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c PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER

DELAWARE
Delaware
Journal
AUDUBON

Audubon
Vol. XXVI No.5
May-June 2004

CELLPHONES BY THE SEASHORE


A cellphone can be a dolphin’s best friend. When whales, dolphins, and sea
turtles become stranded on our beaches, well-intentioned citizens should
not attempt their own rescues. Instead, a call to 302-228-5029, the Marine
Education, Research and Rehabilitation (MERR) Institute hotline, in Milton, is
in order. The situation will be assessed, and those creatures requiring
medical attention will be transferred to one of several regional centers. In
May 2004, MERR will be opening a new facility in Lewes for housing and
stabilizing these injured animals prior to transport.

A less dramatic but equally important way to help is the proper disposal of
litter—thereby preventing many injuries to begin with. Michael Remus, a
PR E S E R V I N G O U R volunteer for Tri-State Marine Mammal Rescue, tells the Delaware Audubon
NATURAL STATE Journal that many strandings, especially of sea turtles, are the result of injury
from boat propellers or from debris such as fishing gear or trash. To a
Leatherback Turtle, a floating plastic grocery bag can look like an appetizing
jellyfish—with tragic consequences.
IN T HIS ISSUE Marine mammal emergencies are not strictly a “fair weather” problem. As
the crowds leave the beaches for the season, other creatures appear in our
Backyard Wildlife ....................6 waters. Remus points out. “Right now, we have Bottlenose Dolphins and Sea
Turtles. Then the seals come in for the winter, as do Blue Dolphins, Striped
Bird Tales ................................7 Dolphins, and Porpoises.”

Books of Interest ......................8 Delawareans must be vigilant year ‘round. Therefore, he and fellow
volunteers try to raise community awareness by making presentations to
Calendar ..................................4 schoolchildren and by talking to any individual willing to lend an ear or
provide other support. For further information about Tri-State Marine
BirdLife’s New Strategy ............6 Mammal Rescue, contact Michael Remus at 302-492-3628.

Letter From the President ..........2


FUN AND S T E WA R D S H I P
News & Views ....................5,6,7
Have some fun and support a great cause! It’s not just “for the birds”—it’s
Officers & Committees..............2 for protecting all wildlife through conservation, education, and research.
Attend the Annual Meeting and participate in the Silent Auction on Monday,
Site Seeing ................................5 May 10. Some featured items this year are from Horizon Helicopters;
Brandywine YMCA; Cameras Etc.; and Delaware Audubon’s 2004
More Awards for Journal ..........5 Conservation Award Winner, Warren Lauder (“Mr. Bluebird”), who has
donated a personalized nestbox. Please bring cash or checks, as credit cards
What You Can Do ....................3 cannot be accepted for Silent Auction items.

DELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY, INC.


A State-wide Chapter of National Audubon
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 2003-2004
OFFICERS & 2
COMMITTEES
Hello Members, If there are any issues you feel strongly about
that you think Audubon should address, please
As I finish my term as President of write;
Issues, P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington, DE 19899,
Delaware Audubon, I had some to or call the office at 302-428-3959.
time to reflect. I think Delaware Chairpersons can always be reached through the
Audubon has had some impact on key office answering machine, 302-428-3959.
issues in our state such as Horseshoe
Crab harvests, public hearing rights, Honorary Chairman of the Board
Metachem, Motiva, Cherry Island Russell W. Peterson
Dump, and the list goes on. President Matthew DelPizzo
Vice President Leslie Savage
Secretary Ellen Wright
I would like to thank all those on the Treasurer Mark Martell
Board for their support on sometimes
divisive issues. I would like to thank CONSERVATION COMMITTEES:
the members who are active and Environmental Advocate Grace Pierce-Beck
Dredging Leslie Savage
helping us with letters, phones call to Proposal/policy Review Dave Chambers
legislators, and donating funds. Nest Box Projects Peggy Jahn
Armchair Activists Open
I hope Delaware Audubon continues Adopt-a-Wetland Peggy Jahn
Kathy Tidball
in its role as a strong chapter that is White Clay Creek Adopt-a-Highway
not afraid to take strong stances Dorothy Miller
against any force that threatens to Important Bird Area Program Ann Rydgren
despoil our little state.
PROGRAMS COMMITTEE Open

In closing, I hope that I have made PUBLICITY COMMITTEE


some small difference to serve a better Internet Fred Breukelman
good for our health and our mail@delawareaudubon.org
environment. MEMBERSHIP Open
Records Dave Brannan
Matt DelPizzo
EDUCATION COMMITTEE Kathy Tidball

SOCIAL COMMITTEE
Annual Dinner Nancy Frampton
The Audubon Journal is t WEB SITE
published bi-monthly by the http://www.delawareaudubon.org FIELD TRIPS COMMITTEE Peggy Jahn
Delaware Audubon Society. t MAILING ADDRESS:
Original articles may be PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Ann Rydgren
Delaware Audubon Society
reprinted without permission. P.O. Box 1713 FINANCE COMMITTEES
Please give credit to the Delaware Audubon
Wilmington, DE 19899 Fundraising-Grants Andrew Urquhart
Journal and the author. Fundraising-Bird Seed Sale
t TELEPHONE:
Mark and Susan Martell
Co-editor: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Rydgren 302-428-3959
Fundraising Birdathon Maud Dayton
Co-editor and Contributing Writer: t DELAWARE A UDUBON SOCIETY E-MAIL: Ruth Holden
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mary Leah Christmas mail@delawareaudubon.org Fundraising-Silent Auction Asha Iyengar
Assistant Editor: . . . . . . . . . Barbara Roewe Fundraising-Wildlife Sanctuary Open
We can receive contributions Fundraising-Piping Plover Suite Ann Rydgren
Design & Layout : . . . . . . .Maryellen F. Birk
Printing: . . . . . .Sprint Quality Printing, Inc. through your United Way DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2004:
payroll deduction designation. Fred Breukelman David Chambers
Delaware Audubon Society, incorporated in Our United Way designation
1977, is a state- wide chapter of the National number is 9017. DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2005:
Audubon Society. Peggy Jahn Leslie Savage

DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2006:


VISIT DELAWARE AUDUBON'S WEBSITE Dorothy Miller
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, Milford
Till Purnell, Millsboro
“Preserve Our Natural State” 3
W H AT Y O U C AN D O . ..

N AT I O N A L A U D U B O N R E A C T S T O B U S H
A D M I N I S T R AT I O N 2005 B U D G E T
The fiscal year 2005 budget released in February by the Bush Administration VOLUNTEER
weakens environmental protections and cuts programs critical to protecting O P P O RT U N I T I E S
America’s great natural heritage. Though there is some good news, it is
outweighed by provisions that weaken environmental protections and reduce the Join the fun!
security that our drinking water, air and natural habitats remain safe. Meet new people!
Do a great thing!
“This administration and some in Congress are out of touch with the American
people on environmental issues, and this budget is part and parcel of that
fundamental disconnect,” said Bob Perciasepe, chief operating officer for the
National Audubon Society. “Drilling for oil in our natural treasures like the Arctic
Refuge and slashing funding for the Environmental Protection Agency is no way to
provide the environmental leadership this country needs.”

There is a small amount of good news: the administration’s proposal offers modest
increases for critical conservation programs in the states, including a $28 million
increase in funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project in Volunteers
Florida and an $8 million increase for ongoing efforts to restore the Upper Make It
Mississippi River in Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. Happen!

However, this is outweighed by provisions that damage the environment,


including slashes in funding for America’s National Wildlife Refuge System—just
one year after a 100th anniversary celebration in which the administration touted We need help in the following
its commitment and pledged its support to protecting these bird and wildlife areas. WE NEED YOU!
havens. The administration also cuts funding for implementing the Endangered
Species Act by more than $7 million.
V BIRDSEED
National Reacts continued on page 5
Marketing Manager for our
fundraising birdseed sale in
October. We need more
customers. One month a year.
J O I N D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N N O W !
V WELCOME WAGON
Fun-loving, creative person
needed to recruit and integrate
new members.

WHAT YOU CAN DO!


Please call 302-428-3959 and
leave a message if you are
interested in helping.
Please call Field Trip leaders ahead of time and register. You will be notified if any AUDUBON 4
changes arise. Most trips are half-day. Dress according to the weather and ask leader
if waterproof boots, etc., are needed.
AT H O M E
LAUNCHES
WEBSITE
M AY You know where
you live, but do
1-31 12 Wednesday 7:30am you know your
DELAWARE AUDUBON DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL “ecological
BIRDATHON SOCIETY. address?”
Spring Migrants. Audubon At
1 Saturday 6am - 2pm Brandywine Creek State Home, a new
Great Cypress Swamp. Park. Meet at the Park’s program made possible in part by
DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL Hawk Watch parking lot. the U.S. Department of
SOCIETY. Meet at Boyd’s Don Vasallo, 302-478-1733. Agriculture’s Natural Resources
Corner Park & Ride. Bring Conservation Service (NRCS), is
boots, lunch, and bug spray. 21 Friday 8am bringing conservation home
For information, call Donald White Clay Creek. through an exciting, interactive
Ohlandt, 302-998-3247. Meet at visitors parking lot website designed to give visitors
on Creek Road. A park fee is useful information on making
5 Wednesday 11pm required. Half day. A good their backyards more bird-
(Note time) bit of walking along Creek friendly, and their homes
DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL Road will be done. healthier and safer for their
Please call Peggy Jahn if families. The website helps users
SOCIETY.
you wish to participate, identify the natural characteristics
Look for Rails. Meet at
302-378-6474. of their property and its role in
Boyd’s Corner Park & Ride,
local ecology.
Rte 13 & 301. Bring long
22 Saturday 7am-5pm
boots.
Andy Ednie, 302-792-9591. INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY Audubon is stressing the value of
BIRD DAY. Bombay Hook backyard habitat and asks
8 Saturday. National Wildlife Refuge. participants to make their yard
Bird walks, boat rides, not only bird-friendly but also
DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL
Horseshoe Crabs, and more. bird-safe. The new Audubon At
SOCIETY. Spring Count and Home website,
For schedule of events,
International Migratory Bird <www.audubon.org/bird/at_hom
please call 302-653-6872.
Day. e/index.html>, contains a
Contact: John Janowski, treasure trove of information that
22 Saturday 8am
302-834-9710. gives users the tools to create
DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL
SOCIETY. Delaware Bay backyards that will attract birds
10 Monday 6pm and safeguard them as well.
DELAWARE AUDUBON Shorebirds youth trip. Full
day. RSVP by May 19.
SOCIETY ANNUAL DINNER “Each yard, no matter the size,
For information, call Donald
AND SILENT AUCTION has the potential to help birds,”
Ohlandt, 302-998-3247.
said Sally Conyne, director of the
Delcastle Inn off of Great Backyard Bird Count. “By
29 Saturday 7am
McKennan’s Church Road. providing just a few necessities,
BIRDING AT GRASS DALE
Justin Catanoso will speak your home landscape will attract
Especially for beginners.
on the topic of “The Lewis birds, beneficial insects, and
Meet in the picnic area at
and Clark Expedition: The other wildlife. You’ll be rewarded
Grass Dale Center on
Value of Keeping Journals.” with a low-maintenance yard
Polktown Rd., Delaware
For information, please call bursting with the variety of colors
City. Please call as time may
302-428-3959. and textures you would find in
change. Ann Rydgren,
far wilder places.” To find out
302-235-0242.
more, visit
<www.audubon.org/bird/at_hom
e/index.html>.

Audubon Newswire
5
News & Views
National Reacts continued from page 3

When President Bush was elected in Agency’s budget, and it hamstrings


2000, he pledged to fully fund the the EPA from carrying out its
Land and Water Conservation Fund responsibility of holding industry
program. This budget fails to live up accountable for blatant Clean Air
to his promises: Despite statements Act and Clean Water Act violations.
to the contrary, funding for LWCF
land conservation projects is almost Lastly, the budget continues to fund
$600 million shy of full funding—a the misleadingly labeled “Healthy
huge shortfall. Forests Initiative”—a program that
offers far more for the health of
The budget incorporates revenue timber companies and loggers than
generated from oil drilling in the it does for the health and safety of
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to neighboring communities and the
MORE
give gifts back to election-year forests. AWA R D S
contributors, including big oil FOR THE
companies. This is also out of step The administration’s proposal now
with political reality, as the Senate moves to Congress where the U.S.
D E L AWA R E
has voted down drilling in the Arctic House and Senate will review the AUDUBON
refuge twice in the past two years. President’s funding requests and JO U R N A L
make the final determinations for
The budget continues to follow the the country.
administration precedent of slashing
the Environmental Protection John Bianci The “Bird Tales” column written by
National Audubon Society co-editor and contributing writer
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Mary Leah Christmas has won first
Contact place in the “personal columns,
• Senator Biden 302-573-6345 (senator@biden.senate.gov) specialized” category of the
• Senator Carper 302-573-6291 (carper.senate.gov/email-form.html) Delaware Press Association’s 2004
• Representative Castle 302-428-1902 <http://www.house.gov/castle> Communications Contest. As a
first-place winner, the entry now
and ask them to: withdraw funding from the “Healthy Forests Initiative,” goes to the National Federation of
to fully fund the EPA and LWCF, Press Women for judging.
and to continue to protect the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
National winners will be
announced at the NFPW’s annual
SITE SEEING conference in September, which
this year will be held in Lexington,
This column will suggest Internet websites that Kentucky.
may be of interest to readers. If you have a
favorite that you think will interest others, please Mary also won a second place for
call us at 302-428-3959 or send the address to us “special articles, science, ecology,
at mail@delawareaudubon.org. environment.” Congratulations to
Mary, and our thanks for adding to
Cyber birdwatching! the luster of the Delaware
Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s bird feeder station Audubon Journal.
features several feeders. You can move from one
to another to see what’s there. Mary Leah Christmas resides in
Kent County and has been a
<http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/news/feedercam/> member of the Delaware Audubon
Society since 2002.
6
News & Views
BIRDLIFE ADOPTS TOUGH ELLEN WRIGHT’S
N E W S T R AT E G Y B A C K YA R D
Durban, South Africa WILDLIFE
On the final day of the BirdLife International For those of you who look at your
world conference, delegates adopted a tough, woods and see clearing the exotic
new strategy committing the organisation to invasive plants as an impossible
improve the status of the world’s 10,000 bird task, I wanted to let you know
species and their habitats by 2015. Bird that it is not as bad as it looks.
populations will be the indicators of whether The 50-foot-wide strip of woods
progress is being made in achieving these goals. that borders the back of my
property was full of Japanese
In a final rallying call to the 350 delegates, Honeysuckle and Multiflora Rose.
BirdLife Director Dr. Michael Rands said, “In ten I started on the front of the woods
years’ time, I hope the world can look back at and worked on it a little at a time.
the 2004 BirdLife global conference in Durban I would cut a section of the plants
and see it as a turning point in the way people and then pull them off the trees
around the world treat biodiversity and place and other plants. Because the
local communities at the heart of future vines grew so long, pulling on
conservation efforts.” one section got rid of a lot of it. I
was encouraged at how quickly I
“The strategy we have adopted is a firm made progress.
commitment by the BirdLife Partnership, in more
than 100 countries, to protect the world’s birds There is still some Honeysuckle
and biodiversity for the sake of future and Multiflora Rose, but I cleared
generations. These are not empty words—we quite a bit of it. It amazes me how
must succeed.” much room was taken up by
those two invasive plants. The
“We must ensure that everyone from local woods look pretty bare right now.
people to government ministers knows what is With some patience the tiny,
happening to the world’s biodiversity, why it is native plant seedlings that were
happening, and how through working with having trouble growing due to the
BirdLife and others we can start to put things invasive plants will fill in the bare
right.” spots. The variety of native plants
will provide a varied food source
BirdLife was established in 1994. Since then the for wildlife at different times of
BirdLife Partnership has researched and the year.
identified conservation actions for each of the
world’s 1,211 Globally Threatened Bird species A word of caution:
and identified more than 9,200 sites of vital I encountered a lot of Poison Ivy
importance for birds and other biodiversity mingled with the Honeysuckle
through BirdLife’s Important Bird Area (IBA) and Multiflora Rose. Be on the
program, now widely regarded as the best lookout for Poison Ivy if you get
initiative of its kind. the rash. You can get the rash
from the vines even in winter.
BirdLife has lobbied and facilitated legally
binding protection for more than 2,000 of these
IBAs, and in a major step forward for global
conservation, has formally adopted the
widespread formation of IBA-Site Support
Groups (SSGs).
7
News & Views
JOKES &
B i rd Ta l e s . . . ANECDOTES

Q.
“TV’ S FUNNIEST M OMENTS ”
Did you hear about
3/2/04 the Tawny Owl who set off for
3/5/04
the nature preserve to try to
find a mate?
This morning, a Turkey Vulture While preparing an area of our
was sitting in the middle of the
field next to our house. He kept
backyard for a new garden, I
heard a small plane in the A. It was pouring rain on
the way, so when he got there,
taking furtive glances in the immediate vicinity. Imagine the
direction of our birdfeeders, as if he was too-wet-to-woo.
confused expression on my face
to make sure no one was when I looked up to see a
watching, and would flap his
enormous wings and move
Turkey Vulture circling in the
clear afternoon sky! Funnier still, Q. Did you hear about the
newly discovered red-phase
forward three feet, staying I craned my neck one way and
parallel to our yard. A pause. then the other and never did see owl?
Then some more flapping, and
another three feet. Another
the passenger plane! That was
quite a disconcerting A. It was found in San
Francisco sittin’ on the dock of
pause. Then some more flapping audio/visual experience: A
and an additional three feet. In soaring Turkey Vulture the bay. Scientists are not sure
other words, this was the TV’s “emitting” the steady thrum of a what the common name will be,
but the scientific name is Otus
idea of being stealthy. He finally plane engine.
Redding.
gave up on whatever his project
was, and flew away. It’s hard to Mary Leah Christmas
be discreet when one has a six- Have a joke or brief anecdote of
interest to Delaware Audubon
foot wingspan. members? Send your submissions to
<mail@delawareaudubon.org> for
possible use in a future issue of the
Journal. Be sure to include “Jokes &
Anecdotes” in the subject line.

HERE IS A BIRD FOR


YOU TO COLOR.

B i rd Ta l e s . . .
The Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
gets its name from the small patch of pinkish wash on
its belly that is difficult, if not impossible, to see under
normal viewing conditions

For more information and a color picture of this bird,


go to our website <www.delawareaudubon.org>.
8

BOARD ACTION
BOOKS OF INTEREST • The Delaware Audubon Society
Board of Directors joins with
owners of property, other
Patriots, Stand Up! This is Our Land, provisions of the Clean Air Act and concerned citizens, and
Fight to Take It Back Clean Water Act…and began the organizations to petition the
$9.95, Cedar Tree Press, 2003. dismantlement of the National Delaware Department of Natural
Check our website for availability, Environment Policy Act, America’s Resources and Environmental
<www.delawareaudubon.com>. Magna Carta for the environment, Control to establish a “NO WAKE
while pretending to be ZONE” on the Mispillion River.
Patriots, Stand Up! is a new treatise environmentalists.”
from Delaware Audubon’s honorary • The Board of Directors
chair, former Gov. Russell W. “A simply marvelous piece of work. considered the attempt by the State
Peterson. [The book] describes what has gone to acquire several tracts of land on
wrong with our country, and what the western shore of Rehoboth Bay.
Peterson writes, “The Bush needs to be done to bring it back on
Administration’s record of marching track, in an incredibly effective, We view the offer of land by
in lock step with business to convincing and readable way.” Delaware Wild Lands, Inc., in this
devastate the environment is the Robert, Washington, DC area at a considerable discount—
worst in history…. They have opened one-third the value of the land—to
our treasures of national parks, “I have never been more troubled be too good an opportunity to
refuges, forests and wilderness areas by the direction our political powers ignore. We urge all the members of
to exploitation; adopted an are taking us and I welcome the the Bond Bill Committee to take
environmentally damaging energy courage and inspiration shown in advantage of this opportunity and
plan as defined by oil, coal and Patriots, Stand Up!” please find a way to acquire this
nuclear industries…relaxed Bill Moyers, New York, New York land for public use.

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