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c P RINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER

Delaware
DELAWARE
AUDUBON
Audubon Journal Vol. XXVI No.2
November-December 2003

U.S. F I S H A N D W I L D L I F E S E RV I C E R E L E A S E S
“ B I R D I N G I N T H E U N I T E D S TAT E S ” R E P O RT S
Washington, DC, October 11, 2003 - A new federal economic report found that
46 million birdwatchers across America spent $32 billion in 2001 pursuing one
of the Nation’s most popular outdoor activities according to a report from the
Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The report, Birding in the
United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis, is the first of its kind
analyzing data from the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-
Associated Recreation.

“Nearly one in five Americans is a bird watcher,” said Service Director Steve
Williams. “This report recognizes what we always thought to be true.
Birdwatching is very popular and contributes greatly to our economy, so it is
important that we continue to work
with our par tne rs to r estor e and
protect habitat to ensure healthy bird
PRESERVING OUR populations.”
NATURAL STATE
Montana, Vermont and Wisconsin
led th e Na tion in bi r di ng
participation rates as a percent
of tota l stat e po pu la ti on .
IN THIS ISSUE California, New York, and
Pennsylvania had the most
Bird Tales ................................7 birders. Birders spent $32 billion
on gear such as binoculars, travel,
Books of Interest ......................8 food and big ticket items such as
canoes, cabins and off-road vehicles. This
Calendar ..................................4 spending generated $85 billion in overall economic output and $13 billion in
federal and state income taxes, and supported more than 863,000 jobs.
Letter From the President ........2
To be considered a birdwatcher, an individual must take a trip a mile or more
News & Views ....................5,6,7 from home for the primary purpose of observing birds or must closely observe or
try to identify birds around the home. Those who notice birds while mowing the
Officers & Committees..............2 lawn or picnicking at the beach were not counted as birders. Trips to zoos and
observing captive birds also did not count as birdwatching. Watching birds
Site Seeing ................................5 around the home is the most common form of bird-watching. Taking trips away
from home counted for 40 percent (18 million) of birders.
Backyard Wildlife!....................6
The full report - and a second report, the 2001 National and State Economic
What You Can Do ....................3 Impac ts o f W il dl ife Wa tch i ng A dd en dum - i s av ail ab le on- line at
<http://federalaid.fws.gov>.

DELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY, INC.


A State-wide Chapter of National Audubon
D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N S O C I E T Y
2 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 2002 -2003
Hello Members,
OFFICERS & COMMITTEES
If there are any issues you feel strongly about
Well it seems fall is finally creeping into our that you think Audubon should address, please
write Issues, P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington, DE
state. I saw large flocks of swallows gathering 19899, or call the office at 302-428-3959.
up. I heard two barred owls talking back and Chairpersons can always be reached through the
forth. Maybe mating rituals are beginning to office answering machine , 302-428-3959.
happen.
Honorary Chairman of the Board
And, yes, the leaves are starting to drop off Russell W. Peterson
and the trees are showing their branches as if President Matthew Del Pizzo
Vice President Leslie Savage
they were long arms reaching towards the Secretary Ellen Wright
sky. With this year’s crazy weather, let’s hope Treasurer Mark Martell
for a good winter with plenty of winter
finches, owls and waterfowl.
CONSERVATION COMMITTEES:
Environmental Advocate Grace Pierce-Beck
Thanks for caring Recycling Open
Matt Del Pizzo Dredging Leslie Savage
Proposal/policy Review Dave Chambers
Nest Box Projects Peggy Jahn
Armchair Activists Open
Adopt-a-Wetland
Peggy Jahn, Kathy Tidball
White Clay Creek Adopt-a-Highway
Thanks to everyone who purchased Dorothy Miller

Thank birdseed! Our annual birdseed sale


was a great success thanks to the
Important Bird Area Program Ann Rydgren

Yo u
PROGRAMS COMMITTEE Open
hard work of Mark and Susan Martell
and their crew of bag handlers and PUBLICITY COMMITTEE
paper shufflers: Asha Iyengar, Mark Internet Fred Breukelman
Kawalski, Ann Rydgren, Tom Shuey, mail@delawareaudubon.org
Mike Warner and Randy Willis. MEMBERSHIP RECORDS David Brannan

EDUCATION COMMITTEE Kathy Tidball

SOCIAL COMMITTEE
Annual Dinner-Nancy Frampton

FIELD TRIPS COMMITTEE Peggy Jahn


The Audubon Journal is t WEB SITE
published bi-monthly by the http://www.delawareaudubon.org PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Ann Rydgren
Delaware Audubon Society. t MAILING ADDRESS:
Original articles may be Delaware Audubon Society FINANCE COMMITTEES
reprinted without permission. Please give Fundraising-Grants Andrew Urquhart
P.O. Box 1713 Fundraising-Bird Seed Sale
credit to the Delaware Audubon Journal and Wilmington, DE 19899 Mark and Susan Martell
the author. Fundraising Birdathon
t TELEPHONE:
Ruth Holden, Maud Dayton
Editor: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Rydgren 302-428-3959
Fundraising-Silent Auction Asha Iyengar
Assistant Editors: . . . . .Mary Leah Christmas t D ELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY E- MAIL: Fundraising-Wildlife Sanctuary Open
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barbara Roewe mail@delawareaudubon.org Fundraising-Piping Plover Suite Ann Rydgren
Design & Layout : . . . . . . .Maryellen F. Birk
DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2003
Printing: . . . . . .Sprint Quality Printing, Inc. We can receive contributions
Dorothy Miller Grace Pierce-Beck
through your United Way Ann Rydgren
Delaware Audubon Society, incorporated in payroll deduction designation.
1977, is a state- wide chapter of the National Our United Way designation DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2004:
Fred Breukelman David Chambers
Audubon Society. number is 9017.
DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2005:
Peggy Jahn
VISIT DELAWARE AUDUBON'S WEBSITE Leslie Savage
http://www.delawareaudubon.org.
Sample educational, informative articles and features. Order books and other REPRESENTATIVES
goodies from the Marketplace! Search the archive of past articles. Visit our photo Sharon Burchenal, Dover
gallery. Survey legislative updates and Action Alerts. Email policy makers. Kay Tebbens Greene, Milford
Till Purnell, Millsboro
3 “Preserve Our Natural State”
W H AT Y O U CAN DO . . .

A L E RT:
COLOR-MARKED RED-TAILED HAWKS VOLUNTEER
O P P O RT U N I T I E S
Please be on the lookout for color marked Red-tailed Hawks throughout the
migration season and through winter and spring. Birds have been color-marked at Join the fun!
Little Gap on the Kittatinny Ridge in eastern Pennsylvania and reports so far have Meet new people!
come back from Quebec to Tennessee and from the Atlantic coast through the Do a great thing!
Appalachians. This is a joint project of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Little Gap
Raptor Research Group, and the Wildlife Information Center. We need help in the following
areas.
The Red-tails are marked with Yellow, Green or Red (Pink) dye on the first 4
secondaries forming a square patch of color along the trailing edge of each wing.
The color can be seen best from below, but is visible from above as well.

What You Can Do

If you see one of these birds, please report the following: Volunteers
• Your Name, Address, Phone, email
Make It
• Date and Time (EST) of sighting
• Location (State, County, exact locality) Happen!
• Age of hawk (adult, immature)
• Dye Color
• Behavior of hawk when observed
WE NEED YOU!
Send information to:
Dan Kunkle V ATTORNEY
Wildlife Information Center Ex pe rien ced i n tr ust and
P.O. Box 198 corporation law who will give
Slatington, PA 18080 advice pro bo no. This is a
wildlife@fast.net limited project, not litigation.

V BIRDSEED
J O I N D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N N O W ! Marketing Manager for our
fundraising birdseed sale in
Octo b er. W e n eed m ore
customers. One month a year.

V WELCOME WAGON
Fun-loving, creative person
n eed ed to r ecru it and
integrate new members.

V WILDFLOWER LOVER
Wildflower enthusiast needed
for special area in Dover.

WHAT YOU CAN DO!


Please call 302-428-3959 and
leave a message if you are
interested in helping.
NO VEMBER 2 003 Meet in the parking lot next BLUEBIRD TRAILS
4 2 Sunday 9:00 am to the Information Center.
Adopt-a-Highway pick-up on This is a half-day trip. Please DOING WELL
Creek Road., Newark. call Peggy Jahn if you intend
to go, 378-6474. In addition to the Bluebird Trails,
Adopt-a-Highway Pick-Up
the Purple Martin sites are having
Come lend a hand for a
some success in bringing these
couple of hours and enjoy
birds back to New Castle County.
being outdoors with ANN UAL C HR ISTMAS
Here are the bird fledgling counts
congenial people. We will BIRD COUNT for the 2003 breeding season.
be working on Creek Road
from Wedgewood Road to December 2003__________ Buena Vista
White Clay Dr. Bring your
(This is a new location.)
own work gloves. A pointed 14 Sunday Blue Birds Fledged 8
stick for picking up pieces of Middletown House Wrens 19
paper is a handy thing to Compiler-Bruce Lantz
use. Dress for the weather 378-8469 DuPont Country Club and
and bring a lunch and Princeps@juno.com Nemours Golf Courses
binoculars for birding
Blue Birds Fledged 35
afterwards, if you wish. Any 14 Sunday Tree Swallows 26
questions? Call the Audubon Wilmington
office 428-3959. Meet at the Compiler-Howard Brokaw Deer Field Golf Course
Chambers House Visitor 655-8076 Blue Birds Fledged 60
Center north of Hopkins Tree Swallows 3
Bridge Rd. on Creek Rd. 21 Sunday
Bombay Hook Artesian Water Co. at
16 Sunday 9:00 am Compiler-Andy Ednie Churchman’s Marsh
Conowingo Dam 792-9591 Purple Martins Fledged July 16
Bald Eagles and Water Birds. Ednieap@wittnet.com total young 83
Meet in the parking lot at the
first overlook. This is a half- January 2004____________ University of Delaware Farm
day trip. Dress for the
Purple Martins approx. 25
weather, as it is always 3 Saturday
colder near the water. You Rehoboth Jahn’s yard
may want to bring your Compiler-Joe Swertinski Purple Martins 20
lunch and telescope. Please 292-1592
call Peggy Jahn if you intend Swertinski.j@mcd.gen.de.us This Spring was very strange due
to go, 378-6474.
to the weather. Cold and wet
4 Sunday weather for long periods made
DECE MBER 2003 Cape Henlopen n esti ng di ffi cu lt and al mo st
7 Sunday 9:00 am Compiler-Frank Rohrbacker impossible for the purple martins,
Bombay Hook 475-5771 as there were no insects to eat.
Ducks and Geese Plus ? ROHRBAF@aol.com Some people managed to feed
There is an entrance fee. the m ar ti ns cr i cke ts an d
scrambled eggs.
I want Audubon to sponsor a program on
There is a Bluebird Trail on the
.............................................................................................. Christiana Hospital grounds that
(topic) in my area. n eed s so me TLC . I f yo u ar e
interested, please call 428-3959
Name: .................................................................................. and leave a message.

Phone: ( )...................................................................... Peggy Jahn


Nest Box Chairperson
Zip Code: ..............................................................................

Send to:
Program, Delaware Audubon Society
P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington DE 19899
5
News & Views
T A K E PA RT I N B O A R D N O M I N AT I O N S
104TH ANNUAL
We are seeking enthusiastic people to help guide Delaware Audubon’s activities
CHRISTMAS BIRD and legislative actions by serving on the Board of Directors. Serving in this
COUNT capacity entails about eight meetings a year as well as participation in a few
telephone calls/e-mail sessions. This is a prime opportunity to directly and
The National Audubon Society positively affect the environment in Delaware. Please submit the name of
calls upon volunteers everywhere someone you would like to see on the Board. Self-nominations are also
to join with birders across the welcome. Don’t be shy!
w este rn he misphere and
participate in Audubon’s longest- The mission of Delaware Audubon Society is to promote an appreciation and
running wintertime tradition, the understanding of nature; to preserve and protect our natural environment; and,
an nual Chr ist mas Bird Count to affirm the necessity for clean air and water and the stewardship of our natural
(CBC). This year, nearly 2,000 resources.
individual counts are scheduled
to ta ke pl ace throughout the To maintain the mission of the Delaware Audubon Society, dedicated people
A mericas from December 14, must make it happen. This starts with a strong Board. Now is the time for Board
2 003 t o Ja nuary 5, 2004. nominations for the coming year.

This year, Audubon scientists are Most people enjoy having fun and attaining a feeling of self-satisfaction. As a
highlighting the fact that many of Board member, you can take great pride in knowing that your down payment of
the bi rds t o be counted are time and hard work will help secure the preservation of a healthy environment.
pr od uc ed in t he great North
American boreal forest, which Please send your nominations for the Delaware Audubon Board to:
extends from Alaska to Eastern Nominations
Ca na da. Boreal species Delaware Audubon
traditionally seen on the CBC that P.O. Box 1713
appear to be declining include Wilmington, DE 19899
B el te d K ingf isher, Northern or
Flicker, White-throated Sparrow, email@delawareaudubon.org.
White-crowned Sparrow, Purple
Finch, Pine Siskin, and especially Nominee’s Name: __________________________________________________
R us ty Blackbird. Nominee’s Phone Number: __________________________________________
T he d ata , 100% volunteer Person Making Nomination: __________________________________________
generated, have become a crucial
part of the U.S. Government’s
n at ur al his t ory monitoring SITE SEEING
database. Articles published in
the 103rd CBC issue of American This column will suggest Internet websites that
Birds helped ornithologists better may be of interest to readers. If you have a
understand the effects of West favorite that you think will interest others, please
N il e vir us o n regional bird call us at (302) 428-3959 or send the address to
populations. us at mail@delawareaudubon.org.

Co nt ac t t he Delmarva This lady found a humming bird nest and got


Ornithological Society Compilers pictures all the way from the egg to birds leaving
in your area to participate. See the nest. Took 24 days from birth to flight!
Calendar on page 4 Very neat and good pictures.

http://community-2.webtv.net/hotmail.com/verle33/HummingBirdNest/
6
News & Views
ELLEN WRIGHT’S
B A C K YA R D W I L D L I F E
VOLUNTEERS:
i MEMBERSHIP IN TINY G IFTS FOR W ILDLIFE
D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N
Before I weed whack the fence line
i BLUEBIRD NEST BOXES along my horse pasture I look for plant
Bluebird Nest Boxes priced at $20/pine seedlings to transplant. This year I have
and $25/cedar. Order now for yourself found many Sassafras seedlings. They
and your friends (302) 378-6474. Please produce berries that the birds like.
arrange for pick-up when you order from That’s why the fence line is a great
Fred Jahn, . Designed by Warren Lauder, place to look for seedlings because
this box has proven to be one of the best. most of the seeds have been deposited
Nest boxes should go up in February there by birds. This way I find plants
before Bluebirds return to nest. t he bir d s l ik e. I ha ve al so f ou nd
Bradford pear, Cherry (not wild cherry
i BOOKS trees but another variety), Crabapples,
White Mulberry, maple and Cedar.
• Amphibians and Reptiles of Delmarva Sure they are small but some of them
James F. White, Jr., & Amy Wendt White grow pretty fast. The way I look at it is
T idewater Publishers and Delaware they are free and in a few years some
Nature Society. $14.95. of them are quite large. It just takes
s ome p atien ce . It i s a l ot of f un
This book would make a lovely gift for watching them grow.
anyone interested in the outdoors—from
the casual reader to the professional Virginia creeper has started growing up
herpetologist—and be sure to buy one for some of the fence posts. It turns a
y ou rself. Tuck it into your bird in g beautiful red color in the fall and the
backpack when going forth to explore the b ir ds love th e ber r ies. I t c an b e
w ood s, fields, streams, dunes, an d mistaken for poison ivy but Virginia
marshes of the Peninsula. creeper has more leaves than poison
ivy. Poison ivy only has 3 leaves.
• West Nile Story
Dickson Despommier Once several years ago I found a tiny
Apple Trees Productions, LLC, 2001 t re e in t he bac kya rd lawn . I
133pp. (103pp. of text plus references transplanted it and it is now a beautiful
and index.) $14.99. 15-foot tree covered with red berries. It
Order from ddd1@columbia.edu. has dark red leaves that look li ke
c ra bap p le lea ves . Onc e y ou s ta rt
The author, a Columbia U. Professor of looking you will notice these tiny gifts
P u bl ic Health and Microbiology, growing in the yard and garden.
d es cri bes the science and drama of
identifying WNV, the foreign agent, and
the link among dying humans, horses, GIVE A WILD GIFT
and birds. This is a nice background
so ur ce with references and with ou t Please support Delaware’s Nongame
journalistic hype. Wildlife program with a donation on
your state tax return. The nongame tax
checkoff is the primary funding source
f or De lawar e’ s N on game an d
Endangered Species Program.
7
News & Views
B i rd Ta l e s . . .
“MY FRIEND FLICKER”
4/13 6/16 t im e. Sur e e no ug h, t he
Th ere is a well-known fable Drifting in the window just came Hummingbirds returned with
ab ou t b li nd men trying to th e sou nd of a wood pe cke r g us t o y es te rd ay, and so me
des crib e an elephant. One, d rumm i ng. I once h ear d a young Flickers were seen this
h ol ding the tail, says the sim il ar s o un d issu e f rom a evening. To paraphrase an old
elephant is like a rope; another, Mockingbird (good trick, eh?), saying, “if you don’t like the
at the side of the elephant, says but then it was followed by the ornithological weather, wait two
it is like a wall; etc. The bird rest of the repertoire. The field months.”
p eck ing the ground in our guide states that Flickers drum
b ack yard yesterday was an on dead limbs or tin roofs during 8/27
am al gamation of Mourning courtship and to proclaim their A juvenile Flicker is sitting on
Dove, Greater Prairie-Chicken, te rr i tory . Ha ven’t see n an y the fence between our yard and
an d Da lmatian, with some Flickers in almost a month, so the neighbor’s vegetable garden.
designer accessories thrown in. they may be otherwise occupied Was alerted to his presence by
Wh at we saw was a female in this manner. his repeated “kleeer.” His red
Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker n ape pa tch a nd mal e-
happily lightening our load of 7/31 distinguishing black mustache
ants. Our new pal is a shining The last time we saw a Flicker, are present, but our binoculars
example of the importance of 5/21, was the first and last day betray a hesitancy in coloration
“learning by seeing.” Now that we s aw a H um mi ng bird . I that bespeaks youth. Just as I am
we have seen one, we can never wondered about the chances of inspecting him, he seems to be
fo r get what they look like! their reappearing at the same inspecting us. Welcome, friend!

Mary Leah Christmas

HEREIS A
BIRD FOR YOU
TO COLOR.

B i rd Ta l e s . . .
Bald Eagle

One of 59 species of eagles in the world, the Bald


Eagle is one of two eagles in North America (the other
is the Golden Eagle). The Bald Eagle is the only
exclusively North American eagle.
8 R E P O RT :
N AV Y S O N A R H A R M S
BOOKS OF INTEREST MARINE ANIMALS
High-powered sonar from Navy
ships appears to be giving whales
He Saw a Hummingbird: How the Tiniest of Birds and a Man’s Indomitable
an d ot he r Mar ine ma mm al s a
Spirit Combined to Bring About a Miracle
version of the bends, causing them
to develop dangerous gas bubbles
by Norma Lee Browning and Russell Ogg
in some vital organs and blood
New York: E. P. Dutton, 1978.
vessels, to beach themselves and
die, according to a study published
We have all suspected that watching birds is therapeutic, but here is proof. He in the journal Nature.
Saw a Hummingbird is the true story of a professional photographer who was
losing his eyesight to severe diabetes, and along with it his morale. Then came Reporting on beaked whales that
the chance appearance on his Palm Springs patio of an Anna’s or Costa’s were stranded in the Canary Islands
Hummingbird amidst the oleanders and orange blossoms. soon after an international naval
exercise last year, researchers for
More than just a nice story, the book also shares valuable insights made the first time found a condition
through close observation of the hummingbirds, with findings sometimes at similar to decompression sickness
odds wit h g en er ally accepted lore. Which is m or e su rpri sin g: Th at in 10 of 14 dead animals. The new
hummingbirds perch (and often do), or that a legally blind photographer can data begins to explain how and
capture these creatures so beautifully on film? Neither is a surprise to those who why high decibel mid-frequency
take the time to observe, and not just see. sonar used by the U.S. Navy and
other military fleets appears to
MLC cause some deep-diving marine
mammals to die.