Our Next Three Rivers Meeting

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull
by Jean Iron

VISIT THE ARCTIC?
OUR OCTOBER 6 SPEAKER
MAY ENTICE YOU

Arctic birds have a special attraction for birders and are among our most sought-after species.

In our online meeting on Wednesday, October 6, Jean Iron, a well-known Ontario birder, will take us far north to look at birds very few of us have seen on their breeding grounds. In fact, most of us have not seen some of them anywhere, such as the gorgeous Ivory Gull pictured above.

In her program titled "The Nature of Arctic Birds," Jean will teach us how these species' exceptional endurance and lifestyle are determined by the relentless forces of nature. Physical adaptations of Arctic birds, their color schemes, short breeding season, populations, and impressive migrations are characteristics that she will highlight in photos.

Jean has a special interest in the qualities and adaptations of Arctic birds. As a leader for Quest Nature Tours to Canada's High Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, she experienced Arctic birds in their natural habitats.

From 2002 to 2018, Jean went north to Hudson Bay and James Bay to survey shorebirds and geese for Canadian Wildlife Service and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

She was president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) for nine years and editor of its newsletter for 14. In 2016, she received the OFO Distinguished Ornithologist Award.

Jean entranced 3RBC members previously when she presented a program on shorebird identification and ecology in April 2012. We expect a similarly entrancing program this time.

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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 Jean'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:

  • December 1, 2021: Our Annual Slide-Slam
  • April 6, 2022: Holly Merker - "Ornitherapy: For Your Mind, Body, and Soul"
  • June 1, 2022: Katie Fallon - "Saving the Cerulean Warbler"

Last Updated on 9/20/2021

Items of Interest


   VIEW THE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER EDITION OF OUR NEWSLETTER -- THE PEREGRINE Peregrine Falcon

The SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER Edition of The Peregrine (in full color) is avaiable here: September/October 2021. See also Tom Moeller's photo gallery to accompany his "Observations" column: Pet Robins II.



   BOTH THE WRITTEN MINUTES AND THE VIDEO RECORDING OF OUR AUGUST 4, 2021 MEETING ARE AVAILABLE

Read the Meeting Minutes for our August 4, 2021 gathering featuring Luke DeGroote's presentation "The Allegheny Bird Conservation Alliance: Making Pittsburgh a More Livable City for Birds" here: August 4, 2021 Minutes.
The video for this meeting is on our Past Zoom Meetings page.

OUR OUTINGS ARE BACK THIS FALL!!

   BIRDING OUTINGS ARE RETURNING FOR THE FALL MIGRATION
Bird Outing Group

With COVID limitations easing somewhat, it has been decided to resume our most popular activity of bird outings, but with restrictions. Outings are planned for late August, September, October, and one in November. We do have a general statement that will be followed for all our outings. Also, the leader may have specific requirements that are stated in the outing description. Please read that statement and the requirements on each outing as you plan your choices. Find all this important information on our Outings page.




   ENTER THE HOLLOW OAK LAND TRUST'S PHOTO CONTENT!

Go to www.hollowoak.org for details on the contest.

Hollow Oak Photo Contest


Clayton Hill Map    ALLEGHENY BIRD CONSERVATION ALLIANCE (ABCA) NEEDS BIRDERS

ABCA partners - Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) - are working with Allegheny GoatScape to remove invasive plants, restore native plants, and monitor bird and habitats in the Clayton Hill area of Frick Park. The partners would like to ask birders accessing the area beginning now and through October 2021 to add eBird observations for the restoration areas. PPC will also be placing temporary signs to help delineate separate restoration areas on the trails within the Clayton Hill area. One important component is for observations for each eBird Hotspot to be associated with the corresponding restoration area.

Find more information on the Clayton Hill restoration areas at this website: Allegheny Birds.

Click here for a downloadable map of the four designated areas: Clayton Hill map.


    PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION LIFTS ITS RECOMMENDATION TO CEASE FEEDING BIRDS

With decreasing reports of sick and dead wild birds, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is lifting the recommendation to cease feeding birds.

Much is still unknown about what caused the mortality event documented in Washington D.C. and at least 10 states, including Pennsylvania, since late May. No definitive cause of illness or death has been determined. But research has ruled out many potential causes and there is no indication that feeding birds or maintaining bird baths were contributing factors. No human health or domestic animal (livestock, poultry, pets) issues have been documented.

While the issue appears to be resolving on its own, the response has highlighted how much the Game Commission and other wildlife agencies rely on the greater community. "The public plays a vital role in wildlife health surveillance", said Game Commission Wildlife Veterinarian Andrew Di Salvo. "They are often the first to notice and report injured, sick, or dead wildlife. All those extra sets of eyes and ears enables us to respond as quickly as possible and resolve or investigate the situation. We certainly appreciate their vigilance and look forward to continue to work closely with them into the future."
Feeder Birds
Natural resource management agencies in the affected jurisdictions continue to work with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause(s) of this event. The USGS National Wildlife Health Center, the University of Georgia Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, the University of Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program, the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and multiple state labs have been involved.

Based on results received to date, the following pathogens have not been detected in any of the birds tested: Salmonella and Chlamydia (bacteria); avian influenza virus, West Nile virus, coronaviruses, Newcastle disease virus, herpesviruses, and poxviruses; and Trichomonas parasites. Toxicology tests have been negative for heavy metals along with common pesticides and herbicides. Transmission electron microscopy and additional diagnostic tests, including metagenomics work, are ongoing.

Because birds congregate at bird feeders and baths, the standard recommendation to keep that equipment clean remains in place, along with additional guidelines:

    •   Clean feeders and bird baths with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10% household bleach solution. After allowing 10 minutes of contact time, rinse with clean water and allow to air dry. Cleaning and disinfection should be done at a minimum weekly basis or more frequently when soiled to prevent potential spread of any infectious diseases between birds and other wildlife, as well as remove spoiled food.

    •   When feeding birds, follow expert recommendations such as those listed in Audubon International's
    A Guide to Bird Feeding (PDF).

    •   Remain vigilant and report any sick or dead wild birds to your local Pennsylvania Game Commission office
    PA Game Commission Contact.

    •   Keep pets away from sick or dead wild birds.

    •   Avoid handling wild birds. If you must do so, wear disposable gloves or use inverted plastic bags on your hands to avoid direct contact. Dead birds can be disposed of in a closed plastic bag in household trash or buried deeply (> 3 ft.) to prevent disease transmission to other animals.

Wildlife disease investigations can be inherently challenging and sometimes do not identify conclusive cause(s). If additional guidance or significant diagnostic results come to light, that information will be shared with the public in a timely manner.

   LONGER ARTICLES ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE

Here are six longer articles that members have written that were spread out over the Main page but are now in this single compilation. We hope you enjoy them again:

Geoff Malosh pursued a different prize in 2017 - a solar eclipse - in this article A Different Kind of Chase: Not for Birds This Time.

Kathy Siebert traveled to Ecuador in 2017 to find rare birds in Take the "Sun Route" to Enjoy Ecuador's Avian Wealth.

David Yeany, Jr. and his friends took a side trip from Magee Marsh one rainy day in 2018 to find a Kirtland's Warbler in his narrative Saving the Best for Last: A Kirtland's Warbler Adventure.

Frank Izaguirre's adventure in exploring snowy Canada for winter birds in February 2020 was a two-part article in subsequent editions of The Peregrine. Here are the two parts as one: Frigid Canada's Birds Warmed a Pair of Birders.

Tom Moeller also had a two-part article in two issues of The Peregrine on Cedar Waxwings. Again, the two parts appear here as one: Here's the Background on a Backyard Beauty.

Frank Izaguirre wrote an article for the January 2021 edition of Birding magazine. With permission of the magazine and its editor Ted Floyd, we can present a PDF of the article at this link: Celebrating the Stumpbreaker of Squirrel Hill.

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   SPECIES LISTS FROM RECENT OUTINGS BY THE CLUB   

Click the link to see the complete list of 28 species for the Sewickley Heights Borough Park outing on August 27, 2021 as a PDF: Sewickley Heights List 8/27 (PDF).

Click the link to see the complete list of 43 species for the Sewickley Heights Borough Park outing on September 10, 2021 as a PDF: Sewickley Heights List 9/10 (PDF).

Click the link to see the complete list of 33 species for the Frick Park outing from September 12, 2021 on eBird: Frick Park.

Click the link to see the complete list of 39 species for the Deer Lakes Regional Park outing from September 12, 2021 on eBird: Deer Lakes Park.

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.


Single Bird

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, Tom Moeller, Brian Shema, and Chuck Tague