Bimonthly Membership Meeting
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
7:30 PM -- 10:00 PM
Phipps Garden Center, Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA


Seventy-six individuals attended 3RBC's December 2019 meeting, which featured the club's annual "Slide Slam, " a presentation of photography and videos by ten Club Members, including several first-time presenters. Four first-time attendees were in the audience.

3RBC President Sheree Daugherty called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. She asked attendees to turn off cell phones; reminded everyone to sign up for door prizes; called attention to the free, not-to-be-returned magazines and periodicals; and thanked and recognized all those who brought snacks for the food table. She then made announcements and called for announcements/reports from the floor:

•  President Daugherty reminded the attendees that, at the last meeting, the club made a contribution to the Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) in support of its plan to preserve a tract of land in the heart of Pittsburgh's east suburbs, the Churchill Valley Greenway. The tract is a 148 acre abandoned country club near the Parkway East in the municipalities of Churchill and Penn Hills, near the Parkway. ALT has an exclusive agreement to purchase the property for conservation contingent upon the successful completion of various due diligence activities and its ability to raise necessary funding. Sheree reported that ALT has exceeded its community fundraising goal, which was great news, but that the conservation organization still has long way to go to raise the necessary funds. If others are interested in helping with this effort, please contact the Allegheny Land Trust at alleghenylandtrust.org.

•  Sheree announced that, perhaps America's premier citizen science project, Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), is fast approaching. She encouraged everyone to participate if possible. She also noted that a comprehensive list of the various CBCs and appropriate contact information can be found on the club's website.

•  Ryan Tomazin announced that the Brooks Bird Club's 2020 Early Spring meeting will be at North Bend State Park in Cairo, West Virginia. The event, which features several top-notch speakers as well a full range of field trips, starts on Friday, March 8 and runs through Sunday, March 10. Total cost is $135 per person for double occupancy and $205 per person for single occupancy. The cost includes everything: all meals, lodging, programs and field trips. All are welcome to attend. For more information, please visit brooksbirdclub.org.

He also noted that 3RBC member Frank Izaguirre's recent presentation to the Brooks Bird Club was extremely well received, with several members commenting that it was the best presentation to that club ever!

•  The Peregrine's editor Paul Hess previewed highlights from the upcoming January /February Peregrine, noting that this has turned out to be a travel-themed issue. As an aside, Paul asked any members who have recently completed a birding trip to contact him about possible publication of the trip report.

    -  The "President's Message" in this issue features Sheree's observations on the many benefits and pleasures of travel birding.

    -  The issue also will carry Frank Izaguirre's review of Ted Floyd's new book How to Know the Birds.

    -  As always, the issue will feature many excellent photos. Malcolm Harter recently captured a very interesting photo of a leucistic White-throated Sparrow, and Michelle Kienholz and Mike Fialkovich share photos from a recent ASWP trip to southeastern Arizona.

•  Treasurer Tom Moeller gave the financial report. He noted that the club now has 313 memberships, which translates into well over 400 individual members. He also commented that the last four memberships were given as Christmas presents, and that memberships-as-presents were an excellent gift idea at any time of year. A gift membership is an especially good way to encourage the interests of youngsters with an interest in birding. A continuing theme, he encouraged everyone to do their best to recruit new youth members, and that youngsters can learn a lot from the club's many experienced birders. Because our membership is robust, the club is financially solvent at this time.

•  Webmaster Tom Moeller relayed that all the area's various December Christmas Bird Count information is on the club's website, as well as three counts that take place in January. Tom also noted that many folks do feeder counts from inside their homes but are unsure which count includes their location. As it turns out, Mike Fialkovich discovered that Audubon has an online interactive map that will help identify which CBC circle encompasses your home. Webmaster Tom has placed a link for the map, along with directions on how to use it, on the 3RBC site.

Tom also announced that the club's winter outings are now on the site - one in January, one in February, and three in March.

•  Steve Thomas, the club's Outings Coordinator, reported on the club's winter outings:

    -  Saturday, January 25  —  Frick Park "Dead of Winter Outing III"
    -  Saturday, February 15  —  Sewickley Heights Borough Park
    -  Wednesday, March 18  —  Woodcock Walk
    -  Wednesday, March 25  —  Woodcock Walk
    -  Sunday, March 29  —  Pymatuning State Park

•  3RBC Vice President Mike Fialkovich presented the recent bird sightings report for Allegheny County. Eighty-five Tundra Swans flew over Boyce-Mayview Park; Black Scoter at Duck Hollow; Ruddy Ducks at Duck Hollow; Harlequin Duck in Blawnox (only the second recorded sighting in the county); Bonaparte's Gulls at Duck Hollow; Merlin in Shaler Township, Blawnox and Dashields Dam; a late flock of Killdeer in Findlay Township; Northern Shrike at the Pittsburgh Airport and at Imperial; Ruby-crowned Kinglets at Harrison Hills Park; Hermit Thrush at Harrison Hills Park and Fox Chapel; American Pipits at Boyce-Mayview Park and at Penn and South Negley in Pittsburgh (the calls were recorded by a reliable observer); Fox Sparrow at Harrison Hills; Lincoln's Sparrow at Harrison Hills Park; White-crowned Sparrows in Pine Township, Blawnox and Findley Township; late Turkey Vultures in Hampton Township and Monroeville; Red-throated Loon at Blawnox (the eleventh county record); and finally, Marsh Wren at Wingfield Pines.

•  Program Coordinator Dave Brooke announced that the club's next meeting will be held on February 5, 2020. The speaker will be Brian Shema, who will present a potpourri of images from several of the many birding tours he has led for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania over the past several years. The presentation, featuring bird behavior and adaptations, is entitled "Birds from Eco-tours to North, Central and South America." The meeting will be held at the Phipps Garden Center, 1059 Shady Avenue in Shadyside. Doors open at 6:30 pm for socializing; the business meeting begins at 7:30, and the program starts at 8:00.

Dave then introduced each of the evening's ten slide slam participants, who impressed the attendees with their fine photography. The presenters and their topics were:

    -  Mosur Ravishankar  —  "A Video Diary of a Nesting Hummingbird Family"

    -  Steve Gosser  —  "Highlights of Two Coasts: Chincoteague and San Diego"

    -  Garrett Sisk  —  "Birds of the Eastern Seaboard"

    -  Bob Haney  —  "Maricopa County, Arizona Birding, Part I"

    -  Amanda Haney  —  "Maricopa County, Arizona Birding, Part II"

    -  Tom and Christine Brockmeyer  —  "Seabirds of the North Atlantic"

    -  Daniel Weeks  —  "Slow Birding: Some Highlights"

    -  Mike Fialkovich  —  "Birds of the Lower Rio Grande"

    -  Tom Moeller  —  "A Year of Birds"

    -  Dave Brook  —  "Coast to Coast Birding"

Special thanks to Mosur Ravishankar who oversaw the loading and presentation of each participant's photo files!

Following the final presenter, President Daugherty adjourned the meeting.

— prepared by Frank Moone on 12-29-2019

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