WRENDERINGS The Newsletter of the Harford Bird Club

Volume 14 Number 2

March 2001

Found an injured raptor?
Contact Debbie Saylor of Chesapeake Birds of Prey, Inc.

Phone: (410) 692-9305
Fax: (410) 692-2765
E-mail: raptors@bellatlantic.net


John Wortman
The President's Perch
May 4 Dinner Meeting
Calendar of Events
Scholarship Winner!
Earth Day 2001 and Havre de Grace Decoy and Art Festival
Conservation Editorial
New Club Members
MOS Conference Speaker
Harford Birdlife
Field Trip Reports
MOS Sponsors Educational Activities
Dinner Meeting Reservation Form

John Wortman

John Wortman, longtime friend in and of the Harford Bird Club, has passed away. Remembered fondly by folks around the club, John was considered the keenest of birders, particularly during the spring migration around the Rock Run Mill area. We will certainly miss John.

The following article appeared in the Baltimore Sun on March 11, 2001:

John Wortman, mathematician, 75, investigated the blast on the Iowa.
by Jacques Kelly, Sun Staff

John D. Wortman, a retired mathematician for the federal government who investigated the deadly explosion aboard the battleship Iowa in 1989, died Monday of cancer at his Havre de Grace home. He was 75.

For 38 years, he calculated studies at the Ballistics Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Ground, where he worked in the early days of the space exploration program. He was among the first scientists there who programmed the early digital ORDVAC, ordnance discrete variable automatic computer, a device built at the University of Illinois for the federal government.

In the 1950s, he ran a simulation on the ORDVAC of a missile warhead then under development. His research helped the United States evaluate the weapon's performance.

"He was a good mathematician and a good programmer in the days when programming was not nearly as common as it is now," said Norman Arnold, a friend and former co-worker who lives in McLean, Va. "I always thought of John as a gentleman. He also had a beautiful voice - a fine baritone."

When a 1989 explosion aboard the battleship Iowa killed 47 sailors in a gun turret, he was part of a team that studied the cause, then a topic of considerable debate. He believed that the incident was caused by contaminated gunpowder and that the deadly blast was not an act of suicidal sabotage by a despondent sailor.

He delayed his federal retirement to complete his examination.

After he retired, he became one of Harford County's most active bird watchers. He planned and led bird walks, counts and banding exercises. He enjoyed watching the hawks, warblers, sparrows and waterfowl of the Upper Chesapeake. Friends said he had an uncanny ability to identify birds.

"He had been bird-watching all his life, and he could look at a bird and say, 'That's a savannah sparrow,'" said David Seitz, a birding colleague and friend who lives in Bel Air. "He was quiet, calm ... just a good man, he never bragged. You could count on him for everything."

A member of the Harford County Ornithological Society, he also volunteered at Harford Glen Environmental Center in Bel Air, where he taught bird recognition to fifth-graders. Under the direction of a licensed bird-bander, he helped net birds that were later banded and freed.

Named the Harford County Salvation Army's Volunteer of the Year in 1998, he also gave time to Grace Place, a Havre de Grace food kitchen.

Born in Union, Ore., he attended a rural one-room school there and built the fire in an iron stove each morning. At 13, he began working on the Miller ranch, a cattle operation near Union. He initially tended the garden, kept the chickens and did yard work. He later learned to ride a horse and brand cattle. In his 70s, relatives said, he recalled that the ranch work had its perils - his lung was once punctured by a sharp rake.

He left the job when he was drafted into the Army on his 18th birthday. He flew 21 missions over Germany in a B-17 Flying Fortress. He was discharged with the rank of staff sergeant.

After the war, he attended the University of Oregon, where he received a degree in mathematics.

In 1953, he married the former Lorna Elligsen, who survives him.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. today at the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church, Congress and Union streets, where he was a member and choir soloist.

He also is survived by two sons, Warren Wortman of Columbia and Odin Wortman of Elkridge; a daughter, Adel Wortman of Laurel; and five grandchildren.

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The President's Perch

Spring is officially here and the Harford Bird Club has lots of activities planned for the season. Earth Day will be celebrated on Saturday, April 21 from 11:00 to 4:00 at Swan Harbor Farms. We will have a display booth and bird walks, so check the bulletin board for our scheduled activities. Our first networking seminar on April 29th at 1:00 p.m. at the Bel Air Public Library entitled "Eastern Bluebirds" is already attracting attention, with 22 people responding. I would like to encourage all of our members to please invite their neighbors and friends to this seminar. It will be a great introduction to the Harford Bird Club, especially for those people perhaps timid about joining an organization. Again, I request a call for volunteers to help with community outreach activities. Please call Carol Flora or Jean Fry to volunteer for activities such as assisting teaching children in our area to appreciate the beauty and natural resources in Harford or helping with our displays for Earth Day or Duck Decoy Festival. I promise you will have fun, get to know the other members and feel a great sense of accomplishment. On a sad note, our dear long-time member John Wortman passed away last month. John was such a dedicated, active and sharing member of our club. We miss him immensely and mourn the loss of such a "gentleman and scholar". A memorial fund has been established and anyone wishing to contribute can send their donations to: Joyce Gorsuch, 726 Loveville Road #409, Hockessin, DE 19707-1508. - Debbie Saylor

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May 4 Dinner Meeting

Ever wonder who passed here before you in these woods? Most of our members visit natural areas such as the Susquehanna trails, Conowingo Dam, Rock State Park, Havre de Grace, etc. But have you ever thought about who utilized this area perhaps a thousand or two thousand years ago! Join the Harford Bird Club on Friday, May 4th, at 6:15 p.m. for an informative evening featuring the Archeological Society of Northern Chesapeake presenting a slide/lecture program entitled: "Garrett Island - Past, Present and Future." Bill Coats, President of the Northern Chesapeake chapter, and Bill McIntyre will open a window to the past concerning the Susquehannock Indians and other cultures who shared this great land. Also, a display table with artifacts, primitive tools, and other interesting finds from our local area will be available for viewing.

The dinner meeting will be held on Friday, May 4, 2001 at the Churchville Presbyterian Church located at MD 22 and MD 136. The dinner will start at 6:15 p.m. The dinner reservation form is at the back of this newsletter and is due not later than Wednesday, April 25. The business meeting will start at about 7:00 p.m. for those who do not wish to attend the dinner. - Debbie Saylor

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Calendar of Events

April 21 Earth Day.
April 28 Carey Run Spring Work Weekend.
April 29 Bluebird Seminar at Bel Air Public Library from 1:00 -3:00 p.m.
May 4 Dinner Meeting at Churchville Presbyterian Church at 6:15 p.m.
May 4 - 6 Havre de Grace Decoy and Art Festival.
May 12 May Count.
May 16 Deadline - to contribute Harford Birdlife reports to Jean Fry for Mar. 16, 2001 - May 15, 2001. Jean's address is 1202 Ridge Road, Pylesville, MD 21132 or email at ffryjl@aol.com.
May 23 Deadline - to submit articles for the June issue of Wrenderings to Rick Cheicante. Rick's address is 1003-F Jessica's Ct, Bel Air, MD 21014 or rickcheicante@cs.com.
June 1 MOS Grant Applications Due.
June 10 State Board Meeting - Kent.
July 20 Summer Social at the Anita Leight Center.
August 10-12 2001 - Annual MOS Conference -Salisbury.
September 7 Dinner Meeting at Churchville Presbyterian Church at 6:15 p.m.
September 29 Annual picnic at Capa Field.

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Scholarship Winner!

The MOS sponsors a scholarship program each year to offer scholarships to Audubon camps for teachers, park rangers, naturalists, and community volunteers. This year there were 26 applicants and 12 winners. Karen Cifranick, an environmental education teacher at Harford Glen Environmental Education Center, was a winner from Harford County. She chose to attend Natural History of the Maine Coast, which is a coastal ecology camp held at Hog Island, Maine. Congratulations, Karen! - Jean Fry

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Earth Day 2001 and Havre de Grace Decoy and Art Festival

The Harford Bird Club will be participating in this year's Earth Day 2001 and the Havre de Grace Decoy and Art Festival activities. The Earth Day 2001 event is being held on Saturday, April 21, from 11:00 to 4:00 at Swan Harbor Farms in Havre de Grace. The HdG Decoy and Art Festival is to be held on the weekend of May 4, 5, and 6. The festival hours are as follows: Fri. May 4 from 6 - 9 p.m., Sat. May 5 from 9 - 5, and Sun. May 6 from 10 - 4. Our booth will be located in the HdG Middle School. Volunteers are needed to greet folks and answer questions about our club's activities at both of these events. If you are able to participate, please contact me as soon as possible. My telephone number is (410-879-0642). - Carol Flora

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Conservation Editorial
MOS Joins War on Mute Swans
by Deborah Bowers

Newcomers to organized birdwatching, like myself, may be surprised and even shocked by the position taken by MOS on the future of the Mute Swan, defined as an "invasive species" whose population has doubled since 1996 in Maryland. A special task force has recommended "swan-free zones" to protect against "environmental and economic problems that these birds cause." The state will finalize a management plan this spring.

On Feb. 28, MOS president Karen Morley sent the organization's comments to DNR. The MOS position states:

"DNR should eliminate Mute Swans from Maryland by whatever means necessary. While DNR personnel should try to manage Mute Swans with non-lethal methods, when such methods prove to be ineffective, lethal methods, including establishing a hunting season, should be considered…"

Think about that first statement. How can a species of wild things be eliminated from an area defined by man's political borders? Are we willing to be the support group behind the hunters as they shoot these birds, which many people consider among the most beautiful creatures on earth? I guess the dye has been cast.

I know that not all birders love all birds, that there is discrimination against certain species for their habits, particularly when those habits harm species that we particularly enjoy seeing, such as warblers. But should we call out hunters to shoot crows and cowbirds? Of course not. But when we have a bird that allegedly is harming the Chesapeake Bay, we have what we think is a valid excuse for a call to arms.

DNR is claiming the Mute Swan should be controlled because it is harming the Chesapeake Bay by eating bay grasses year-round. But how extensive is this harm when compared to harmful activities of humans, which for a multitude of excuses we cannot reverse? Where is our perspective? The Mute Swan is an easy scapegoat in the absence of truly effective measures to protect the bay from ourselves.

Consider this additional opinion contained in the MOS letter, in response to the issue of whether Mute Swans are "inherently valuable:" "Why would people think they are valuable? Because they are beautiful? To whom? While they may be esthetically pleasing to some human beings, they are not a beautiful animal to the other plant and animal species being destroyed by them … the place to maintain a non-native species is in a zoo." MOS members, be ready to hear from people who find these statements offensive, to say the least. I cannot think of a single species we enjoy seeing on our spring birding walks that we don't consider inherently valuable because of their beauty, as we see it.

I don't know about my fellow club members, but I, for one, don't want to be representing MOS on the day the shooting begins and the evening news shows Mute Swans dying from bullet wounds.

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New Club Members

The Harford Bird Club would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members:

Carlo Gilotte
Mark and Dana Burrough

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MOS Conference Speaker

Speakers at this year's MOS conference in August will be authors and TV bird show hosts, Don and Lillian Stokes. Apparently they will be spending the weekend at the conference, so they will probably be going on some field trips. Attendees at the conference may have the opportunity to "rub elbows" with some well-known people. There will also be a book signing session.

Next year's conference will be held in June at Wisp in western Maryland. The speaker may be David Sibley, however it's not confirmed. - Jean Fry

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Image of a Wren over outline of Harford County
Harford Birdlife
Jan. 16 - Mar. 15, 2001
by Jean Fry

There is a new title for this column. At the suggestion of Rick Cheicante, the newsletter editor, we decided to use a name that more appropriately described what the column contains. It sounds a little less alien or "zoo-like" than avian visitors and is our local counterpart to the state publication called Maryland Birdlife.

Again, the number of sightings reports is down. May I suggest that you put a notepad or sheet of paper in a convenient place and label it March 16 - May 15. Jot down all sightings of significance along with dates as you see them. Then either send them to Les Eastman to post or e-mail them to me. Don't trust your memory until the end of the time period. Write down sightings as you see them.

Temperatures for this time period were below average, as the colder than usual winter came to an end. Snowstorms with significant accumulation occurred on Sunday, January 21 with about seven inches and on Thursday, February 22 again with about seven inches. March 4th through 6th was a dreary period of sleet, snow, and freezing rain. I missed some of the lesser storms due to trips to Florida and southern California to attend Elderhostels and search for new life birds.

There was only one report of a Pied-billed Grebe that came from DL on 3/11 at the ponds at the corner of Route 40 and 24. LE saw five Black-crowned Night-Herons at Conowingo Dam on 1/14.

Forty-five Snow Geese were seen flying over Webster Village in Havre de Grace on 2/17 by DW, and on 3/3 DW, accompanied by Marsha and Danny, found about 350 Snows at Conowingo Dam. Tundra Swans were heard by JLF on 2/26 in Pylesville. LE found several Gadwall at Conowingo Dam on 1/14. DL had the greatest variety of species of ducks to report: Green-winged Teal at Cub House Road in Perryman on 2/4, American Wigeon at Aberdeen Proving Ground on 2/11, Wood Duck at Cub House Road in Perryman on 2/11 and at the ponds at the corner of Route 40 and 24 on 3/11, Northern Shoveler at CHR in Perryman on 2/18, and both Lesser and Greater Scaup and Redhead at APG on 3/11. From Lake Mitten in Pylesville came the following sightings of waterfowl by (JLF): two Hooded Mergansers on 2/27 and 2/28 joined by a third on 2/29, eight Redheads, ten Ring-necked Ducks, and two or three hundred Canada Geese during a snow squall on 3/6, and a pair of Wood Ducks on 3/15. Many high migrating flocks of Canada Geese were also seen and heard on 3/12 late in the day over Ridge Road in Pylesville (JLF).

The earliest and "onliest" Osprey report came from DMW at Conowingo Dam on 3/3. DL observed a Northern Harrier on 2/14 in Perryman and again on 2/4 at Lakeside pond in Van Bibber in Edgewood. On 2/9 two Red-shouldered Hawks perched together in a tree in DMW's backyard in Webster Village. This is probably the same mated pair that has nested in a neighbor's lot for several years. One (the male?) had a pine needle bundle in its talons as an offering to the other. Terres in Encyclopedia of North American Birds writes of their nests as being "frequently decorated with green sprigs of evergreen." KB reported seeing a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks mating near the storm management pond in back of the new Safeway on Greenbriar Road in Bel Air on 2/23. One had flown in front of her car and then landed by the other. She observed that the whole "incident" took about ten seconds! LD observed a pair of Red-shouldered frequently visiting his fat feeder in Bel Air during the first week of March.

Killdeer reports came from JLF at North Bend Elementary in Jarrettsville on 3/1 and from DL at Lakeside on 3/11. LE found five Common Snipe at the horse stable pond in the Edgewood area of APG on 3/13. JLF had a special treat when their backyard was visited by an American Woodcock for about eight hours on 3/6. He found a wet, bare area that was not snow-covered and spent the day pumping his body and probing his bill into the soil. He extracted a large number of worms in the course of the day. It was an excellent opportunity to study feather patterns, bill and leg coloration, and feeding behavior.

The only reported gull sighting was a Bonaparte's by DL on 2/18 at APG.

RC was fortunate enough to see two owls during this time period. On 2/27 he saw an Eastern Screech-Owl in Creswell, and on 2/12 a Great Horned Owl took a safe glide through the light of his headlights at 6:00 a.m. while he was waiting at the intersection of Ring Factory Road and Route 24 in Bel Air.

LD had Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker visit his fat feeders during the first week in March in Bel Air. The sapsucker also visits one of the thirty or so mature trees along the stream near his house. Over the years it has been riddled with rings of holes. He has been wondering what type of tree it is. Are there certain trees that sapsuckers are attracted to? On 3/7 he watched a Yellow-rumped Warbler apparently taking advantage of the sapsucker's work by hovering near the holes and helping itself to the sap. He is wondering if this behavior is typical of the Yellow-rumped Warbler. LD's e-mail is: Lynnd@ixibbs.iximd.com if you can answer his questions. JLF almost always have a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers in their woods in early March and this year was no exception. They were seen working on several trees on 3/6 and again on 3/9.

Two reports of Eastern Phoebes came in: JLF heard one calling in Pylesville on 3/8, and RC saw one at Rock Run Mill the week of March 11.

Horned Larks were spotted by DL at Perryman on 1/14 and by JLF on Highland and Miller Roads in Street by JLF on 2/3.

The only report of a Tree Swallow came from DS at Harford Glen in Bel Air on 3/15.

That very enticing fat feeder at LD's attracted Carolina Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadees, and Tufted Titmice. Brown Creepers were seen by JLF on 1/25 in Pylesville and by JF at Anita Leight Center in Edgewood on 3/13. DMW had three creepers in their backyard at Webster Village all on the same tree at once on 2/18! JLF had large flocks of American Robins in their yard in Pylesville on both 2/11 and 2/26. On 3/6 RK in Bel Air had several trees filled with American Robins and Cedar Waxwings. They cleaned out his twenty foot high holly tree of all its berries in two days! RC found lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets at Edgewood-APG on 2/3. LD in Bel Air had a pair of Golden-crowned Kinglets for three days around 1/20. When he was replenishing the suet the female fluttered around and landed on a branch about an arm's length away. The next day he could see the yellow-orange crown of the male while he hovered and skittered from branch to branch before perching on the suet to eat his fill.

Hermit Thrushes were sighted by RC in Susquehanna State Park on 2/28 and by JF at Anita Leight Center on 3/13.

DW found a Gray Catbird at Susquehanna State Park on 2/11, and MS had her first Brown Thrasher in her yard in Bel Air on 3/15.

RC found Yellow-rumped Warblers at Edgewood-APG on 2/3 and Pine Warblers calling at the same location the week of March 11.

RC also had some good sparrow sightings including: an American Tree Sparrow and a Swamp Sparrow on 1/28 in Susquehanna State Park, six adult and six juvenile White-crowned Sparrows on 1/28 in Perryman fields, and about a dozen Chipping Sparrows in a variety of plumages from first winter juvies to basic and sub-alt. adults on 2/3 at MD Blvd. Park in APG. JLF found five Savannah Sparrows on Highland and Miller Roads in Street on 2/3. DBC had a Fox Sparrow in their back yard in Bel Air for a couple of days in late November. (I received this report in January.)

On 1/29 MH in Forest Hill found a very different looking Dark-eyed Junco with very prominent rust-colored sides which she thought to be a female "Oregon" subspecies. Eastern Meadowlarks were spotted by DL on 1/14 at Perryman and again on 2/11 at the same location. A dozen were found there on 1/28 by RC. Lastly, DMW had their only female Purple Finch for the winter at their feeders in Webster Village on 2/17.

Contributors to this column were: Kit Brown (KB), Rick Cheicante (RC), Don and Barbara Conley (DBC), Lynn Davis (LD), Les Eastman (LE), Jean and Larry Fry (JLF), Marjie Heagy (MH), Raymond Kaufman (RK), Dave Larkin (DL), Dave and Macrina Seitz (DMS), and Dave and Marsha Webb (DMW).

The next deadline for submissions is May 16 for the period of March 16 to May 15. Please send your sightings to Jean Fry. E-mail address is: ffryjl@aol.com. Mailing address is: 1202 Ridge Road, Pylesville, MD 21132. Phone: (410- 452-8539). If you would like this column to continue, you need to submit your bird sightings and observations.

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Harford Bird Club
Field Trip Reports

Black Marsh/North Point State Park

Saturday, February 3, 2001 was a cold and very windy day. Eighteen persons, including nine students from C. Milton Wright, braved the weather and went to Fort Howard Veterans' Hospital grounds on the Patapsco River and to North Point State Park. Although many ponds and streams were frozen elsewhere, the water in this area was open. Strong winds, however, pushed the waterfowl into distant coves, and we did not see the usual rafts of hundreds. Highlights were: Canvasback, Common Goldeneye, Tundra Swan, Red-breasted Merganser, Brown Creeper, and Hermit Thrush. Many of the students were awed by seeing Cedar Waxwings through binoculars for the first time. We had to clarify that one bird that we saw was not a Yellow-crested Cormorant, but rather a Double-crested Cormorant! A total of 44 species was seen. A few participants stayed to enjoy hot Maryland crab soup at Dock of the Bay in Miller's Island. - Jean Fry


Joined by 39 people, that's right, 39 people and 17 vehicles, we tallied 43 species at Perryman and other locales on March 3. The highlight were White-crowned Sparrows, both adult and immatures seen by everyone. American Wigeon, Gadwall, and a perching Bald Eagle were seen at the Land Trust pond. During the three hours out in the field, over thirty flocks of Canada Geese were seen flying north. - Dave Powell

Woodcock Watch II

Six people joined me on the second of three woodcock watches. The winds died down and it was a nice evening out on the Proving Ground. The Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs were calling in full force which made hearing difficult. Six woodcocks were seen , with two performing their spectacular display. - Dave Powell

Gravel Road Walk At Falling Branch

Fourteen birders, mostly beginners, met in Pylesville and drove to the Falling Branch section of Rocks State Park on a cloudy, cool morning March 24. The group included several enthusiastic, note-taking students of biology instructor Spike Updegrove. We began with a walk to the falls. Most of the group had never been there, and were delighted to discover it. We saw a Great Blue Heron along the way. Then, we hiked south on Falling Branch Road to Red Bridge Road, and to where Falling Branch empties into Deer Creek. On our way back, looking down into the stream from the road, the group was excited to have several long looks at a noisy Belted Kingfisher, flying and perching. Off of Red Bridge Rd., we heard and sighted a Pileated Woodpecker on a distant hillside. Other birds included: a half dozen Eastern Phoebes; Song sparrows; Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers; one Eastern Bluebird; Red-bellied Woodpecker; White-breasted Nuthatch; White- throated sparrows; tons of singing cardinals and some chickadees. - Debbie Bowers

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April - June 2001
by Dave Powell

Here are the Harford Bird Club field trips for the next few weeks. If you would like further information about a particular field trip, please contact Dave Powell.

Thursday, April 19

Mariner Point Park An easy early morning walk through this oasis in suburbia. Palm Warbler, Baltimore Orioles and shorebirds are the targeted species. Meet at the last parking area at 7:30 a.m. For more information, contact trip leader Tom Congersky.

Saturday, April 21

Earth Day at Swan Harbor Join the festivities of the annual Earth Day event at Swan Harbor. Bird walks are at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and will complement the club's display table. Stay tuned for further details.

Wednesday, April 25

Jerusalem Mill A nice easy walk along the Little Gunpowder River looking for early migrants and local residents. Meet at the Mill at 7:30 a.m. The Mill is on Jerusalem Road off of MD 152. For more information, contact trip leader Phil Powers.

Saturday, April 28

Rock Run Mill The first of three walks at Susquehanna State Park, Harford County's premier location for warblers and other neo-tropic migrants. Resident Yellow-throated Warbler and Yellow-throated Vireos can be expected as well as orioles and thrushes. Meet at Rock Run Mill at 7:00 a.m. Contact Les Eastman for further information.

Saturday, May 5

Sweet Air Join trip leader Mark Johnson on a morning walk through the Sweet Air area of Gunpowder Falls State Park. Northern and Louisiana Waterthrushes, Black-and-white Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are the targeted species. Meet at the parking area on Dalton-Bevard Road at 6:30 a.m. Contact Mark Johnson for further details.

Sunday, May 6

Rock Run Mill An early morning search for arriving warblers and vireos. A good day can produce over twenty warbler species. Kentucky Warblers, Cerulean Warblers, and Warbling Vireo can be expected. Orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, and thrushes should abound. Meet at the Rock Run Mill in Susquehanna State Park at 6:30 a.m. For more information, contact leader Rick Cheicante.

Wednesday, May 9

Rock Run Mill The last of three walks at Susquehanna State Park. Warblers, vireos, thrushes, orioles and tanagers can be seen. Meeting time is 7:00 a.m. at the Rock Run Mill. For more information, contact leader Phil Powers.

Thursday, May 10

Rocks State Park Join trip leader Tom Congersky on a spring visit to Rocks State Park. Target species include warblers; Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Kentucky, and Worm-eating. Scarlet Tanagers, Orioles and Thrushes should also be present. Meet at the park office, 3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road at 8:00 a.m.

Saturday, May 12

Harford County May Count Still need a coordinator for this important yearly count. If interested please contact the Club president or Dave Powell. This year's count logistics will probably be done at the last minute, stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, May 19

Conowingo Dam The annual spring visit to Conowingo Dam. Likely sightings include Warbling Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, and Prothonotary Warbler. This location is recognized nationally as a great spot to watch Bald Eagles. The leader is Les Eastman. Plan to meet at Fisherman's Park (east end of Shuresville Rd) at 7:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 23

Gunpowder Falls State Park Join trip leader Phil Powers on a scenic walk along the Big Gunpowder River. Target species include Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers and migrating warblers. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the parking lot on Bel Air Road at the Big Gunpowder River. Contact Phil Powers for further details.

Saturday, May 26

Havre de Grace Shorebirds Exciting trip for county listers, with several difficult-to-find species possible including Dunlin, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone and Black Tern. Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Tydings Park boat launch, located at Commerce and Market Streets. Trip leader is Dave Webb. Scopes would be helpful.

Sunday, May 27

Loch Raven Join trip leaders Mary Procell and Mark Johnson on a half day trip to Loch Raven. Target species include Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chats and waterthrushes as well as vireos, thrushes and orioles. Meet at 6:30 a.m. at Youth Benefit school on MD 152. Contact Mark Johnson for further details.

Monday, May 28

Upper Deer Creek Valley Join leader Dennis Kirkwood for a morning trip in search of Worm-eating Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Willow Flycatcher, and Horned Lark. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at Hidden Valley area of Rocks State Park, at the north end of Madonna Road.

Saturday, June 2

Eden Mill and Kilgore Falls Start the morning at scenic county park along Deer Creek, and home of several breeding neo-tropical migrants such as Indigo Bunting, Orchard Oriole, and Worm-eating Warbler. Then drive over to Maryland 2nd tallest waterfall and such species as Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Phoebe, and American Redstart. Expect some steep, yet brief climbs while hiking at Eden Mill. Meet leader Debbie Bowers at 7:00 a.m. at Eden Mill trail parking area, on Eden Mill Road just west of Fawn Grove Road.

Sunday, June 3

Lily Ponds Join trip leader Mark Johnson on a 3/4 day trip to this southern Frederick county hot spot. Lily ponds hosted breeding Virginia Rails last year and Least Bitterns were seen several times. Target species include breeding Dickcissel, Grasshopper and Vesper Sparrow. Meet at 6:30 a.m. at the I-95 & MD 152 park-and-ride.

Friday, June 9

Whips and Hoots Join Jean and Larry Fry for a visit to Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation in search of Whip-poor-wills and owls. The "Whips" can really make some noise, and a spattering of Great Horned, Eastern Screech, and Barred Owls will make the evening chorus even better. Meet Jean and Larry at Dublin Elementary School at 7:00 p.m.

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MOS Sponsors Educational Activities

In October, information about the bird club, bird-related activities, Project Classroom Feederwatch brochures and an offer to do presentations about birds was sent to all elementary principals in Harford County. Apparently some of that filtered down to individual teachers, because Madeline Lovera, Larry and I have done fourteen programs about birds and their behavior at the following schools: William S. James Elementary, North Bend Elementary, Forest Lakes Elementary, and one to Larry's niece's 3rd grade class in PA.

The program, also known as "The Traveling Bird Show," covers the different foods that birds eat (types of seeds, berries, fish, other birds, carrion aka road kill, and nectar). The size and diet of hummingbirds is discussed. In addition, migration, field marks, and identification methods are explained. Finally, fifteen slides of birds common to Harford County are shown. Students receive a free folder from the National Fish and Wildlife Service with pictures of fifteen common birds. Teachers receive information on Project Classroom Feeder Watch from Cornell, county and state checklists, MOS publicity brochure with website, information on the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo, and other materials as requested. Some ask for materials on bluebird trails or on plants which attract birds. Laminated charts and a Bird Song Identiflyer were purchased with funds from an educational grant from MOS.

Assistance for a feeder watch survey at Anita Leight Center was requested by a work experience coordinator at John Archer for a Fallston student with cerebral palsy. Seven Tuesday mornings were scheduled between December and March for her to meet with a volunteer. Unfortunately, several days had to be canceled due to late openings or school closings, so two more Tuesdays were added in April. Thanks to Tom Congersky, Madeline Lovera, and Jean Williams for your willingness to help with this project. A record was kept of the sightings each day and a final tally was placed on a chart. - Jean Fry

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Dinner Meeting Reservation Form

Please return to Barbara Siebens, P.O. Box 68, Pylesville, MD 21132-0068 by Wednesday, April 25, 2001. __________ Number of adults ( at $11.00 each ) __________ Number of children 12 and under ( at $7.00 each ) Please make checks payable to Harford County MOS. _______________________________ Print your name(s) Include address and phone number if you would like transportation to the meeting. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________
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Please send any comments to Les Eastman.
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