, member photos, and more can be found. Here you can also register reactions (Likes, Surpises, Loves, etc.) to the stories presented. Find our Facebook page here: 3RBC FB.



THE AMERICAN BIRDING ASSOCIATION OFFERS EXCELLENT RESOURCES FOR BIRDERS
ABA Icon
The American Birding Association (ABA) produces two interesting segments on its website, among many others. One is a video program called ABA Live! hosted by Nate Swick and the other is an ongoing series of essays by Ted Floyd called How to Know the Birds.

ABA Live! began presenting their "Virtual Bird Club" in March 2020 as the pandemic set in across the country and live meetings were discontinued. Various speakers gave virtual lectures on a range of topics. Interspersed with the "Virtual Bird Club" were programs asking the question "What's This Bird?", a live presentation taking questions on bird ID. The "Virtual Bird Club" has faded away, but "What's This Bird?" continues about every two weeks. You can find recordings of past programs at the ABA site here: ABA Live!

Birding magazine editor and 3RBC member Ted Floyd has written over 60 entertaining and informative essays for How to Know the Birds. The friendly essays are a celebration of the art, science, and delights of birding. These are different essays than found in his recent book with the same title. You can find all of his ABA essays here: How to Know the Birds.

The Home page for the ABA website is www.aba.org and the ABA has various Facebook pages, including ABA Birds and Birding and American Birding Association (ABA) Discussion Group.


PSO's PENNSYLVANIA BIRDS MAGAZINE: SEE WHAT YOU'VE BEEN MISSING
PSO Pileated
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. Now anyone who does not subscribe or perhaps does not even know about PSO can actually see a little bit of what they've been missing, and hopefully be encouraged to join PSO! Click on the following link for an example of an article from the latest edition of Pennsylvania Birds: sample article.

Pennsylvania Birds is an all-volunteer effort, created and maintained by a group of Pennsylvania's most dedicated birders, but it is not an exclusive club. Anyone may contribute, whether a member of PSO or not, any original work related to birds or birding in Pennsylvania. If you have photos, article ideas, letters to the editor... as long as it is original work and related to birds or birding in Pennsylvania.

Consider joining PSO if you haven't already. They especially encourage the "beginners" out there, those of you who are just starting to discover the wonderful hobby of birding. In addition to being relatively inexpensive, membership buys you a year's subscription to Pennsylvania Birds and The Pileated, the PSO newsletter.

Find the Home page of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology here: PSO.


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Mission of 3RBC

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

© Photo Credits:
Sherron Lynch, Tom Moeller, Brian Shema, and Chuck Tague