PGAS Winter/Spring 2017 Program Schedule

PGAS monthly programs are held on the second Tuesday of each month, September through June, in partnership with the Patuxent Bird Club, a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society.  There are no programs scheduled in the summer months.  PGAS members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings and non-members are always welcome.

The formal program always begins at 7:30 pm, but doors open at 7:00 for informal conversation, refreshments, and exchange of birding news.  Each program opens with brief statements from leaders of both clubs about upcoming events, items of interest and other club business, followed by the featured speaker with a question-and-answer period afterwards. 

Click on the location links below for directions and click on the program dates for more information about the presentations.

January 10
College Park Airport Operations Building
Phil Davis
The Azores and Madeira Islands: Endemics and Island Beauty
February 14
Ken Cohen
Gearing Up: Tools & Tech
March 14

April 11 Gene Scarpulla
Native Bees of Maryland
May 9
Gregory Kearns Brazil: Rio, Iguazu  and the Pantanal
June 13
Member-Share Photo Night

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building  

"The Azores and Madeira Islands: Endemics and Island Beauty"

presented by Phil Davis

Phil Davis has long been fascinated by the Azores and Madeira Islands role as stepping stones for vagrant European and African rarities to appear in North America and, more recently, in the status of these islands' many endemic bird species and subspecies.  In 2014, Phil and Barbara travelled to the Azores and Madeira to observe these islands' birds and take in the island landscapes and culture. In 2016, they returned to the islands to lead a group of birders on a grand tour of seven islands where they targeted 12 endemic bird species and 24 endemic subspecies. A key objective was to observe the endemic subspecies and put them "into the bank" since genetic analyses continue to dominate avian taxonomy and endemic island subspecies have high potential as future splits.  This multimedia presentation focuses on the endemic species (including the rare Azores Bullfinch and Zino's Petrel), endemic subspecies (including the three endemic Azores Goldcrest subspecies), and the overall beauty and culture of these infrequently-visited islands.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm                                                          
College Park Airport Operations Building

"Gearing Up: Tools & Tech"

presented by Ken Cohen

Hear about the latest birding apps for your smart-phone such as field guides, bird songs, e-bird notifications, and much more in live demonstration. If you find high-tech a little intimidating, bring along a 9-year old kinsman for assistance. Ken will be discussing e-Bird, Google, Birds Eye, I-bird Pro, and Audubon Birds. He is researching voice recognition programs and may also include them in the talk. He will also mention GPS coordinate programs such as Share my GPS location.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building                                  CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building

"Native Bees of Maryland"

presented by Gene Scarpulla

Gene Scarpulla is an Associate at the Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center where he surveys and identifies native bees and wasps.  Gene is also the Journal Editor for Maryland Birdlife and The Maryland Entomologist.
Did you know that there are approximately 4000 species of bees in the United States, 800 species east of the Mississippi River, and over 400 species in Maryland?  Little is known about the populations of most of these species.  In 2009, Gene Scarpulla conducted a yearlong survey of the bees on Hart-Miller Island in the Chesapeake Bay to increase our knowledge of Maryland's bees.  Gene will give a brief overview of the history of Hart-Miller Island, describe his yearlong survey, discuss general bee biology and identification (bees vs. wasps vs. flies [mimics]), and show the amazing diversity of Maryland’s bees.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building

"Brazil: Rio, Iguazu  and the Pantanal"

presented by Gregory Kearns

Greg, long-time naturalist, rail and osprey bander/researcher and photographer at Patuxent River Park for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, spent time in Brazil on an exchange program invitation through Partners of the Americas to consult on  parks and environmental issues. Greg will share these experiences through his always fascinating stories and pictures as he explores Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls (one of the largest waterfalls in the world), and the Pantanal. The Pantanal is a wetland the size of  England and one of the greatest places on earth to view wildlife. The word ‘Pantanal’ originated from Portuguese word ‘pantano’ meaning marshland. The Pantanal is 190,000 sq km in area and its major portion is located in Brazil (in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul Provinces) and a minor portion in  Bolivia and Paraguay. During rainy seasons, 80% of its area gets submerged underwater forming a miniature inland sea.

Learn about the natural history of the region and see photographs of creatures such as endangered golden lion tamarins, coatimundis, capybaras, marsh deer, caiman, and a great diversity of birds, including the Hyacinth Macaw, Red-legged Seriema, Black-collared Hawk, Guira Cuckoo, and Jabiru, to name a few. For those who are interested in watching wildlife in natural settings, no place offers more. It is believed that about 10 million crocodiles live here comfortably. The biodiversity of this area is astonishing: 3500 species of plants, 650 species of birds, 400 species of fish, 100 species of mammals, 80 species of reptiles are just some of the inhabitants of this wonderful land.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm
College Park Airport Operations Building

Member-Share Photo Night

Join members of the Prince George’s Audubon Society and Patuxent Bird Club as they share their favorite nature/bird/wildlife photos and the stories that go with them before our summer break. Member or not, bring your favorite photos, or just sit back and enjoy seeing those of others.This is always an informal and enjoyable night. Join us! Digital projector available. Not a member? Join us anyway, and share your favorite nature-themed photos.

Tips for sharing your photos:  The easiest way for photos is to load them onto a  ash card to be plugged into a laptop. E-mail Fred Fallon at in advance with your intention to bring photos to help allocate time, so that all can be accommodated before the 9:15 p.m. closing time.

Questions or comments?  Contact the PGAS Webmaster at:

last updated 5/8/2017