Update as of January 1, 2023
The Patuxent Bird Club and Prince George’s Audubon Society host joint monthly meetings with guest speakers from September through June.Meetings are on the second Tuesday evening of the month. Scroll down to see the meeting schedule.
We are currently holding meetings online through the Zoom platform because of the ongoing Covid situation. Meetings are free and open to the public. Members of Patuxent Bird Club will receive an email containing the Zoom link for each meeting. Members of the public can check the MOS calendar for instructions on obtaining the link.
If you are not familiar with Zoom, please see the article on using Zoom in the September-October 2020 Patuxent Bird Club Newsletter. You can join a bird club Zoom meeting with downloading any software or setting up a Zoom account. See instructions on joining a Zoom meeting without an account. On the other hand, if you wish, you can download the free Zoom app to your computer, tablet or smartphone, and set up a free personal Zoom account. Either way, there is no cost to you to participate in the bird club meetings on Zoom.
Scroll down for details about upcoming meetings.
In-person meetings have usually been held at the Operations Building at the historic College Park Airport, 2nd Floor, 1909 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park, MD 20740 (click for map and directions. We will resume in-person meetings as soon as the board deems it safe to do so with respect to Covid.
Upcoming Meetings with Guest Speakers
Tuesday, September 13, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Presented by Jane & Fred Fallon
Click here to obtain the Zoom link.
While further afield than Costa Rica or Panama as a neotropical birding destination, Ecuador is becoming increasingly popular with North American birders. One of South America’s smaller countries, it is nonetheless larger than the UK; about the size of Colorado. Within that area is a wide variety of habitat, a consequence of the Andes Mountains bisecting the country and creating distinct zones of high and low altitude, and wet and dry forests – including a good chunk of Amazonian rainforest. As a result, the country’s species list is over 1,600 (of which 200 are migrants from North America), comparing favorably with such giants as Colombia and Venezuela. In this talk, examples of native species will be illustrated, with emphasis on the different families represented and their relation to habitat regions. Interspersed, we’ll cover living conditions, infrastructure, and tips on travel.
About the Presenters: Jane Fallon was raised in Northern Lower Michigan, in the resort town of Petoskey on the shores of Lake Michigan. She earned a BS at Michigan State University and an MS in Mathematics at The Ohio State University. After working in Chicago for a couple of years she moved to Maryland. She likes to be outside whether birding, botanizing, hiking, kayaking, or gardening. Jane retired from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 2013.
Fred’s educational background is in astronomy, optics, and statistics, with a bit of aeronomy and geophysics. He has a PhD in astronomy from the University of Florida and has conducted research at the University of South Florida, Goddard Space Flight Center, and NOAA. He is a native of this area, raised in Silver Spring (and Selby Bay near Edgewater during summers), where he started birding at age 14, and got really serious about 40 years ago after joining MOS and PGAS. Fred has long been active in bird conservation, for several years leading the MD Partners in Flight Habitat Committee, where he was proud to have helped write the ground-breaking manual “Habitat Management Guidelines for the Benefit of Land Birds in Maryland” in collaboration with great regional experts. While on a PGAS canoe trip, Fred met future wife Jane. Since then, they’ve birded together for over 30 years and been active in our Patuxent chapter. They’ve been happy taking a few excursions far afield such as this trip to Ecuador.
Tuesday, October 11, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Churchill, Manitoba: Birds, Bears, and Belugas
Presented by Dr. Matthew C. Perry
Click here to obtain the Zoom link.
The talk by Matt Perry is based on 13 trips he made to Churchill, Manitoba, in conjunction with his research on seaducks, but also as a leader of ecotours. Most of his time was devoted to Long-tailed Ducks, but in the process, he had exciting experiences with many species of birds, as well as bears and belugas. His program will reveal the importance of this sub-tundra area to all groups of wildlife, while presenting highlights of his studies with ducks. The Churchill area provides the geography, climate, vegetation, and invertebrates that make it outstanding habitat for a great diversity of birds and other wildlife, including charismatic species like polar bears and belugas.
About the Presenter: Dr. Matthew C. Perry is a Scientist Emeritus at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Dr. Perry’s love of birds was a constant throughout his life and resulted in him choosing to major in wildlife management at the University of Rhode Island. He also earned an MS degree in wildlife management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in avian science from the University of Maryland. Matt served as an officer in the US Navy during the mid-1960s and spent many hours cruising off the coast of South Vietnam. Later Matt worked at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, where he conducted numerous research studies, mainly in waterfowl nutrition, Chesapeake Bay ecology, and in the management, restoration, and creation of wildlife habitat. His last official research projects dealt with a study of seaducks in the Atlantic Flyway, which included a nutrition study of captive ducks and a satellite telemetry tracking study with wild ducks. Matt retired after 45 years with the Federal government, but as an emeritus scientist continues to publish research articles, and recently completed a research project in Argentina dealing with satellite telemetry of ducks. Matt is a founding member of the Prince George’s Audubon Society and a long-time member of Patuxent Bird Club and MOS.
Tuesday, November 8, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Exploring and Birding Puerto Rico
Presented by Matt Felperin
Click here to obtain Zoom link.
In January 2022, Matt was lucky enough to be gifted a spot for a guided birding tour of Puerto Rico. Due to the island’s diligent COVID protocols and its status as a U.S. territory, it was a perfect place to travel to during the pandemic. Because of the island’s small size, there is a lot of ground that can be covered in a week’s time. The group was able to observe all ~17 endemic birds on the island in addition to several other “lifers” for Matt. In this presentation, Matt will share vivid, high-resolution photographs of wildlife and scenery he encountered, in addition to tips on how to bird this island paradise on your own!
About the presenter: Matt Felperin is a D.C. area local, raised in Takoma Park, MD. He is the Roving Naturalist with NOVA Parks, the regional park system of Northern Virginia. Matt has always been drawn to nature, and has been sharing his findings with anyone within earshot since his days as a small child looking for salamanders and crayfish in nearby Sligo Creek. He truly treasures the Chesapeake Bay and has enjoyed field work and naturalist programs in several types of habitats within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and credits working under naturalist Greg Kearns for sparking his love of birds. As the NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist, Matt leads environmental education and recreation programs such as bird walks and kayak tours for the public. He views his wildlife photography work as one of the most useful tools to connect people with nature. Matt serves as the Coordinator of the Fall Bird Count for our chapter, and also manages our Facebook page.
Tuesday, December 8, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before film
Annual Holiday Film Night; film TBA
Tuesday, January 10, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Saving Grassland Birds in Southern Maryland
Presented by David Moulton
David Moulton will discuss “Saving Southern Maryland’s Grassland Birds,” a local demonstration project that focuses on slowing and reversing the decline of two local breeding species — Eastern Meadowlarks and Grasshopper Sparrows. These grassland-obligate species can only nest in the center of large hayfields, primarily in May and June, when they build their nests directly in the path of spring hay harvest machinery such as mowers, tedders, balers and trucks. Moulton’s project is now in its third year of demonstrating alternative techniques to typical hay management that cause less bird mortality during the overlapping breeding and mowing season.
About the presenter: David Moulton has been birding since he was a boy in Massachusetts, where he accompanied his birding dad to such hotspots as Plum Island, Cape Ann, and the Great Meadows of Concord. He moved to Washington, DC to attend law school and to pursue a professional career working on energy, environment and climate policy in the US House of Representatives. Now in retirement, David devotes much of his time to saving habitat for birds. In 2020, he initiated a nonprofit demonstration project in St. Mary’s County: Saving Southern Maryland’s Grassland Birds. This project educates landowners and farmers about bird-friendly hay mowing techniques that can lessen the mortality of grassland birds during the breeding season. David is also the field trip coordinator for the Southern Maryland Audubon Society, a current board member of the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust, and a former member of the Administrative Board of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. After six decades-worth of hours in the field, he can finally report a Life List that topped 700 species last May with the sighting of a very elusive Montezuma Quail.
Click here to obtain Zoom link.
Tuesday, February 14, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Gulls of North America
Presented by Fred Shaffer
This talk will highlight the many common and rare species of gulls to be seen in North America. Fred Shaffer will also discuss some of the varied features and natural history that make gulls such a distinctive group of birds. Fred will also tell stories about how he became interested in gulls while observing them on a daily basis at Schoolhouse Pond in Upper Marlboro, across the street from where he worked for MNCPPC in the Prince George’s County Administration Building. His book “Gulls of North America” was published by Schiffer Publishing in March 2022.
About the presenter: Fred Shaffer is a life-long Maryland birder with a passion for gulls. Now retired, he worked for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for over thirty years and developed his love for gulls at Schoolhouse Pond in Upper Marlboro. He has studied gulls in Maryland and across North America with a goal of photographing all ages and plumages of North American gulls. He has published articles on gulls in Maryland Birdlife, compiled the Checklist of Birds for Schoolhouse Pond, and served on the Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee. Fred is also past president of the Patuxent Bird Club.
Click here to obtain Zoom link.
Tuesday, March 14, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Maryland Biodiversity Project
Present by Jim Brighton
The guest speaker, Jim Brighton, is the co-founder, with Bill Hubick, of the Maryland Biodiversity Project (MBP), a unique statewide initiative to create an atlas of all the state’s living things. MBP is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Jim will talk about milestones reached during the first 10 years and some exciting new projects.
Click here to obtain Zoom link.
Tuesday, April 11, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Bird Song Evolution in Male and Female Birds
Presented by Dr. Karan Odom
The guest speaker, Dr. Karan Odom, is a behavioral ecologist interested in the evolution of elaborate traits. Specifically, she examines how complex bird song varies between females and males throughout songbird species and what selection pressures have influenced the evolution of elaborate female traits.
Click here to obtain Zoom link.
Tuesday, May 9, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before speaker
Hog Island Camp Experiences.
Presented by Genny Davis and Ayla McDonough.
Hog Island MOS Scholarship Winners Genny Davis and Ayla McDonough will discuss their experiences at camp; these winners were sponsored by Patuxent Bird Club.
Click here to obtain Zoom link
Tuesday, June 13, 7:30 pm – Zoom opens at at 7:00 pm for informal social time before photo presentations.
Annual Members Night.
Members of Patuxent Bird Club and PGAS will share their photos of birds and birding. This is our annual Members’ Night, when bird club members share their photos of birds and birding. Members will tell tales to accompany their photos.
Upcoming Bird Walks, Field Trips, and Other Activities
- Fran Uhler Natural Area – first Saturday of each month: January 7, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5. Leader: Bill Sefton. Meet at the parking area off Lemons Bridge Road north of Bowie State University at 7:30 am. Click link for directions and maps.
- Governor Bridge Natural Area – third Saturday of each month: January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15, May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19. Leader: Bill Sefton. Meet at the parking area off Governor Bridge Road, south and east of the Route 301/Route 3/Route 50 interchange at 7:30 am. Click link for directions and maps.
- Lake Artemesia Natural Area – first and third Thursdays of each month: January 5, January 19, February 2, February 16, March 2, March 16, April 6, April 20, May 4, May 18, June 1, June 15, July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17. The walks are led by Terry Watson and Marc Manheimer on an alternating basis. Meet at the parking lot at the corner of Ballew Avenue and Berwyn Road in Berwyn Heights. The start time is 3 pm from September through March but changes to 6 pm from April through August.
- Saturday, April 8 – Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. A rare opportunity to bird the highly productive Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), which is not open to the public. Club member Michel Cavigelli, a BARC employee, will lead the group on a tour of some of the most productive birding areas at BARC. The trip is timed for the start of early migration. Meet at 7 AM at the Log Lodge at BARC, located at 302 Log Lodge Rd, Beltsville, MD 20705. Log Lodge Rd is the first turn off from Powder Mill Road east of Research Rd. Note that if the gate from Powder Mill Rd to Log Lodge Rd is closed, you can get to the Log Lodge parking area from Beaver Dam Rd, which runs south of Powder Mill and parallel to it. You can use this Google Map to navigate to the Log Lodge parking lot: https://goo.gl/maps/ez3eTewfV3VL7p8A7. We will likely bird near the lodge for about a half-hour, then will move to different locations, based on where birds have been seen recently, so be sure to arrive on time. We will bird until 10 AM but you will be able to leave anytime sooner. Slots are limited and advance reservations are required; please contact Michel Cavigelli (email@example.com) no later than Wednesday, April 5th to reserve your spot.
- Saturday, May 13. Annual MOS Spring Bird Count (May Count). Annual state-wide bird census. We will be counting birds throughout Prince George’s County. Pick your favorite park or wildlife area or cover several. Backyard counts also welcome. Pre-registration required in order to confirm area assignment to avoid overlap. Rain or shine. Choose your own start and stop times, but counters are encouraged to spend as much time in the field as possible. Pre-dawn or post-dusk owling and railing are encouraged. Contact coordinator Matt Felperin to pre-register – see April-May newsletter for contact information.
- Sunday, May 28 – Delaware Bay Shorebirds, full day, start time 9 AM at Bombay Hook. By popular demand, Fred and Jane Fallon have agreed to reprise their renowned field trip to view Red Knots and other migrating shorebirds of Delaware Bay. Fred and Jane will lead us to several areas along the Bay to see migrating shorebirds that mass to feed on Horseshoe Crab eggs. Be prepared for an all-day outing. Bring scope, lunch, snacks, water, insect repellent, and appropriate weather-related gear. (There is no place to purchase food once we start birding.) Reservations required; email Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org. The group will meet at the Bombay Hook Visitor Center; plan to arrive there no later than 9 AM. (Note that the driving time from Bowie is 1 ½ – 2 hrs. and can be longer if the Bay Bridge is backed up.) When Fred responds to your email RSVP, he will provide opportunities for people who need a ride to arrange for car-pooling. Further information will be supplied before trip day. For directions to Bombay Hook, see https://www.friendsofbombayhook.org/visitorinfo.html Be aware of the toll at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; the bridge no longer has cash toll lanes and all tolls are collected through EZPass or Video Tolling.
- Thursday, June 1 – Patuxent Research Refuge – South Tract, 8 – 10 AM. Patuxent Bird Club is co-sponsoring this special bird walk in celebration of Black Birders Week. Leaders will be Maria Montero from Patuxent Bird Club and Dara M. Wilson, co-chair of the National Organizing Committee for Black Birders Week. Registration required. Go to the eventbrite website to register and for more details.