2016 - 2017 Season

Click here for last season's programs.


September 14

Kevin T. Karlson
Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Bird

This keynote talk shares a new slant to field identification that Kevin Karlson and his co-author and wife Dale Rosselet call Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds, which is the title of their new book in the Roger Tory Peterson Reference Series at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers (April 2015). The focus of this multi-media presentation encourages a conscious assessment of body shape and physical features of birds prior to analyzing traditional ID field marks. This results in a more holistic approach to birding that includes right and left brain strengths to enhance your birding skills as well as a greater awareness of bird's behavior, movements and natural history rather than just a check on your personal list.

A short description of Birding by Impression is followed by unique digitized or real life photos from their new book that encourages the audience to spot differences between similar species in direct side-by-side comparison. This exciting ID approach concentrates on basic impressions of size, body shape, structural features and motion to form an accurate first impression of birds, with analysis of plumage details and bare parts to follow. Several videos and a musical ending allow for a relaxed appreciation of the beauty and intriguing nature of birds.

October 12

Doug Tallamy
Restoring Nature's Relationships at Home

Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. It is specialized relationships that provide our birds with insects and berries, that disperse our bloodroot seeds, that pollinate our goldenrod, and so on. Plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere. Tallamy will explain why this is so, why specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of the local food webs that support animal diversity, why our yards and gardens are essential parts of the ecosystems that sustain us, how we can use our residential landscapes to connect the isolated habitat fragments around us and produce valuable ecosystem services, and what we can do to make our landscapes living ecosystems once again.

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 84 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 34 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug is also a regular columnist for garden Design magazine. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.

November 9

Bert Filemyr
Birding Oregon: Coastal, Mountain, and Dry Inland Habitats

Centered around the experiences of a June 2010 trip this program will explore the varied habitats of central and northern Oregon. Join six birders from the Philadelphia area as they take an eleven day trip beginning and ending in Portland Oregon. Birding highlights included Sooty Grouse, sea bird colonies, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Western Tanager, Hermit Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Barrow's Goldeneye and other specialties of the Pacific Northwest.

Bert Filemyr is an active field birder both in the Delaware Valley and throughout North America. He has birded extensively in all of 50 states, as well as many of the Canadian provinces. Bert recently completed a long-term goal of seeing at least 100 species in each of the lower 48 states. Retired from a public school teaching career, he pursues his passion for birding while researching topics related to early American ornithology. He currently serves as treasurer and webmaster of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC) and was a member of the championship Nikon/DVOC World Series of Birding Team, the Lagerhead Shrikes. He co-authored, along with Jeff Holt the book "The Composite Prints of Audubon's Birds of America" and a major article on Alexander Wilson in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

See Bert's Oregon Trip at his website: Birding Oregon

December 14

Bill Stewart
2016 State of the Birds - a Presidential Address

Based upon the most recent studies and scientific-based publications, our birds are becoming more and more challenged for survival as each calendar year turns. Bill will send the evening with you reviewing and discussing some of the findings, both from the most challenging and distressing species, but also to the good news makers.

Bill Stewart is the Director of Conservation and Community along with Young Birder Program Coordinator for the American Birding Association. A passionate birder for over 37 years, Bill is currently serving as the President of the Delmarva Ornithological Society. Previously, Bill served as the Conservation Chair for DOS and is the Founder and Coordinator of the Delaware Bird-A-Thon, the Wilmington Peregrine Falcon Webcam Project and the Lights Out! Wilmington initiative. He also served on the Delaware Birding Trail committee and was Co-Director of the Delaware Dunlins Youth Birders. Past Board Member for the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, Bill was awarded the 2010 Conservation Champion Award from the USFWS and the 2010 Citizens Award from the US Dept. of Interior for his bird conservation efforts. Most recently, Bill was awarded the 2014 Rosalie Edge Conservation Award from the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club. In his free time, Bill likes to spend time with his five children, grandson and do a little surfing.


January 11

Bob Pierce
Costa Rica Creatures: Birds and Beasts

Costa Rica, a country about the size of Massachusetts, remains a fascinating place for wildlife watching and bird study. Costa Rica has an outstanding system of natural reserves and parks. One can travel from high elevation cloud forests through savanna-like plains and dense rainforest to coastal habitat. This photographic presentation will feature numerous birds in these various habitats and some of the other creatures that one encounters along the way.

Bob is a retired English Teacher, having spent the last 25 years of his teaching career in the Downingtown School District in Chester County. He has an Associate’s Degree in Photography from Antonelli School of Photography, a BA in English from Ohio Wesleyan University, and a MA in English from West Chester University. He is the current Recording Secretary for the West Chester Bird Club and an active member of the Birding Club of Delaware County. He has presented programs such as Local Birds: From A to Z and Kenya Wildlife to both birding groups as well as to other local organizations. He has an avid interest in all things natural – especially the creatures that fly – and he is a contributing member of many wildlife funds, nature conservancies, and land trusts.

February 8

Sally O'Byrne
Spoonies and Swiftlets - How I hired a Thai guide and learned about birds, salt, and soup in the hinterlands of Bangkok

One of the most famous rare world birds - The Spoon-billed Sandpiper, is found unexpectedly in a very industrial habitat along the coast of Thailand. Why is it so rare, what risks does it face, and what efforts are being made for its conservation? The Swiftlet nesting in nearby urban locations has benefited from man’s epicurean desire for a rare culinary treat. Come learn a bit about two very different birds living relatively close to each other in coastal Thailand, and how human actions have played roles in each of their futures.

A lifelong Delawarean and longtime Wilmington resident, Sally has pursued her interest in natural history as a teacher naturalist for the Delaware Nature Society for 30 years, currently focusing on adult environmental education. Sally was president of the Delmarva Ornithological Society (DOS) for two terms. Her tenure hatched the Bird-A-Thon, and the two Delaware hawk watches. Sally coordinated a year long bird survey at the Russell Peterson urban wildlife refuge 1999-2000, and helped create the Delaware Birding trail. She has participated in numerous surveys including the 5 year Delaware breeding bird atlas, and leads field trips for DOS. Sally is a past board member of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the Christina River Conservancy, and the Delaware Nature Society. She is currently compiler of the Rehoboth CBC, and a site captain of the Christina River Watershed clean-up.

Sally also has an interest in history, being co-author of Wilmington Waterways. She lives in an historic house in downtown Wilmington and has recently studied Quaker industrialists in the founding of Wilmington.

See the video Sally presented, from Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
on Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Breeding Season

March 8

Mariana & Andy Pesthy
Birding Madagascar

Madagascar is well known for the many endemic species of birds and other wildlife unique to this fourth largest island in the world. There are over 100 endemic bird species. Our adventurous trip in 2015 covered a dozen national parks in 24 days, We saw and photographed many of the fantastic birds and amazing reptiles from diverse habitats, such as the Paradise Flycatcher, Helmet Vanga, Rollers, Asitys, and Chameleons.

This presentation combines photographs and video clips to bring you highlights of our Madagascar birding experience.

Mariana and Andy have been BCDC members for well over a decade and have travelled widely in their birding quest.

Online photo gallery used in this program is here.
Online youtube playlist of 8 videos corresponding to the presentation can be found here.

April 12

Kevin Loughlin
Across the Globe in 60 Minutes!

Join Kevin Loughlin, nature photographer and owner of Wildside Nature Tours, on a whirlwind ride across the hemispheres through colorful images from his travels in just the past year! From Alaska to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon River to central Siberia's magnificent Lake Baikal, Kevin's travels have been extraordinary. Eagles, bears, whales, dolphins, penguins, owls and oh, so much more will fill the screen and transport your spirit!

May 10

Bonnie and Phil Witmer
Birding New Mexico

Join Bonnie and Phil Witmer as they recount their adventures on an 8-day January birding trip to New Mexico. Discussion will include trip planning, pictures of birds and locations birded, new birds discovered and new sub-species of familiar birds of the east. From the vastness of Bosque del Apache to the heights of the mountains above Taos, the scenery and birds are spectacular.

June 14

Annual Picnic at Ridley Creek State Park

Ridley Creek State Park, Area #8

Who: You! Your Family! Your Friends! All are welcome!
Where: Ridley Creek State Park, Area #8
When: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Picnic starts around 5:00 pm. (Pavilion available at 8:00 am.)
BCDC Provides:
Soft drinks, Ice, Water, Charcoal, Hot Fire, Plates, Napkins, Cooking Utensils, Condiments
You Bring:
Your food, plus some to share (if desired)