You are on page 1of 8

c PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER

Delaware
Journal
PRESERVING OUR
N AT U R A L S TAT E
Audubon
Vol. XXV1I No.2
January -February 2005

YOUR BOARD IN ACTION


NATIONAL LEVEL
TA K E B A C K A U D U B O N
At National Audubon’s Annual Meeting of Members in December 2003,
certain Take Back Audubon resolutions were proposed, and an Ad Hoc
Committee was formed to address concerns.The Ad Hoc Committee has
since met and reported back, and copies of a draft report have been sent to
the Chapters for comment.The Committee will be integrating the feedback
into the final report and presenting the final recommendations to National
D E L AWA R E Audubon for approval at the January 2005 Board of Directors meeting in
AUDUBON Naples, Florida.

Representatives from the Ad Hoc Committee met with Delaware Audubon


IN THIS ISSUE Board members in October 2004 to address concerns. It is the position of
Delaware Audubon that “the issues with the base document and its
construction continue to raise significant misgivings of a future relationship
Backyard Wildlife ....................6 between the Delaware Audubon and National Audubon Societies.We still
commend the Committee for their hard work and effort in this regard and
Bird Tales ................................7 hope that the commentary provided will help to inform the Committee and
make for better decisions. It is our desire that we can bridge the huge divide
Books of Interest ......................8 between us through this discourse.”

Calendar ..................................4 Among other proposals, National Audubon would be withdrawing the dues
share from Chapters. For a Chapter the size of ours, encompassing an entire
Letter From the President ..........2 state, this would represent a major financial blow.

More than Just Birds..................3 You can view the Ad Hoc Committee’s report, and Delaware Audubon’s
seven-page response, on Delaware Audubon’s website,
News & Views ....................5,6,7 <www.delawareaudubon.org>.

Officers & Committees..............2


LOCAL LEVEL
Site Seeing ................................5
M A R I N E FA R M D E V E L O P M E N T P R O J E C T
Thank You! ..............................7 The historic, predominantly African-American community of Jimtown, in
Sussex County, is facing the possibility of a new neighbor in the form of a
What You Can Do ....................3
651-unit residential area on what is now the Marine Farm property.Apart
ACTION, continued on page 7

DELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY, INC.


A State-wide Chapter of National Audubon
Delaware Audubon Society
2004-2005 Officers & Committees 2
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
If there are any issues that you think Audubon should
2004 has been a turbulent year for all the affiliates of the address that you feel strongly about, please write
Issues, P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington, DE 19899, or call
National Audubon Society. Please read “Your Board in the office at 302-428-3959. Chairpersons can always
Action:Take Back Audubon” in this issue of the Delaware be reached through the office answering machine,
Audubon Journal and visit our website, 302-428-3959.
<www.delawareaudubon.org>, for more details.The points Honorary Chairman of the Board
of contention have long-term ramifications for local ........................................Russell W. Peterson
Chapters and the national organization alike.
President ........................................Asha Iyengar
Thank you for your contributions during our end-of-the- Vice President ..............................Ann Rydgren
year fundraising drive. Now more than ever, your generosity Secretary ........................................Ellen Wright
takes on added importance.Without your support, many of Treasurer........................................Mark Martell
our most popular and visible programs would be cut back
or cease to exist:Audubon Adventures, the Delaware Conservation Committees:
Audubon Journal, bluebird nestboxes, Purple Martin Environmental Advocate ......Nick DiPasquale
apartments, the “Piping Plover Suite,” and our ability to Dredging ........................................Leslie Savage
monitor issues you feel are important. Nest Box Projects ............................Peggy Jahn
Armchair Activists ....................................Open
Finally, on behalf of our Board of Directors, I hope 2005 will Adopt-a-Wetland
be a year of citizen power in Delaware: Continued vigilance ................................Peggy Jahn, Kathy Tidball
of Premcor, staying the course in protecting our fragile White Clay Creek Adopt-a-Highway
coastal areas, protecting our waterways from oil spills, and ..................................................Dorothy Miller
forcing the polluters to accept responsibility for their Important Bird Area Program
actions. ....................................................Ann Rydgren

Thank you for your past and future support! Programs Committee ..............................Open
Publicity Committee
Internet: ..................................Fred Breukelman
dasmail@delawareaudubon.org
Asha Iyengar Membership................................................Open
Records ........................................Dave Brannan
Education Committee ................Kathy Tidball
Social Committee
Annual Dinner ......................Nancy Frampton
The Audubon Journal is ▼ WEB SITE
published bi-monthly by the
Field Trips Committee ....................Peggy Jahn
http://www.delawareaudubon.org
Delaware Audubon Society. Publications Committee ............Ann Rydgren
▼ MAILING ADDRESS:
Original articles may be Delaware Audubon Society
reprinted without permission. Finance Committees
P.O. Box 1713
Please give credit to the Delaware Audubon Fundraising:Grants ......................Mark Martell
Wilmington, DE 19899
Journal and the author. Fundraising:Bird Seed Sale
▼ TELEPHONE:
..................................Tom and Tabitha Shuey
Co-editor: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Rydgren 302-428-3959
Fundraising: Birdathon
Co-editor and Contributing Writer: ▼ DELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY E-MAIL:
..................Maud Dayton and Ruth Holden
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mary Leah Christmas dasmail@delawareaudubon.org
Fundraising: Silent Auction..............John Knox
Assistant Editor: . . . . . . . . . . . Barbara Roewe
We can receive contributions
Fundraising:Wildlife Sanctuary ..............Open
Design & Layout : . . . . . . . . . .Maryellen F. Birk
through your United Way payroll
Fundraising:Piping Plover Suite ....Ann Rydgren
Printing: . . . . . . . . .Sprint Quality Printing, Inc.
deduction designation. Our
Delaware Audubon Society, incorporated in United Way designation number
Legal ............................Michael J. Scali, Esquire
1977, is a state- wide chapter of the National is 9017.
Audubon Society. Directors for service until 2005:
Peggy Jahn Leslie Savage
VISIT DELAWARE AUDUBON'S WEBSITE Directors for service until 2006:
http://www.delawareaudubon.org. Dorothy Miller
Sample educational, informative articles and features. Order books and other goodies Directors for service until 2007
from the Marketplace. Search the archive of past articles. Visit our photo gallery.
John Knox Tom Shuey
Survey legislative updates and Action Alerts. Email policy makers.
Fred Breukelman
“Preserve Our Natural State” 3
W H AT Y O U C A N D O . . .

MORE T H A N J U S T B I R D S ... W. Barksdale Maynard WE NEED YOU!

A D E L AWA R E N AT I O N A L P A R K
VOLUNTEER
Few outsiders know much about Delaware, except for having driven through on I-95
or visited one of its racetracks or beaches. Its obscurity is tied to its extremely small
O P P O RT U N I T I E S
size. Only one American in 362 is a Delawarean, and the state comprises just one
part in 1,800 of the nation’s land area. It has the fewest counties of any state: just Join the fun!
three (compared to 254 in Texas). Even if Delaware were a city rather than a state, it Meet new people!
would rank only twelfth in the country, behind San Jose and Detroit.
Do a great thing!
Delaware has long been the only state without a national park, but now plans are
underway to change this.The creation of Delaware National Coastal Heritage Park ✶ NEEDED NOW!
will unfortunately not involve the purchasing of any new lands for preservation, but Nick DiPasquale needs a few
at least it will draw greater attention to Delaware’s threatened Coastal Zone.That more people to work on the
270,000-acre region is the state’s greatest ecological asset, as indicated by its having Conservation Committee.
been named a Globally Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Please help!

In a past era, the Federal government might have bought vast areas along the ✶ WILDFLOWERS
Delaware Bay for inclusion in this new park—including uplands that have long been Wildflower enthusiast for special
legally protected against heavy industry but not against that 21st-century threat, area in Dover.
housing developments, which are spreading ever closer to Port Penn and Bombay
Hook. ✶ WELCOME WAGON
Fun loving, creative person needed
A national park in Delaware will help educate Americans about the obscure First to recruit and integrate new
State and its natural resources.As plans for the park are formulated, one hopes members.
against hope for the grandest possible vision of protecting the Coastal Zone.
✶ MARKETING/RECRUITMENT
Need someone with a “Type A”
What You Can Do
personality and marketing
Everyone seems to agree that Delaware should have a national park, but everyone
experience willing to help the
does not agree where it should be.What do you think? Give us your suggestions.
environment in Delaware through
Address your comments to dasmail@delawareaudubon.org with “Delaware National
member recruitment, targeted
Park” in the Subject line, or to “Delaware National Park,” Delaware Audubon
marketing and advertising for our
Society, P.O. Box 1713,Wilmington, DE 19899.
annual birdseed sale, general
member solicitation, and expanding
S I L E N T A U C T I O N A L E RT our annual appeal.

It’s not too soon to start looking around for Silent Auction items.All Delaware ✶ ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY
Audubon members are on the auction committee.We need your help! In past years, Team of two people with 146 years
many of you have made this important and entertaining Audubon fundraiser a of combined life experience wishes
success. to hand off Adopt-a-Highway
activity to team of four with 146
Please help by making a donation of merchandise or services for the auction. years or less life experience. In
Merchants are usually happy to donate a gift certificate or an item to our auction. other words, we’re getting too old
Restaurants, theaters, concerts, movies, food, art, crafts, and plants are all popular. to do this!

What You Can Do Please call 302-428-3959


and leave a message if you
Be creative and donate your particular skills or a special, guided field trip. Please call are interested in helping.
John Knox, 302-428-3959, by February 15 and leave a message to make
arrangements for your donations.
N O M I N AT I N G 4
COMMITTEE
Calendar FEBRUARY 2005
To maintain the mission of the
Delaware Audubon Society, dedicated
people must make it happen.This
18-21 Great Backyard Bird Count starts with a strong Board. Now is the
Enter your sightings online through BirdSource at time for Board nominations for the
<www.birdsource.org/gbbc>, a joint National coming year.
Audubon/Cornell Lab of Ornithology project.
Please contact any member of the
Nominating Committee, Fred
I want Audubon to sponsor a program on [topic]
Breukelman, Leslie Savage, or Dave
______________________________________________
Brannan before February 15, 2005
By telephone:
______________________________________________ 302-428-3959
in my area. By mail:
Nominations
Delaware Audubon Society
Name ________________________________________ P.O. Box 1713
Wilmington, DE 19899
Address ______________________________________ By e-mail:
<dasmail@delawareaudubon.org>
______________________________ZIP: ____________
Include the following information:
Daytime Phone: ________________________________ Nominee’s Name, Nominee’s Daytime
and Evening Telephone Numbers, and
Send to: the Name of the Person Making The
Programs Nomination.
Delaware Audubon Society
P.O. Box 1713 BLUEBIRD
Wilmington, DE 19899
BOXES
or e-mail with Subject line “Programs” to
Downstate Pick-up
<dasmail@delawareaudubon.org>.
Available

✃ J O I N D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N N O W !
To help you appreciate and understand
nature, Delaware Audubon has
available by order well-constructed
INTRODUCTORY MEMBERSHIP OFFER pine nest-boxes with a shingle roof, a
For $20.00 Receive Membership to wire mesh insert for insect protection,
National Audubon Society and Delaware Audubon Society and an easy front opening. Designed
Join NOW and receive a FREE navy blue backpack!
by Warren Lauder, this box has proven
to be one of the best. Nest boxes
Name ________________________________________________________________ should go up in February before
Bluebirds return to nest.
Address ______________________________________________________________
City _________________________________ State ___________ Zip ___________ Help Delaware Audubon and help the
Phone ( ) __________________________________________________
Bluebirds come back! Priced at $25,
we are sure you will be pleased with
Referred By__________________________Date ____________________________ this box. Order now for yourself and
your friends.
Please make all checks payable to: National Audubon Society
Send this application and your check to: Downstate members can pick up their
Delaware Audubon Society
7XCH boxes from Dennis Foley near Milton,
P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington, DE 19899 DE. Please arrange for pick-up when
D90 you call Fred Jahn, 302-378-6474.
5
News & Views
PHOTOS: FRED BREUKELMAN

“P I P I N G P L O V E R S U I T E ” M A K E S W O R L D D E B U T
About 200 listeners were in the audience when the “Piping Plover Suite” had its
world premiere performance on October 3 at Coast Day in Lewes. Commissioned
by Delaware Audubon and composed by Scott Roewe, the four-minute symphonic
work is intended to help raise awareness of the plight of the Piping Plover.

Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood, Dean of the University of Delaware Graduate College of


Marine Studies and Director of the Delaware Sea Grant College Program,
introduced composer Scott Roewe. Dr.Thoroughgood then read a narrative about
the plight of the Piping Plover and described each of the movements in the Suite,
while the band illustrated her narration with appropriate samples of the music.
Following this introduction, the band played the complete Suite.

Composer Scott Roewe came to Coast Day from his home in California to hear the
premiere performance of his work. He was honored at a reception hosted by
Delaware Coastal Programs and Delaware Natural Heritage Program. Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood explains the
plight of the Piping Plover before the
Since the debut, demand for the CD has been brisk, with 50 downloads in just the “Piping Plover Suite” makes its debut.
two days following the performance at Coast Day.The Suite has even been
downloaded by individuals in Alaska and Greece. Band directors have also shown SITE SEEING
their enthusiasm for the project. Pam Letts of H.B. du Pont Middle School is
including the “Piping Plover Suite” in their Spring Concert.

The Piping Plover, which makes its home along the Atlantic coastline, is a “threatened
and endangered” species. It is hoped that the “Piping Plover Suite,” based on the call
of this shy and gentle bird, will continue to be a rallying cry to action.

An audio version of the “Piping Plover Suite” and the accompanying Teacher
Resource Packet can be downloaded from the Delaware Audubon website
<www.delawareaudubon.org> free of charge.

This column suggests Internet


websites that may be of interest to
readers. Call us at 302-428-3959 or
send the address to us at
<dasmail@delawareaudubon.org>if
you have a favorite site that you
think will interest others.

It is interesting to read how other


Audubon Chapters have responded
to the Draft Recommendations of
the National Audubon Ad Hoc
Committee. Go to
Cape Henlopen Community Band, directed “Piping Plover Suite” composer Scott
<http://www.audubon.org/local/cso/
by Barry Eli, performs the “Piping Plover Roewe, at reception, with Ann Rydgren, adhoccom/> and read Item #10.
Suite” on Coast Day, October 3, 2004. Delaware Audubon Society.
6
News & Views
NEWS FROM NATIONAL E L L E N W R I G H T ’ S B A C K YA R D W I L D L I F E
T H E Y ’ R E E V E RY W H E R E !
S TAT E OF THE BIRDS Early in the spring, it is fun to see the tiny Praying Mantises that appear from their
On Tuesday, October 19, the National egg cases left by the females in late summer.They are a lot easier to spot when they
Audubon Society released “The State are full size. Using the push lawnmower presents quite a challenge to avoid the
of the Birds,” a report documenting Praying Mantises that are everywhere.
the health and abundance of North
America’s birds.Appearing in the They seem to love my wildlife gardens. I see them everywhere.They end up in my
October issue of Audubon magazine, house on laundry baskets, laundry, anything that is left outside for a few minutes.
“The State of the Birds” paints a One day, I was in the house and saw something on my shoulder out of the corner
disturbing picture.Almost 30% of of my eye. It was a Praying Mantis.
America’s bird species are in
“significant decline,” a situation that Several times during the summer, a Praying Mantis was hanging out on the
signals seriously degraded Hummingbird feeder.The Hummingbirds were not happy.They would fly to the
environmental conditions in the feeder and taunt the Praying Mantis by flying up to it and flying away.This would go
habitats these birds call on for a while until the Hummingbird would land on the other side of the feeder
home. from the Praying Mantis to feed on the sugar water.

The bottom line:The In late summer, the Praying Mantises can be seen everywhere mating.They are on
state of the birds in the window screens, screen doors, and all around the gardens. I am careful not to
2004 is not sound. In disturb their egg cases while working in the garden.
particular, a disturbing
70% of grassland In the spring, the tiny Praying Mantises emerge from their egg cases and the cycle
species; 36% of begins again.
shrubland bird species;
Editor’s Note:
25% of forest bird
There are several species of Praying Mantises (Mantids) in Delaware, but only one of them
species; 13% of wetland
comes with this historic footnote. Tenodera angustipennis, or Narrow-winged Mantid, was
species; and 23% of bird
first discovered in the U.S. in 1930 near Vandyke, Delaware, northwest of Smyrna. This
species in urban areas
species of the Far East was first identified in 1871 by H. L. F. de Saussure. The oldest
are showing “statistically
example of T. angustipennis in the entomology collection of the University of Delaware was
significant declines.”
collected on September 4, 1939, in Newark, Delaware. The Narrow-winged Mantid is
thought less common in Delaware than the Chinese or European Mantid.
According to “The State
of the Birds,” these declines are Special thanks to Dr. Charles Bartlett, Curator of the Insect Reference Collection at the
abnormal. Not part of the natural, University of Delaware, for his assistance in providing some further details for this Editor’s
cyclical rise and fall of bird populations, Note. MLC
“statistically significant declines” are
due to outside factors such as loss of
native grasslands, overgrazing, J O K E S & A N E C D O T E S ...
development of wetlands, bad forest
management, invasive species, pollution, An otherwise happily married man had only one complaint: His wife was always
and poor land use decisions. nursing sick birds. One evening he came home to find a Raven with a splint on its
wing sitting in his favorite chair; on the dining room table was a feverish Eagle
A digest of the report was published in pecking at some food; while in the kitchen his wife was comforting a shivering little
the October 2004 issue of Audubon Wren she had found in the snow.The furious spouse strode over to where his wife
magazine, and a further analysis is was toweling down the cold, little bird.“I can’t take it anymore!” he fumed.“We’ve
available on the Audubon website, got to get rid of all these...” His wife held up her hand to cut him off in mid-
<www.audubon.org/bird/stateofthebirds> sentence.“Please, dear,” she said,“not in front of the chilled Wren.”
7
News & Views
Bird Tales . . . Mary Leah Christmas

G U L L S A-G O -G O A B I G B I R D -S E E D
“T H A N K Y O U ”
Snow on the ground brings gulls to our yard. Not seagulls, as there is no
such thing (look it up), but Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis). I have come Thanks to everyone who purchased
to suspect that’s Latin for “Delaware Larder-Thief.” Take last winter.They bird seed! Our annual bird seed sale
eyed me as I filled the feeders, so I went in the house and fetched some was a great success thanks to the
Triscuits.They had recently swiped from a group of bickering Starlings a hard work of Bird Seed Sale
cheese-encrusted Triscuit—fallout from a holiday dinner—so I knew they Committee Chairs:
liked the brand.Thus, I became known in gull circles as a soft touch.And
circle they do. Tom Shuey
Tabitha Shuey
Well, here we go again.There is snow on the ground and more falling.As I
refilled the feeders this morning, a gull landed at the corner of the patio, and and their crew of bag handlers and
while fixing me with one eye he took a chomp out of the snow to give me a paper shufflers:
hint. Meanwhile, his buddies buzzed the lawn, waiting for me to do their
leader’s bidding. On emerging with the booty, I could almost hear the Asha Iyengar
simultaneous clicks of the gulls locking-in the coordinates of our yard on Ann Rydgren
their personal GPS systems. Mark Martell
Erik Martell
Doing some research, I learned these gulls were first identified by Bret Martell
Philadelphia-based ornithologist George Ord in 1815.The “delawarensis” part Mike Warner
is not explained, so we are left to conjecture: Ord, passing through Dave Warner
Delaware, was standing in the parking lot of a stagecoach stop (known today Mark Kawalski
as Burger King) and got shaken down for the historically correct equivalent
of a large order of fries. Hence, his immortalization of these indefatigable
snack-stealers.Their credo? Hand it over, or have it taken from your hand.

And so it goes.

ACTION, continued from page 1

from concerns about the human residents’ ablility to preserve their rural quality of
life are concerns about the proposed development’s wildlife impact.

Gerrit van Burk of the Citizens Coalition read a letter on behalf of the Delaware
Audubon Board to the Sussex County Council.The letter cited the seven
endangered species present on the 374-acre property, as well as “an historical and
currently used Eagle’s nest.” Therefore, the letter continued, it is the position of
Delaware Audubon that the property be designated a wildlife preserve.The letter
also enumerated a number of concerns about the project as it now stands, and
whether the plans comply with certain State and Federal regulations.

Further information about this action regarding the Marine Farm Development is
available on Delaware Audubon’s website, <www.delawareaudubon.org>.
8
BOOKS OF INTEREST “P A S S T H E
(L O C A L LY G R O W N )
In Delaware...: Nature’s Rhythms in
C H E S T N U T S , P L E A S E !”
Poetry with Photography
Mary Berns Lewis. as in Delaware’s Blackbird State Journal readers may recall from our
Hardcover, 9-1/2” x 12”, 144 pages. Forest. March/April 2004 issue that there is a
2000. NorthStar Studio Press, movement under way to help restore
Wilmington, DE. The dustjacket describes the contents the American Chestnut tree in
as drawing “on universal themes of Delaware.The American Chestnut was
This “coffee-table book,” of 146 color nature’s rhythms: tides, seasons, diurnal wiped out during the nationwide blight
photographs, visits such Delaware cycles, migration, regeneration” and of 1904. Since then, a hybrid has been
locales as: Lums Pond, Cape Henlopen the moods expressed from developed, resulting in a Chestnut
State Park,Trap Pond, Brandywine “whimsical” to “soul-searching.” Of the which retains the sweetness of the
Creek State Park,Woodland Beach, 33 original poems, some are about American trees while having the blight-
Abbott’s Mill, Blackbird State Forest, nature, and others about human resistance and peelability of the
Woodlawn Wildlife Area,Winterthur, nature, but all address the vicissitudes Chinese variety.
Bombay Hook NWR, Harvey Mill of life.
Area, Bellevue State Park, and For further
Naamans Creek. Against these According to her bio,“Mary Berns information
backdrops are seen Horseshoe Crabs, Lewis is a poet, an artistic about local
Red-winged Blackbirds, thistles, photographer, and a scientist. She Chestnuts,
butterflies, and even a passing studied art at the Pennsylvania contact:
hurricane. Academy of the Fine Arts and has her Delmarvelous
Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Farms in
Some of the photos are evocative of University of Delaware.An award- Townsend
works by famous painters. For winning artist, her work has been <www.buychestnuts.com>.
instance, the cover art,“Sunrise with exhibited internationally and she is See also the American Chestnut
Egret Overlay, Bombay Hook” reminds listed in Who’s Who in America.” Dr. Cooperators Foundation
this reviewer of Maxfield Parrish’s Lewis may also be one of Delaware’s <www.angelfire.com/tn/americanchest
“Daybreak.” Several images of water best kept secrets...but not for long. nut> and the Northern Nut Growers
lilies could as easily have been Association <http://icserv.com/nnga/>.
captured at Monet’s beloved Giverny MLC

Delaware Audubon Society


P.O. Box 1713
Wilmington, DE 19899

Related Interests